Southern Baptist Convention Votes To Condemn White Supremacy

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Southern Baptist Convention Won't Condemn 'Alt-Right'

The convention is home to prominent evangelical supporters of Trump, but some leaders within the denomination have questioned whether Trump, a casino and real estate mogul who has been married three times, is morally fit for office.

Southern Baptists on hand at Wednesday's conference voted to "decry every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ" and "denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil", The Arizona Republic reported.

After viewing McKissic's proposal, the committee voted-and I'm paraphrasing here: "Nah, bruh". While members had voted to condemn gambling and Planned Parenthood, some objected to the "wording" of the resolution against the alt-right, causing the legislation to come to a halt.

McKissic's proposal was part of an effort by the SBC, which is the largest Protestant group in the United States, to continue to detoxify its origins in the 19th century in defence of slaveholders.

The Arizona Republic reported that the almost 5,000-person convention on Tuesday was invited to vote on whether they wanted the resolution to be heard at a meeting later that day.

Charles Hedman of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in South Bend, Indiana, said far-right groups had been distributing racist material outside the convention hall Tuesday night.

When the membership failed to move the vote forward - and Richard Spencer, one of the alt-right's most vocal proponents took to Twitter to comment on the decision - the leadership of the convention chose to continue to work through the night and reintroduce the resolution.

Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said he wanted to send the message that "we love everybody on this planet". "The alt-right isn't just some sociological movement. When people recognize what it is that the alt-right believes, I haven't talked to anyone who doesn't immediately reject that". RNS photo by Adelle M. BanksThe Rev. Dwight McKissic, who authored a proposed resolution about the Confederate flag at last year's convention that was rewritten and passed, didn't understand why the resolution wasn't dealt with in a less confusing way.

The Cooperative Program, which was created in 1925 to help fund the Southern Baptist Convention and state convention missions and ministries, also received a gift Tuesday of $3.1 million dollars from the Florida Baptist Convention, which was 51 percent of the proceeds from the sale of a Baptist building in Jacksonville, Fla., that was completed June 7.

Dr. Russell Moore, president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and a critic of President Donald Trump, tweeted Wednesday that he is confident SBC members, called messengers, would vote in favor of McKissic's resolution.

McKissic wrote a draft resolution published at the end of May on the blog SBC Voices that said the, "toxic menace, self-identified among some of its chief proponents as "White Nationalism" and the 'Alt-Right, ' must be opposed for the totalitarian impulses, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that infect the minds and actions of its violent disciples".

"I don't think they anticipated how white people would get upset about this and demand something be done", McKissic said. And then there were others who assumed the alt-right was just a fringy group of people that they didn't want to dignify by even mentioning them.

"Now suddenly you have this panic", said Alan Cross, a white Southern Baptist minister from Alabama who has written a book on racism.

Below, Pastor McKissic says criticism of his resolution was "unfair" and "inappropriate".

"Just because someone is conservative doesn't make them alt-right", he said.

When newspapers and magazines started spreading the story, somehow the convention reverse course and made a decision to hear another draft of the resolution, angering some white people on social media (it's hard to tell if they are Baptist or not, because I consider all Caucasians to be Presbyterian). Crusade officials said a similar number of additional people made commitments during events that hosted simulcasts of the event.

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