Bailey Smith’s 15 minutes of notoriety

Religion News Service | 1/16/2019 | Staff
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News of Rev. Bailey Smith’s death Monday turned the clock back to August 22, 1980, when the religious right was being birthed in Dallas at something called the National Affairs Briefing. This was an event that a group of conservative Republican operatives and conservative evangelical clergy had cooked up to turn evangelical lay folk into voters who would boot Jimmy Carter out of the White House.

The slogan: “Get ’em saved; get ’em baptized; get ’em registered.”

Point - Appearance - GOP - Nominee - Ronald

The high point was an after-dinner appearance by GOP presidential nominee Ronald Reagan, who in a notable fib declared, “I know this is a nonpartisan gathering, and so I know that you cannot endorse me. But I only brought that up because I want you to know that I endorse you, and what you are doing.”

Before Reagan showed up, Smith, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Del Ray, Oklahoma and the newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, had delivered a bit of a homily on religious pluralism in American politics.

Rallies - Protestant - Catholic - Jew - Respect

It is interesting at great political rallies how you have a Protestant to pray, and then you have a Catholic to pray, and then you have a Jew to pray. With all due respect to those dear people, my friend God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew. For how in the world can God hear the prayer of a man who say that Jesus Christ is not the true Messiah. It is blasphemy. It may be politically expedient, but no one can pray unless he prays through the name of Jesus Christ. It is not Jesus among many, it is Jesus and Jesus only, it is Christ only, there is no competition for Jesus Christ.

No journalist was on hand to report Smith’s remarks, but Milton Tobian of the Southwest region...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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