An early supporter of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disney boycott said it is unlikely it would pass today, because of a two-year-old rule that allows the SBC Resolutions Committee to “filibuster” to keep controversial or unpopular resolutions from coming to a vote on the convention floor.
Also, the first high-profile SBC conservative leader to voice support for a resolution decrying homosexual influences in public schools said it now appears the measure may not come up for a vote when the convention meets June 21-22 in Nashville, urging readers of his e-newsletter to lobby a key committee.
Wiley Drake, the outspoken pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., said in an e-mail message the “filibuster is doing all it can to stop” a resolution calling for churches to investigate whether their local schools are collaborating with homosexual “activists” to promote the view among children that homosexual behavior is acceptable.
Drake said that even during the control of the SBC by what he termed “the liberal faction,” the Resolutions Committee chose to leave in committee resolutions they felt were divisive or not in the best interest of the average messenger.
But before 2003, messengers could introduce resolutions at a designated business session. SBC bylaw 20 now says that resolutions must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the annual meeting.
The SBC Resolutions Committee blocked a vote last year on a broader Christian education resolution, which called on parents to remove their children from secular “government” schools, which it termed anti-Christian and “officially Godless.”
Last year’s committee chairman said the decision of whether to educate children in Christian or public schools belongs to parents, and not the convention.
Drake said in 1996 some Southern Baptist leaders also said a boycott of Disney was too divisive and should not come to the floor. But a resolution was introduced, brought to a vote “and history was made.”
The following year, Drake said, the 1997 Resolutions Committee “in an effort to cover their tracks, brought forth their version, and many of them even said the former was not really a boycott.”
“Keep it in committee as long as you can, and when it is brought out, claim you were for it all the time,” Drake said. “Republicans and Democrats alike could learn from Southern Baptists on how to FILIBUSTER.”
Unlike the filibuster debate in the Senate, Drake said, Southern Baptist messengers have no “nuclear option” to force debate. It would take two years the change Bylaw 20.
Drake said the bylaw is a bad idea, because if a messenger feels strongly about something that occurs, he or she is forced by “filibuster, Southern Baptist style” to wait until next year, which may be too late.
An example was when President Bill Clinton declared a Gay Pride Day in America, which was announced on the opening day of the SBC. The convention responded with a strongly worded resolution of protest.
Drake also said he opposes limiting a messenger to three resolutions. “What if the three submitted get left on the table, in committee? No action,” he said. “Did the Holy Spirit lead that messenger or not? Does the committee have the right to stop what God’s Holy Spirit has done?”
Drake said while the “conservative resurgence” now controls the convention, some “golden parachute liberals” are still around and use their friendships to influence the convention in “covert” ways.”
“I for one Southern Baptist, since 1965, will not quit, give up, or back down, nor will I be lulled into believing that the liberals all left,” Drake said. “Our homeland security, Southern Baptist style, praying through and messenger led, will continue to expose these wolves in sheep’s clothing. The cost of being called a rebel, trouble maker and even damage to our ministry will not prevent our war on Southern Baptist-style terrorism.
“Let us pray that the Filibuster will fail, and pray that we will get to vote for the protection of our children.”
Last Wednesday Rick Scarborough of Vision America wrote in his “Scarborough Report” a brief description of the resolution proposed by Voddie Baucham and Bruce Shortt on homosexual activism in schools. Scarborough said he commended “the spirit of the resolution” and encouraged readers to give it “whatever support they deem appropriate.”
On Saturday, Scarborough followed up with an “action item,” saying it now appears “Resolution On Homosexuality In Public Schools” may not even make it to the floor for debate or a vote.
“That would be unfortunate indeed,” Scarborough said. “Whatever messengers decide to do, given the gay indoctrination all too prevalent in our public schools, this is a matter that deserves serious discussion.”
Scarborough asked readers to contact members of the SBC Resolutions Committee “and urge them to bring the resolution to the floor. Addresses for committee members are posted on the Exodus Mandate Web site.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.