Thursday, June 18, 2015

Still unclear about the concept

The SBC respectfully requests that you not recognize this picture.
As Southern Baptist Christians, we are committed to Biblical faith and ethics. As a result, this body of Believers stands on the authority of Scripture and God's Truth as central to our lives.

What the Bible says about marriage is clear, definitive and unchanging. We affirm biblical, traditional, natural marriage as the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The Scriptures' teaching on marriage is not negotiable. We stake our lives upon the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

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. We will not recognize same-sex "marriages", our churches will not host same-sex ceremonies, and we will not perform such ceremonies.

While we affirm our love for all people, including those struggling 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. We also believe religious freedom is at stake within this critical issue – that our first duty is to love and obey God, not man.

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 God's design for life and relationships. As the nation's largest non-Catholic denomination with over 16 million members, we stake our very lives and future on the Truth 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.
What does this mean?  Even the SBC isn't sure:

[Pastor Jack Graham, a former SBC President] told me Christians must be prepared for the aftermath of a court decision that legalizes gay marriage.

“Many people must be willing to count the cost on this,” he said.

So what would it look like if 16 million Southern Baptists engaged in civil disobedience?

“I hope we never live to find out what that looks like,” Graham told me. “There are many Christians today who are preparing if necessary to go to jail.”
How many bakers have been jailed for refusing to bake a cake?  Anybody?  Anybody?  Beuller?  Ferris Beuller?  What kind of protest can be mounted against same-sex marriages?  Not recognize them?  What, like we don't recognize certain governments as legitimate?  What does this look like?

I guess civil disobedience will look like this, huh?

In the 1960's, many people in different conservative Christian denominations believed that racial integration was against God's Law because it led to the "mixing of seed" -- relationships between two persons of different races that often lead to interracial marriage unless those marriages were forbidden by law. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and other fundamentalist and other evangelical denominations mounted boycotts against restaurants, hotels, and other companies serving the general public if they served people of all races equally.
On the other hand, this isn't a significant pronouncement so much as its merely silly.  In states without laws protecting homosexuals from discrimination, even a Supreme Court ruling on marriage won't suddenly force bakers and florists to cater to same-sex couples,  And in states with such laws, the penalties are civil, not criminal.  Besides:

There is literally nothing–not even opposing gay marriage–that would unify the behaviors of every single Southern Baptist pastor and church attender. They’ve been called “the Battling Baptists” for a reason. 


  1. The whole "I'm prepared to go to jail" trope is so fucking annoying. Strawman Civil Disobedience.

  2. Michigan Republicans, in their relentless bid to turn this once-progressive state into Michissippi, have called the liberal elites on this issue and are raising them. They have introduced three bills: one that lets the state ONLY recognize marriages performed by clergy, a second that requires clergy to sign all marriage certificates, and a third that says that only opposite sex couples may marry in secret. "BOOM! Take that secularists! How about a side of theocracy with those open carry laws for churches and schools!"

    Growing up here in a time and an atmosphere where strong labor unions and Northern European sensibilities encouraged tolerance and equality I am stunned at such a retrograde turn. I shouldn't be shocked, I guess, because it's the same formula here that has worked everywhere else: A group of self-described "Christians. (the kind that founded the very apostolic company we know as "Blackwater") and moneyed elites stoked racial and class tensions for decades in order to hoard wealth and secure power while cloaking themselves in the flag and the Bible.