Thursday, June 15, 2006

Southern Baptists decide against switching to New Orleans in 2008

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The Southern Baptists considered switching their 2008 convention from Indianapolis to New Orleans. What happened?

A tide of contracts, finances, logistics and security concerns swamped a sentimental appeal for the Southern Baptist Convention to change its 2008 meeting location to New Orleans. David Crosby, pastor of First Baptist Church in New Orleans, asked his fellow SBC messengers June 13 to move the 2008 annual meeting to his city, which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina last year.
But reality overcame sentiment when messengers considered actually forcing the convention to change plans in order to meet in the Crescent City.
The SBC already has an ethical commitment to Indianapolis, and backing out of legal contracts would cost the convention thousands of dollars, Jack Wilkerson, Executive Committee's business manager, said. Also, much of New Orleans' infrastructure has not been restored and may not be even by the proposed meeting date, he added.

"We could not feed you, house you or properly protect you [in New Orleans] in 2008," he noted.

Those are harsh words, which I'm sure would be disputed by New Orleans' supporters. But the DNC will be keeping an eye on what other groups think about New Orleans' infrastructure.