Southern Baptists are gearing up to exert “godly influence” over the public schools.
At the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in mid June, the denomination’s leaders rejected a proposal that church members pull their children out of public schools.
Instead, “messengers” to the Greensboro, N.C., meeting approved a resolution urging members to run for school board and for schools to allow children to leave the building for religious education offsite during the school day.
The resolution offers support to Southern Baptists who teach in the public schools but also blasts the institutions because they “continue to adopt and implement curricula and policies teaching that the homosexual lifestyle is acceptable.” It also lambastes public schools for supposedly promoting “dogmatic Darwinism” and for their alleged “humanistic and secular orientation.”
President George W. Bush, eager to curry favor with his conservative religious constituency, dispatched Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the meeting.
Rice, a Presbyterian, described her personal faith and exhorted Baptists to support religious freedom around the world. Ironically, even though the administration she works for has involved itself in religion in unprecedented ways through “faith-based” initiatives and other tax funding of religion schemes, Rice told the crowd, “America’s message cannot be clearer: Government simply has no right to stand between the individual and the Almighty.”