David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
October 2, 2007

For four years in the mid-1980’s, I worked for the Texas Department of Agriculture. I enjoyed my work there, and I especially enjoyed getting to know Texas sheep and goat raisers.

Jim Hightower – then the Texas agriculture commissioner and now a popular humorist and columnist – has always been a delightful and interesting person. A few years ago, he wrote a book with the intriguing title, There’s Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. That title reflects Hightower’s highly partisan political philosophy. Although I enjoyed my work there, I was a “fish out of water” when it came to politics.

Today, most politicians seem to stay either to the far right or far left in their political positions. I’ve never been comfortable with such an extremist philosophy. My favorite politicians are those who make it difficult for you to pigeonhole them as either conservative or liberal. One politician I admire is former Texas state Senator Bill Ratliff, who described himself as “51% Republican.” At the 2005 Texas Christian Life Commission conference, he presented a speech, entitled “Civility and the Common Good,” which was published in the TBC newsletter. In fact, you can find it on the TBC Web site. I urge you to read it. Just click here.

I am much more comfortable with the philosophy promoted by Ratliff – staying in the middle of the road . . . trying to work with all sides of an issue . . . trying to reach a win/win solution whenever possible. Over the years, TBC has taken the same “middle of the road” approach, and continues to operate in that manner today.


That’s why we at TBC rejected Fundamentalism. The Fundamentalism road has no middle. Instead, it operates on the fringes, defining the boundaries and rigidly controlling them. It promotes an extremist agenda that demands absolute conformity and excludes those who refuse to conform. As its circle grows smaller, its agenda grows narrower.

TBC resisted the Fundamentalist agenda and operated from the middle of the road, as has the BGCT. The BGCT continues to protect the right of all churches to give as they choose, while state conventions under Fundamentalist control demand that churches give only to those entities that conform to the Fundamentalist agenda.

Yes, the BGCT is going through some difficult times right now. Mistakes have been made, and corrective actions are being taken. But we can emerge strong and effective, through the grace of God and the support of Texas Baptists and their churches. The BGCT has led the way in functioning as a “middle of the road” state convention, committed to working with and including all churches that relate to the convention. It is important that Texas Baptists stay in the middle of the road and reject those who seek to control and exclude. This is how we will continue to move forward faithfully to fulfill the calling that we have in Christ Jesus.