Southern Baptists urged to engage with politics, but be civil

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ERLC President Russell Moore. Photo courtesy of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

ERLC President Russell Moore. Photo courtesy of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) Speaker after speaker reiterated the point that it is a Christian’s duty to ensure biblical principles are being upheld by elected officials.

  • Rionni

    These so called “Christians” in politics need to open up the Bible and read
    because sleepin around/premarital sex,gossip,being mean,coveting/jealousy,
    getting drunk,greed,sharp tongues,gambling are all sins too/as well not just abortion/homosexuals which many focus on so their sin doesn’t seem so bad.
    1 Corinthians 5,6 and 7 plus Luke 13 also in Matthew 7:13-23 all need taught.
    Bible says to Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved! We all must Repent!

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  • Larry

    Be civil as you malign the poor and actively try to harm them.

    Be civil as you maliciously defame perceived opponents like Planned Parenthood, atheists, gays, Muslims and progressive Christians.

    Be civil as you attack civil liberties of others to protect undue privileges.

    Be civil as you lie in service of theocratic agendas.

    Or you can act like actual moral people with real principles and not the self-serving malicious theocratic sociopaths one comes to associate with self described Christians.

  • Rick67

    First few comments to this article are a trip. Why bother responding to (1) the article itself or (2) reality when it’s easier and perhaps more emotionally satisfying (3) to malign Southern Baptists gratuitously?

  • Eric

    Hmm maybe because the SBC has it coming, but want to be treated they way they refused to treat others?

  • By the second paragraph it was over: “it is a Christian’s duty to ensure biblical principles are being upheld by elected officials.”

  • Doc Anthony

    Sure JC, I can understand how non-Christians aren’t going to agree with such a statement.

    But I’m not a non-Christian, so I *can* agree with it.

    Especially since Mr. “Evolving-Beliefs-In-Chief” Obama has already proven that a huge national mess can overwhelm this entire nation, if Christians DON’T make the effort to insist that biblical principles be upheld by elected officials.


    I disagree. If I walk into a Southern Baptist church, I know I will likely hear about the gospel of Christ. If I walk into a mainline church, maybe I hear about it, or maybe NOT.

  • Larry

    Atheists aren’t trying to attack 1st amendment freedoms or enact discriminatory legislation. Same can’t be said of the SBC’s political support.

    But thanks Albert for demonstrating the kind of ignorant hatemongering we have come to associate with fundamentalists

  • mike

    I know I will hear the Gospel in a mainline church every week – the Gospel is read, the body and blood are served by the unseen host Himself, sin is confessed and more. In what world do you live where that doesn’t constitute the Gospel of Christ?

  • So, the choice is between a country run by fierce Christianists, or run by fierce Muslims, or fierce atheists? Are you saying there’s no in-between? I thought there was … it’s called “a secular society.” Curiously, it’s one in which Christianity has flourished.

    Sorry to break it to you but this cynical godless agnostic heathen isn’t about to bow down to militant Christianists for fear that Muslims might take over. I won’t knuckle under to them, either. I have no intention of surrendering to anyone else’s religious notions — ever. Period.

  • Scott Shaver

    The strongest vocal advocates of the poor in this country are the ones primarily responsible for their generational shackles.

    “Malicious defamation” of “perceived opponents” like Planned Parenthood, atheists, gays, Muslims and Progressive “Christians”.

    …..”Or you can act like actual moral people with real principles”

    Kinda like planned parent-hood’s marketing of human fetal tissue moral?

    Kinda like the beheading, torture and slaughter of non-Sunni innocents moral?

    Think I’ll hang with the “scociopaths”.

  • Larry

    Reality has a bias against your POV.

    “The strongest vocal advocates of the poor in this country are the ones primarily responsible for their generational shackles.”

    You mean like the ones who were able to get 10 million+ people health insurance? The ones trying to ensure even the poor are able to vote. The ones who support the only forces which make industrial labor a middle class profession?

    “Kinda like planned parent-hood’s marketing of human fetal tissue moral?”

    Except it wasn’t true. But thanks for showing how persistent lies can be when they suit a given political purpose.

    “Kinda like the beheading, torture and slaughter of non-Sunni innocents moral?”

    So what are you doing about that? Nothing. What are more dead muslims to fundamentalist Christians? Of course there is the bit where American Evangelicals are encouraging the imprisonment and execution of people in Africa just because they are gay.

    “Think I’ll hang with the “scociopaths””


  • Jack

    Mike, there’s a difference between symbols and words on the one hand and substance on the other. Mainline Protestant denominations have kept around the symbols of the Gospel but often have changed their original meaning. Thus, a minister may speak of the resurrection of Christ and use traditional verbiage, yet disbelieve that Christ literally was resurrected, thus denying a chief tenet of historical Christianity while appearing to affirm it.

  • Jack

    Wrong, Larry…..some (not all) atheists go the opposite extreme of creeping theocracy by supporting creeping totalitarianism — a public square swept clean of any and all religious expression.

  • Jack

    In other words, Larry is justifying his own incivility to those who dare to disagree with his politics — as evidenced by his attacking the character of all dissenters.

  • Jack

    Actually, Scott Shaver’s correct about many self-appointed advocates for the poor. The federal war against poverty has been an abject failure…..$20 trillion spent on programs that pay people not to work, not to save, not to get married, to have babies without fathers, and to become dependent and despairing, generation after generation.

    It is telling that the same political party that supported slavery and government-enforced, compulsory racial apartheid is the party that refuses to release its iron grip on the throats of the poor and the needy. It’s the same party that refuses to look people of color in the eye and say by word and deed, “you are truly my equal.”

    The way to fight poverty is to shut down government welfare bureaucracies and give the money to local, neighborhood nonprofit poverty fighters in cities and towns across the nation with a proven record of empowering poor people.

  • Jack

    Note how Eric unwittingly proves Rick67’s point.

  • Larry

    If that is what you like to call upholding the 1st Amendment, so be it. Too bad none of that is true. As I have said often enough (and ignored for the sake of hysterical and dishonest arguments from you) is that the public square is a fine place for religious expression provided it is not singular in the religion expressed. The more the merrier. Otherwise you are using government resources to endorse sectarian discrimination.

    The reality is what you describe typically as “extreme secularism” is merely fighting against egregious violations of the Establishment Clause and support for free exercise of religion for people besides fundamentalist Christians. You have no appreciation for religious belief besides your own and want such bias legislated.

    What passes for “religious freedom” coming out of Russell Moore are merely claims of privilege and license to attack others under the auspices of religious belief. Nothing to do with the concept of religious freedom.

  • Larry

    Jack, when you hit upon an actual fact I will be surprised. Scott Shaver was full of crap, as are you.

    Supply side economics as espoused by fiscal conservatives has done nothing but increase national debt, create a class of irresponsible corporate governance, widen the gaps between economic classes and erode the stability of middle class existence. Telling the poor to buzz off and cutting social services hasn’t made them disappear.

    Privatizing social services never has worked before, won’t work now. The government owes a duty to combat poverty and its effects on the nation. Private charities didn’t stop poverty back when they were the only provider of services, they still won’t.

    As for “racial apartheid” it was the GOP that supported measures to take voting rights away from minorities and the poor.

  • Larry

    The character of those “dissenters” is pretty foul as demonstrated by their agenda and methods. Anyone who can be “civil” in light of attacks on the liberties of others is just trying to support such things.

    Russell Moore is asking for a level of civility towards him and his sect that he does not demonstrate to others. His character is rather low and unsavory.

  • We can all hold elected officials accountable for adhering to secular law. No reference to your bible needed. As an Evangelical colleague and friend of mine observed during the 2012 election, there are too many candidates vying to hijack religion for politics (one of the fairly few ideological notions we share), and the office of the President doesn’t exist to please Christian sensibilities.

  • Eric

    Jack, what you know about “mainline” Christianity could fit in a thimble with room to spare. It’s BS comments like yours that make the rest of us laugh when the SBC and fellow travelers start calling for “civility.”

    No one believes you, you know that right? That conservative evangelicals have pissed away any goodwill others might naturally extend to them? That conservative evangelicals would *never* be calling for “civil” discourse if they weren’t losing the culture wars and were looking for a fresh angle of attack?

    Your dismissive generalizations about other Christians tells us everything we already know to be true: evangelicals think they and they alone are “true” Christians and therefore have the right and responsibility to denounce or dictate to all the “sinners” who are going to get left if we don’t get right with God’s, I mean your, agenda.

  • Eric

    Notice how Jack uses the “I’m Rubber, You’re Glue” defense to good effect. *This* is why the SBC and company are calling for “civility”: it triggers their persecution complex as a safeguard against being honest. They call for civility and then denounce any and all critique as unfair because “uncivil” and then tell themselves the world is persecuting them. That way they can pretend everything immoral and unChristian thing they’ve ever said and done to others never happened. It’s “uncivil” to bring say bad things about the SBC, after all. Especially when those things are true.

  • Jay

    Southern Baptists, especially those who bully gay people from their pulpits, are guilty of spiritual terrorism. They have blood on their hands because of the responsibility they have for the suicides of so many young glbt people.

  • Ben in oakland

    What some people call “any and all religious expression”, those on the receiving end of it call “purely theological concerns based upon particular and peculiar interpretations”.

  • Ben in oakland

    Exactly how I feel about it.

    To the fundelibangelists: believe whatever you like. I don’t care. But your beliefs STOP at your church door. the rights of the people to be free of your religious and purely theological concerns also stop there.

  • Ben in oakland

    Thank you jack.

    But it is more than just the baptists.

    SDA, JW, Catholic, Mormon, AoG, LCMS, and not just a few others also have blood on their hands.

    They declared war on innocent people in the same of some extra special icky notion of sin, and now are whining when their chickens come home to roost and poop all over everything.

  • steve

    Agreed. That’s one scary statement you quote there. Sounds like a theocracy in the making.

  • Clay

    Sure. A naturalist, atheist, freethinking takeover of politics in America, and of the culture in general would be SPLENDID…