Dorothy Patterson, wife of Paige Patterson, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, wanted to depict the 20-year history of the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Church in beautiful stained-glass images in the J.W. MacGorman Chapel at the seminary. (See Saturday news story, “Seeing Baptists in a new light.”)
An accurate depiction of that time should include:
• Numerous Southern Baptist Convention churches that had to leave the 135-year-old convention and find a new home.
• Pastors who had been friends and classmates since seminary days and now never speak to one another.
• Churches that were so divided by the issues that they had to split into separate congregations.
• Professors and seminary presidents who were fired for their beliefs.
• The innocent children of fired pastors and professors, who often had to relocate, adapt to a home with reduced or no income, and deal with a parent suffering from depression.
• Missionaries who had to leave their life’s work because their integrity was questioned.
I hope that the chapel has enough windows to tell the whole story of the conservative resurgence.
— Sara Goode, Fort Worth
Among the infinite choices to be made by a seminary, the decision by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to devote space and resources to stained-glass images of themselves is absurd and tragic.
In the spirit of this action, I await the Paige Patterson Meditation Foyer of “Animals I Shot and had Mounted.”
— J. Alan Nelson, Waco
Some of us who are Protestants object to the portrayal of human religious leaders in stained glass.
Further, some of us would view this as a violation of the second of the Ten Commandments, which forbids the making of such likenesses and states: “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”
No doubt Baptists would counter that they’re not bowing to or serving such images, but how do such icons affect the minds of worshipers in the chapel?
Are worshipers drawn to think upon the holiness of God and his Word, or are they instead drawn to contemplate the greatness of their Baptist leaders?
I suspect that some of these leaders of the past would shudder to find that they are being venerated in such a manner.
This is the idolatry warned of throughout Scripture. Now it appears that Baptists have designated saints to venerate similar to those of Roman Catholicism.
— Chuck Cain, Arlington
Astronomers have calculated that Christmas should be in June, by charting the appearance of the “Christmas Star,” which the New Testament says led Three Wise Men to Jesus’ birthplace.
Astronomers have found that a bright “star” that appeared over Bethlehem 2,000 years ago was most likely a magnificent conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Venus, which were so close together they would have shown a “beacon of light” that appeared suddenly.
— David Lee Bennett,
A story in a Sunday advertising section, “The many faces of Santa,” stated twice, in a headline and in the story, that “Christmas didn’t become a legal holiday across the country until June 26, 1970.”
However, there were many, many legal Christmas holidays before that date because the true date for Christmas becoming a federal holiday was June 26, 1870.
— E. Miles Baldwin, Fort Worth
Cost of inaction
Our democracy is broken.
The centrists have no one for whom to vote. I don’t say “moderates” because we’re not moderate in our disgust with the extremists on the ballot.
For years, we have voted for the lesser of the evils, but today there are few to choose from.
We can expect mostly extremists to be on the ballot, but some are still less disgusting than others.
In the Fort Worth area, voting in a primary means the Republican primary because there are almost no contested Democratic races.
Instead of sitting on our hands, we should vote for the lesser of the evils in the GOP primary.
Then you Republicans in Name Only (RINOs), independents and moderate Democrats get out in the general election and vote for the lesser of the evils who have survived their primaries.
Our inaction has cost us dearly.
— Gardner Davis, Granbury
Letters should be no longer than 200 words and must have a full name, home street address, city of residence and both a home and daytime telephone number for verification.
E-mail (preferred; please do not send as an attachment): email@example.com; Fax: 817-390-7688
Regular mail: Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101