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In annual meeting do-over, Southern Baptists denounce 'alt-right' white supremacy

In annual meeting do-over, Southern Baptists denounce 'alt-right' white supremacy

About 5,000 Southern Baptists voted to condemn the alt-right, a far-right movement of white nationalists and supremacists, on Wednesday while attending the annual Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

The Southern Baptist Convention voted to formally "denounce and repudiate" white nationalism and the alt-right movement at the church's annual meeting Wednesday, but only after the denomination's leadership was criticized for initially bypassing the proposal.

The resolutions committee asked Tuesday evening for an opportunity to bring such a resolution to the convention Wednesday, and the committee on order of business and messengers approved its request.

The measure which passed states: "Racism and white supremacy are, sadly, not extinct but present all over the world in various white supremacist movements, sometimes known as "white nationalism" or 'alt-right". However, he said that amid the disappointment of black members, was clear a large number of white Southern Baptists wanted to vote on the resolution. Under a cloud of external pressure from media reports saying they had failed to condemn racism and a storm of criticism on social media, Gaines chose to push the boundaries of the rules.

At the close of the committee's report, McKissic sought to bring his resolution to the floor for a vote.

More than 20 percent of Southern Baptist congregations, it says, identifies as predominantly nonwhite.

When attendees realized yesterday that a committee had declined to hear the proposed alt-right resolution-one of several being considered at the meeting-they gathered after-hours to vote to reintroduce the issue this afternoon. In fact, historically, racism and white supremacy is what the Southern Baptist Convention has always been about. "We denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as of the devil".




"I think that today's vote will help to mitigate some of the hurt and some of the pain, because it's painful to watch people who tout biblical inerrancy and who tout the centrality of the gospel have to deliberate over denouncing white supremacy", he said.

Bellevue Baptist Church Pastor Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, addressed people at the convention and said the only thing that will take care of racism in America is Jesus Christ, according to Baptist Press.

Barrett Duke, a Southern Baptist executive who shepherded the statements through the meeting, said the resolution contained inflammatory and broad language that potentially implicated conservatives who do not support the "alt-right" movement.

Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Baptists' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, introduced the statement to the meeting explaining, "We are saying that white supremacy and racist ideologies are unsafe because they oppress our brothers and sisters in Christ". And Southern Baptists across social media were not happy about it.

Moore, who gave his agency's report to the annual meeting Wednesday night, became the face of a contentious divide within the convention past year due to his outspoken opposition to then presidential candidate Donald Trump.

"I'm very heartened by the statement", he said in an interview about the new version of the resolution.

McKissic called for the body to instruct the committee to reconsider, which would require a two-thirds majority. Still, the rejection set off alarm bells among many pastors at the convention who couldn't believe their denomination might fail to stand against new manifestations of racism and chose not to act. "We're turning the corner", McKissic told reporters. RNS photo by Adelle M. BanksPaige Patterson, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, called the new resolution "tremendous" but said action is needed more than words. In recent years the SBC has tried to distance itself from its racist to overcome its racist history.


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