Baptists urge defeat of hate-crimes bill
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), meeting in San Antonio (June 13) passed a resolution asking the "Senate and President Bush to prevent hate-crimes from being prosecutable, saying it would add an extra layer of protection for homosexuality, which they say the Bible denounces". The convention urged President Bush to veto the bill if it passes legislative muster.
The reasoning behind this position is that Baptists have been arrested for "inciting hatred" when openly displaying Bible verses pertaining to homosexuality.
The convention of 8,600 messengers (the smallest annual meeting in thirty years) also applauded a message from President Bush, via satellite, in which he praised the charitable work of the Baptists.
The official stance of the SBC on same-sex relations is that "the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin" but that all Americans "are urged to treat all gays and lesbians with civility and compassion while sharing the Gospel with them". From the San Antonio Express-News, June 14, 2007
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From the San Antonio Express-News, June 2, 2007:
A $27 million Creation Museum has opened in Petersburg, Kentucky, promoting a literal Biblical view of creation. The museum claims the earth is only 6,000 years old, that dinosours lived alongside humans, and that the universe was created in six, 24-hour days. Adam and Eve are depicted as white caucasian creatures with their nudity hidden behind a large boulder.
A United Methodist bishop has appointed Drew Phoenix to a pastorate in Maryland. Last year the same pastor was appointed to the same charge under the name of Ann Gordan. Clergy in Baltimore have appealed to the denomination's Judicial Council regarding the transgendered appointment.
Rural Church Struggle. About 52 percent of American churches are in rural areas. That figure repersents around 177,000 congregations. Average attendance is estimated to be twenty.