Asheboro’s non-Christians slammed

Update: Dr. Rogers has explained and apologized over at Doug Clark’s blog, “I regret that and if they have created ill feelings, then I only ask you forgive me for not making them clearer..”  I extend my regrets right back to the Reverend and ask for his forgiveness as well.

If there’s going to be reconciliation in this community, it’s not going to come from non-Christians… It will have to come from the people of God.” – Rev. John Rogers, First Baptist Church, Asheboro

Perhaps such an extraordinarily pompus, arrogantly contemptuous statement should be overlooked after ending up on the losing side of a long and bitter fight over alcohol sales in Asheboro. But one would hope that an upstanding Baptist minister would’ve figured out long ago that a closed mouth gathers no foot.

And another thing… The ’40% agin’/60% fer’ vote certainly didn’t follow Asheboro’s Christian/non-Christian lines.  I’m guessing that more than a few of the folks that the N&R’s Nelson Kepley photographed holding hands and praying in that Baptist church last night were smiling on the inside.

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  1. Posted July 30, 2008 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Rev. Rogers fails to understand that local alcohol sales will increase his opportunities to work with the “fallen”. If there were no sinners, he’d be out of business.

  2. Posted July 30, 2008 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    In other words, “If you don’t think and act and talk in lock-step with ‘us,’ then you’re not one of ‘us,’ so you must be one of ‘them,’ and we all know what ‘they’ are.”

    Sound familiar?

  3. dhoggard
    Posted July 30, 2008 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Very familiar, Sue, that’s what caught my attention.

    Based on the good Reverend’s quote I take it that he has little faith that Jews such as yourself could possibly instigate any type of community reconciliation.

    I thought that Rev. Rogers describing Christians as “THE people of God (caps added)”, instead of simply “people of God” was kinda un-Christian-like also.

    Presumably our good Mr. Killian captured that quote correctly.

  4. Posted July 30, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    And so they pounce.

    I would suggest before the usual GSO blogosphere suspects start slamming Dr. Rogers (you’re are WAY LATE to this party by the way), that they go to “Off The Record” and read his explanation. Climb down off your high horses.

    I was not there. But I know John to be a loving/compassionate/open human being – who has steered his church through some very difficult times. This effort more or less fell in his lap and he did what he had to do. I suspect he meant “people of faith” (on both sides).

    David, you could not be MORE fundamentally, mean-spritedly WRONG with this post. Could it be you have another agenda? That goes for Sue too.

    In terms of judging, have either of you looked in the mirror?

    Rather than preparing a perfect/”politically-correct” “sound bite” for the masses – Dr. Rogers was attempting to console/encourage a very disappointed group of people – people who feel as if they’ve no voice and have been stomped.

    And here’s the thing (Sue/David), Christians DO believe that their way is THE way. It’s not “un-Christian-like” to say so. The last time I looked at the Constitution, we all had the right to believe what we believe.

    So. When are you two coming down to help the “backwoods” mend fences?

    As you well know, David, I’ve been blogging on this subject for two months (trying to give the “AGAINST” forces a forum/voice they were certainly not getting from their own newspaper). So has Rob Abinder at RIT (Rob favored the referendum).

    It’s been IGNORED by the MSM – including Joe Killian. So much for “citizen journalism”

    I’ll agree the 60/40 vote did not follow along lines of faith. It followed the money. Given that the “Against” forces were outspent 3-1 . . . and people registered to vote for the first and only timw just to get a cold one with dinner . . . the return was not as high as one might expect.

  5. Posted July 30, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  6. Posted July 30, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    “As you well know, David, I’ve been blogging on this subject for two months.”

    Sorry to disappoint, Mary, but I didn’t “well know”, or even a little bit know, any such thing. And I’m unsure what the “backwoods” quip means as I’ve not followed hardly anything about the vote until today’s article. Shocking, I know, but true. I live in Greensboro, you see.

    I read a quote that I took issue with, from a source I trust, and reacted to it.

    Dr. Rogers acknowledged a misunderstanding over at Doug’s with this.. “I regret that and if they have created ill feelings, then I only ask you forgive me for not making them clearer.”

    The matter is over. At least for me. So please relieve your shoulder of that chip.

  7. Posted July 30, 2008 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    So. Let me get this straight.

    You live in Greensboro, you have not been reading (my blog or anything else) on the subject . . . you have no first-hand knowledge of what is going on down in Asheboro . . . you don’t know the man (of-God) who was quoted . . . yet you feel free to hack out a little nasty at your keyboard? And sully his name all over the Internet?

    OBTW the reporter you trust so much – who happens to be a local blogger – did not, in his comprehensive coverage of the issue, so much as mention the “citizen journalists” blogging their guts out at RIT and Housecalls.

    And I have the chip on my shoulder?

    Somebody else needs to crank out an apology.

    FYI, the matter is far from over for the people down here. Not that it would concern the big guns in the GSO blogosphere except when they want to whine about a non-existant slight from parts they consider down under.

    I said it at Doug’s and I will say it here. John Rogers – a fundamentally good and decent man – and a gifted pastor – was basically suckered punched by a N&R reporter.

    But it’s happened before in Randolph County. They didn’t have blogs back then.

    They do now.

  8. Posted July 30, 2008 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Was John Rogers misquoted? Otherwise I wouldn’t consider an exact quote a “sucker punch.” He made a comment. He was quoted. People expressed opinions about what he said. He spoke further on the issue. He took responsibility for his words, as should we all. But “sucker punched?” I don’t think so.

    It sounds resolved to me.

  9. Posted July 30, 2008 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Mary. I’m guilty of all of the charges in your first paragraph. Been a little out of touch.

    Rogers was sucker punched????… Hardly. As JW mentions, he hasn’t, to my knowledge, said he was misquoted. As a matter of fact I think he owned up to it in a very forthright manner and I admire him for that.

  10. Posted July 30, 2008 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    The second paragraph (about the N&R eporter you trust to present all the angles) is true as well, David . . the reason perhaps that you’re “out-of-touch”.

    Dr. Rogers, a small-town minister, thrust into a battle and role he did not want, was WAY out of his element. He mis-spoke at a time of great disappointment – trying to minister to people who feel they’ve lost what their town is/was – a way of life – and their voice.

    And the lions pounced. Because you WANTED him to fall. It makes you feel superior.

    Next time, David, try doing a two-second Google search and know something about the people you’re denigrating before you spew.

    And Sue, you’re the Queen of Converge South. In terms of the blogging community, you might try looking “south”. Pretending we don’t exist has not made us go away. You might want to re-think the plan.

    I’m tired of the Christians who stood up for what they believed in Asheboro being slammed (especially after standing up to every dirty/slimey/under-handed/consultant-based tactic one could think of to get to where we are now). Very ugly things were done/said by the Chrisitians on the other side of the argument . . . not to mention the people of other faiths or no faith at all . . . but you don’t see anyone going for their jugular.

    I know how the leaders of the “anti-alcohol” effort – which was unexpectedly forced upon them – conducted themselves (you see, I’m “in touch”), and you were WAY out-of-line with your own remarks. Your opinion was un-informed.

    “A closed mouth gathers no foot.”

  11. Posted July 30, 2008 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    If the alcohol vote had passed in 1994, Asheboro would be the home of theme parks owned by Six Flags and Silver Dollar USA, the founding company of Dollywood and Branson, Missouri. I was the community liaison/outside sales rep for the NC Zoo – and was heavily involved in the vote. Those two companies optioned land and held it through the day of the election. When the town continued to be dry, both companies packed their bags and left.

    History has continued to repeat that scenario – but the pattern is broken.

    Thank goodness.

  12. Posted July 31, 2008 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    I think the word is “ILL-informed”. As for your assertion… “you WANTED him to fail”. I didn’t – and don’t – because I don’t have a dog within 30 miles of Asheboro’s fight.

    Did you even take the time to read my request for forgiveness posted yesterday afternoon right after I read the Rev’s post at Doug’s.

    Good Lord, woman. Get over yourself. I have a mother.

  13. Posted July 31, 2008 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Blather: “And Sue, you’re the Queen of Converge South. In terms of the blogging community, you might try looking “south”. Pretending we don’t exist has not made us go away. You might want to re-think the plan.”

    Like Hogg, the Asheboro vote wasn’t on my radar and my dogs don’t waste their time on blog commenting. The good reverend’s comment, as JW said, was accurate and having been interviewed a few times, I know that the juiciest quote is often the one printed w/o the other 20 things you said. He said what he said. And it was poorly received. He apologized; I noted it here. He’ll be more careful next time or refuse an interview. His choice.

    ConvergeSouth’s structure doesn’t yet allow for Queens or Kings, but if they ever do, I’ll be sure to think about running. I did spend most of yesterday afternoon fighting through Orbitz & Travelocity to get flights for some speakers, so if that elects me Queen, so be it.

    To be a good Queen, I’ll have to first get a scepter. I’m not sure my infra-red mouse qualifies.

  14. Don
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    We as citizens in the pursuit of good, routed in morality and justice for the community have to be prepared to take issue with comments made by political and religious leaders. Most do not have any dog in fight regarding the recent vote, but we do have a dog in fight when there is religious intolerance and other destructive actions of individuals and groups. Respect is due to those who challenge. Others need to take a deep breath, kick the door, or find some humor. It is not the end of the world.

  15. Posted August 1, 2008 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been busy at Housecalls, where I’ve posted my last thoughts on the alcohol referendum, so I have not had time to get back here.

    David, I don’t recall seeing your bit on forgiveness in your update – just Dr. Rogers’ apology.

    Forgive me if I missed it.

    I was not there. But it’s my understanding that Dr. Roger’s “juicy” excerpt was taken from remarks he made inside FBC – while addressing the “Drys” after the vote.

    Kinda like the “Wets” talked about “the right people” getting together to get this thing passed. Nobody pounced on that. Who, pray tell, are the “wrong people”?

    Here’s the thing about religious intolerance. It cuts many ways. I have been on the receiving end of Sue’s anti-Semite card before (which is what you, David, set up and then egged on). I didn’t/don’t like it – because it’s not true. And I don’t like it when she flashes it unjustifiably at others who do not deserve it – especially someone of John’s character. It’s beyond destructive.

    So Don, I’m afraid I don’t respect that kind of “challenge”.

    Sue, I would point out that you posted Dr. Roger’s apology after I showed up here – and pointed you to Doug’s blog. No need to say, “Thank you, Mary”.

    And I still extend the “challenge” to Sue. As I understand it, Converge South is about converging bloggers from all over the nation – if not the world. Yet the GSO blogosphere – and the leader of the event – doesn’t think it’s important to be up to speed on things that are going on a mere thirty miles south – and when they do glance this way, they get it fundamentally wrong.

    Hardly “blathter”.

    Greta, people keep talking about 1994 and all of the wonderful things that might have happened if the referendum had passed then. But knowing the area as I do, I just don’t see it – theme parks and fantasylands are not the least bit realistic (speaking of Dollywood, you need look no further for people & a township that got ahead of themselves than the Randy Parton fiasco). It’s fine to draft plans and have high hopes – but a lot of this stuff is pie-in-the-sky.

    And besides, 1994 was fourteen years ago. If the local-yocals who run the town thought alcohol was so important to Asheboro’s growth and development, why did they wait so long to try again? Could it be that until the manufacturing money pit dried up, alcohol was NOT the stumbling block in the town’s growth & development that it’s been made out to be? Now that alcohol is out of the way, I’d like to hear more about the other stumbling blocks – stuff the “Wets” did not want to talk about.

    As an aside, David, if you’re interested, you might want to check out the post I put up today – relevant to the NC Medical Board’s strange notions of what serves the public welfare. I think it settles any issues on my credibility – which most of the “old guard” (we’ll use this in lieu of Kings and Queens) of the GSO blogosphere has attacked at one time or another. It also puts to bed your past put-downs that it’s all about me. One Mother will have to worry about her child’s development milestones for years. Another Mother lost her child.

    But hey, my fight’s been all about me.

    I have a Mother too.

    I’ll be sure and get over myself now. It’s always a joy talking to you. Done here.

  16. Posted August 15, 2008 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Does Pastor Rogers know that drinking alcoholic beverages is NOT a sin, and nowhere in Scripture is it forbidden. It IS a sin to get drunk, however! I guess, he must have forgotten about Jesus turning the water into wine before the wedding! It’s OK to drink a can of beer, glass of wine, or a sip of the old Jack Daniels!!! The people of Asheboro made a smart and progressive choice when they voted “yes” to allow the sale of alcoholic drinks, especially in restaurants. Many people like to purchase alcoholic beverages along with their meals, where they can enjoy a fine wine or quality beer. The extra profits that restaurants will be making from the sale of beer and wine will be good news for the Asheboro/Randolph County tax chests too. Thank you, level-headed citizens of Asheboro, for not looking at this vote as a religious issue. Your approval will guarantee an even stronger tourist economy, especially for such excellent attractions as the world-renowned N.C. Zoo, one of the finest anywhere….

  17. Posted August 15, 2008 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Correction to the above: Pastor Rogers is not against drinking alcohol, but Asheboro will see some benefit to the sales of beer and wine in restaurants. Getting drunk is a universal problem, regardless of where people live. “Dry counties” are no less immune from this, anymore than the “wet counties” are affected by it. Greensboro is not that far up the road from Asheboro – if a person wants to find the liquor, four wheels will help him get to the source! Many businesses, including restaurants, depend on alcoholic-beverage sales for both profits and growth…. Something to think about, you agree? I believe that Asheboro voters made a smart choice, which may open the door to a stronger tourist economy.