A Houston attorney who last year failed in efforts to convince the Southern Baptist Convention to support a mass exodus from public schools is trying to resurface the issue by calling on churches to investigate whether their local schools promote homosexuality.
Bruce Shortt, a home-school dad and author of a 2004 book The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, last year co-wrote a resolution decrying secular education and calling on parents to educate their children at home or in Christian schools. The SBC Resolutions Committee declined to bring it out of committee, labeling it divisive.
This year, Shortt is proposing a new resolution on homosexuality in public schools. It claims gay “activists” are devoting substantial resources and political effort to promote homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle through homosexual clubs, sex education and other means such as “diversity training” and “anti-bullying” programs.
Citing a 1996 SBC resolution that urged Southern Baptists to boycott Disney because of gay-friendly practices, Shortt argues, “The promotion of homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle in the public schools constitutes a far greater risk to far more children than the ‘Gay Days’ and other pro-homosexual practices of the Disney Company.”
Shortt calls any school district that seeks to legitimize homosexuality “a clear and present danger” to the children of its community and says Christian parents “should not place their children under false teaching.”
The proposed resolution “encourages every Baptist church to investigate diligently whether the school district in which the church is located has either one or more homosexual clubs or curricula or programs in any of their schools that present homosexuality as an acceptable ‘lifestyle.'”
It further recommends than any church that finds itself to be in such a school district “inform the parents of this fact and encourage them to remove their children from the school district’s schools immediately.”
A headline on a press release says if passed the resolution “may lead to [an] exodus of Christian children” from public schools.
Last year Shortt co-sponsored his anti-public school resolution with T.C. Pinckney, a conservative lay leader and editor in Virginia. This year’s co-author is Voddie Baucham, a popular Southern Baptist speaker and author of The Ever-Loving Truth book and Bible study, published by LifeWay Christian Resources.
Baucham, a conference leader from Spring, Texas, was a featured speaker at last year’s SBC Pastors Conference prior to the annual meeting. He also has a prime spot on this year’s Pastors Conference program in Nashville, Tenn. He is next-to-last speaker on Sunday night, June 19, just ahead of Ergun Caner of Liberty University.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.