AP Photo/Susan Ragan, File
An elaborate hoax Tuesday claimed that the Southern Baptist Convention was on the verge of formally supporting "gay marriage" and repenting of its stance on homosexuality, and the hoax backed up the false claim with a press release, phone number and website.
The stunt was pulled off by a group calling itself the Center for Responsible Christian Living, but the group didn't identity itself until later in the day and only after one major Catholic blog had posted the release as legitimate.
The blog soon pulled it. No major media outlet reported the news as real. Several media members, in fact, called the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee to make sure officials knew of the hoax.
The Center for Responsible Living—which does not have a website—said the hoax was to "highlight the Southern Baptists' anti-gay stance as both irresponsible and unchristian." The Center for Responsible Living's press release did not list a phone number or a spokesperson. All the quotes were of "anonymous" spokespersons.
Roger S. ("Sing") Oldham, vice president for convention communications and relations for the SBC Executive Committee, said the SBC's approach to homosexuality is not only biblical but loving.
"Southern Baptists do not think it irresponsible or un-Christian to uphold clear biblical teachings on human sexuality and marriage," Oldham said. "God’s expectation of sexual purity is woven throughout every part of Scripture, across generational and cultural lines. The Bible is equally clear that all who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, those who repent of their sins and trust in Christ alone, will be forgiven and delivered from the bondage of sin. To deny such a fundamental biblical teaching as God’s redemptive purpose is the height of irresponsibility and would clearly be un-Christian."
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