Warning to Kerry: Ethnic Baptists ahead

Did anyone out there see mainstream coverage of the following scene in South Carolina?

I sure didn’t. It seems that Gen. Wesley Clark recently ended up in a prayer service at the Zion Baptist Church in Columbia. The guest preacher was evangelist Sheila B. Koger of the Bethlehem Baptist Church. With Clark sitting nearby, she launched into a sermon that would get her arrested, if delivered on the floor of the Democratic National Convention.

Thus saith the preacher, as described in the infamous Scrapbook pages of the Weekly Standard:

“Everyone says these days, ‘Give me rights,’” Dr. Koger said. “‘Give the gay people rights,’ they say.” Dr. Koger’s voice rose: “But the Lord God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. If you’re a man, then be a man, not a woman!” Half of the congregation was on its feet before too long, shouting approval.

“Now if you’re not sure which you are, you can just ask yourself a simple question: ‘Do I have a womb?’ If you ain’t got a womb, then you’re a man. And you better act like one.”

There were multiple shouts of “Tell it!”

“They told me I could preach the Gospel unadulterated, so that’s God’s word, not mine,” Dr. Koger went on. “He is a God of decency and order, and he ain’t going to bless no mess!”

Clark resorted to making small talk during the sermon with the person seated next to him.

Memo to Sen. John Kerry: One must be careful when visiting ethnic congregations across America and in the Third World. Many of the people there have dangerous beliefs and are convinced that they have the right of free speech.

Print Friendly

About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Steve Odom

    Thanks, Terry. This happens all the time, on various levels (city, county, state, etc) and is very rarely pointed out or commented on. It does remind us of the continuing puzzle of all those in the congregation that day who will nonetheless go on to vote for Kerry (or Edwards, etc.).

  • steve h

    I am reminded of the time Mother Theresa scolded the Clintons (Pres. and First Lady) about their support of abortion. I believe this occurred at some sort of Presidential-Prayer-meeting of some kind.

    It happened, but it never seemed to get noticed by the mainstream news. Or get commented on, even as an ethical challenge.

    On the other hand, I am also reminded of stories about the Clintons, and the support that they seemingly garnered so easily from Black churches. Even to the point of the President delivering a political speech on a Sunday morning in some churches. Again, an event that should have gotten front-page news, but didn’t. I don’t seem to remember whether anyone else ever told off the President about his policies–but he seemed to have a solid friendship with the Black community, especially with church-goers.

    How many people who see Kerry (or Edwards) at that event will actually vote for him? How many will remember the sermon preached and the politician’s response?

    Is it that there are people whose minds are held captive by one of the “gods of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4)? Do they believe in God? I can’t tell, though it seems they do. Do they carry that belief into the public arena? That’s what I’m wondering about.

  • http://www.pmsummer.org P.M. Summer

    Clark resorted to making small talk during the sermon with the person seated next to him.


    You witnessed this? The above was outside of the quote box, so I’m not sure if saw it, or if you’re just quoting the Weekly Standard on this observation.

  • Melissa Howell Alipalo

    Are congregants who say “Amen” to Evangelist Koger and vote for Kerry or Edwards really being puzzling, or fickle or hypocritical? Perhaps they are just more complicated voters, who can’t be expected to cast their ballot based on one issue, such as legalized homosexual marriages, alone. I think we are so used to seeing that with Evangelicals and abortion that when the pattern doesn’t repeat itself with other groups and other issues, we’re stumped. Or am I missing something here?