Home Christian News ERLC Head: State Conventions Can Be ‘Pivotal’ in Pro-Life Policies

ERLC Head: State Conventions Can Be ‘Pivotal’ in Pro-Life Policies

“Our churches have already been doing a great amount of work,” Leatherwood said. “Now is the time to double down on those efforts.”

Leatherwood affirmed the role of Southern Baptist pastors in advancing pro-life ministry.

“Our pastors, honestly, they have set the groundwork for this on a very foundational level by communicating the reality of the ‘imago dei’ [the biblical teaching that God has created every human being in His image],” he said. “We wouldn’t be here without our pastors proudly proclaiming that truth.”

The pro-life cause reached this moment with the overturning of Roe through a commitment to pro-life principle, persistence, patience and prayer, Leatherwood told Howe.

“We would not have gotten to this point without the prayers of thousands of pro-life Christians and pro-life activists who were committed to continually advocating for the sanctity of the unborn life for those 50 years,” he said.

Howe mentioned the nomination by President Trump of three justices – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – as “a major factor” in Roe’s reversal. All three were in the 5-4 majority in the Dobbs decision.

“Absolutely. We need to acknowledge that reality,” Leatherwood said of Trump’s nominations. He also pointed to the role of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnnell, “who had made a pointed case that these openings on the U.S. Supreme Court [represent a] once-in-a-generation opportunity to flip the court, to be a more conservative court, and those three justices played a pivotal role in the overturning of Roe.”

Howe asked Leatherwood about three decisions during the term that most religious liberty advocates considered victories:

  • Kennedy v. Bremerton (Wash.) School District, a 6-3 opinion in which the high court ruled the post-game, midfield prayer of a high school football coach did not violate the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion.
  • Carson v. Makin, another 6-3 ruling in which the justices decided the state of Maine offended the First Amendment’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion by prohibiting faith-based schools from participation in a tuition-assistance program.
  • Ramirez v. Collier, an 8-1 ruling in which the court found the state of Texas should grant a condemned inmate’s request to have his Southern Baptist pastor lay hands on and pray aloud for him when he receives a lethal injection.

Leatherwood commended each of the decisions, saying of the Kennedy opinion, “It reaffirms the fact that you can be a teacher or a student and be a Christian in the public square, and that’s a good thing. It’s a very good decision, one that I think Southern Baptists should be very happy with.”

The ERLC signed onto friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the parties that prevailed in all the church-state cases, as well as Dobbs. In the brief in the Dobbs case, the Southern Baptist entity urged the justices not only to uphold the Mississippi law but to reverse Roe.

Resources for the Dobbs decision, including a prayer guide, may be accessed at erlc.com/dobbs, Leatherwood said. Information on the Supreme Court’s term is available at erlc.com/scotus.

This article originally appeared here