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Who's Pallin' Around with Terrorists Now?

By Suzi LeVeaux - Posted on 03 January 2011

From Raw Story:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former national security adviser Fran Townsend and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey all attended a forum organized by supporters of Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK).

The MEK is a communist group that helped Saddam Hussein carry out attacks against Iraq's Shiite population in the 1990s. The group attacked Americans in Iran in the 1980s and helped with the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran.

The US designated the MEK a foreign terrorist organization in January 2009.

Giuliani and the former Bush officials, however, sided with the group due to their opposition to the current Iranian regime.

Appeasement of dictators leads to war, destruction and the loss of human lives," Giuliani told the forum. "For your organization to be described as a terrorist organization is just really a disgrace."

"The United States should not just be on your side," he said. "It should be enthusiastically on your side. You want the same things we want."

"If the United States truly wants to put pressure on the Iranian regime, it takes more than talk and it takes more than sanctions," Townsend declared.

Georgetown University law professor and attorney David Cole believes that under US law, the group of conservatives may have gone too far.

"The problem is that the United States government has labeled the Mujahedeen Khalq a 'foreign terrorist organization,' making it a crime to provide it, directly or indirectly, with any material support," he wrote in Monday's edition of the New York Times. "It is therefore a felony, the government has argued, to file an amicus brief on behalf of a 'terrorist' group, to engage in public advocacy to challenge a group’s 'terrorist' designation or even to encourage peaceful avenues for redress of grievances."

The Supreme Court has ruled that any "advocacy performed in coordination with, or at the direction of, a foreign terrorist organization" is a crime.

While the Supreme Court has already decided the issue, Cole argued that what the group of US conservatives have done should be protected as free speech.

>> Snipped<<

If a group of Democrats did this, the conservative talking heads would have a field day. I wish there really was a "liberal media" that obsessed over the stories like this the way Fox News does. But you won't hear a peep from them.

Like most issues concerning the Middle East, it is a little more complicated then to simply state that Giuliani and friends are hanging around with terrorists.

The MEK has been fighting for democracy in Iran since the 1960s.  They were heavily opposed to the Shah who was despite being a friend of the U.S., a brutal dictator.  

They naively thought that the Ayatollah would bring about needed reforms after the Iranian Revolution, but instead he was successful in driving them away from Iran to Europe where they continued to engage in terrorism.

Later Saddam Hussein welcomed them to Iraq since he was also opposed to the current Iranian regime.

There is no doubt that they have a long history of committing terrorist acts and their political philosophy over much of their history has been based on Marxism.

However, they renounced violence in 2001 and are the main group fighting for a secular democracy in Iran including the right of women to vote and have equal rights. 

The European Union no longer considers them a terrorist group.

While I disagree with granting this group legitimacy since they are guilty in the past of killing Americans, the world is a complicated place.  Just as in the Cold War when the U.S. had to support distasteful regimes like the Shah or the Taliban (our friends back in the 1980s), the war against radical Islam might also produce strange bedfellows so I can see why some foreign policy experts would think the MEK is worthy of U.S. support. 

Brandon, I certainly understand how complicated the world is, especially the middle east.  But it would serve us all well to remember that such "strange bedfellows", thanks to US support, brought us the vile regime Saddam Hussein.

I'd appreciate it if you would cite your sources, as quick research indicates quite a bit more than Hussein "welcomed them to Iraq".  They were a heavily armed fighting force (mostly along the Iraq/Iran border) and were disarmed by US/Coalition Troops.   Also, it appears that the EU delisted the PMOI, which is the the major arm of this multi-splintered organization, but I could be wrong.  This short piece from Global Security not only lists the names of all the "groups within a group", but gives a good synopsis of their activities, etc.

The bottom line here is that MEK is still on the US terrorist list, and these "foreign policy experts" (Giuliani and friends) are way out of line in meeting with them, and are possibly breaking the law.  This is no longer the Bush administration, these men are NOT elected officials, but rather men with their own agenda.  No matter what their motives, unless they are acting on behalf of the White House, they have no right to interfere at all in foreign policy.

My source was also Global Security:  "The MEK was allied with the Iraqi regime and received most of its support from it. The MEK assisted the Hussein regime in suppressing opposition within Iraq, and performed internal security for the Iraqi regime."

I admit the words "welcomed them" made it sound like they were the Methodist Ladies Benevolent Committee.

There is no doubt they have been an ultra violent terrorist organization in the past and I would agree that American political figures should not be meeting with such people.

However, I can understand the viewpoint that we should take them off the terrorist list.  I think the Obama administration still holds hope that the current Iranian regime can still be reasoned with.  This is likely fantasy land and the point that the U.S. should now support groups wishing to overthrow the Iranian government is very credible.  But I would agree that Giuliani and others should go through proper State Department channels if they wish to engage with such groups.

This is likely fantasy land and the point that the U.S. should now support groups wishing to overthrow the Iranian government is very credible

I'm sorry Brandon, but I call BS!!!!!  Every time we support, overtly or covertly, a coup in the middle east, we end up with another regime equally as bad or worse!   That's how we got Saddam Hussein, remember?  I'm glad President Obama took regime change  off the table for Iran.  No, I don't think the current Iranian regime can be reasoned with, but neither do I think the MEK or any other group would be any better.  Anyone who fought for and with Hussein would not be an improvement.  Regime change and nation building with their hidden agendas should no longer be a part of our foreign policy.  If for no other reasons than it is usually unsuccessful and is very expensive.

By the way, MEK and their associated groups are on several human rights watch lists, mainly for their inhumane treatment of those who wish to leave their groups.

I'm more furious over this than I have been about anything in a long time.  To think that these right wing war mongers are interfering with the foreign policy of a sitting president is treasonous, IMO, and could cause dire consequences to us as a nation.  Even when I woke up and realized the invasion of Iraq was wrong, I would have been angry if I'd heard about anyone on the left doing something to counter our official policy.  It's too dangerous for us as a nation to take our disagreements on foreign policy beyond our own borders.  We used to be better than that!!  No matter what our opinions about support of regime change, no matter what our political ideology, if we love our country, we have to agree about that!

Suzi, I think every situation in the world is different.

In the 1980s when the U.S. chose to support the Taliban in their fight with the Soviet Union that ultimately proved to be a foolish move.  But at the time, one couldn't predict how that would turn out.

Our support of the Contras in Nicaragua despite the political scandal in the Reagan Administration help lead to their victory and in the long run made Central America a better place.  Even though the Contras were vicious human rights abusers and there is much evidence that they were heavily involved in introducing crack cocaine into Miami.

If Iran gets nuclear weapons under Obama's watch, it will be a HUGE stain on his presidency.  I think the U.S. should give some kind of support (even if it is just strong moral) to groups opposing the current Iranian government.  It is always a gamble in international affairs that the next regime might turn out worse. 

Please understand I'm in 100% agreement that Republicans leaders should not be meeting with the MEK unless it is through the State Department. 

We could go back and forth forever naming successes and failures.  The truth is, I see your point and can even agree to a certain extent.  My anger over this isn't about a different ideological viewpoint, but over the men taking it upon themselves to do this.  I'm glad we can agree that is wrong!

We didn't support "The Taliban" in Afghanistan so much except insomuch as we supported a lot of insurgent groups against the Soviets.

This is another one of those "big lies" that the anti-war types like to spew. 


 The Pakistani I.S.I. basically funded and trained the Taliban (with U.S. support, I might add).  This occurred during the Reagan administration.

The big mistake in the whole thing was what was done by the Carter administration, which was in thinking the Soviets wanted to "take over" Afghanistan as some sort of world domination plot.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  The Soviets were deathly afraid of Muslim extremists and jihad in Afghanistan spilling over into their Muslim republics and destabilizing them.  In fact, the Soviet oligarchy debated long and hard about sending its troops into Afghanistan, but eventually decided it was the right thing to do to prevent destabilizing their own Muslim republics.  In fact, that was one of the decisions that eventually led to the breakup of the U.S.S.R.  Even a totalitarian state cannot hide thousands of coffins coming back home for burial from its citizens.

The point still stands that the Taliban was just one group among many.

And there's not much difference between a takeover and installing a friendly regime in a buffer state, which is what the USSR did.

I'm still glad that it's one of the things which led to the breakup of the USSR. That was a GOOD thing! 

To me, it's revisionist history to downplay the role of the U.S. government in the rise of the Taliban.

I know we have been trying to eradicate the Taliban since 9/11, but that fact still does not excuse our collaboration in its rise to prominence.


You might as well implicate the US in the rise of the Northern Alliance too. Because they're both true. 

The Obama administration has held a pretty hard line against Iran, at least as hard as did the previous administration.

And of course, the current regime in Iran is partly (mostly?) the part of our meddling in the affairs of Iran to begin with.

If the MEK is listed as a terrorist organization then anyone providing material support to them should be sanctioned and/or prosecuted. Period. If people want to remove them from the terrorist list for some reason then they need to do that first.


Like most issues concerning the Middle East, it is a little more complicated then to simply state that Giuliani and friends are hanging around with terrorists.

Gee, I don't recall you thinking the relationship between President Obama and Williams Ayes was "complicated" or giving any wiggle room that there might be important details we should consider. And Guiliani, Palin and friends were all too happy to paint Obama as a terrorist-loving guy whom we should watch out for because of his relationship with Ayers, which, compared to this, seems rather petty and overblown, now doesn't it? They were hardly BFF's and Obama certainly did not make public statements of support or attend lectures-but hey that effort to bring Obama down failed long ago, so why resurrect it? I agree there are many angles to consider when looking at any "terrorist group" or story. But the Republicans don't seem to offer that courtesy when they are the ones painting the controversy. Did they see another side to the rationale for the Mosque (Park 51 community center) at "ground zero."  Nope-went right for the "terrorist connection" theme, didn't they? Sorry, but maybe they deserve the spotlight right now, so they know how it feels and so they are forced to explain their way out of this one. I'm sure they are grateful for people like you and all the Fox viewers who will defend them but you all have a hypocrisy problem at the very least.

No hypocrisy at all Kelly.  First, these are two very different issues.

There is no equality between a group like the MEK working to violently overthrow the brutal dictatorship of the Iranian Shah and a group like the Weather Underground wanting to violently overthrow the Johnson or Nixon Administration.

In my post above, I was critical of those who are meeting with the MEK but I'd also be critical of President Obama if he had any real association with Bill Ayers which from all credible sources it appears that he did not.  

I do wish that "community organizer" Obama had at some point denounced those in Chicago that gave Ayers credibility as Bill Ayers should be rotting in prison right now not giving lectures about educating children.

Since the president showed such poor judgement by attending Rev.Wright's church for 20 years, one does not have to be a "Fox News Viewer" to think that Ayers might be the type Obama hung out with.  Remember what he wrote in "Dreams For My Father:"

To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.The foreign students.The Chicanos.The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets 

"The Iranian Shah"??? Are you serious, Brandon? You're like, 30 years out of date.

Pay attention.


You didn't read my post close enough.  The group we are discussing have been committing violent acts against the Iranian government since the 1960s when The Shah was in power.

I was trying to show there is a difference in the terrorist acts committed by this group in the 1960s and the terrorist acts committed by Bill Ayers against the U.S. Government in the 1960s.

Ah. Sorry then.

Since the president showed such poor judgement by attending Rev.Wright's church for 20 years

Seriously, Brandon, you still can't let it go, can you? I hope you are just as tough on Republicans for some of their former associations with white supremecy groups/churches who have regretted their ties. I see such glimmers of reason and open-mindedness with you at times and then suddenly, you make me shake my head.

I read and loved the book "Dreams for my Father." Did you read it in full or are you just pulling random quotes which will make your point? I'm guessing you haven't read and don't wish to, which is fine. The point of the book centers around his insecurities and inner battles as a mixed race young man who missed and loved his father but also felt rage against his father for not being there and for leaving his mother. He also faced backlash for his intellectualism and sometimes his lack of emotion. I'm not sure if you are more upset about his Marxist professor connection or punk-rock poet connection (my attempt at a joke...) but come on, don't you see his point? He was so afraid of being seen as "not black enough", "not radical enough" or "too smart" that he hid behind some insincere associations to please others and avoid the painful look into his own heart and issues. 

Actual quote from "Dreams from My Father" [pg. 100-101]: To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed necolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling constraints. We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated.  But this strategy alone couldn't provide the distance I wanted, from Joyce or my past. After all, there were thousands of so-called campus radicals, most of them white and tenured and happily tolerated. No, it remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names. 

On its own, the quote makes Obama appear racially militant. Whereas, in full context, the quote illustrates Obama's confusion over his race and cultural heritage. This is emphasized in the preceding paragraph, where Obama describes himself as someone compensating for insecurity in his "racial credentials."

 - Emi Kolawole and Brooks Jackson


Please don't think I'm not a person of reason or open minded because I have been very critical of President Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright.

I would be equally critical of anyone who associates with a racist or hate monger no matter what party they belong to. Obama was given a pass by most of the national media on the Rev. Wright issue.  If McCain had been a member of a racist church for 20 years and called someone like Rev. Wright his "spiritual mentor" the media would have kept on the story until he was forced to leave the Republican ticket.

I admit I have never read President Obama's books.  But I understand the college student scared of being seen as "not black enough", "not radical enough" or "too smart."  I have no doubt that this is why he joined Rev. Wright's church as I don't believe he believed the nonsense that was regularly taught at that church.  This just makes Obama more of a politician than many of his admirers would want to admit.

The criticism of Obama for being a member of that church is extremely valid and the failure of his most ardent supporters to understand that fact hurts the president more than it helps him.

 I have no doubt that this is why he joined Rev. Wright's church as I don't believe he believed the nonsense that was regularly taught at that church

Brandon, if you have any desire what-so-ever to really understand Barack Obama, I suggest you read his books, and use them to balance what you are being fed by the conservative news.

In them, you would find out WHY he actually joined Wright's church.  It had to do with his work as a community organizer.  Most of the people in the community belonged to that church, and he felt this would be a good way to form relationships with the community in which he worked.

Also, to say that racism was a regular part of the sermons at Wright's church is totally incorrect.  Yes, those snippets of a couple of sermons which were constantly played are bad...especially when taken out of context.  BUT...each and every one of Wright's sermons were available on tape, and those snippets were the total extent of anything negative that could be found, even by Fox News. 

Where is your equal criticism of Bush, Gingrich, and many others on the far right for their associations with Pat Robertson...quite possibly the most bigoted minister out there?

Since Brandon is so interested in looking at the whole picture and realizing that some issues are more "complicated" than we might think, perhaps he would like to read this  or this which show a different perspective on Rev. Wright and "the black church."

What if the only thing you knew about Thomas Jefferson was that he owned slaves?

What if, instead of the video of the I Have a Dream speech, elementary school students were taught that Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “My government is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world …”?

What if the single piece of information you possessed about Nelson Mandela was that he co-founded a terrorist organization called Umkhonto we Sizwe (abbreviated as MK), which stands for Spear of the Nation?

With apologies to William Blake, if you believe you can see the world in a grain of sand, you better make sure it is the right grain.

So, how well do the twelve words we know about Jeremiah Wright define the man, the nearly four-decades of ministry, the church he built, the denomination it belongs to, the black community, and whatever else we think he might represent? Are those words the right grain of sand?

If you judge his whole career (rather than the snipets of the same sermon which were replayed for weeks, maybe months) I think you would find that he gave much to his community and was a generous, good person. I think part of his perceived "anger at White America" is generational. Think about it. Would a black man his age have experienced any injustice? Would he have witnessed the lynchings, the KKK movement, the assasinations of the Civil Rights era and been touched by it on a personal level? And that is why Barack Obama comes with a different, "softer" perspective. He is much younger and sees the positive steps that have been taken on race relations.

If you think the media gave Pres. Obama a pass on this whole episode, I'm not sure what world you were living in. Can we say obsessed with the story? Especially Fox News who would not let it go. Thankfully, Obama shut them all up with his eloquent speech on race. At that point, things finally started to calm down.

And I can't figure out your outrage at Obama on this. When you say he stayed in the church for 20 years, you imply that he must believe the things Rev. Wright said (which he has made clear he does not) and was probably sitting right there when the controversial sermon was spoken, yelling "Amen" in the front pew. But now you confuse me by saying the only reason he was at that church in the first place was political. So you're mad at someone who ran for Senate and POTUS because he is a politician and has made decisions based on "political advantage" at times? Are there any out there who have not been guilty of this? Or are you mad because he did not go to church every week? He's not Christian enough? I agree with Suzi. He wanted to connect to the community and enhance his work as a community organzier and joining the most popular church makes sense. And yes, I agree there may have been some political reasons for that choice (connections, etc.) So he's not perfect...did anyone ever say he was?

What if, instead of the Brandon we all know and like, the only thing we knew about him was that he originally came in here blasting and condemning us, questioning our religious faith in the most judgemental of ways, based on nothing but the fact that we supported Obama, who supported abortion rights?

"the only thing we knew about him was that he originally came in here blasting and condemning us,"

Even back then, I would've hoped based on the fact that I tried to engage in debate (even if it was somewhat harsh) that most could have seen that I was at least interested in learning what you guys were all about.  I never engaged in the "hit and run" accusation posts like the person who called themselves "me" or 99.9 % of the other trolls. 

In 2008 during the height of the campaign, this site was not very good at explaining the logic behind its members supporting Obama.  Some members were very good at explaining it in email outside the message board and that is how ultimately I understood it.  But sadly, most Republicans who visited never would have got it based on the postings of 2008.

If that kind of campaigning is necessary in 2012, I hope RFO will be better at that part. 

This post was mostly written in fun...;-)  You would have gotten a better response back then had you approached things in a more civil manner.  Plenty of other members got what we are about because of the way they interacted with us.

The whole point of my joking post was to show that we can't base our opinion of a person based on one or two things.

This almost sounds like the old "Mussolini made the trains run on time, so he wasn't such a bad guy" argument.

Most all politicians or ministers or anyone in a leadership role does some good.  But sometimes the "bad" part of them is so bad that it negates that fact.  I like some things about Ron Paul, but the dangerous beliefs of Mr. Paul are so wacked out that I could never support him for anything.

Rev. Wright believes in "black liberation theology" a bastardization of Christianity.  I find it hard to believe that this theology did not enter into his other sermons.

Again, Obama should not be given a pass for allowing Wright to be his "spiritual mentor."  That being said he did leave the church and that is no longer a relevant issue.

I have been critical of Pat Robertson for at least 20 years. 

I'm not sure why you call Black liberation theology 'bastardization of Christianity" .  Can you explain that viewpoint?

Theology is a difficult subject to discuss on message boards, but here are two reasons why I would call it a bastardization:

1.  They place a big emphasis on the belief that Jesus was black.  Historically, this is not true.  Jesus certainly did not have blonde hair and blue eyes as sometimes depicted, but he was Hebrew not African.  The Jewishness of Jesus is very important to the idea that Jesus was fully a man when he walked on this earth.

But Jesus was not only fully man, he was also fully God and was the savior.

2.  Black liberation theology is completely based on racial identity.

2 Corinthians 5:17 teaches:  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Galatians 3:28 states: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 

The obsession with racial identity/politics is contrary to all that Jesus taught. 

My guess is that Jesus, like the Jewish people of the time, looked very Arab...which is neither black nor white.  The belief of some that He was black is no different, IMO, than the belief that He was a blue eyed blonde.

It's very hard for someone who has never been oppressed to understand the reasoning and need for Black liberation theology.   You're Southern Baptist.  So I quote from the article linked above:

  In the minds of many African-Americans, Christianity was long associated with slavery and segregation.[2] The Southern Baptist Convention had supported slavery and slaveholders, and it was not until June 20, 1995 that the formal Declaration of Repentance was adopted. This resolution declared that they "unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin" and "lament and repudiate historic acts of evil such as slavery from which we continue to reap a bitter harvest." The convention offered an apology to all African-Americans for "condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime" and repentance for "racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously or unconsciously"

So I ask you, was every person who was Southern Baptist prior to 1995 practicing a bastardized form of Christianity?  It certainly went against the teachings of Jesus.


"So I ask you, was every person who was Southern Baptist prior to 1995 practicing a bastardized form of Christianity?  It certainly went against the teachings of Jesus."

The Southern Baptist Convention had a long history of being extremely regressive when it came to racism.  The denomination came from a split over slavery.  Even more atrocious was the horrible record of the church during the Civil Rights Movement.  For much of the South, the Baptist church has been the main denomination for middle to lower middle class white people.  The Baptist Church reflected the views of its adherents rather than try to lead them in a Christ like direction which was about as wrong as you can get.

But there is a big difference in this kind of sin and theology  Racism was never part of the theology of the Baptist Church.  What makes a Baptist Church "baptist" is a belief in baptism by total immersion and only for those who have reached the age of accountability.  This is the main thing that separates Baptists from other protestants like Methodists.

Black liberation theology proponents believe in concepts that are against the very nature of Christ.  Southern Baptists of the past did not preach things that were anti Christ, they were guilty of not practicing the teachings of Christ.

There is a huge difference. 

Subjects of this type are difficult to discuss online, so I'm hoping I'm making sense.


It IS difficult to discuss on line, but in a way that's a very good thing.  It makes us stop and think of how to put our beliefs/thoughts into words, which hopefully causes us to examine them closely.  In doing so we might just give some deep thought to what we've believed to be truth, and look at things from another viewpoint, with an open mind.

I must say this discussion has sent me off in search of information, and what I've found has been fascinating, and caused me to really think.  I'm going to make a new post at the bottom, so we don't go off the right side of the page in talking about this. ;-)

1.  They place a big emphasis on the belief that Jesus was black.

This is your # 1 concern? I'm sure some were upset when Dorothy was portrayed as a black woman in The Wiz, but is it really a big deal if people simply want to relate better to Jesus, whether it is historical or not? Are you upset at the Catholic Churches who show him as blonde/blue-eyed? Do you condemn the whole church because of that historical inaccuracy? I just don't see why this issue would be considered a huge flaw or something to question a faith community about. I'm more of a WWJD person when it comes to faith. If a religion/person puts focus on the Beattitudes and making the choices Jesus would, they get a thumb-up from me. 

Christians should be trying to model the life of Jesus, not trying to mold Jesus into their racial identity so yes that is a serious offense of "black liberation theology." 

It is an important theological concept that God chose the Jewish people when he decided to bring his Son to walk among men.  To try and say that the true "chosen people" are of African descent is a heresy and the question that was asked was what is about "black liberation theology" that I find to be a bastardization of the true Christian faith.

The Catholic Church is committing a historical inaccuracy by depicting Jesus is having blonde hair and blue eyes but I don't think they teach that the Christ was of Germanic descent.

"Is it really a big deal if people simply want to relate better to Jesus."  I couldn't care less if people want to make Dorothy black, Santa Claus black, Sherlock Holmes black etc as these are fictional characters.  But in Christianity, Jesus is the Christ and you must accept him for who He really is and try to be like Him not try to make Him like you.

I don't think Tea Party people love guys like Giuliani and Ridge
Giuliani and the Tea Party are pretty cozy, and he supported many of their candidates.   I don't know about Ridge though.

Giuliani endorsed Rubio and Fiorina. Not Paladino, Angle, Miller, Buck or O'Donnell.

In some posts here, in RFO, there is hatred against the GOP as a whole. In spanish, they call it "la fe del converso". It seems you like certain Republicans once (and only when) they are at odds with the party. Maybe in one year or two, Scott and Kirk will get some love here.



Brandon, I think you're splitting hairs over what "theology" means.  There is much more to SBC theology than baptism by immersion. 

In the 1800's, Baptist evangelicals in the South had promoted the view of the common man's equality before God, which embraced African Americans. They challenged the hierarchies of class and race and urged planters to abolish slavery. They welcomed slaves as Baptists and accepted them as preachers.  The Southern Baptists broke away, interpreting the Bible to teach that slavery was moral (to ensure they could own slaves). Splitting from national Baptist organizations, the new Southern Baptist clergy saw slavery and demeaning intolerance of other ethnicities as rooted in the Bible.  So, using your criteria, the SBC was formed and taught principles based on racial identity.

Now, you're mistaken about the Catholic Church being responsible for teaching that Jesus is a blue eyed blonde.  There are some ancient paintings in Catholic churches in Italy depicting Jesus as black, or at least very dark skinned. It's actually a very complicated and interesting history, and the race/ethnicity/appearance of Jesus has been a subject of theological debate for hundreds of years.  The truth is, none of us know exactly what He looked like.  Using Galatians 3:28, does it really matter?

I'm not saying all of this to bash the SBC...they've come a very long way from their beginnings, which were based on evil.  Black liberation theology at least isn't rooted in evil practices, but rather in one that shows Jesus as non-white (not necessarily black) and teaches a theology that sees God as concerned with the poor, the oppressed and the weak.

I have to go out now, but look forward to continuing this conversation with all of you.


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