Many of those that opposed the ordinance cited religion, God and the Bible. These are the same kind of voices that in the 1850s invoked the so-called Curse of Ham to support racism. These are the same voices that quoted Leviticus 25:44 claiming slavery was a God-ordained institution, or verses like Deut 20:10, or Ex 21:4 or dozens of similar texts used to support slavery. These are the same voices that quoted Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, “Slaves be obedient unto to your masters.”
We’ve seen the same response when it comes to women’s rights. The same voices, quoting the Bible: women should not have authority over men as Paul contends in Corinthians, or that they should earn their salvation through silence and childbearing and stay out of civil life.
Bellevue Baptist Church packed the Council Chambers. This is a Church that is part of a denomination that supported slavery and racism in the name of God and the Bible. They were a product of the politics of slavery, breaking away from the American Baptist denomination because that denomination rejected slavery.
It took 150 years for the Southern Baptist Convention to formally apologize for this appalling history of oppression. They currently oppose equality for women on the same grounds. Why must we be held hostage by these kind of sectarian views in a civil and plural society? They have a right to their views and to express them. But do gays and women have to wait another 150 years while Southern Baptists and other conservative religious groups play catch up when it comes to human rights?
By Toby Sells
download this issue
click here to see more »