We haven't actually published the name of the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, but now we have to, before quoting from that sharp tack E.J. Dionne ... the new president -- Rev. Frank Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. Read and heed:
"...Page's upset victory could be very significant, both to the nation's religious life and to politics. He defeated candidates supported by the convention's staunchly conservative establishment, which has dominated the organization since the mid-1980s. His triumph is one of many signs that new breezes are blowing through the broader evangelical Christian world."
"...[Rev. Page] also signaled that the spirit he hopes to embody is quite different from that of the angry, right-wing, politicized preacher who has been a stock figure in American life for more than two decades."
" 'The election [of Page],' [Bill Leonard, the dean of the Wake Forest University Divinity School] said, indicates that 'the leadership of the denomination that pushed it hard to the right on theological and social issues is aging or passing from the scene and is unable to rally the troops as they once did.' "
Amazingly, the blogosphere has a hand in this too. Moderate Southern Baptists have found blogging as a way around the establishment house organs of men like Bush ally and big-time Southern Baptist pooh-bah Rev. Richard Land (of iVoteValues fame).
"Blessed be the bloggers, for they shall drive up the price of pajama stocks."