Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler and other Christians are speaking out against a new government policy in Illinois that requires foster care workers and families to endorse LGBT ideology.
Workers with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services could be fired if they don’t comply, according to the policy approved last month and found in Appendix K of the department’s procedures manual.
The policy states that anyone involved with children served by the department “will complete mandatory training in LGBTQ competency.”
Staff and foster parents should “understand that when children and youth (including DCFS children and youth) explore/express a sexual orientation other than heterosexual and/or a gender identity that is different from the child/youth’s sex assigned at birth, those children and youth are to be supported and respected without any effort to direct or guide them to any specific outcome for their exploration,” the policy says.
Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, said the policy excludes participation of orthodox Christians in Illinois’ foster care system, reports Baptist Press. Mohler made his comments on The Briefing, his daily podcast offering opinions on current events.
“This development in Illinois also serves as a very brutal reminder of the fact that there is no way to escape the impact of this tremendous moral divide in the United States,” Mohler said. “We’re looking at a divide over the very definition of what it means to be human, what it means to be male and female, and what it means to care for rather than to harm children.”
Mohler noted the irony that Christians are often among those who are most eager to help children who need foster services. Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute made the same observation.
“The number of available foster and adoptive families for these children who are in desperate need of love, guidance, and wisdom, will decrease,” Higgins wrote on the institute’s website. “Children will be deprived of truly good families, families with mothers and fathers who can distinguish truth from falsehood.”
The ACLU of Illinois maintains that the new policy doesn’t go far enough. The ACLU chapter pushed unsuccessfully for the department to include a mandate that would compel staff, including contractors, to report on other staff not complying with the policy.