In a news story that has the potential to rival that of the Proctor and Gamble and the Madeline Murray O'Hare stories, news has been circulating recently saying that the SBC is supporting (and according to some folks is funding) the building of mosques. I first heard of this earlier this week and today received my first phone call asking about this.
So, this morning I reached out to Dr. Russell Moore's Executive Assistant, Sam Dahl. I have copied his reply below.
"Thank you for reaching out. The reports of funding Mosques actually [came] from a fake news outlet, which describes itself as "a news satire and parody site." The story is not true, the quotes in the article are not real, and its contents should not be taken seriously. I'm sorry for any confusion this may have caused.
The ERLC did join an amicus brief (along with the IMB) protesting an abuse of government power that has implications far beyond the particular case in New Jersey. Governing authorities have a responsibility, given by God, to protect the population from violence, and to punish the evildoers who perpetrate such violence (Rom. 13:1-7). That said, the governing powers, as with every earthly power, have a limited authority, and as the Baptist Faith & Message argues, "the state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind." We believe that a government powerful enough to coerce a religious body can do anything, and in the fullness of time, will do just that. We believe salvation comes through the open proclamation of the truth of the gospel and not through government coercion, and that religious freedom is a right bestowed by God, not a "benefit" dispensed by the government.
Dr. Moore also wrote about the issue of religious freedom for non-Christians on his blog yesterday: http://www.russellmoore.com/2016/06/08/religious-freedom-non-christians/
Thanks for coming to us for clarification!
Executive Assistant to the President Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention"