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. . .
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 TheOgle.com publicly called Oklahoma’s Baptist Messenger out for their deliberate dishonesty. See Prescott’s “Baptist Messenger Sinks to New Low” and TheOgle.com’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.