Sunday, November 13, 2005

There is no "neutral" gear in politics...

To put it bluntly: if Ed Young is politically "neutral," I'm a Bible-thumpin' Baptist:

Young said he met Cornyn for the first time at a pastors' meeting in late November 2001, where Cornyn spoke to about 15 to 20 pastors. Young also said he did not remember any exchange of letters occurring at the meeting as Reed said in the e-mail.

Cornyn "told us the situation. He was filing affidavits. We said we support you" because of the pastors' concerns about gambling, Young said.

Young dismissed Reed's suggestion that Cornyn needed him for support in the 2002 Senate race. He said he stays neutral because his church attracts Democrats and Republicans.
Let me explain:

Dr. Ed Young is the Pastor of Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. Second (as it likes to call itself) is, bar none, the largest church in Houston. It currently lists 5 "campuses" around the Houston area. Houston is, bar none, the largest city in Texas. Houston is virtually a separate planet in the Texas political system; it creates it's own political "gravity". And within Houston, Second Baptist creates its own political gravity, like Houston, just by it sheer size. But it goes beyond that.

A former minsterial colleague of mine told me of his experience with "Second." A member of his church was a Houston policeman, killed in the line of duty. The city, of course, paid for the funeral service and burial. But the service had to be at Second, and it had to be conducted by their pastoral staff. He, the family pastor, was effectively shut out. The family could, of course, have another service; but the choice of denying the service at Second was almost non-existent (who wants to fight City Hall under such circumstances? And this "connection" between city and church is not officially acknowledged. The City "just happens" to hold all such funerals there.)

Now, the Houston Mayor is usually a Democrat (the race is officially non-political, no one runs on party that is, but you know how these things are). So Ed is "neutral." But Ed leads the largest church in the largest city in Texas.

In no way is that position "neutral" in Texas politics. Did Cornyn "need" Ed's support for 2002? Well, if Cornyn didn't think so, he'd be one king-fool of a politician. And having been Attorney General of Texas and on the Supreme Court of Texas (both elected offices), Cornyn is no fool about politics in Texas.

Does this mean Reed is telling the truth? No. But Cornyn has something to lose acknowledging this story is true, and Young leaves his church open to a very serious IRS investigation (how could they turn that opportunity down?) if he doesn't deny Cornyn "needed his support in 2002."

So take their denials with a grain of salt. Sort of like you would if Ed were to say: "I'm just a little ol' country pastor...."

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