Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Limits of the New Baptist Convention

The New Baptist Convention is Jimmy Carter’s response to the Southern Baptist Convention. Its participants include churchgoers and clergy who are put off by the far right politics of the Southern Baptists. The Southern Baptists take conservative stands on abortion and gay rights, and they exclude women from the clergy.

Many members of the National Baptist Convention U.S.A., a major African American denomination, were in attendance. Discussions centered around the need to do more to fight social problems, including universal health coverage and global warming, and the need to take these issues up in their local communities.

With regards to my last post, it interesting to note that while there are progressive tendencies within the Baptist Church, prevention of HIV or acceptance of homosexuals don’t seem to be top priorities yet. In fact, the following quotation from the Times Feb. 2 article is quite revealing on this score:

But many participants at the meeting said that they had to push for political solutions, and that their commitment to fighting poverty overrode theological differences over homosexuality or the ordination of women.

For the time being, apparently, women and gays will have to take a backseat in this progressive movement.

The New Baptist Convention is covered here:



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