More than 20 leaders of Southern Baptist institutions have endorsed a new statement that defends religious freedom by rejecting sexual orientation and gender identity laws.
The document—”Preserve Freedom, Reject Coercion”—says even “narrowly crafted” sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) measures “threaten fundamental freedoms, and any ostensible protections for religious liberty appended to such laws are inherently inadequate and unstable.” The Colson Center for Christian Worldview released the statement on Dec. 14 with 79 original signatories.
SOGI policies seek to add sexual orientation—which includes homosexuality—and gender identity—which is how a person perceives himself regardless of his biology at birth—to the classifications protected in civil rights law. The new statement says such measures at the national, state or local level are unnecessary and endanger the livelihoods of individuals and the accreditation, licensing and tax-exemption of organizations.
Among the document’s signers are the presidents of four Southern Baptist Convention seminaries: Daniel Akin of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Jason Allen of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; R. Albert Mohler Jr. of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Paige Patterson of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Other signers include former SBC President Fred Luter and the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, as well as the presidents of several Baptist universities.
Moore told Baptist Press in written comments, “Every person bears the image of God, and thus is deserving of dignity, respect and just treatment.
“At the same time, many of these legislative attempts at fairness actually end up implicating the consciences of believers in participating in actions we believe to be wrong,” he said. “We must not negotiate…[READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: http://gofbw.com/blog?id=1397 ]