Following a ‘Yes on 1” Sunday in several Tennessee churches, a group of about 40 ministers Wednesday declared their opposition in Memphis o the proposed state constitutional amendment that would give the legislature more authority to put restrictions on abortion.
During Sunday services, some churches promoted “Yes on 1” Sunday — a coordinated message from the pulpits of some Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, United Pentecostal, Presbyterian and Free Will Baptist churches, among others — handing out pamphlets, speaking from the pulpit and airing videos. All three Catholic dioceses in Tennessee encouraged priests to speak in support of the amendment.
“Although the Catholic Church will never identify itself with any political community or system, we can and must speak up in support of moral issues,” Bishop Richard F. Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville said in a letter Sept. 23. “One issue that we as Catholics will have an opportunity to vote on Nov. 4 is Amendment One. Amendment One is neither a Republican nor Democrat issue, but a moral and life issue of greatest magnitude.”
At Wednesday’s event, the Rev. Rosalyn Nichols of Freedom’s Chapel Christian Church said one of the reasons she opposes the amendment is that she believes every woman knows what is best for her body without the influence of politicians.
“It is not counter to my faith that I stand against Amendment 1,” she said. “It is because of my faith. … I urge every woman and every man who loves a woman and every woman who loves a woman to vote against Amendment 1 and take as many people as you can to do the same.”
Unlike elections for candidates — in which houses of worship are barred by law from taking a specific position — religious organizations may take a position on ballot measures.