SBC Committee to Weigh Resolution on Homosexuality in Public Schools

In a June 20, 2005 article on the Resolution on Homosexuality in Public Schools, the Christian Post incorrectly reported that the resolution would be presented at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The resolution was presented to the SBC Resolution Committee in hopes to make its way to the convention.

When the members of Southern Baptist churches submit proposals to the Resolutions Committee for evaluation, the Committee decides whether to present it to the Convention for consideration.

A ‘Resolution on Homosexuality in Public Schools,' presented to the Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee, hopes to make its way to the convention taking place in Nashville, Tennessee, this week, June 20-21, 2005.

Despite many Southern Baptists who are in support of the resolution, the SBC president doesn’t expect it to be debated on the floor, according to the Associated Press (AP).

"I believe that public schools offer the greatest mission field," Welch said. "We are put on this planet as change agents. It seems contrary to me we would draw back from the opportunity to make a change. Public schools are a great place to make a difference."

Welch, a pastor in Daytona Beach, Fla., added that many Southern Baptists cannot afford to homeschool their children or send them to private Christian schools.

On the other hand, many pro-family leaders and home-schooling parents are backing the resolution that addresses the SBC churches to check into pro-homosexual materials in public school system.

Last week, nearly 50 pro-family groups sent a letter to Dr. Gene Mims, chairman of the SBC Resolutions Committee, urging him to move the proposed resolution out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.

Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), is one of the pro-family group leader signatories from the three states with the largest SBC congregations – Pennsylvania, Texas, and North Carolina.

"We as Christians need to know what's going on in our public school system," she said. “This coalition of concerned pro-family leaders was brought together in less than a week. The response has been amazing and the AFA of PA is very pleased to be a part of this effort.”

In addition to Mims, Welch and all members of the Resolutions Committee received a copy of the letter.

Another signatory, the Southern Baptist Church and Home Education Association (SBCHEA) founder Elizabeth Watkins, told Agape Press “many home-schooling families realize what public school children are missing spiritually and want to rescue them from that environment.”

SBC leaders, she says, are employing a troubling double-standard by not speaking out on the issue of whether young Christians should be attending public schools.

"What's been surprising to me is that even though publicly the Southern Baptist leadership is not voicing their support,…,now [the vast majority of] their grandchildren are being home-schooled -- and they want their grandchildren home-schooled,"

For Watkins, SBC leaders are hesitant to speak publicly in favor of home schooling over public schools mainly because of financial reasons.

Robert Parham, executive director of the nonprofit Baptist Center for Ethics, told AP many SBC leaders "fear a backlash from public school teachers and an awakening within churches about the extremism of their world view."

"These SBC leaders who are resisting the resolutions engage in the worst sort of moral duplicity," Parham said. "They oppose the anti-public school resolutions while they send their own children to Christian academies or homeschools."

The resolution, co-submitted by Houston lawyer Bruce Shortt and renowned Christian speaker and writer Voddie Baucham Jr., addresses the issue on pro-homosexual materials in public school curricula and encourages parents to consider alternatives to public education.