A Different Kind of Nashville Statement: New SBC Lawyers Full of Gay Pride

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One of the most significant – and easy to predict – consequences of Grant Gaines’ destructive push forcing the SBC’s Executive Committee to waive one of its most fundamental legal rights was the resignation of the SBC’s legal counsel, a resignation which ended a 55 year (!!) relationship.

And now we have new legal representation – Bradley Legal. According to Pastor Adam Wyatt (who serves on the SBC’s Executive Committee) they’re wonderful. But he said more than he knew when he tweeted this:

Bradley Legal is, I’m confident, quite different from “all of the others ones that we have dealt with previously.”

Let’s see how.

We’ll start by taking a look at the Diversity page on Bradley Legal’s website:

Hmm.

Huh. What’s that? There at the bottom…

Well. That’s a different kind of Nashville Statement altogether now, isn’t it? I suppose that may be what Wyatt meant in his gushing praise about “differences” from previous legal counsel.

Like Pastor Adam, The Human Rights Campaign just loves Bradley Legal.

If The Human Rights Campaign isn’t something you are familiar with then now is a good time to check it out. Start with the criteria they use to conclude Bradley Legal is just peachy.

Now, friend, you may be reading this and wondering if this is all corporate box-checking and if it really makes any difference in the institutional life of Bradley Legal.

I guess we really can’t know, can we? But Adam Wyatt and the Executive Committee? Well, they think Bradley Legal is just the best, regardless.

Now, friend, you may reading this and wondering if Southern Baptist donor churches can trust Bradley Legal to defend the SBC vigorously when the SBC is hit with a lawsuit centered on an accusation of discriminating against LGBTQ+ people. Let me warn you up front: you stop that – don’t want to end up in a synagogue of Satan, do you?

And you might be wondering about that ol’ 1 Corinthians 6:9 passage that at least one pretty significant Bible translation renders “abusers of themselves with mankind” to translate a Greek word for homosexuality? How is the SBC going to navigate abuse accusations when funding abuse of another sort?

Don’t forget – J.D. Greear already told you God whispers about homosexuality. Maybe God also whispers about Cooperative Program dollars helping pay for Nasvhille’s Gay Pride celebration through our payments to Bradley Legal.

Don’t forget, too, that our much-ballyhooed Sexual Abuse Task Force already retained a very pro-LGBTQ+ legal firm, one which won an award from the Human Rights Campaign for it’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.

In addition to J.D. helping Southern Baptists understand how God whispers about this stuff and the SATF hiring a legal firm that doesn’t whisper about it, and the Ex. Comm thinking that is just the best idea in the world so why not do it again we’ve already seen a different SBC President affirm the “faithful” preaching of an openly gay man. And sure, this year’s Annual Meeting is going to feature a preacher who doesn’t know if homosexuality is a sin or not (it appears the Lord whispered too quietly to be heard either way, dagnabbit it all).

But listen. None of that indicates there is a concerted effort among our “leaders” to create a gay-affirming SBC. None of this is driving at the triumphant return of Russ Moore to lead a new, diverse, understanding SBC once all the gross fundies are run off. Don’t give into that conspiracy theory stuff; you gotta remember that’ll lead you to a synagogue of Satan.

Whatever you do, absolutely do not take this to your pastors and church members and demand an answer from them as to whether or not the widows tithing to your church really ought to be funding Nashville’s Gay Pride celebration. That wouldn’t be winsome at all. Don’t forget: The World is Watching™.


Want to read more? The Missouri Baptist Convention’s Pathway paper did a nice deep-dive on the details:

Up to $2 million of Cooperative Program funds will be paid by the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Executive Committee (EC) to cover legal fees of its newly-retained law firm that supports the Nashville Pride festival, the LGBTQ Bar, and is praised by the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ organizations.

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