SBC Reaffirms Pro-Life Beliefs
In a resolution titled “On Anticipation of a Historic Moment in the Pro-Life Movement,” the SBC, as it has in the past, reaffirmed its pro-life ethic, praying for “a historic United States Supreme Court ruling in the coming days in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which may overturn the precedent established by the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade and reaffirmed in the 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”
Commending the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s role in the pro-life advocacy in working with government officials and lawmakers to “enact pro-life and pro-family policies that serve and support vulnerable women, children, and families,” the SBC resolved to increase efforts “to serve and support local pregnancy resource centers, pro-life organizations, churches, foster-care and adoptive families, doing invaluable and often under-recognized work in the care of women and children at every stage of life.”
The SBC further resolved to “stand with and pray for abortion-vulnerable women, to eliminate any perceived need for the horror of abortion, and to oppose Planned Parenthood and other predatory organizations or institutions who exploit vulnerable women for profit.”
Notably, the resolution did not include any language that suggested the legal punishment of women who have sought or obtained abortions, something a vocal minority in within the denomination has begun to push for.
“As a committee, we want to reflect what we think the majority of Southern Baptists think and feel on this issue. We try to capture that and help them express that,” said Resolutions Committee Vice Chair Dana McCain in a press conference. “So looking at, historically, what we have expressed over and over—I think we examined more than 20 resolutions that have previously been passed by this Convention over 40 plus years. And then also looking at the submissions we received this year, we put together what we felt like was the best expression of where the majority of Southern Baptists are today.”
When further asked about the reasoning behind not incorporating any language of criminalization with regard to abortion, outgoing Resolutions Committee chairman and newly elected SBC president Bart Barber said, “Because nobody on our committee believes in that, and we did not believe that the consensus of the messenger body would support that either.”
Barber added that the Resolutions Committee was “vindicated” in their efforts to adequately express the will of the messengers in light of the fact that they adopted every resolution presented.
SBC Condemns Forced Conversions of Native Americans
One resolution, titled “On Religious Liberty, Forced Conversion, and the Federal Indian Boarding School Investigative Report,” was particularly close to the heart of Resolutions Committee member Mike Keahbone, who spoke about the resolution at a press conference after its adoption.
Keahbone referred to the resolution as historic, as it is the first resolution among Southern Baptists, and possibly the first of its kind among protestant denominations, to address the violence perpetrated against Native Americans in the name of the Christian faith.
“We have long fought for racial reconciliation and have stood on the side of those who have been ignored and hurt,” Keahbone said. “And Native Americans have often felt left out of that…And so what we did this year was send a very powerful and clear message.”