Southern Baptist Sign

Didn’t Learn a Thing from Their Racist Roots, Sadly

Southern Baptist SignThe Southern Baptist Convention closes its convention today issuing the statement below. I emboldened their statement to facilitate more easily differentiating between their statement and my editorial comments. [Editorial comments in brackets are mine.]

As Southern Baptist Christians, we are committed to Biblical faith and ethics [I could make a long list of broken commitments.]. As a result, this body of Believers [Interesting, I’ve never seen that word capitalized before. Christians, yes, to honor the Christ. But Believers? Whom exactly does that honor?] stands on the authority of [an agreed-upon-within-your-ranks-or-you-throw-them-out, literal, conservatively-biased interpretation of] Scripture and God‘s Truth as central to our lives.

What the Bible says about marriage is clear, definitive and unchanging [This is simply not factual. How many wives did King Solomon have? How many concubines? Just one kinda creepy example.]. We affirm biblical [says who? Marriage is a civil contract, not a religious/biblical one. “By the power vested in me by the” Bible or the Constitution? I think the traditional word is Constitution. Are you going to redefine marriage by altering this time-honored recitation?], traditional, natural marriage [As in “love,” right? I mean that is what marriage is about in the 21st century. I mean, you aren’t talking about taking us back to women as property who have no say in who they marry, are you? Is that the natural definition of marriage about which you speak? There are many. Are you really going to drag us back to Biblical times? Dear God! Women as the property of men? Are we going there again? That’s so middle ages and before, so ancient, so Biblical—certainly not a product of the Enlightenment and after! Are you going after women’s voting rights next? Is that part of God’s plan?] as the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. [If you really believe this, then why do conservative religious people have the highest divorce rate? What am I missing?] The Scriptures’ teaching on marriage is not negotiable [So, you are now refusing to marry anyone who has ever been divorced? Right??! I mean you chose this path, right?]. We stake our lives [Oh such drama, and a curiously crafted phrase I suspect designed to have some ambiance of threat embedded into it!] upon the Word of God [Whose interpretation of it, exactly? A majority of people totally disagree with your interpretation.] and the testimony of Jesus [And exactly what did he say about gay people, about marriage? He said a lot about love, though. Didn’t he.].

Consequently, we will not accept, nor adhere to, any legal redefinition of marriage issued by any political or judicial body including the United States Supreme Court. [Well, yes, actually. You will. You have no choice if that’s what the court decides. Closing your eyes and saying ‘nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah’ won’t make it go away. It will be the law of the land, regardless of your lack of endorsement. Certainly, their ruling can’t take the bigotry out of the bigot though. That is sadly true.] We will not recognize same-sex “marriages”, our churches will not host same-sex ceremonies [Cool. I have no problem with that. Besides, most of the Southern Baptist churches I’ve seen are not very attractive inside, anyway.], and we will not perform such ceremonies. [Bring it on, baby. You were founded on racism. Now, perhaps you will end up closing your doors because of homophobia as Americans hold you accountable for your immoral and unrighteous position on this issue. Certainly this position you have chosen will greatly diminish your influence in the world. The people in the US, and in Ireland, apparently, believe you are taking an immoral and unloving position—an unrighteous and mean position.]

While we affirm our love for all people [Words are so cheap to you.], including those struggling [Those who “struggle” are struggling against the tide of hate and rejection your bigotry and lack of acceptance foist upon them and their families as if that hate and rejection has anything to do with God. What about those celebrating their same-sex attraction with marriage? Currently there are over a million such celebrations!] with same-sex attraction, we cannot and will not affirm the moral acceptability of homosexual behavior or any behavior that deviates from God’s design for marriage [And you know what this is?]. We also believe religious freedom [to discriminate and hate] is at stake within this critical issue – that our first duty is to love and obey God, not man. [You know, you’re going to lose a lot of money over this, right? Your current donation base is old and traditional, not very forward thinking about what will stand the test of time as the moral position.]

Therefore, we strongly encourage all Southern Baptist pastors, leaders, educators, and churches to openly reject any mandated legal definition of marriage and to use their influence to affirm [what you alone have decided is—which seems to hold that marriage is about procreation and not love] God’s design for life and relationships. As the nation’s largest non-Catholic denomination with over 16 million members [and shrinking dramatically according to the serious research on this matter, even your own research! Hello?! Is anybody reading that stuff?], we stake our very lives [There is that curious phrase again!] and future on the Truth [What about the millions of Christians who believe deeply you have completely missed the Truth on this issue? They are all wrong, and you have special revelation from God?] of God’s Word.

We also join together to support those who stand for natural marriage in the corporate world, the marketplace, education, entertainment, media and elsewhere with our prayers and influence, and resources. [So, your goal, your objective is to create us and them, to minimize your ability to share God’s love. Astonishing. Shameful. Your position will change. Mark these words. It took you well over a century to admit you were wrong about black people. It’s just a matter of time, maybe another century or so?]

I have family, friends and colleagues I hold dear who are Southern Baptists. I hope they choose to leave this organization that has chosen to draw a homophobic line in the sand rather than celebrate the love two adults share in a civil institution—marriage, simply marriage. No church owns marriage. No church can stick a bunch of adjectives in front of the word marriage to attempt to brand and own it! I mean, that’s what this is really about, isn’t it.

Why is it that racism, homophobia, and misogyny are always so deeply intertwined in conservative religion?

“Are you married? Oh, I mean, are you naturally married? I mean was yours a traditional marriage? Oh, how do I ask this?! Ok! I’ll just come out and say it, ‘Did you get married in a Southern Baptist Church? Or is your marriage tainted somehow?'”

Marriage is about love. End of story.

If I were a single gay person shopping for a place to get married, it certainly wouldn’t be in a Southern Baptist church. So, why all of this needless fuss, bluster and hatred? In my opinion the Southern Baptist Convention leadership is just mean and has crafted a very vulgar statement to represent their membership. I would have none of it, personally.

Special Note to Other, More Enlightened Denominations

Now’s your chance to grab some more market share? The SBC will lose membership over this statement. They have already lost churches.

3 thoughts on “Didn’t Learn a Thing from Their Racist Roots, Sadly”

  1. Hi, Tim. I enjoy so much reaching your blog. Today’s Southern Baptist “intervention” was especially entertaining. As crazy as the Southern Baptists are, I remember clearly the staff at PCS telling me that I attended a church that was too wild and liberal.
    I never got a chance to tell you this, but you were a great musical inspiration for me at PCS. Your playing of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in high school at assembly is a vivid and positive memory during that time at the “Prison Camp of the South”.
    I work in San Francisco from time to time, but if you ever find yourself in Manhattan, do let me know. It would be great to see you. All the best, Mark

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Mark. Yes, to think that BJU and PCS/PCC always said the Southern Baptists were wickedly liberal. Hah! Puts BJU and PCS/PCC in a whole new category of crazy.

      Would be great to catch up!

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