This once-conservative Christian organization is now actively opposing gun rights

Photo by Will Porada via UnSplash

Gun confiscation schemes are popping up across the nation.

The radical anti-gun crowd is hell-bent on destroying the Second Amendment and is finding some surprising allies.

And this once-conservative national Christian organization is now actively opposing gun rights.

Gun confiscation bills failed to advance in the Tennessee legislature last year, but that didn’t stop the anti-gun crowd from introducing a similar bill this month.

A major split in the Southern Baptist Convention

The new bill was introduced in part because the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention is backing the gun grabs.

And Southern Baptists are increasingly concerned about the direction of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and are bringing those concerns to their annual denominational meeting.

This comes after an attempt to defund the ERLC two years ago was voted down.

The actions of the ERLC have put proponents of the right to keep and bear arms in a unique spot of opposing one of the most powerful Christian organizations in the nation.

The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest association of Protestant churches in the United States and is usually associated with conservative political views.

The Tennessee efforts began after last year’s shooting at the Covenant School, a private Christian school near Nashville where a deranged transgender shooter murdered three students and three staff members. 

Some parents launched a nonprofit and lobbying group created to “drive meaningful legislative change to ensure the safety of our children and staff in schools.” 

Members of the anti-gun coalition soon pushed a red flag law, under which judges can confiscate firearms should they determine the gun owners are a threat to themselves or others.

The bill was also supported by anti-gun Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee. 

Attacking the Constitution in the name of Christianity

And some so-called Christian publications such as the left-wing Christianity Today, have called the parents heroes who “hoped the elected representatives would do something to make their kids safer.”

Even more concerning to gun rights advocates and Southern Baptists is that one of the most powerful allies for the anti-gun activists has been Brent Leatherwood, a former executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party who now serves as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. 

Leatherwood wrote a letter supporting the red flag law while the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission published an official brief about the bill. 

They of course completely ignored that the bill would deprive citizens of their gun rights without due process.

Leatherwood received harsh backlash from Southern Baptists last fall when he invited reporters to a speech in which he condemned the leak of three pages from the shooter manifesto.

Leatherwood claimed the individual who leaked the pages was a “viper” who needed to “repent.” 

This is nothing new for Leatherwood and the ERLC though.

Two years ago, Leatherwood penned a letter recommending that state and federal lawmakers refrain from passing pro-life legislation.

Sarah Shoop Neumann, a founder of the lobbying group launched by Covenant School parents, spoke favorably about the new red flag efforts in a statement.  

“This session we will continue to work on legislation supporting our primary goals for expanded background checks before firearms are sold, requiring safe storage, particularly in unattended automobiles, and temporary transfer of firearms when a person poses a known threat to themselves or others, as well as bills to ensure school safety,” she said.

Southern Baptists are becoming increasingly frustrated with the Leftist direction of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. 

Scott Packett, a pastor at North Athens Baptist Church in Tennessee, said recently in comments to The Sentinel that the ERLC does not reflect the interests of Southern Baptist churches. 

“Leatherwood seems to be out of touch with the majority of Southern Baptists on several issues. Although we mourn over the wickedness that took place at Covenant School in Nashville, he seems to have adopted a more liberal approach to gun control than those people he represents,” Packett remarked. 

“What took place was due to the sin in the heart of the shooter, and the church must speak into those matters,” Packett continued. “The issues of sexuality and gender confusion are the issues the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission need to be addressing, not lobbying for laws that take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

You may also like...