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Southern Baptist Convention Opposes Women Pastors

The Southern Baptist Convention declared yesterday in its revised Faith and Message Statement that women should not serve as pastors in their congregation. The Convention’s passage of the statement follows a recent trend toward the far right amongst conservatives in the Southern Baptist Church, which also opposes abortion and homosexuality. Within the past five years, conservatives have called for a boycott of the Walt Disney Company for its queer-friendly policies, and the Convention has declared that wives should “submit graciously” to their husbands. Southern Baptist congregations act independently of the Southern Baptist Convention, so the full ramifications of the Convention’s statement on the Church’s 1600 women clergy is yet to be determined. David Key, director of Baptist studies at Emory University in Atlanta predicts that, in time, fewer women will serve as pastors—either because they will leave the Southern Baptist church or they will feel discouraged from leading their congregations. The statement will likely have negative implications for the denomination itself, for in a Gallup poll released in May, 71% of Americans who expressed religious preferences said they supported “having women as pastors, ministers, priests or rabbis in your own faith or denomination.”

Sources:

Associated Press and New York Times- June 15, 2000

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