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Southern Baptists want nothing to do with ‘alt-right white supremacy’

'It was the white people who said, no we will not take this sitting down.'

 

Samantha Grasso

IRL

Published Jun 15, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 2:59 am CDT

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).

According to the Washington Post, the decision was met with a standing ovation—however, the vote was made only one day after the members failed to vote on similar legislation.

Dwight McKissic, a black pastor from Arlington, Texas, introduced the resolution for the congregation to separate themselves from and denounce the alt-right. 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. According to Barrett Duke, chairman of the SBC’s resolutions committee, the initial vote was paused because the resolution didn’t clearly define the alt-right.

“I saw people identifying themselves as Southern Baptist and members of the alt-right, so this is horrifying to me. I wanted the Southern Baptist Convention to make it very clear we have no relationship to them,” McKissic told the Post. “I thought it would be a slam dunk, but I misread Southern Baptists apparently.”

Younger members and evangelicals of color were upset at the impasse, but worked through Tuesday night to reintroduce legislation Wednesday. While the new text contextualized the congregation and the convention’s votes on race, it left out the following call from the first resolution:

“… reject the retrograde ideologies, xenophobic biases, and racial bigotries of the so-called ‘Alt-Right’ that seek to subvert our government, destabilize society, and infect our political system.”

Instead the resolution states Southern Baptists are 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 of the devil.”

McKissic wouldn’t speculate on why the second attempt passed over the first. 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.

“I don’t think they anticipated how white people would get upset about this and demand something be done,” McKissic said. “I’m encouraged and heartened by this. It was the white people who said, no we will not take this sitting down. We don’t want this association with the convention.”

H/T TIME

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*First Published: Jun 15, 2017, 12:23 pm CDT