Baptist leaders are criticizing a new report that says there should be “peaceful coexistence” between religious groups and "non-discrimination principles."
The report is from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and is called “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.”
"Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights,” the report said.
"Overly-broad religious exemptions unduly burden nondiscrimination laws and policies.”
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, however, said the report is part of "a moral revolution that is taking place right before our eyes."
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said the report’s language was a “logical, moral and political disaster.”
"For this administration to argue that religious liberty is merely a euphemism for unlawful discrimination demonstrates how deeply entrenched our federal government is in a culture war mentality against religious dissidents," he told Baptist Press.
Commission chairman Martin Castro said in the report that there is a concern about religious persecution.
“Our country was founded by those fleeing religious persecution,” he wrote in the report. “We must, therefore, always be vigilant to ensure that religion not be used as a pretext to persecute those whose civil rights and civil liberties should be protected."
Publication date: September 21, 2016