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Oil spill wake-up call for Southern Baptists

June 24, 2010 at 5:02 PM
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LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 24 (UPI) -- A Southern Baptist leader says the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been an "awakening" for a denomination that has opposed government regulation.

Delegates to last week's national conference approved a resolution asking for "undeterred resolve to end this crisis" from the government," The Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The resolution went on to ask for government action "to fortify our coastal defenses; to ensure full corporate accountability for damages, clean-up and restoration; to ensure that government and private industry are not again caught without planning for such possibilities, and to promote future energy policies based on prudence, conservation, accountability and safety."

Russell Moore, a dean at Southern Baptist School of Theology in Louisville and head of the rules committee at the conference, compared the effect of the oil spill on the Baptists to that of the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973.

"In many ways, this ecological catastrophe can provide the exact same awakening for evangelicals," he said.

Moore said his own views on regulation were changed by a post-spill visit to his hometown of Biloxi, Miss. He described an entire community "numb" because of the effect of the spill on the fishing industry.

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