In a month when our community has been attacked by Neo-Nazis, the President has threatened to kick transgender persons out of the military and when a large part of Texas is literally drowning, a group of influential conservative, evangelical Christians of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released “The Nashville Statement”, a homophobic and transphobic statement on biblical sexuality. The statement, comprised of 14 articles outlining affirmations and denials, addresses issues related to human sexuality and is in their words a “Christian manifesto concerning issues of human sexuality.”
“The spirit of our age does not delight in God’s good design of male and female. Consequently, confusion reigns over some of the most basic questions of our humanity,” said Denny Burk, president of CBMW. “The aim of The Nashville Statement is to shine a light into the darkness – to declare the goodness of God’s design in our sexuality and in creating us as male and female.”
Burk added: “It is our prayer that this statement might provide help for churches and Christian organizations that are looking for biblical guidance on how to address homosexuality and transgenderism. We also aim to foster a coalition of like-minded evangelicals to stand together for the challenging days ahead. Finally, we wish to influence a rising generation of evangelicals who are under pressure to abandon scriptural teaching about marriage, gender, and sexuality.
Many leaders of the evangelical movement have signed this statement, such as James Dobson (Focus on the Family), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), and Albert Mohler (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), John Piper, R.C. Sproul, J.I. Packer and Steve Gaines, (Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of the Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis) and conservative political operatives/pundits such as Erick Erickson and David French of the National Review.
The articles in the ‘manifesto’ are written to reinforce already held conservative beliefs about homosexuality and transgender persons and could be potentially harmful to persons in the evangelical community trying to come to terms with their sexuality. The first two articles are as follows:
The remaining articles go on to condemn LGBTQ persons, including their straight allies. If you are interested in reading the entire statement, you may do so here. Please be warned, it is pretty offensive.
However, not everyone in Nashville is pleased by this statement. Mayor Megan Barry released the following Tweet