A coalition of more than 150 evangelical leaders released a startlingly anti-LGTBQ manifesto titled the “Nashville Statement” on Tuesday morning. The manifesto adamantly preaches against same-sex marriage, being transgender and gender fluidity, as well as other hot topics regarding the LGBTQ community.
According to the HuffPost, the members of a meeting arranged by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s annual conference in Nashville on Friday created the highly controversial and discriminatory manifesto.
The manifesto is a list of 14 articles and each article includes an affirmation and a denial— so basically two different ways of stating these hurtful viewpoints. The entire statement is available on Tennessean.
(Although, notably, the mayor of Nashville Megan Barry had an amazing clap back on Twitter to the writers of the statement named after her city.)
— Megan Barry (@MayorMeganBarry) August 29, 2017
“The spirit of our age does not delight in God’s good design of male and female," The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood President Denny Burk told HuffPost. "Consequently, confusion reigns over some of the most basic questions of our humanity. 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.” Um, shine a light into the darkness? I don’t think so-this manifesto is the opposite of woke.
Many LGBTQ pastors and religious organizations are also pushing back against the damaging statement as well.
“This is indeed yet another sad day in the history of the modern evangelical movement," Brandon Robertson, a Christian pastor and LGBTQ activist, told HuffPost. "The most heartbreaking part of this statement is that this document will promote and perpetuate teachings that will cause verifiable psychological harm to LGBT+ Christian youth in churches around the world.”
And the concern for LGBT youth is incredibly real. As LGBT and mental health advocacy group the Trevor Project notes on their website, LGBTQ youth are significantly more likely to end up homeless or to attempt suicide upon experiencing family rejection, discrimination, and criminalization for their sexual or gender identities.
— Wende M. Garrison (@wendegarrison) August 30, 2017
"LGBTQ youth represent as much as 40 percent of the homeless youth population," according to the Trevor Project. "Of those 40 percent, studies indicate that as many as 60 percent are likely to attempt suicide. Positive family relationships are some of the most important factors in reducing the risk of youth suicide."
However, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, “Americans are becoming more accepting in their views of LGBT people and homosexuality in general, and the number of people identifying as LGBT has grown in recent years.”
Bless up America and keep heading in this direction of acceptance. We don’t have time for you, Nashville Statement.