Messengers commend, criticize Obama
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
June 24, 2009

Messengers commend, criticize Obama

Messengers commend, criticize Obama
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
June 24, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Southern Baptists both commended President Barack Obama

and expressed opposition to some of his policies in a resolution passed

June 24 at their annual meeting in Louisville.

A resolution commending Obama for his “evident love for his family” and

expressing “pride in our continuing progress toward racial

reconciliation signaled by the election of Barack Hussein Obama” as

president was one of five resolutions approved by 8,731 messengers.

The resolutions committee, chaired by Southeastern Baptist Theological

Seminary President Danny Akin, considered 26 resolutions during three

days of deliberations prior to the annual meeting.

Other resolutions called on Southern Baptists to consider adopting some

of the 150 million orphans who “now languish without families” around

the world; affirmed biblical positions on marriage and sexual purity;

commended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville on its

150th anniversary; and expressed appreciation for Southern Seminary

personnel and others who worked on all the details to make the annual

meeting run smoothly.

While the Obama resolution commended him for retaining “many foreign

policies that continue to keep our nation safe” it also said Southern

Baptists “deplore” his decision to expand federal funding for

“destructive human embryo research”; “decry” increased funding for

pro-abortion groups; “oppose” any stripping of conscience protections

for health care workers unwilling to participate in abortions; and

“protest” any effort to “eradicate the symbols of our nation’s historic

Judeo-Christian faith from public or private venues.”

In a later press conference, Akin said the Obama resolution “strikes a

really good balance” for prayer for the president, affirming him and

making plain disagreements with some of his policies.

Richard Land, president of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty

Commission who served as a staff resource, said, “Race has been the

serpent in the garden of America from the very beginning,” first with

Native Americans, then with African-Americans. But, he said, since the

racial reconciliation resolution passed by the SBC in 1995, the number

of black members in Southern Baptist churches has increased 117 percent

to almost 800,000.

“It would have been irresponsible not to speak to the election of the

first African-American president,” Akin said. “We could affirm his

election without affirming his policies where we have strong, strong


Southern Baptists have gone from being virtually an all white

denomination “by choice” in 1970 to about 18 percent minority members

now, according to Land.

The sexual purity resolution supports “the biblical definition of

marriage as the exclusive union of a man and a woman:” rejects any

attempt to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act; urges the U.S. Senate

not to pass any legislation that would criminalize “deeply held

religious beliefs and speech about homosexuality and other unbiblical

sexual practices:” and supports the “current military code barring

homosexuality in the military.”

Complete coverage of the 2009 SBC meeting