Religion: Tuning Out

Can God hear a Jew's prayers?

Last June in St. Louis, well-organized conservatives at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention elected a stem-winding preacher named Bailey Smith, 41, as president of the nation's biggest Protestant group (13.4 million members). Smith, who trained at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a pastor at the First Southern Baptist Church in Del City, Okla., managed to keep a low profile until a big August political rally in Dallas, organized by the rising Protestant right. Reporters flocked to a press conference where Ronald Reagan was holding forth in favor of biblical creationism, and so...

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