Alliance of Baptists call for repeal of DADT
The Alliance of Baptists, “a growing denominational movement of progressive Christians” organized in 1987 as the Southern Baptist Convention continued to veer to the right, has endorsed the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT)
The letter to the Comprehensive Review Working Group, written by Minister for Leadership Formation Chris Copeland, says in part:
The Alliance of Baptists supports the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT). We believe it will benefit our current and future chaplains who desire to minister without prejudice to all military personnel. A repeal of DADT will encourage honesty among service members who choose to serve voluntarily but who do not want to lie about their sexual orientation.
Though never an easy process, the repeal will encourage civility, public discourse and the practice of being with human differences for the greater good. This kind of courage has always marked the American military culture, in peacetime and in war. To repeal DADT doctrinally mirrors the very actions identified for achieving the National Defense Strategy objectives, specifically to strengthen and expand our alliances and partnerships and to integrate and unify our efforts through a new “jointness.”
According to their online history page, “The Alliance of Baptists has continued [.pdf]” the practice exemplified by “progressive Baptist advocates of racial integration in the 1940s.” The associated issues are explored in detail via a paper by Aaron Douglas Weaver, which may be downloaded there [.pdf].
More briefly, members of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., played a pivotal role in the inception of the Alliance, as the Pullen Web site explains:
In 1987, when the changes in the character of the Southern Baptist Convention were underway, several Pullen members joined with others to create an alternative organization known today as the Alliance of Baptists. The Alliance is a small association of progressive Baptist churches and individuals committed to historic Baptist principles of freedom of individual conscience, the freedom of every congregation, and religious freedom for all. As a member of the National Council of Churches and in partnerships with other progressive Baptists in Cuba, Zimbabwe, Canada, and the U.S., the Alliance offers Pullen an opportunity to share ministry and missions with like-minded people of faith who value ecumenical and interfaith relationships and share a commitment to being part of God’s work of bringing justice and peace to our world.
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