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NATIONAL
June 12, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- Members of the Southern Baptist Convention at their annual meeting Wednesday voted to support families who leave the Boy Scouts due to the group's plans to accept gay Scouts , urged the removal of Boy Scout leaders who championed accepting gays and encouraged former Boy Scouts to join a Southern Baptist youth group instead. “Homosexuality is directly opposed to everything that Scouting stands for. I am disappointed in Scouting,” said the Rev. Wes Taylor in speaking for the resolution endorsed by the convention.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
When it comes to populist (read: reductive) regional theater, Del Shores has cornered the gay white Texan niche. He attempted to crack the film industry with his 2000 adaptation of the play "Sordid Lives" but lacked the kind of cult following that helped to translate Tyler Perry's theatrical success to the big screen. With "Southern Baptist Sissies," Shores has bypassed an adaptation altogether and released a concert film assembled from stage performances. The film's vignettes of gay white naïfs from the Deep South with identity crises recall the back story of many a contestant on "RuPaul's Drag Race.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 1999
"Baptists Urge Prayer for Jews' Conversion" (Sept. 5), saying that Southern Baptists in Fort Worth, Texas, are asking their members to pray that Jews will convert to Christianity during the Jewish High Holidays, illustrates again how isolated and limited their leadership remains. As Jews we will pray that Southern Baptists in Fort Worth will learn humility, tolerance and acceptance of "all God's children." It would not hurt if they would recall God's commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself."
NATIONAL
June 12, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- Members of the Southern Baptist Convention at their annual meeting Wednesday voted to support families who leave the Boy Scouts due to the group's plans to accept gay Scouts , urged the removal of Boy Scout leaders who championed accepting gays and encouraged former Boy Scouts to join a Southern Baptist youth group instead. “Homosexuality is directly opposed to everything that Scouting stands for. I am disappointed in Scouting,” said the Rev. Wes Taylor in speaking for the resolution endorsed by the convention.
NATIONAL
June 20, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, has approved an alternative name that will allow churches to distance themselves from the organization's past ties to slavery and racism. Great Commission Baptists, the alternative name, was endorsed by 53% of the 4,800 ballots cast at the convention's annual meeting in New Orleans, officials said. The change marks another step in the predominantly white denomination's efforts to become more inclusive.
NATIONAL
June 12, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
HOUSTON - Some conservatives predicted an exodus of families and church sponsors from the Boy Scouts last month after Scouting leaders announced plans to lift a longstanding ban on gay Scouts. So far, an exodus from Scouting has yet to materialize, but that could change this week as leaders of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention consider a proposal to abandon the Boy Scouts in favor of a more Christian youth group, such as the convention's Royal Ambassadors. Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, which is based outside Dallas, said some groups stopped sponsoring troops after last month's announcement, “but most are continuing with the program.” He could not say how many have left.
NEWS
October 31, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
Texas' 2.7 million Baptists dealt a severe blow to the Southern Baptist Convention, withdrawing $5 million in funding on the grounds that the denomination is becoming too conservative. The vote in Corpus Christi is considered a watershed in the doctrinal conflict that has long roiled the nation's largest Protestant denomination. In recent years, Southern Baptists have barred female pastors, declared that wives should "submit graciously" to their husbands and condemned homosexuality.
BUSINESS
July 14, 1996
In an era of massive layoffs and declining benefits, it's depressing to see Walt Disney Co. receiving boycott threats for providing health insurance to partners of gay employees ("Baptists Urge Disney Boycott Over Values," June 13). If the Southern Baptists were truly interested in promoting family values, they would be taking on companies that slash jobs or offer few or no benefits to their employees. To try to bully a company into removing people's health insurance is spiteful, malicious and remarkably unchristian.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 1996 | BENJAMIN J. HUBBARD, Benjamin J. Hubbard is chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at Cal State Fullerton. His most recent book (co-editor) is "The Abraham Collection--A Jew, Christian and Muslim in Dialogue." He is working on "A Teacher's Guide to America's Religions."
There is a simple and tragic reason why the Southern Baptist Convention at its annual meeting June 12 passed resolutions calling for a boycott of the Walt Disney Co. for providing health benefits to the partners of its gay and lesbian employees, and their less-publicized call for members to intensify their efforts to convert Jews: their literal reading of the Bible--their bibliolotry.
NATIONAL
June 19, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- The Rev. Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, was elected Tuesday as the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination. Luter's candidacy at the convention's annual meeting in New Orleans on Tuesday was unchallenged.  Before the vote, the Rev. David Crosby of First Baptist Church in New Orleans, who became an ally of Luter after Hurricane Katrina , took the podium.
NATIONAL
June 12, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
HOUSTON - Some conservatives predicted an exodus of families and church sponsors from the Boy Scouts last month after Scouting leaders announced plans to lift a longstanding ban on gay Scouts. So far, an exodus from Scouting has yet to materialize, but that could change this week as leaders of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention consider a proposal to abandon the Boy Scouts in favor of a more Christian youth group, such as the convention's Royal Ambassadors. Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, which is based outside Dallas, said some groups stopped sponsoring troops after last month's announcement, “but most are continuing with the program.” He could not say how many have left.
NATIONAL
June 20, 2012 | By Richard Fausset
The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, has been working to live down a complicated past, one entangled in the history of American racism. In recent months, the group considered taking "Southern" out of its name, in part to distance itself from its former support of slavery and segregation (the group officially apologized in 1995 for these stances) and to ensure that its mission was to bring the souls of all people to Jesus, regardless of  race.
NATIONAL
June 20, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, has approved an alternative name that will allow churches to distance themselves from the organization's past ties to slavery and racism. Great Commission Baptists, the alternative name, was endorsed by 53% of the 4,800 ballots cast at the convention's annual meeting in New Orleans, officials said. The change marks another step in the predominantly white denomination's efforts to become more inclusive.
NATIONAL
June 19, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
The Southern Baptist Convention is expected to elect its first black president at its annual meeting on Tuesday: Fred Luter Jr., a New Orleans street preacher who revived his church in the wake of Hurricane Katrina . The meeting began Tuesday morning at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, but the presidential election is not expected to start until 2:50 p.m. Central time. As of Tuesday morning, Luter, 55, pastor of the roughly 5,000-member Franklin Avenue Baptist Church less than five miles away, was the only candidate.
NATIONAL
June 1, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- Richard Land, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, saw his weekly radio show canceled Friday after he used it to criticize President Obama and black pastors' response to the Trayvon Martin shooting. The Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee also issued Land two reprimands -- for the "racially charged" comments and for using material from the Washington Times without properly crediting the newspaper. Land had served as president of the ethics committee since 1988.
NATIONAL
June 1, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
  The Rev. Fred Luter Jr. well remembers the first time he ventured from his native New Orleans to preach in Crowley, a rice-growing town in the heart of Louisiana's Cajun country. The pastor there had invited Luter to speak, but worried how the congregation would react. "I told him, 'Just don't put my picture up,' " Luter recalled. "Just tell them I'm a leading Southern Baptist. " Now Luter is poised to become the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the country's largest Protestant denomination.
NATIONAL
April 19, 2012 | Richard Fausset
ATLANTA - Richard Land, the Southern Baptist leader who offended some blacks with his comments about the Trayvon Martin shooting case, is now facing plagiarism allegations that will be the focus of an investigation launched by the church ethics commission that he heads. Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, apologized for the remarks about the shooting in an April 16 letter to the convention's president, Bryant Wright.
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