Statement cites America’s ‘long history of unequal justice’
As protests continued across the country, Southern Baptist leaders released a statement grieving the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis May 25 after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired, along with three others. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“While all must grieve, we understand that in the hearts of our fellow citizens of color, incidents like these connect to a long history of unequal justice in our country, going back to the grievous Jim Crow and slavery eras,” reads a statement signed by all SBC officers, entity heads, and state convention executive directors. The statement, coauthored by SBC President J.D. Greear and Jamie Dew, president of New Orleans Seminary, calls Baptists to pray for leaders as they work toward justice.
“…we pray for our local, state, and national leaders as they seek justice, and call on them to act quickly and diligently to ensure that these situations are brought to an end. As a people, Southern Baptists stand ready to help towards that end.”
>Related: Baptist Press reports on a Minneapolis pastor who has led his congregation in peaceful protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
>Related: George Floyd was a person of peace for ministries in Houston’s Third Ward, Christianity Today.
Supreme Court sides with California’s limits on church gatherings
In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a church’s challenge to California’s current restrictions on gatherings, which say churches can reopen with no more than 100 worshipers at a time. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the current restrictions “appear consistent” with the First Amendment. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said he wished the Court had brought more “constitutional clarity” to the issues at hand.
Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic allowed to stay open
A Missouri judge ruled May 29 that the state’s last remaining abortion clinic can stay open, after a lengthy effort by state officials to shut it down. Gov. Mike Parsons’s office is reviewing the decision, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported; the state has 30 days to appeal the ruling.
Sources: Baptist Press, Christianity Today, ERLC, St. Louis Post-Dispatch