(RNS) — The president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, closed the annual session of his denomination this week with critiques of cultural conflicts and Christian nationalism.
“I am pro-life — always have been — but I’m puzzled,” the Rev. Jerry Young said in the presidential address at his denomination’s virtual annual session on Tuesday (Sept. 28). “What is more private than what happens to a lady in her own body? If you can mandate her not to have an abortion, why can’t you mandate her to wear a mask? It seems incongruent to me, and it seems hypocritical on the face of it.”
Young’s 45-minute address pointed to recent political turmoil in America, including a controversial Texas abortion ban. The leader of the historically Black denomination preached about the need to “confront our faults” in the church and the country and noted the Jan. 6 insurrection where crowds stormed the Capitol as an example.