thoughts and prayers
March 28, 2018

On Tuesday, Frank Page announced his retirement as CEO and president of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee and from active ministry, saying his daughter was urging him and his wife to move to South Carolina from Nashville to be closer to family. On Thursday evening, Page, 65, changed his story.

"As a result of a personal failing, I have embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself, and the Kingdom," Page said in a statement through the Baptist Press. "Out of a desire to protect my family and those I have hurt, I initially announced my retirement earlier today without a complete explanation. However, after further wrestling with my personal indiscretion, it became apparent to me that this situation must be acknowledged in a more forthright manner." The chairman of the executive committee, Florida pastor Stephen Rummage, said he learned from Page on Tuesday that his "retirement announcement was precipitated by a morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past." Neither man provided any details.

The executive committee oversees day-to-day operations of the Southern Baptist Convention, a network of Baptist churches with 15 million members, making it the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Page had served as the president of the executive committee since 2010, and he was president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 2006 to 2008. "I call upon all Southern Baptists to pray for everyone involved in a situation like this, and especially for Dr. and Mrs. Page," Rummage said. Peter Weber

February 27, 2018

After 58 people were killed last year in a shooting in Las Vegas, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's press secretary for the northeast region sent out an all-caps warning: "DO NOT POLITICIZE IT TODAY," Evan Lukaske wrote to lawmakers in the email. He added: "There will be time for politics and policy discussion, but any message today should be on offering thoughts/prayers for victims and their families and thanking first responders who saved lives."

The email, published by HuffPost, has stirred up anger among progressives who see the DCCC's approach as out of step. Mark Glaze of Guns Down went as far as to blast the DCCC's advice as "straight out of the NRA's talking points."

Some Democratic lawmakers have even done the opposite of the DCCC's advice in the wake of shootings, with many skewering Republicans for offering "thoughts and prayers" in lieu of substantial policy reforms.

"The DCCC would not say whether it sent candidates similar guidance after the Parkland shooting," HuffPost writes, although the DCCC's communications director, Meredith Kelly, "said the group, which is responsible for getting Democrats elected to the House, continues to caution candidates to consider their words carefully in the immediate aftermath of major national tragedies."

"If the DCCC is willing to give up a key issue and offend virtually every Democrat so as not to bother eight Independents in rural Missouri, they're even more incompetent than we thought," said Glaze, "and Democrats should be very worried about the midterms." Read the entire report here. Jeva Lange

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