Everytown for Gun Safety, an anti-Second Amendment group, is cooperating with numerous religious leaders to crank up voter turnout for candidates who support gun control laws.
Everytown is planning to spend $60 million on this year’s elections and is rolling out its outreach efforts with Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh groups to push for gun control after a number of shootings have taken place in certain places of worship.
Some of the prominent figures involved in this partnership are Evangelical Shane Claiborne, president of the group Red Letter Christians, and Reverend Traci Blackmon, an executive minister of United Church of Christ and a key figure in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Reverend Rob Schenck, who formerly was an evangelical anti-abortion activist, is not only in favor of abortion now, but he is also partnering with anti-Second Amendment groups and is framing the issue of civilian disarament in “pro-life” terms.
Schenck described gun violence as a “life or death issue, which makes it a supreme moral consideration.”
“Churches, especially white evangelical churches, have largely ignored this question — I think, much to their own detriment and to the detriment of the people they’re called to serve,” said Schenck, president of the nonprofit Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute.
In addition to clergy outreach, Schenck said that the Everytown interfaith project would attempt to educate religious voters about candidates’ stances on gun control.
“You never want to pray for something you’re unwilling to be the answer to,” he continued. “So if we pray for a reduction in gun violence, we have to be ready to act on that prayer.”
Everytown was co-founded by former New York Mayor and anti-gun oligarch Michael Bloomberg. It boasts 6 million supporters and has already endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, the favorite for the Democrat nomination.
“The faith community has seen firsthand the devastating effects of gun violence in places of worship and feels more than ever that they have an urgent moral responsibility to stop the scourge of gun violence in America — and they’re doing so by mobilizing their networks around candidates who support broadly popular gun safety measures in 2020,“ Angela Ferrell-Zabala, chief equity, outreach and partnerships officer at Everytown, declared in a statement.
When asked about the viability of the gun control movement’s efforts in trying to make inroads into the religious community, Michael Hammond, legislative counsel at the Gun Owners of America, believes that gun control advocates will have a tough time with religious voters. He alluded to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 comment that some disgruntled working-class voters “cling to guns or religion” to show that there are still significant voters blocs that are still religious and pro-gun.
Hammond believes that there is “a social milieu, a series of values that surround the sorts of people who value the Second Amendment. Those values normally include a deep faith, a love of country — generally a conservative social issue outlook.”
When asked about the receptiveness of gun control with religious voters after attacks on places of worship, Hammond mentioned the instance of an armed church attendee acting decisively to end a shooting at a Texas church service. Congregations that “voluntarily disarm themselves have ended up suffering a catastrophe,” Hammond declared.
Partner organizations in Everytown’s campaign are focusing their efforts in battleground states such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Southern Baptist Convention Reverses Course on Name Change After BLP Reporting
They say they’re not changing their name.
The Southern Baptist Convention has sought to dispel reporting from Big League Politics on the organization’s planned name change, arguing that the institution isn’t formally changing its name.
To correct multiple inaccurate reports, “We Are Great Commission Baptists” is the 2021 Annual Meeting THEME.
The GCB descriptor was approved in 2012 for churches to use if it would be helpful in their local context.
The Southern Baptist Convention remains our official name.
— SBC Executive Committee (@SBCExecComm) September 17, 2020
But a close look at the American Christian church’s plans relating to its name reveal that it’s played with the idea far more seriously than they’re making it seem.
Reports of a name change first emerged in a Washington Post article published on Tuesday. SBC President JD Greear told the Post that “hundreds of churches” affiliated with the denomination had “committed” to using the phrase “Great Commission Baptist” as an alternative to the denomination’s longtime moniker. The change would come as Greear touts his support of the Black Lives Matter, although he’s been careful in pointing out he doesn’t support any formal organization related to the movement. Greear also is renaming the church he personally pastors with the term.
The SBC’s 2021 convention will also organize under the motto of “We Are Great Commission Baptists.” Sounds a lot like a name change, even if the SBC’s leadership is steadfastly maintaining it isn’t.
The name ‘Great Commission Baptist’ is theologically sound in the Christian religion, but it’s somewhat questionable that the organization’s leader appears to be emphasizing it at a moment in which political correctness is making its entryism into many Christian churches and organizations.
It seems as if the organization’s figurehead is keen to present himself as a liberal-style suburban Evangelical to the Washington Post, but he changed his tune quite quickly when the rank and file membership of Southern Baptist churches learned that he was promoting the idea of a name change.
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