Southern Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans Endorse FADA

Photo credit: elPadawan via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Southern Baptist theologian Russell Moore joined the Catholic bishops and other religious leaders in endorsing the First Amendment Defense Act, which prevents the federal government from discriminating against those who believe marriage is the union of a husband and wife:

“In our pluralistic and inclusive society this belief deserves protection, while ensuring that those who disagree are not denied any benefit or service under federal law to which they are entitled,” the letter said, adding FADA “does both.”

Moore told Baptist News that FADA “is a common-sense law that provides necessary protection to millions of Americans who have sincere religious beliefs about marriage and sexuality. The need for such a bill has become obvious as legal rulings and confusion over existing religious liberty legislation have left many Americans vulnerable to overreach by the federal government.”

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Alabama Southern Baptists Call for Religious Liberty

Concern intensifies, but leadership will be required for this new energy to create real and substantive religious liberty protections. The Southern Baptists have a long deep history of calling for religious freedom for all:

RESOLUTION NO. 4

IN DEFENSE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

WHEREAS, The roots of religious liberty in the United States of America began with the practices of religious persecution in Europe; and

WHEREAS, The American founders sought to prevent these acts of persecution which prominently affected the free practice of religion in Europe by removing the authority of government over matters of religious liberty; and

WHEREAS, The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is considered to be the foundation for the free exercise of religion; and

WHEREAS, For Christians, religious liberty is more than a religious tenet or principle, it is a matter of conscience and obedience to Jesus Christ our Lord; and

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court on June 26, 2015, in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, by a vote of 5-4, effectively redefined marriage, departing from the centuries-old understanding of marriage as practiced by civilized people — that is, between one man and one woman; and

WHEREAS, This controversial decision is a turning point in history and also in the potential interpretation of American constitutional law in regards to our First Amendment freedoms; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, meeting in Daphne, Alabama, November 17-18, 2015, reaffirm our stated belief that American citizens have historic and constitutional rights to exercise religious liberty; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That Alabama Baptists teach, preach and practice this religious freedom in acts of worship and in freely and publicly expressing deeply-held religious convictions.

Continue Reading

Russell Moore to GOP: God Talk Is No Longer Enough

Dr. Russell D. Moore (photo via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The threats to Christian freedom and inclusion in this country are multiplying but the GOP has yet to rise to the defense, preferring to flee anything that offends the Human Rights Campaign’s powerful network. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, lays down a new call to action:

“In recent years candidates have assumed that they can win over evangelicals by learning Christian slogans, by masking political rallies as prayer meetings, and by basically producing a long-form new birth certificate to prove they’ve been born again. This sort of identity politics is a luxury of a past era when evangelicals were part of a silent majority in the U.S., with our First Amendment freedoms assumed and guaranteed. That is not the present situation. . .

In 2016, it doesn’t matter whether a candidate knows the words to hymns. What will matter to evangelicals is how the candidate, if elected president, will articulate and defend religious-liberty rights. This is about more than whether the candidate will repeat clichés about appointing Supreme Court justices who will “interpret the law, not make the law.” We want to know how this potential president will rein in an administrative apparatus that has plunged the country into ongoing culture wars over, for instance, compelling virgin nuns to pay for birth control.

This also will mean a vision of religious liberty that is about more than pandering to an interest group. Some of today’s most pressing religious-liberty questions concern groups who, unlike evangelicals, have no large voting blocs.

Continue Reading