The Week(s) in Review (8/25): More on Amber Nelon’s Idol Story, Tribute Quartet Buzz, Sisters Wow at Stephen Hill Memorial, and More…

While I won’t try to go back and cover everything of note that I missed the week before last, I’ll do a little combining to flesh out this roundup.

On the faith and culture front

*Whether you think that Senator Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments were bizarrely offensive or just somewhat impolitic, I think all pro-lifers can agree that the Republican establishment has done a lousy job handling the backlash. They seem determined to throw a good man under the bus while simultaneously proclaiming loudly and proudly that yes, yes, yes, they do support the rape exception to abortion, as a matter of principle. I’ve been particularly saddened to see Paul Ryan forced to play along with Romney’s less conservative stance on this issue as Romney’s number one campaigner. Here we are and it’s only been a couple weeks since Ryan was nominated. Did I tell you or did I tell you?

*I’ve always said that it’s not enough for Christians to oppose same-sex “marriage” but shrug over civil unions, since civil unions give homosexual couples all the same legal rights, including adoption. There’s been a shocking new development in an old case on this issue. In 2009  2003, Lisa Miller converted to Christianity and sought to separate herself and her daughter, Isabella, from her lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins, after dissolving the civil union. When the court not only upheld her partner’s custody rights but eventually ordered Miller to give Jenkins full custody when she refused to cooperate regarding visitations (the few that she had allowed were highly upsetting to Isabella), Miller and her little girl disappeared in 2009. Now it’s been released that a Mennonite pastor named Kenneth Miller (no relation) had helped the two to flee the country. He has been caught and convicted of aiding in “kidnapping” and will mostly likely be sentenced to prison. Read the full story here. How does it hurt people to give homosexuals marriage rights? Now you know.

*I recently came across one of the most idiotic, substanceless and odious pieces from an ostensibly “conservative” pastor that I’ve ever encountered. The topic was the FRC shooting. Ed Stetzer says, in essence, “Well yes of course we shouldn’t go around shooting people, so that’s bad, but then there are consequences for doing some of the things FRC has done.” Please excuse me while I vomit quietly into the nearest garbage can… while trying to collect my few remaining brain cells.

On the Southern Gospel front

*There’s been a lot of buzz over the fact that the Booth Brothers are going to appear as a quartet with Gene McDonald at the Memphis Quartet Show. Michael Booth said “For those of you who have wondered what we’d sound like as a quartet, we’re about to find out at the same time! This is gonna be fun!” However, you can actually sample that sound already by checking out “Going in Style” from their album Pure Southern Gospel, which features guest vocals from Gene.

*Regular blog frequenter quartet-man contributed a guest review  to Musicscribe of Oak Ridge Boys bass Richard Sterban’s new book of memoirs, From Elvis to Elvira. It looks like an interesting read.

*Daniel Mount is hailing Tribute’s new project Our Anthem as their breakout project based largely on the strength of the two standouts “Good News From Jerusalem” and “The Song of Heaven.” Check out samples here to see if you agree! I have downloaded both songs, and they are excellent. “The Song of Heaven” reminds me of Mark Bishop’s “Let the Angels Take the Fallen” in musical composition and showcases Riley Clark’s magnificent tenor voice. Daniel has said “Good News From Jerusalem” is the next “Jerusalem” or “Midnight Cry,” and while I’m not quite prepared to make that comparison, partly because the melody is very repetitious, I think it compares favorably to “He’s Alive.”

*Hat tip to Lauren for finding this video of Kelly Nelon discussing her daughter’s Idol journey. She gives more details about how far Amber went, what kind of future people were predicting for her, and how the judges reacted to her statement of faith.

*Congratulations to Andrew S. for winning this year’s NQC Webcast Giveaway on SG Back Row! The competition came down the wire, but Steve broke the tie by having Andrew and another reader identify southern gospel personalities in a montage of spoken word concert clips.

*Speaking of SG Back Row, Steve has come up with yet another fresh, cool column idea in “What’s In an Album Cover??”. Steve will present a weekly batch of six album covers to be ranked by his readers, and at the end of the “tournament,” he will pick out the ten best and ten worst for final voting. Here’s the first round.

*The Garms Family, formerly known as the Great Adventure Gospel Band, has decided after much thought and consultation to shorten their official group name to the easy and simple “The Garms Family.” Check out their new website here.

*Karen Peck Gooch misses big hair. Anyone else?

*Video of the week: The Sisters singing “It is Well” at Stephen Hill’s homegoing service…

Open thread.


15 thoughts on “The Week(s) in Review (8/25): More on Amber Nelon’s Idol Story, Tribute Quartet Buzz, Sisters Wow at Stephen Hill Memorial, and More…

  1. Lydia

    Just a brief correction on the Lisa Miller case. She actually left the relationship with Jenkins all the way back in 2003, when Isabella was a baby. Between 2003 and 2009 she was battling in the courts, getting fined, and so forth, to keep the little girl from Jenkins. Isabella was seven in 2009 when they ran away and apparently is ten now.

  2. JSR

    ” They seem determined to throw a good man under the bus while simultaneously proclaiming loudly and proudly that yes, yes, yes, they do support the rape exception to abortion, as a matter of principle.”

    Um, I think its painting with a broad brush. Thinking that Akin said something stupid doesn’t mean you support any kind of abortion. Suggesting a woman can’t get pregnant from rape was pretty dumb, yes. Is aborting a child conceived from rape murder? Absolutely.

    1. Actually, while you’re right that some have expressed disapproval of Akin while saying they don’t believe in the rape exception, there are indeed members of the establishment who have said quite explicitly that they do. “The three exceptions.” It’s been around for a while actually. When Perry converted, it was seen as a big thing. Now, the establishment’s way of dissociating themselves from Akin is to emphasize that Romney does support the exception. Message seems to be, “We’re not all crazy, see, our chosen candidate is reasonable/moderate.”

      As for whether Akin’s comment was stupid, frankly, I don’t have the knowledge one way or the other to make an educated statement. It’s an obscure kind of thing. No doubt a doctor really did tell Akin, and Akin in all innocence just popped out with it at an unwise moment. But it’s not the kind of thing that’s so wildly improbable as to be one of those things “everybody should know” without any prior knowledge whatsoever. I just don’t have the facts.

    2. Furthermore, even Republicans like Michelle Malkin (whom I consider to be conservative and am now very disappointed in), are just pulling out the long knives and tweeting/blogging incessantly that he should withdraw regardless of whether abortion in cases of rape is allowable or not. That angers me, and I’m actually glad to see him push back and stay in the race. Now more than ever, we need people with backbone and principle in Congress and the Senate. The fact that he made ONE faux pas on a third-rail issue at a sensitive moment for the rest of his party should certainly not be viewed as this horrible black mark on this record.

  3. Lydia

    Also, what he said verbatim was that pregnancy as a result of rape is rare, not that it never happens. A lot depends on how one defines “rare,” of course.

    Empirically, the matter is speculative. Presumably Akin thought that the claim that pregnancy in the case of rape is especially unlikely is better supported with positive evidence than it is. What’s in fact going on is speculation. It’s difficult either to prove or disprove the claim, because you can’t exactly ethically conduct studies on acute trauma and pregnancy. Some mechanisms have been suggested that aren’t _wildly_ improbable, but it’s better not to go out there with something that is speculative. (OTOH, it’s not as though people on the left never ask us to believe anything based on speculation, right? Ahem.)

    Better still would have been for Akin not to fumble by suggesting that it even matters how rare it is. Rhetorically, that’s the kind of thing we pro-lifers do do sometimes. (We do it with the life of the mother issue as well.) But it’s probably not wise, because it could be taken to mean, “If this weren’t rare, I might support the exception.” So it’s better not even to get into the question of how frequently the issue arises anyway.

    So it was a blunder for several reasons, but mostly just because from a cynical, political point of view Akin should have realized that it would provoke hysteria which would be counter-productive.

    A blunder, however, is not something for everybody to be freaking out about. The left doesn’t eat its own in this fashion, even when politicians on the left say _extremely_, bizarrely insensitive and ever outright horrible things. Or commit crimes. Or stuff like that. This is really small potatoes in the grand scheme. I think we social conservatives need to have the intestinal fortitude to stand by a candidate who stands for what we stand for and just roll with one rhetorical blunder, a blunder for which he’s apologized. It’s the left that wants us to be unable to move on from this. We shouldn’t let them play us like a harp. We should move on and support a good candidate.

  4. I’m satisfied that Sisters did wow the crowd..they are great! But I’d rather hear The Perrys and I cant wait to hear the Booth Brothers with Gene as I love most of all a 4 man Q

  5. I must say, I have been through a divorce, and to this day (7 years later), I am STILL fighting to see my oldest son. The situation you described is not limited to homosexual relationships….

    1. I don’t think you’re understanding why this particular case is so horrific. This woman had no claim whatsoever on the little girl—not biologically, not in the eyes of God—and yet the courts wanted to force her to get custody. Yes, there are custody battles in divorce, but that is in some sense “normal,” even though obviously it can be tragic and ugly. This is not equivalent at all, and should not be considered as a similar situation. There was no legitimate union in the first place, and there was no legitimate connection between the bad partner and the child.

      1. Actually, I know of plenty of non-biological parents getting joint/full custody of children, right or wrong. In this case, however, it sounds like the judge was trying to set an example of being “equal rights.”

        Also, seeing as there were two women, there were no men to be biased against (yes, there is a MAJOR bias against men in family court)….

      2. Correct, there were no men to be discriminated against. However, they did discriminate against the Christian.

        Plus, the very fact that this situation has even arisen and has to be dealt with is repulsive. There shouldn’t be custody battles between two men or two women. It shouldn’t be a legal reality. These unions should have no legal recognition whatsoever.

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