Free Speech of Christian Website Designer, Rebekah Naylor Retirement & Leaders Must Do This
The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a First Amendment victory Friday (June 30) to a Christian designer who objects to creating custom websites for same-sex weddings. The first time she retired, in 2002, Dr. Rebekah Naylor, a longtime missionary surgeon, came home to Texas after 35 years in India to care for her mother, who was ailing. And, Kentucky Baptist leader Todd Gray believers there are certain things every leader must do. In a piece on Baptist Press, he says leaders must solve problems.
The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a First Amendment victory Friday (June 30) to a Christian designer who objects to creating custom websites for same-sex weddings.
The high court ruled in a 6-3 opinion the state of Colorado would violate the free-speech rights of Lorie Smith by requiring her to design a website for a ceremony that conflicts with her conscience. The decision provided an important legal win for the rights of Christians and other faith adherents in a series of cases involving the intersection of religious freedom and same-sex marriage.
In the majority opinion, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch said the state “seeks to force an individual to speak in ways that align with its views but defy her conscience about a matter of major significance.”
The first time she retired, in 2002, Dr. Rebekah Naylor, a longtime missionary surgeon, came home to Texas after 35 years in India to care for her mother, who was ailing.
Along with doing that, she joined the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where she taught surgery for eight years. She later became a consultant for Southern Baptist global relief and development work, taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and helped her church start a health clinic in Fort Worth, Texas.
This fall, the 79-year-old Naylor will retire again, stepping down from her role at the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, where she’s helped promote medical missions around the world.
Naylor’s long service and can-do attitude helped inspire other medical professionals to put their training to work in missions, said Rick Dunbar, an emergency room doctor and former chair of the IMB’s board of trustees.
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Kentucky Baptist leader Todd Gray believers there are certain things every leader must do. In a piece on Baptist Press, he says leaders must solve problems. “Leaders do not have the luxury of abdicating and hope the issue will just go away. Unresolved issues in a church or organization are demoralizing to those who are part of them,” he writes.
Leaders must advance the mission. To be a leader means that we provide direction for those we are called to lead.
He says leaders must care for people. We must strive to create and cultivate a culture of care, fairness and justice in the place where we lead.
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