LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Albert Mohler said the issue between the state and Sunrise Children’s Service boils down to the Moral Revolution.
Mohler, the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, weighed in on the issue Friday on his The Briefing segment. He discussed the news stories from Kentucky Today and the Courier Journal that laid out the issues between Sunrise and the state of Kentucky's Beshear administration.
Sunrise, which is allied with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, cannot sign a contract with the state because of a sentence the state refuses to delete even though previous Kentucky governors and administrations had agreed to an accommodation for decades.
“Sunrise cannot renew their contract with the state because of their deeply held religious beliefs,” said Todd Gray, KBC executive director-treasurer, in Kentucky Today. “In years past, an addendum or accommodation has been given, but that’s not the case in 2021.
“One news outlet (the Courier Journal) is saying Sunrise is pulling out on the state implying that Sunrise is abandoning the state. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Gray said. “Sunrise would sign a contract today that respects their deeply held religious convictions.”
Gray went on to say that there is still religious liberty in this country. Mohler said, while that is true, those constitutional rights are being threatened every day.
“In the Courier Journal story, we are told the state had refused to make any adjustment that was offered to Sunrise Children’s Service, saying that the provisions were required by federal law,” Mohler said. “Here’s what we know: federal law has not changed since the last contract with Sunrise Children’s Services. Something else has changed – the presidency has changed in the White House and the governorship has changed in the Governor’s Mansion of Kentucky.
“In this case, both Joe Biden and Andy Beshear are Democrats. That is not incidental. And, in both cases, they were elected with the open support of the LBGTQ movement, and, let’s make no mistake, that is the issue. It was not stated openly in either of these news stories, but we do understand, that is the issue. It is the only issue that makes sense in this context whatsoever.”
Mohler said it also spills over into the national context and has become a forced-choice directed at religious charities, including child care agencies, nationwide.
“They have been presented with a choice: either surrender your religious convictions and simply accept the state’s definitions of marriage, or the state will not partner with you to care for neglected and abused children in troubled homes.”
The ones most harmed here are the children who will not have placement, children who will not be cared for in an agency with the “sensitivity and the effectiveness and the care and the faithfulness of something like Sunrise Children’s Service,” he said.
Mohler said “momentum toward secularization in this country will not stop until every religious agency that has any connection with the public square is forced to recant those religious conventions and join the revolution and get in line. That is exactly what’s going on here.”
He said it will be interesting to watch out this plays out for Gov. Beshear in conservative Kentucky, where the majority of the people identify as Christian and understand clearly Sunrise’s deeply held religious convictions. However, don’t be surprised even with some of that pressure, if Beshear doesn't budge, he says.
“As a Democrat elected as the governor of Kentucky, you’re looking at the reality that the largest momentum from such an election is coming from more liberal portions of the state, particularly cities such as Louisville, and the LBGTQ movement at both the state and the national level has an outsized influence,” Mohler said. “That and that alone would explain the change that’s produced this news story.”
Sunrise is an institution of the KBC dating back to 1859. They have been partnering with the state since the late 1970s. According to Sunrise President Dale Suttles, since Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration, there has been a discussion on the annual contract with the governor’s administration.
Each year they have received an addendum to the annual contract which protects their deeply held religious convictions.