Over the last year, we’ve watched the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), led by men like Brent Leatherwood of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission(ERLC) and SBC president, Bart Barber, devolved into a functional political activist group lobbying the government for legislation that will absolve mothers of any wrongdoing in the heinous act of abortion, even in states where abortions have been essentially made illegal.
Leatherwood, who is essentially a clone of his predecessor, Russell Moore, believes that women who seek abortions should never, under any circumstances, be held accountable for having an abortion. The reasoning is essentially that the mother is also a victim and that the mothers only act because of pressure from other people, like abortionists and … men. Of course, men. In fact, Brent Leatherwood recently signed a joint letter calling on politicians not to criminalize women having abortions.
“Women are victims of abortion,” the letter reads, “and require our compassion and support as well as ready access to counseling and social services in the days, weeks, months, and years following an abortion.”
Here’s a clip of Leatherwood arguing against criminalizing abortion for mothers at the 2022 SBC annual meeting.
Of course, Leatherwood’s position is in essence that abortions remain legal for mothers to commit—and if a mother decides to commit one on her own with a coathanger, there would be no criminal liability for her.
Bart Barber, SBC president makes a similarly absurd argument arguing that at an abortion clinic, the mothers are “never the ones doing the killing” and supported striking down a Louisiana law that would ban abortions and hold mothers accountable for having one.
But this is all old news, and just to recap, the reasoning goes something like this: doctors, employers, and other people are the ones responsible for committing abortions and mothers should never be held accountable for taking their children to the slaughterhouse to be killed. And even in states where abortion is illegal, it should remain legal for mothers because they are always the victim. There is no other logical conclusion to their position.
Now, take this same line of reasoning and apply it to “transgender” surgeries and therapies for children. These surgical procedures and hormone therapies are nothing less than child genital and bodily mutilation that are in most cases completely irreversible. Just as abortion should be called for what it is, murder, these “trans-affirming” procedures on children should be called what they are: child abuse.
And parents who seek them for their children should be held accountable.
But making a similar argument as these Southern Baptist leaders previously mentioned make for mothers who seek abortions, David French offers a strikingly similar line of illogical reasoning not holding parents accountable who seek these procedures for their children. In a recent Twitter thread, French argues that expanding the definitions of terms like “abuse” in the context of “trans-affirming” surgeries infringes upon individual liberties and leads to the fracturing of families.
He then argues that state legislatures should “regulate” these treatments for minors instead of expanding the definition of “abuse” to include parents seeking these treatments under the advice of doctors and caregivers. Then, in the same way that Brent Leatherwood argues that mothers shouldn’t be accountable for abortions, French concludes that parents shouldn’t be accountable for taking their child to be genitally mutilated:
David French’s influence was significant in the Southern Baptist Convention through his relationship with former ERLC head, Russell Moore. It was through this relationship that the current SBC stance on mother’s not being accountable for killing their child came, and it will be through the same influence that the Southern Baptist Convention will also likely adopt the same illogical and unbiblical position that parents shouldn’t be accountable for mutilating their children—because they aren’t the ones performing the procedures and they were pressured to do so by doctors and other outside influences.
And while this battle is only beginning to raise its head in the SBC, if history tells us anything about the feckless leadership it has, you can rest assured that this battle will rage on for the next several years. This is not a prophecy, but a prediction based on current trends. And if you’re familiar with the mantras of the ERLC, it will probably sound something like “making trans-affirming surgeries unnecessary.”