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Southern Baptists rebuke Clinton on abortion, gays

Southern Baptist Convention delegates rebuked President Clinton on Wednesday for supporting abortion and gay rights, passing a resolution saying their fellow Baptist does not believe as they do.

The resolution, passed overwhelmingly by 17,000 delegates to the convention, urges Clinton "to affirm biblical morality in exercising his public office." It also asks more than 15-million Southern Baptists to pray for Clinton. The delegates rejected an amendment calling on Clinton to repent.

"I don't think we need to put his name in this thing. It to me smacks of partisan politics," said Don Wilkey, of Onalaska, Texas. "This smacks of a personal attack."

But the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, of Springdale, Ark., said the resolution was not a personal attack.

"We respect his position as the president of the United States of America," Floyd said. "However, the intent of this resolution is to separate ourselves as a body from the president's policies on the critical moral issues which we believe are in contradiction to the word of God and what is best for America."

Clinton and Vice President Al Gore are members of the denomination's moderate wing. Neither was asked to speak at the convention, led by conservative Baptists.