BALTIMORE (RNS) Pushing back against a cultural tide of growing acceptance of transgender people, Southern Baptists adopted a statement affirming the creation of “two distinct and complementary sexes.”

Thousands of Southern Baptist Convention delegates voted on a new president and several resolutions at their meeting on June 10, 2014. Photo by Van Payne via Baptist Press

Thousands of Southern Baptist Convention delegates voted on a new president and several resolutions at their meeting on June 10, 2014. Photo by Van Payne via Baptist Press


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The resolution was passed overwhelmingly Tuesday (June 10) as some 5,000 people attended the annual meeting of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination and elected as president the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of a northwest Arkansas megachurch.

The delegates, known as “messengers,” affirmed “God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception.”

They added that they had compassion for people with gender conflicts, called them “image-bearers of Almighty God” and condemned “acts of abuse or bullying committed against them.”

But they went on the record to oppose gender assignment surgery and cross-sex hormone therapies. They expressed their hope that transgender people would “experience renewal” through a faith in Jesus.

Ross Murray, who runs the religion program at the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD, criticized the statement for being inconsistent.

“They want to both welcome people in and yet do not want to recognize them as a full person and probably even more fully as a child of God,” he said. “The Southern Baptist Convention is so much missing out on the opportunity to connect with another part of God’s creation.”

In another cultural pushback, Baptists affirmed “the sufficiency of Scripture regarding the afterlife” and criticized best-selling movies and books that have focused on heaven and suggested descriptions of it.

“Many of these books and movies have sought to describe heaven from a subjective, experiential source, mainly via personal testimonies that cannot be corroborated,” they said.

In the same session where the resolution was passed, a messenger asked that “Heaven Is for Real” be removed “for theological reasons” from LifeWay Christian Stores, which are affiliated with the SBC. The request was ruled out of order.

The Baptists, whose denomination was founded by supporters of slave-owning missionaries, passed another statement marking the 50th anniversary of enactment of the Civil Rights Act.

It said they “lament and repudiate this nation’s long history of racial segregation as well as the complicity of Southern Baptists who resisted or opposed the dismantling of the evil of racial hierarchy in our churches or society.”

Yet another resolution affirmed their opposition to government sponsorship of casinos and lotteries and asked Americans of all religious and political convictions to join in a call to end the practice, which they say has amounted to “corrupt deals” and “broken dreams.”

They also rejected predatory payday lending, calling those who are engaged in it to “consider the great damage they are causing in the lives of vulnerable people and to adopt a just lending model.”

The Baptists suggested churches and employers should provide other ways to solve short-term financial problems in their communities, including financial stewardship classes.

YS/MG END BANKS

87 Comments

  1. “They expressed their hope that transgender people would “experience renewal”

    And how well has that been going?

    I’m delighted to see yet another Christian denomination splinter to bits.
    May Christianity continue to disintegrate.

    • Doesn’t look like the Southern Baptists are splintering at all. They still believe the Bible. Sorry dude.

      If you want some splintering (and assorted mess), go visit the Methodists!

      • Wow your logic

        Yes because I loved that portion of the people that discussed Jesus’ and God’s views on transgender people. Wait…. OMG how embarrassing I forgot THERE IS NOTHING in the Bible that discusses that. Oops.

        With that said, regardless of whatever you want to believe, if you’re a true Christian starting acting Christ like and actually love thy neighbor. Spread the love of Christ not the intolerance you “perceive” from allegorical text.

      • Do what??? LOL The BAPTIST church is splintered -this is precisely why a “Southern Baptist Church” exists! There are hundreds of Baptist denominations – Southern, Free Will, Independent – Primitive, Reformed… the list goes on and on.

      • Tony, please…just…stop. Stop talking. You make people sick every time you decide to vomit up some comments. Seriously. “Still believe the Bible”? No,Tony, they don’t. They believe in their self-made idols and simply use the Bible as a pedestal. Not that you get that. Or care. If, however, some smidgen of humanity is still gasping in that airless bubble that is your soul, please listen to it because it is telling you to show basic concern for others and stop wasting their time.

        • Frankie No-Facts, yes, the truth does need to get out there. Maybe if you and Anthony would stop spouting lies and listen the truth would get just a bit further.

  2. This wouldn’t be the first awful error on the part of those who consider bible writings as the inerrant “word of God.” Sadly, Southern Baptists totally ignore psychology and science. They know and understand psychology and science sadly little, and give them even less serious attention.

    That is the result of such a poor understanding the history of such writings as those in the bible. People who use ancient biblical writings as the inerrant word of God do not understand such writing. These are ancient writings, mythology, all of which we only have copies of copies of untold previous copies. Even so, no one has any certain idea of the language of any purported originals.

    We would be much better off to use history, sociology, science, psychology and all later learning, instead of ancient biblical mythology, as a guide for living in our time. At least use new and better, certain and proven knowledge for improving our lives instead of relying on mythology and ignoring its miseries.

    • You obviously know very little about bible history. You comments regarding it are flagrantly in error. Please do you due diligence and research from good sources AND learn about the different types of scripture. Secondly, if you think the new Testament is mythology you are going up against pretty much all of history. Historians all agree that Jesus was a real person and that the New Testament is historically valid. To deny this is just plain ignorant and you prove your lack of credibility on this subject. Do yourself a favor and pick up a book once in a while and don’t get your facts from twitter and Facebook.

      • Oh please, Kirsten. You are the one who needs to educate yourself with the “factually based” history of your own religion. Your criticism of gilhcan’s comment is arrogant and ignorant. I bet most atheist commenters here are many times more knowledgable about Christianity than the majority of Christians, including you. Your said, “Historians all agree that Jesus was a real person and that the New Testament is historically valid.” Really? Let’s do some fact check:

        First, most modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, but scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts of Jesus, and the only two events subject to “almost universal assent” are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate. However, Jesus’s historical existence alone means nothing; it doesn’t prove his divinity, resurrection or all his miracle performances. Jesus’s divinity, resurrection and miracles only appear within the NT and not in single contemporary historical document. The only 1st century historian, Josephus, included references to Jesus in “Antiquities of the Jews”, but most scholars think this record is forgery. Without cross-referencing with “real” historical documents written by “real historians” of Jesus’s time, the NT cannot historically be validated.

        Second, the gospels of the NT were written in Greek for Greek-speaking communities first that were later translated into Syriac, Latin and Coptic. The originals were never found. How can we then know that the Gospels we have today accurately reflect originals destroyed almost two millennia ago? Without Xerox machine or printing press, communication is never perfect; people make mistakes while hand copying the texts in different languages. Errors are compounded with each successive generation. By the time 2000 years pass, it’s anyone’s guess what the original said.

        Why don’t you do YOURSELF a favor and read more books than just the Bible (yep, it a mythology) and don’t get your facts from your pastor or David Barton, the fake historian.

        • Allah Allah Sis Boom Bah

          Liz, you speak the truth.
          Jesus of the Bible certainly didn’t exist as he is written.
          It may have been based on some sort of individual but all of that is lost.

        • The credibility of the NT accounts are up to the individual to decide, Liz. No one is arguing about that. But there is nothing wrong with the gospels from an authenticity standpoint. Their attributions are plausible and amply supported. And extrabiblical references to Jesus are certainly not limited to Josephus (and the Testimonium Flavinium, to which you refer, is not regarded as a forgery in its entirety but the line found within it “He was the Christ” is commonly believed to have been an interpolation).

          Why do we think gospels as we know them today are substantially the same as the originals? Because the gospels were in wide circulation throughout the empire within a generation of their writing, and to change their content one would have to canvas the entire empire, collect every NT manuscript in existence, and change them all. Five thousand early Greek manuscripts of the NT exist, 10,000 in Latin Vulgate, and numerous early manuscripts in Ethiopic, Coptic, and Gothic. And while insignificant errors and variations of course exist (spelling errors, word order variations), none of them differ in any material way — and not even remotely enough to affect any Christian doctrine.

          Scholars used to raise these same objections about the integrity of the Old Testament books, until the Dead Sea Scrolls put them to rest.

          • “Why do we think gospels as we know them today are substantially the same as the originals? Because the gospels were in wide circulation throughout the empire within a generation of their writing, and to change their content one would have to canvas the entire empire, collect every NT manuscript in existence, and change them all.”

            That is illogical. Books were written by hand back in the day. No mass printing. Every version distributed probably was changed or altered depending on the skill of the people making the copies and what official language they were using. There would not be standardization of the language until centuries later when mechanical printing methods were perfected. Finding an original would be the difficult part.

            Most importantly, you are engaging in nothing more than supposition. Making broad assumptions and taking things as articles of faith which are questionable.

          • Sigh…again, the enormous multiplicity of copies from antiquity, from diverse parts of the ancient world, should have resulted in enormous variation among those manuscripts if what you say is true. This has not been found to be the case — not even close.

            You’re still welcome to find the gospel accounts to be not credible– just not to misrepresent (or invent) the facts about the accounts themselves.

          • “from diverse parts of the ancient world, should have resulted in enormous variation among those manuscripts if what you say is true. This has not been found to be the case — not even close.”

            That is not even close to being true. You are just assuming so. Its certainly not an issue that has been resolved with the level of certainty you claim. Scholars are still discussing the nature of such things.

            “Why do we think gospels as we know them today are substantially the same as the originals? ”

            Because once we got to a certain point in history, standardization began through changes in politics and technology. You also make assumptions as to what the “originals” are. The one thing we know about antiquity is that we don’t know enough about it. You are relying on the fundamentally dishonest and silly assumption that our current knowledge of such periods constitutes their entirety.

            You also assume a singular “Christian Doctrine” as well. There has never existed such a thing. From the outset Christianity started splintering over what constitutes doctrine. It is only a Fundamentalist who has the delusions of a singular unambiguous Christian doctrine and interpretation. That has more to do with the psychology of their belief than facts. This is the case here as well.

          • “That is not even close to being true. You are just assuming so. Its certainly not an issue that has been resolved with the level of certainty you claim. Scholars are still discussing the nature of such things.”

            Larry, I’m sorry, but you don’t seem to have much knowledge about what “scholars” are discussing at all. There is not much discussion going on about the degree of similarity of our gospels to the originals. The credibility of the accounts, yes. The dating of the accounts, yes. The authorship of the accounts, yes. But no, not much about the textual integrity of the accounts themselves. Even in Bart Ehrman’s popular work “Misquoting Jesus,” which I read with great interest, although he chose a title which was guaranteed to grab attention and sell books, he ironically failed to show how ANY of the textual variants found among the thousands of NT manuscripts substantially affect the meaning of the texts or alter traditional doctrine in any way.

            If anyone is operating upon assumption, it is you and Liz. You are making blind claims about the trustworthiness of the NT texts without ANY evidence to back them up. We have tens of thousands of NT manuscripts in numerous ancient languages, from numerous different places. They do not materially differ. These are facts. If you can produce some ancient manuscripts that show something different, or even some ancient quotations of the manuscripts that indicate substantial variance from what we have today, then by all means produce it. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time and everyone else’s.

      • The Great God Pan

        Yeah, Gilhcan! Historians all agree that Jesus walked on water and multiplied loaves of bread and rose from the dead! Where did you go to school, some place with accreditation? Try getting your facts from a Christian madrassa!

    • If you’re going to talk about something you don’t understand, at least come to the table with an understanding of your own argument. People who call the bible mythology would not do so if they had any understanding of what mythological writings are. The scriptures are not even written like a myth. There could be an argument made for Genesis but that’s a whole other can of worms. Scripture is written as an historical narrative.
      Its also interesting that you presume to know how much knowledge southern baptists hold in regard to science and psycology. I’m not even baptist and find this drivel offensive.

  3. The Great God Pan

    “But they went on the record to oppose gender assignment surgery and cross-sex hormone therapies.”

    At least with abortion they can claim to be concerned with “unborn lives.” What is their supposed vested interest here? It’s simply not their business. If you’re opposed to gender reassignment, don’t have it performed on yourself.

    As for their supposed opposition to the bullying and abuse of transgender people: If religious conservatives like the Southern Baptists aren’t the ones doing the bullying, who is?

    • You have no concept of what loving your neighbor is. To love someone who is in danger of losing their soul, it is our responsibility to oppose their sins. Yes, love the sinner but always hate the sin. People with gender identity confusion are in need of love, but also truth. Granted our only interest in this issue is being forced to accept what is abnormal as normal and the fascism being imposed on those or us who reject these disordered sexual preferences.

      • What a load of crap!

        Your concern for the souls of “sinners” is nothing more than pretext. You care only about your ability to point fingers at people and declare them less pious than yourself. A socially sanctioned excuse to treat others like crap. God tells you they can be despised, so why shouldn’t you do the same?

        • Larry…You don’t know me and how I treat others, with I hope dignity and respect. Just because I challange others does not mean I don’t respect them. If someone I love didn’t convict me in my sins I can’t imagine where I would be today. Loving the sinner but hating the sin..I am a sinner too.

          • Ron, this is SO true. In my younger days I loved and very much wished to marry a person who was unscripturally divorced. I searched as diligently as John Boswell ever did for a biblical justification for doing what I wanted to do, and I reacted with hostility to those who reluctantly but steadfastly admonished me about it in Christian love. But eventually honesty forced me to admit that all the excuses and arguments I found (and there were many) were empty, and I relinquished the relationship. And I praise God every day for that decision, and for those precious people who had the courage and integrity to urge me toward it, for I received back much, much more than what I gave up. Peace in Christ to you, brother.

          • You use, “opposing sin” as excuses to attack others in public with social sanction. That tells me all I need to know here.

            Its nothing but a pretext for those who want to make uncivil behavior sound more acceptable.

      • Ron, thanks for offering another text-book example of the mindlessness of so many Southern Baptist folk when it comes to this or, well, just about any issue that requires more than ten seconds of reflection.

        Why, for the love of God, would anyone be in “danger of losing their soul” just because they were transgendered? You and you evangelical kin really need to get over your obsession with regulating sex and gender. Seriously. You’ve turned your dubious gender ideals into idols and you need to repent.

        You also need to repent of your heretical understanding of loving your neighbor. It is clear to any honest person that the SBC and its ilk limit love to “saving your soul from hell” and care little to nothing about people’s lives in the here and now if those lives don’t fit within the well-policed borders of a straight, white, patriarchal culture.

        • First, I am not a Southern Baptist, I’m Catholic. Second, confusion about sexual preferences while not sinful in itself can lead to experimenting with disordered sexual practices and lead to sin. Clueless about your other point when as Catholics we do more to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help the widows, etc. The real obsession is with the homofascists who are trying to force Christians to embrace what we consider sin and violate our religious liberty.
          And yes, loving your neighbor sometimes means telling them the truth. You wouldn’t really be loving a drug addict if you condoned their addiction. Like other disorders we sometimes have to challange the sin.

          • @Ronnie,

            This statement is not true:
            “As Catholics we do more to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help the widows, etc.”

            No – Catholics and other Christians are NOT doing those things as much as the unbelievers are.
            Time to stop that myth, too!

            The Atheist and NON-Theist organizations are actually trying to save the world and WE are spending the vast majority of our money on that purpose.

            Catholics – IN PARTICULAR – are in the way.
            Less than HALF of each Religious dollar goes to anything useful. Talk about waste!

            What do Atheists contribute?
            While Religion wastes billions of dollars building houses of superstition and holy books full of hatreds against other religions and loathing of humanity ….

            These ATHEIST organizations are saving the world:

            Doctors Without Borders,
            The Foundation Beyond Belief
            Goodwill Industries,
            Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
            Warren Buffet Foundation,
            Oxfam International,
            Rotary International, American Red Cross,
            SEED foundation, United Children’s Fund,
            Sierra Fund, National Campaign to prevent Teen Pregnancy,
            Treatment Action Campaign, Women’s Defense League
            US Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers,
            Plan USA, Tanzanian Children’s Fund
            National Academy of Science….etc.

            Atheists spend BILLIONS on saving lives and more!
            We don’t just care about saving lives but go further to promote education and culture also!

            Atheists and Secular Humanists have done more for humanity than any other groups:

            While religious people pray for cures – Atheists create medicine.
            While religious people pray for food – Atheists create agriculture
            While religious people burn witches – Atheists promote enlightenment.
            While religious people ban condoms – Atheists distribute millions of condoms saving countless lives from AIDS in Africa.
            While religious people ban information – Atheists develop the internet
            While religion oppresses women and creates poverty – Atheists emancipate women and by doing so lessened poverty.

            While religious people kill, argue and waste precious resources over whose god is more real – Atheists create Church/State separation.

            The Scientists working to understand and deal with the nightmares of our time from diseases to climate change are almost entirely Atheist.

            While Christians and Muslims fill the prisons,
            the Atheist population in prison is statistically ZERO.

            Meanwhile — What does Religion do?
            Christians and Muslims feed a few thousand poor people while all the while KILLING EACH OTHER OVER WHICH GOD IS TRUE!

            Then the religious invest millions of dollars apologizing for a God who never shows up to save the 17 MILLION CHILDREN who will starve THIS YEAR ALONE!

            While ATHEISTIC Science does the heavy lifting.
            Monks, Priests and Imams live in the dark ages and argue against science and keep the truth from millions of people.

            Religion is so over-rated it is disgusting.

          • Ronnie, unless you are the same person who posted as “Ron” earlier, then I clearly was not talking to you.

            In any case, thanks for sharing even more twisted and discredited nonsense. Hard to say which of your points is the silliest: the one about “experimentation,” or about “homofascists,” or about “religious liberty” (news flash: religious freedom doesn’t mean freedom from living in a world with people you don’t like); or the drug addiction analogy.

            Let’s stick with that one, though. This tired trope had been abandoned by conservative Christian, I thought. I mean the fallacy of begging the question is so obvious here that even the most willfully ignorant person would have to blink while trying to say this with a straight face. Let me help you then: Drug addiction has obvious harmful consequences and same-sex orientation does not have obvious harmful consequences.

            To compare the two, however, you have to assume from the start that same-sex orientation is obviously harmful or “bad.” But since you are using the analogy to demonstrate that same-sex orientation is harmful, and thus in need of “truth-telling,” you are simply engaged in a form of circular reasoning that does nothing but reaffirm your own assumptions, even though the validity of those assumptions are the very point in question.

            Shorter: you. are. wrong.

          • Atheist Max – Talk about revisionist history! And some of the organizations listed do NOT help people they endanger their souls!
            Whatever you want to be believe that’s your business but I prefer Jesus who I plan to spend eternity with.
            St. Thomas Aquinas — ‘To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.’

          • Eric…Personal attacks confim that you might be losing the argument. Abnormal sexual practices do not have consequences???? No comment there…
            As I’ve stated before, the inclination toward homosexuality is not sinful according to my faith. It is not a choice. But it is a choice to act on it and engage in a sinful practice. We all have some inclination which leads us to sin. With God’s help we can overcome this and live in true peace and freedom. If I’m wrong in your view so be it. But I believe rejecting my view is not being open minded.

          • Ronnie,

            “Abnormal sexual practices do not have consequences???? No comment there…”

            Of course you have no comment here. It’s just the center piece of your argument. Thanks for proving my point.

            “It is not a choice. But it is a choice to act on it and engage in a sinful practice.”

            Another cliched, discredited idea. Need I point out how dubious it is to tell an entire group of people that they can’t act on their natural impulses? that they have a nil “choice” between sinning and being alone? that you advocate a nil “choice” that you yourself would never be subject to? *That’s* why no one believes anti-gay Christians when they say they speak out of love for gays and lesbians. Your idea of “love,” in the eyes of any honest person, is utterly inhuman.

            “But I believe rejecting my view is not being open minded.”

            I reject the view that the earth is flat, too. Does that also mean I’m not being open-minded? No one is under any obligation to be open to old ideas that have been discredited.

          • Eric…The consequences of acting upon unnatural sexual preferences are sorry to say are: AIDS
            It is not a natural impulse to act on a disordered inclination.
            And if you think speaking the truth is not loving your neighbor than so be it. In my view trying to lead people to seek God is more important that personal attacks, intimidation and hate. So bring it on….Someone did the same to me and I thank God everyday that that person had the courage to persevere with me…

          • Ronnie, as a drug-free (okay prescription drugs) lesbian (who does not have sex with men, never have, never will) my chances of getting AIDS sexually are almost completely zero (And that’s not even due to the sex itself), so thanks but try again!

        • Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie…

          “The consequences of acting upon unnatural sexual preferences are sorry to say are: AIDS”

          This lie went out with the 90s. Stop repeating it, unless you think the commandment about bearing false witness doesn’t apply to you.

          “It is not a natural impulse to act on a disordered inclination.”

          And as I’ve said before, you have no basis for calling sex-sex orientation “a disordered inclination.” Furthermore, if you think, as you said above, that people are born with that orientation, that means that orientation comes from God and hence is not unnatural.

          “And if you think speaking the truth is not loving your neighbor than so be it.”

          Please stop twisting my words. I never said anything remotely like that. What I said was that nothing you said about gays and lesbians was either “truthful” or “loving.”

          “In my view trying to lead people to seek God is more important that personal attacks, intimidation and hate.”

          Which category should I put your slanders in?

          “Someone did the same to me and I thank God everyday that that person had the courage to persevere with me…”

          I have no idea what you are talking about here.

          • Nicole…I never suggested lesbians get AIDS. But of course, there are other consequences of engaging in unnatural sexual practices for lesbians. A lot of abuse in those relationships not to mention jeopardizing the state of your soul. And if children are involved leading them astray by a relationship which doesn’t include a father. But there is hope. Many former lesbians have chosen to seek a way out and found peace and healing.

          • Eric, Eric, Eric….We both know the truth about AIDS.
            There is no genetic basis for being born gay. Where and when does anyone get an inclination for this? Alcoholics have an inclination for abusing alcohol. Is it genetic? Was this inclination formed in utero or was it a result of our environment? I believe the latter…
            As for my last comment, someone challenged me to change my life through perseverance and it was the best thing that happened to me.

      • I agree we need to learn how to properly love people. We need to love people regardless of they’re sin just as Christ did. However, we don’t need to go out of our way to oppose they’re sin, the Holy Spirit does that. We are all sinners; every one of us. The only scriptural precedent for opposing sin under the new covenant is in the context of the church. We are not to go out into the world as accusers but as carriers of the grace of God. There are no new sins that are going to surprise God. People have and always will seek to satisfy there own desires and follow there broken nature. We live in a broken world and are being given a new nature in order to show the glory of Christ .
        As far as the specifics of the decision the southern baptists, what do you expect. The church has always faced issues which it has struggled with, such as circumcision in the early church and Paul meeting with the apostles to discuss expanding the ministry to a more gentile audience. The church will always clash with society. It would be impossible not to when it is brought our doorstep. For instance, my neighbor is gay and we are friends. Now, I’m not going to go over to him and say, “Hey man, being gay is wrong.” If he asks me outright what I think, then I will be obligated to tell him. That would be a long, hopefuly productive, conversation. I pray for him, not that he won’t be gay but that he will know Christ. The Spirit will take care to strip away what is not right within us when He begins his work, whatever those things may be.
        Lastly, yes the church is splintered and that is sad. There is a crushing separation in the wider body of Christ and it is unnecessary. However, do not use the state of the church or some Christian you know to decide whether or not to heed the words of The Lord. That is the height of ignorance.

        1 Corinthians 1:18
        “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

        • @Jack,

          You religious people are ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWING!

          “We need to love people regardless of their sin just as Christ did.”

          WHAT book are YOU READING?
          LOVE SINNERS JUST AS ‘CHRIST DID’?

          “Be condemned to Hell” (John 6:53-54)(Mark 16:16).

          PRIMITIVE, ABJECT NONSENSE!

        • “As far as the specifics of the decision the southern baptists, what do you expect.”

          Acting like people living in the 21st century with real conceptions of what they are talking about. That would be nice start. I know its wishful thinking when we are talking about Southern Baptists. :)

          The idea that conflicts with gender identity are something resembling sin betrays a measure of ignorance of the situation. Especially when as far as we know it is a biological issue.

          Frankly the SBC don’t strike me as a group particularly cognizant of things from the last 2 centuries let alone the current one. As a church founded on the notion of upholding slavery and then later segregation, they have always lagged behind to preach a harmful reactionary version of Christianity.

          Why should anyone be surprised this trend still goes on?

        • As a Catholic some of the works of mercy are a requirement like: Counsel the doubtful, Instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners.
          And ‘evil flourishes when good men do nothing’

      • The Great God Pan

        I didn’t actually say anything about loving your neighbor, but I do know exactly what it means.

        In the proper cultural context of the Bible, “love thy neighbor” actually means something more like “love thy tribesman.” Yahweh (it was not Christ who issued the original edict) was commanding the Israelites to keep bonds tight within their homogeneous community and to close ranks against outsiders, those who were different.

        So, the SBC and other right-wing Christians are actually practicing the command to “love thy neighbor as thyself” quite well, although not in the way you think. They are quite good at loving one another–those within the “tribe” who are just like themselves–and attacking all those “others,” all those “outsiders.” They aim to take the US, as the Israelites took Palestine.

        But I’m not sure why you even bring it up. As I noted, I didn’t say anything about “love thy neighbor.” I think you might have me confused with one of those nontheists who argue that conservative Christians do not live up to the teachings of the Bible. Rather, I argue that you DO live up to the teachings of the Bible, and that that is the problem.

        • @The Great God Plan,

          “I argue that you DO live up to the teachings of the Bible, and that that is the problem.”

          Exactly !

          “execute them…” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)
          “The Master shall cut him to pieces” – Jesus (Luke 12)
          “Drown him with a millstone” – Jesus
          “I come to bring fire to the earth” – Jesus
          “I come not to bring peace but a sword” – Jesus

          And Christians wonder why they just can’t get along!

  4. ….. and they also voted that pi = 3.00, that genes don’t exist (because offspring traits are determined by what is seen during sexual intercourse – Genesis 30:39), that the earth is flat, and that germs are “just a theory”.

    It would be humorous when people in 2014 look to 2,500 year old writings for their science. Well, it would be if it didn’t cause so much real harm to real people all around us every day.

  5. This is a difficult issue, but I think the Southern Baptists are right on this. I would be interested in knowing whether they view this as an internal theological statement or as a position which would inform their lobbying of public law.

      • As I understand it, there are two schools of thought on this type of thing, as far as conservative Evangelicals are concerned.

        On the one hand, Paul tells us that we should limit our judgments to those inside the Church; God will judge those outside the Church.

        On the other hand, there is the view that if I as a Christian believe that God has a particular view on a subject, I should use my rights as a citizen to seek to promote that view.

        • The Great God Pan

          And has the modern SBC ever demonstrated the slightest inclination to keep its “internal theological statements” internal and stay out of politics?

          • I am not a Southern Baptist — I don’t really know.

            But I do think in this instance their stance lends itself more to internal application than to political lobbying. The horse is out of the barn on transgender surgery and what not; it seems unlikely that they would campaign to make such procedures illegal.

            Rather, I would expect that a transgendered person would be barred admission to a Southern Baptist seminary. SB clergy would not marry someone who was born a male to a non-transgendered male. Someone who was born a female would not be qualified to serve as an elder.

      • The only redefining here is being done by Christians. Somehow “love” involves ostracizing people and treating them with contempt.

        The fact that you identify your religious views as those on “the right” is insulting to both Christians and conservatives.

        • The crime that Christians are guilty of is to think that certain behaviors and actions are wrong. When secular atheists like yourself agree that those behaviors are wrong (e.g., robbing banks, molesting children), Christians don’t get labelled “haters” for thinking they are wrong.

          When secular atheists like yourself DON’T agree with Christians that certain behaviors are wrong (e.g., gender reassigment), then the Christians are labelled “haters” for thinking they are wrong.

          It’s as simple as that. No contempt is required to earn the “hater” label.

          • @Theophilus,

            The operational ingredient is ‘god’.

            Questions of morality are not decided by ‘god’ but by human beings trying to figure out what is the best solution to a moral dilemma in a particular situation.

            Sometimes Christians get morality right – usually by ignoring scripture, because most of the injunctions of Jesus are fundamentally immoral and irreconcilable.

            Sometimes Atheists get it wrong – because Atheism is not a blueprint for morality. Atheism is only a necessary first step toward the POSSIBILITY of a truly moral life.

          • Listen to yourself comparing the transgender people to criminals such as bank robbers and child molesters. How dare you? Robbers and molesters are morally and legally wrong because an intentional “harm” was inflicted on individual(s) by another individual(s). The transgender people/gays never harmed anyone and yet, they have been mercilessly bullied, hated and labeled by the Christians for no good or rational reasons. Your religious justification for this type of hatred toward certain group of people is harmful, cowardly and unethical.

          • As I said, Liz, if a Christian dares to declare, based on the Bible, that something is wrong that isn’t on the secular-approved list, they are given the label “hater.” But in fact hatred and cowardice have nothing to do with it. I personally do not hate or antagonize gays or transgendered people, nor do any of my Christian friends. I do not justify hatred of any kind whatsoever.

            People like yourself who make such inflammatory remarks refuse to ever be honest. If you were to say, “No, what you’re saying isn’t hatred, per se, but many people who believe what you believe go on to do and say things that are very hateful,” I would say, “Fair enough.” But you agree, don’t you, that we don’t want our country to become a place where people are castigated simply for what they think? You hold many views, I’m sure, that I find extremely misguided! And I have many more views that you haven’t heard yet that you may find more repugnant than my views on gender reassignment. The problem isn’t my beliefs or your beliefs — it’s the fact that some people in our society have not learned how to manage their beliefs.

          • True, Theophilus. The word “hate” has been bandied about and misused so much that it really doesn’t have much meaning anymore. It’s mostly become a pebble that people throw into a real discussion to try to disrupt it and shut it down. I try to avoid using it myself, even where it’s justified, and ignore it where I see it used and focus on more specific matters instead.

          • So you are saying Christian morals are really subjective and arbitrary.
            Wow. That is a helluva admission.

            Atheists don’t rely on arbitrary, outside authority to tell them something is wrong. You seem to be of the mind that Christians need to be told what is wrong because they lack the concept of conscience or are all sociopaths.

            Christians are labelled haters when they think behavior is wrong but lack any kind of reasonable justification for doing so. Its hatred because you are willingly treating someone like crap for purely arbitrary, self-serving and nonsensical reasons. Such behavior demands ridicule and scorn

            Saying the Bible says so is never reasonable. It just means you fail to think for a moment about the subject.

          • Hate is bandied about so often because it is becoming so open and obvious.

            Hiding behind religious doctrines to promote ostracism, hostility and discrimination can’t be defined as anything other than hate. It certainly is not anyone sane person’s definition of love.

  6. Sister Renee'

    Love the sinner, love them just as Christ does, but hate the sin, just as Christ does, we are never to judge a person, but we must be aware of the sin!

    Sin begets death, just as Adam and Eve were given all the beauty of life and paradise, but they lost it because of sin, Death entered into the picture. No one hates them, they sinned, we are all sinners, it is the sin that we hate, that kills a person’s dignity, a person’s soul, and yes we have a soul. that lives on even after the death caused by sin. Let us love the sinner, and hate the sin that kills the soul. Let us be compassionate in the true sense of the word, to love our neighbor so much, that we want the best for his or her soul. because that, not the body, lives forever, in heaven or in hell.
    False love would condone sin, so as to support it and perhaps be part of the sin itself, an accessory of it so to speak.
    Let us not be counterfeit in our love for one another, loving each other so much, that we want them to go to heaven. so Hate that sin! but love the one who is weak and falls into it, for what ever reason.
    praise be Jesus,
    Sister Renee’

    • The reality is hate the “sinner” and pretend God supports your actions.

      Its all a pretext to justify one’s own prejudices. Why own up to your own opinions when you can just blame it on “God’s will”. Create this pretension that there are no other interpretation’s of scripture. Pretend that you do not make your own judgments as to which sections of the Bible are most useful.

    • @Sister Renee,

      This is so immoral:
      “so Hate that sin! but love the one who is weak and falls into it.”

      You cannot ‘love’ a person if you don’t accept the person.
      Being Gay or Transgendered is neither ‘sin’ nor undesirable.
      Healthy sexuality is part of who that person is.

      It is so immoral to suggest that a person’s sexuality is a problem for you and then claim you can ‘love’ them.

      Love is earned and it comes from trust and empathy.
      There is no empathy or trust in a person who is fearful of someone’s sexuality especially if that fear is based on primitive, ignorant scribblings of the Bronze age.

      We non-Theists must confront religious people such as yourselves when their claims are immoral and lack a shred of truth.

  7. disgusted american

    …and this is among the MANY things/reasons as to WHY Im an Ex-Catholic and NOW and Athiest………I’ll Trust SCIENCE and Technology Thank YOU….over a Man-made bs….inspired by someone’s vivid imagination to CONTROL easy lead people / sheeple, and a guarentee of FULL Coffers ie: the Fleeced ((Ka-Ching $$$$))

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