Moore: religious liberty threats “inconsistent and incoherent saber rattling”

Published Apr 15, 2020

NASHVILLE (BP) — In an interview with Baptist Press, Ethics & Religious Liberty president Russell Moore addressed religious liberty concerns stemming from Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s order to report church attendees to local health departments on Easter weekend, calling the mayor’s threats “inconsistent and incoherent saber rattling.”

Fischer announced April 10 that Louisville police would record the license plate numbers of cars in church parking lots but said he had not ordered law enforcement to take action against congregations hosting “drive-in” services, according to The Louisville Courier-Journal. In response, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against the mayor allowing services to be held.

In addition to the Louisville case, Moore addressed a similar one in Greenville, Miss., where Mayor Errick Simmons and the City Council issued an executive order April 7 to prohibit “in person and drive in church services.” Temple Baptist Church and King James Bible Baptist Church — both independent Baptist congregations — filed lawsuits to challenge the order. Moore called the Mississippi case “the worst in practice that I’ve seen so far.”

During the 30-minute interview hosted by Jonathan Howe, vice president for communications at the SBC Executive Committee, Moore also addressed questions pertaining to the ERLC’s involvement in an open letter to Chad F. Wolf, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, calling on the agency “to utilize alternatives to detention for individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety.”

The full interview is available at facebook.com/baptistpress or watch below.