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Antigay Baptist
leader dies

Antigay Baptist
leader dies

The man who spearheaded the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention and helped build the denomination into a national force opposing gay equality died on Tuesday. Adrian Rogers, 74, had been battling cancer and double pneumonia, according to an announcement on the Web site of his Love Worth Finding ministry (www.lwf.org/). Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, a megachurch in Memphis, Tenn., for 32 years (until March 2005), Rogers took over as president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979 and was elected to additional terms in 1986 and 1987. He worked closely with Focus on the Family, a group that spends millions of dollars each year to oppose equality for gay American families. One Internet news report quotes Rogers as having called homosexuality "sterile, disease-ridden, and God-forsaken." Following are some other Rogers quotes, largely lifted from far-right Christian media: --On September 11 (from one of Rogers's books): "The hedge [of protection around America], I'm afraid, has been taken away. God is saying I will take away the hedge thereof and the wall shall be taken down, I planted this nation and a hedge around it, but it produced wild grapes, I am going to take down the hedge of protection.... America has become so immoral, so amoral, so vile. Consult any newspaper: a tidal wave of filth. We are No. 1 in homosexuality, radical feminism, divorce, abortion. We are in a moral freefall. Something is happening in America that is un-American." --On a U.K. law that barred all teachers from saying anything positive about homosexuality or gay people: "I think the promotion of homosexuality should be completely unlawful. We are not allowed to promote it in schools, so how can we allow local authorities to promote the lifestyle?" --On his vision for the Southern Baptist Convention: "Our Baptist ancestors of a mere generation ago could not have imagined the need to address the issues of abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, and all manner of deviant and pagan sexuality. We answer with a clear word of biblical correction." --On the ineffective far-right boycott of the Walt Disney Company that he spearheaded in the 1990s: "Now let me say this about Disney. Let me say this about this company that has decided openly that it's going to promote homosexuality. What does that have to say about those of us who are children of God? Do you think that we're going to change Disney? I don't think so. That's not the point. The point is we don't want Disney to change us. That is the point." --On taking pride in his work: "I believe right now the Southern Baptist Convention is a giant boulder in Satan's superhighway. We're the largest evangelical denomination that is still saying that sin is sin--that homosexuality is wrong, that abortion is wrong, that adultery is wrong, that divorce is wrong. Not only this, [we're] teaching that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven [and] that there is a right and a wrong. Who else is saying all of these things in a major denomination? No one else." --On the second coming: "The bottom line, however, is this: Jesus is coming, and I am certain of that and very, very glad. I have resigned from the program committee and have moved over to the welcoming committee. Even so, come Lord Jesus!" (Advocate.com)

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