Tom Ascol: ‘The SBC has a Rogue Entity in the ERLC.’
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention is under fire for fighting a Pro-Life Bill in Louisiana. The ERLC joined a letter with other national pro-life groups resisting the legislation in Louisiana that would have provided Equal Protection to the unborn baby and a post-birth baby. And Southern Baptists were not happy with it—especially as this action directly contradicted the Abortion Abolition resolution adopted at last year’s Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting.
“Pastor Dusty Deevers — the head of Southern Baptists for Abolishing Abortion — noted that the ERLC signed the letter in spite of a resolution passed by SBC messengers last summer affirming that ‘the murder of preborn children is a crime against humanity that must be punished equally under the law,’” according to the Daily Wire’s Ben Zeisloft.
The ERLC taking stands directly contrary to the will of the Southern Baptist Convention was a long running problem when the ERLC was run by lifelong Democrat Russell Moore. Unfortunately, even with Moore’s glorious departure to some Presbyterian-type church where he resides on staff with an Anglican and some non-denominational pastors, the ERLC continues to represent Elites instead of the people of the Southern Baptist Convention.
SBC Presidential Candidate Tom Ascol condemned the ERLC’s latest action as proof the SBC is not served by its entities and should #ChangeTheDirection from the obvious leftward drift.
Ascol said, “The SBC has a rogue entity in the ERLC. The messengers spoke loudly & clearly about our commitment to abolish abortion & see equal protection under the law for preborn children. The ERLC has defied the will of the churches who own it.”
Ascol then cited from the exact text of the abortion resolution approved last year by the SBC and highlighted the contradictions of the ERLC’s position.
Ascol then called on trustees to remove Leatherwood over this action in direct violation of the will of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Ascol said, “I urge Southern Baptists to call on their trustees to immediately remove @LeatherwoodTN as acting President of the @ERLC. By signing this open letter, he has used SBC resources to smear our name & defy our clear resolve to protect the unborn. The ERLC—along with all the other institutions & agencies of the SBC—belong to the churches of the SBC…Leatherwood’s defiance of the will of the messengers is another clear example of SBC elites rejecting the clear, biblical convictions of those who pay their salaries. It is past time to hold these entities accountable to the churches that own them. Southern Baptists, get to Anaheim! Make your voices heard. It is time to come together to #changethedirection.”
The ERLC is a serious problem for the SBC. The ERLC lied in an amicus brief it filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and was forced to apologize for it both to the SBC (by blaming the Catholic lawyers) and to the federal court. In any case, SBC Elites are poised to continue the Russell Moore reign at the ERLC by confirming a Russell Moore crony for a super-term as ERLC trustee.
At issue: Are women moral agents or in need of protection?
The point at issue is do unborn children deserve the Equal Protection of the Law or should they and those who kill them be treated differently?
The ERLC’s Brent Leatherwood explained why the ERLC joined the letter of opposition. He cited the goal of protecting women. This is in concert with the letter’s view that women are victims of abortion.
Leatherwood said, “I joined a pro-life letter along with more than 70 other leaders in the pro-life movement to all state legislators across the country, not just one state. Here’s the gist: Ban abortion. Save lives. Protect mothers. Go after the abortionists.”
Becca McCleary asked a pointed question in response to Leatherwood, “But these mothers are bringing their babies to the slaughter. They know what they are doing. They are not victims! It wouldn’t criminalize mothers who are coerced or forced into an abortion if I’m correct on the understanding of this bill.”
Louisiana Pastor Travis McNeely responded with a consistent Southern Baptist critique.
McNeely asked, “Protect mothers? Who knowingly murder their babies. Come on man. You are the acting President of the ETHICS and religious Liberty commission.”
This highlights a growing tension among pro-life forces. Namely, are women full moral agents or exploited victims of abortion?
Perhaps they can be both.
Perhaps it is irrelevant to the issue of whether murdering a fetus should carry the same criminal stigma as murdering an infant post-birth? Southern Baptists appear to favor extending the Equal Protection of the Laws to the unborn while the SBC Elite and the national Pro-Life movement favor coddling what looks like murder.