New legal filings in McRaney v. NAMB highlight how SBC entities run by Kevin Ezell and his friend Russell Moore coordinated to file a false amicus brief with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Legal filing details other misleading NAMB legal actions.
As the case of McRaney v. NAMB made its way before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) coordinated with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention to mislead the 5th Circuit Court with a false amicus brief. Here are details from the latest legal filing highlighting how these “Christian” entities attempted to mislead federal courts.
According to a memorandum against summary judgment filed by McRaney’s attorney, “For its part, ‘NAMB never corrected or repudiated ERLC’s misrepresentations to the Court.’ Doc. 133 at 9. While that was bad enough, it turns out the full truth is even worse. Through third-party discovery, Plaintiff learned that NAMB was coordinating with the ERLC and Thomas More Society before the ERLC Amicus Brief was filed. The same third-party discovery also revealed that NAMB’s counsel had the amicus brief before it was filed.3 Thus, NAMB knew the Fifth Circuit was being presented false statements both before and after the amicus brief was submitted. Yet NAMB allowed the brief to be filed, and then sat by silently for months while the Fifth Circuit decided rehearing. NAMB’s egregious conduct before the Fifth Circuit should cast further doubt on NAMB’s distorted and self-serving account of the First Amendment presented in its motion for summary judgment.”
The footnote is even more shocking, “In response to a subpoena, the Thomas More Society produced to Plaintiff a privilege log showing that NAMB’s outside counsel received draft of the ERLC amicus brief shortly before it was filed. NAMB 30(b)(6) Dep. Exhs.10 & 11. NAMB acknowledged at its 30(b)(6) deposition that it has no basis for disputing the accuracy of that privilege log. Tr. 89:4-16. Notably, NAMB did not disclose to Plaintiff its pre-filing communications with the ERLC or the Thomas More Society about the ERLC Amicus Brief, or that it has a copy of the draft brief before filing—even though Plaintiff served discovery clearly calling for the disclosure of such information. See Plaintiff’s Third Set of Requests for Production.”
In other words, NAMB did not produce evidence that it was required to do by the court order controlling discovery. It was only because Thomas More complied that McRaney’s legal team was made aware of these facts.
Amazingly deceitful actions by anyone. How much more so by those who claim the name of Christ and pay lip service to commandments against deceit.
How false was the brief? Most in the SBC were outraged by the blatant lies.
According to the filing, “The ERLC Amicus Brief contained several false statements about Baptist polity. For example, the ERLC Amicus Brief inaccurately described the SBC as a ‘hierarchy’ that serves as an ‘umbrella Southern Baptist governing body over all of the various groups of churches.’ See Doc. 133 at 8-10; Ferrer Tr. 202:12-15) (agreeing ‘the ERLC brief contained misstatements about the nature of Southern Baptists’); de Armas Tr. 175:13-15 (the misstatements in Amicus Brief ‘would be obvious to anyone with knowledge of Baptist polity’); NAMB 30(b)(6) Tr. __ (falsity of statements in ERLC Amicus Brief were ‘obvious.’). The Brief’s false statements led to a firestorm of criticism and controversy within and outside the SBC. Id.; see also Ezell Tr. 294:2-8 (acknowledging ‘a lot of controversy and complaints’ and ‘SBC drama’ about the Amicus Brief); de Armas Tr. 172:3-7 (‘our Southern Baptist family was up in arms about what the ERLC had . . . been part in stating, because our SBC family know what not to be true. And they were appalled at which ERLC did.’).
Everyone knew it was false when they read it and yet NAMB’s legal team didn’t have any problems with it. Why? Was it because it furthered their already absurd and tenuous legal arguments? Just how desperate are NAMB’s lawyers? And why didn’t the federal courts sanction the liars like Russell Moore and the so-called Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention?
The misleading actions did not stop there. According to the filing, “Another example is the admission buried in NAMB’s emails that its claim to be a supporting organization of BCMD was a defense conjured up for this case alone. NAMB’s Executive Vice President of Public Relations, Mike Ebert, acknowledged about that defense: it is ‘limited to the facts of this specific case . . . .’ Doc. 265-6 (Ebert Dep. Exhs. 30, 31) (emphasis added).”
SBC Elites love lucre more than they fear God. How else does one explain that not only did the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) file an obviously false amicus brief to harm Will McRaney and help ERLC chief Russell Moore’s good buddy Kevin Ezell but that NAMB saw the brief before it was filed?
The legal filing quoted above is included for your review below. There are hundreds of pages to read and a press conference on these documents, so MORE TO FOLLOW…