Dennis Terry must have figured out he stepped in it when he famously said that liberals, non-Christians and anyone else who doesn't think we're a Christian nation need to pack up and leave. The pastor of Greenwell Springs Baptist Church in Baton Rouge is in full spin mode, telling WBRZ in Baton Rouge he didn't really say that.
For those who missed it, here's Terry's speech:
So let's see if we've got this right. Terry says he wasn't really telling us to leave when he said, "If you don't love America and you don't like the way we do things, I got one thing to say: Get Out!" Who does he think he's kidding?
Apparently Terry's caught some heat from other born-agains as well. He sent an email to CBN's David Brody presenting his side of the story.
Prior to Senator Santorum speaking on Sunday night I gave a short exhortation to our congregation on why we as Christians should be involved in the political and public policy process. My message was based in 1 Peter 2:11-17. In my remarks I said the following:Terry no doubt knows that Brody's blog is a must-read among politically active fundies. And predictably, Brody ate it up, saying that this was yet another example of the mainstream media beating up on born-again Christians.
“This nation was founded as a Christian Nation. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, there is only one God. There is only one God! And his name is Jesus!
I’m tired of people telling me I can’t say those words, I’m tired of people telling us as Christians that we can’t voice our beliefs or we can no longer pray in public. Listen to me if you don’t love America or you don’t like the way we do things I‘ve got one thing to say get out!”
These comments have been misreported saying that I suggested those who do not believe like me should leave the country. I said no such thing. I said those who do not love America and what she stands for should leave. Chief among the principles that America is founded upon is that of religious freedom, and that includes Christianity. I will not be made to feel as if we as Christians should apologize for our faith or that we should take the backseat as America is morally and spiritually being driven in the wrong direction.
However, to this reality-based charismatic/pentecostal Christian, Terry's email to Brody actually hurts his case. Terry admits that he thinks anyone who doesn't love what America stands for needs to leave. And yet, just before that, he declares that we're a Christian nation. Hmmm--sounds to me like he's tacitly admitting that he does believe anyone who doesn't just accept the "Christian nation" myth needs to pack up and leave.
Even if you allow for Terry possibly not understanding why anyone outside the Christian cocoon would be upset, his attempt to walk back his comments is downright laughable.