Damage Control: After a loud and embarrassing public outcry, the Southern Baptist Convention finally condemns white supremacy.
At their annual meeting, Southern Baptists agreed to a statement decrying “every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Earlier at their annual meeting, a resolution condemning white supremacy was rejected by the Southern Baptist Convention, the Christian denomination founded to defend and justify slavery.
At the time, leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention refused to approve “a resolution affirming the denomination’s opposition to white supremacy and the alt-right during their annual meeting in Phoenix this week,” according to a report filed by The Atlantic.
However, after a loud public outcry, the Southern Baptist Convention went ahead and passed a formal resolution condemning white supremacy.
Race is not a new problem for the Southern baptists. In fact, historically, racism and white supremacy is what the Southern Baptist Convention has always been about.
Indeed, the Southern Baptist Convention was founded upon the notion that black slavery and white supremacy was integral to the Christian faith. Bruce Gourley, writing at Civil War Baptists, notes:
From the advocacy of white supremacy and black slavery a new Baptist denomination was born. Foreshadowing the Civil War, white Baptists in the South withdrew fellowship from their northern counterparts on May 10, 1845, forming the Southern Baptist Convention in order to better defend the South’s practice of and dependency upon black slavery.
However, the fact that they issued a statement 22 years ago officially renouncing racism and white supremacy does not mean that everyone got the memo.
Bottom line: The Southern Baptist Convention initially refused to approve what should have been a non-controversial condemnation of racism and white supremacy. Yet after a great deal of public pressure, church leaders acquiesced and voted to condemn “every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy.” Let’s hope they mean it.
(Large portions of this story were previously published here)