Southern Baptists Back a Shift on Climate Change - New York Times
Southern Baptists Back a Shift on Climate Change
By NEELA BANERJEE
Signaling a significant departure from the Southern Baptist Convention’s official stance on global warming, 44 Southern Baptist leaders have decided to back a declaration calling for more action on climate change, saying its previous position on the issue was “too timid.”
The largest denomination in the United States after the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, with more than 16 million members, is politically and theologically conservative.
Yet its current president, the Rev. Frank Page, signed the initiative, “A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change.” Two past presidents of the convention, the Rev. Jack Graham and the Rev. James Merritt, also signed.
“We believe our current denominational engagement with these issues has often been too timid, failing to produce a unified moral voice,” the church leaders wrote in their new declaration.
A 2007 resolution passed by the convention hewed to a more skeptical view of global warming.
In contrast, the new declaration, which will be released Monday, states, “Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless and ill-informed.”...
Still, many powerful Southern Baptist leaders and agencies did not sign the declaration, including the convention’s influential political arm, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.