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Posted by on Jul 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

The Dishonest Oklahoma Baptist Messenger Makes Headlines

State Rep. Sally Kern (R-OK) is one of those kooky types that every state legislature seems to have.

Kern is the wife of a Baptist pastor.  Several months ago, Kern made headlines for declaring:

Studies show, no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades. . .I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam. . .

Since then, Kern has put forth a “Proclamation for Morality.”  It’s your typical Barton-esque Christian Nation revisionist drivel.  Read that here and a good critique here.

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, a Baptist and speaker at the upcoming Midwest regional meeting of the New Baptist Covenant, has not signed Kern’s Proclamation.

Nonetheless, Oklahoma’s Baptist Messenger, a publication of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, has (now, had) a fake/forged/photo-shopped image of Kern’s Proclamation featuring Gov. Brad Henry’s signature on their website.  See below:

Bruce Prescott of Mainstream Baptist and folks at publicly called Oklahoma’s Baptist Messenger out for their deliberate dishonesty.  See Prescott’s “Baptist Messenger Sinks to New Low” and’s “Thou shall not bear false witness…unless you’re the Baptist Messenger.”

After getting called out, the editor of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger has released this statement:

In the July 16 Messenger, the graphic representation of the Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality was misleading, indicating that Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and Secretary of State Susan Savage had signed the document. This is not the case, and the Messenger staff apologizes for the oversight and error.

Here’s a snippet from a new account on this mess:

OKLAHOMA CITY — More fallout stirs over a controversial proclamation on morality initiated by state representative Sally Kern.

Now, a newspaper is apologizing for reprinting what appears to be an official version of the proclamation signed by some of Oklahoma’s top officials.

The official signatures belong to the governor and the secretary of state, the problem, neither of them actually signed the document.

State Representative Sally Kern’s proclamation of morality has been a lightning rod from the beginning, blaming the nation’s economic problems on morality and claiming the nation is a world leader in abortion, pornography and other forms of debauchery.

Now, a new controversy has taken center stage involving The Baptist Messenger, a weekly paper with about 68,000 subscribers put out by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. The publication reprinted the proclamation in its July 16 edition, complete with state seal and a signature by Governor Brad Henry and Secretary of State Susan Savage.

“It is not anything that the state is sponsoring, so to see it on such an official document that we filed is really surprising,” Savage said.

Savage’s office has to verify the governor’s signature on all proclamations and affix the seal. Savage believes the paper took another proclamation signed on July 2 and merged the bottom half with the Kern proclamation.

I think the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger has some explaining to do.  A two sentence apology does not cut it.

Here’s the Associated Press’s coverage.

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  1. I love how the BM calls this an “oversight and error.” I commented on The Lost Ogle yesterday, “If the deception was done purposefully then it is not an error, but a lie. said in their article, ‘The Baptist newspaper printed Kern’s proclamation and attached part of an old proclamation signed by Henry, making it look like the Democratic governor endorses the language in the document.’ That doesn’t sound like someone accidentally misspelled a word or something. It sounds like a deliberate lie in order to deceive the gullible.”

  2. It probably constitutes a forgery, which is a criminal offense. I suspect some agressive DA could make a case for prosecuting the perosn who did it.

  3. I’m just finding out about this, and honestly, I am floored. Not surprised though. The BM has not been a newspaper for years. It has slowly turned into a propoganda piece to keep the flock blind, blissfully ignorant, and to encourage them to keep sending in those checks.
    Nothing will come of this, because the powers that be will continue to claim that it was an error, and anything beyond that is very difficult to prove.

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  5. While the messenger may have done as you suggested, it’s pretty harsh to act like the paper is worthless as a newspaper. If you are a baptist such as I then the information in the messenger is very noteworthy. I also reject that they are leading the flock blind and ignorant. That was a very cruel statement. I don’t consider myself dumb. I read the articles every week and there are many amazing articles by such people like Walker Moore and Dave Ramsey. These are godly men trying to be a spirit-led voice in the midst of a very hostile time in history against Christianity. In proud to be a Baptist and a Messenger reader.

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