Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.
This week, Brent Leatherwood was confirmed as President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The Department of Education deleted thousands of comments regarding a law that would add gender identity language to Title IX—which prohibits federally sanctioned sex discrimination—because of a “clerical error.” Meanwhile, candidates running as Republicans in the midterm elections are softening their language on abortion.
ERLC Chooses New President
“It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
Brent Leatherwood was unanimously elected by the trustees of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission to serve as the group’s President.
Leatherwood, who formerly served as the ERLC’s Chief of Staff, succeeds current Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Russell Moore. The ERLC, however, has garnered criticism over the past two years as government lockdowns and left-wing ideology swept through the United States.
Moore was among several prominent pastors who aided members of the Biden administration with advancing COVID-19 mandates in evangelical circles. During one interview with former National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, Moore allowed the official to promote vaccines and mask-wearing. “This is not a political statement,” Collins said about masks with Moore nodding in affirmation, according to a report from The Daily Wire. “This is not an invasion of your personal freedom… This is a life-saving medical device.”
Earlier this year, the ERLC backed a letter from leading pro-life organizations that opposed bills charging mothers with crimes for procuring abortions—a move that occurred as legislation to abolish abortion advanced to the floor of the Louisiana House of Representatives. “Women are victims of abortion and require our compassion and support as well as ready access to counseling and social services,” the letter said.
Leatherwood was pressed by messengers at the most recent SBC annual meeting regarding his stance on abortion—as well as the ERLC’s chosen motto on the sanctity of life, “Making Abortion Unnecessary.”
Biden Administration Deletes Comments on Transgender Law Due To ‘Clerical Error’
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).
The Department of Education claimed that thousands of public comments on the agency’s amendment to Title IX were deleted due to a “clerical error.”
The Biden administration wants to change Title IX—a federal law that bans sex-based discrimination in any school that receives taxpayer funding—to include “sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.” Though the policy at one point had nearly 350,000 comments, over 160,000 comments later vanished—a phenomenon that Department of Education officials attributed to a “clerical error,” which “boosted” the true number of remarks, according to a report from Politico education reporter Bianca Quilantan.
“Our proposed changes will allow us to … ensure all our nation’s students—no matter where they live, who they are, or whom they love—can learn, grow, and thrive in school,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.
Republican Candidates Soften Language on Abortion
“Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9).
Republican candidates in tight midterm races are backpedaling their abortion stances.
Many pundits have speculated that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade—which is among the most important conservative victories in a generation—may create a pendulum effect that will drive progressives to the polls. As a result, Republicans are attempting to shift the conversation to the economy while amending their stances on the sanctity of life.
“Look, I support a ban on very late-term and partial-birth abortion,” Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters said, adding that such a stance would “put us on par with other civilized nations.” His campaign then scrubbed the phrase “I am 100% pro-life” from its website, according to a report from NBC News.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz remarked during a news conference that there “should not be criminal penalties for doctors or women regarding abortion.” The celebrity cardiologist added that he is “strongly pro-life,” but supports exceptions in the cases of rape and incest.