Friday, September 01, 2006

Some of His Best Friends Are Sodomites

Cross-posted from my Daily Kos diary for August 31:

The alliance between the Christian Right and GOP has no better exemplar these days than the support of two Ohio megachurches for gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell. Blackwell seems headed for defeat, but that's his fault -- arrogant, unethical opportunist that he is -- and not that of the megachurches' two de facto PACS, Rod Parsley's Reformation Ohio and the Ohio Restoration Project, chaired by Russell Johnson, senior pastor of Fairfield Christian Church.
Of the two, Parsley is better known, but Johnson, in my view and that of others who've encountered him, is the more impressive operator. Whatever his faults, he comes across as a true believer and not an Elmer Gantry type.

Last evening I learned that Johnson has agreed to be our sixth discussant at an upcoming Forum on Church and State in Ohio's Electoral Politics. I was pleased to hear it, having met Johnson last March after a "town hall meeting" with Jim Wallis. Here's my account of that episode. I hope it humanizes the conflict between progressive Christians like myself and conservatives like Pastor Johnson.

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