The Common Good
January-February 2001

Don't Mess with Texas

by Rose Marie Berger, Susannah Hunter | January-February 2001

Nothing talks like money.

Nothing talks like money. Leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Texas dealt a financial blow to the Southern Baptist Convention when they voted in October to cut off $5 million in funds to protest the rightward shift in the nation's largest Protestant denomination.

"This is meant to indicate our grave concern over the continuing move of Southern Baptist leaders toward a more fundamentalist position," said Rev. Charles Wade, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The Texas vote followed the exodus of hundreds of churches across the country after the national convention's resolution last summer to ban female pastors and its declaration two years earlier that wives should "submit graciously" to their husbands.

Prior to the vote former President Jimmy Carter mailed a letter to 75,000 Baptists saying he could "no longer be associated" with the Southern Baptist Convention because the denomination's leadership has become "increasingly rigid," imposing a doctrine that "violates the basic tenets of my Christian faith."

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