Updated Thursday, June 15, 2017, 10:52 a.m. EDT: After a vociferous public outcry, the Southern Baptist Convention voted in favor of a resolution to condemn the white supremacist movement called the “alt-right” on Wednesday.
The vote was met with a standing ovation from the 5,000 members gathered for the conference, which had refused to bring the proposal to the floor for a vote a day earlier. The resolution failed after the convention had already voted to condemn Planned Parenthood and gambling, according to the Washington Post.
“I thought it would be a slam dunk, but I misread Southern Baptists, apparently,” said William D. McKissic Sr., who introduced the resolution.
At its national conference Tuesday, the Southern Baptist Convention wholly rejected a proposal to condemn the growing racism of the “alt-right” movement.
According to the Arizona Republic, William D. McKissic Sr., a black pastor from Arlington, Texas, submitted a proposal to the SBC’s Committee on Resolutions. McKissic needed a two-thirds vote by the committee to bring the resolution to the full body of the 5,000-member convention for a vote. Even if the resolution didn’t pass, the full body could vote to hear McKissic’s resolution at a later date.
This didn’t seem like too high a hurdle. After all, McKissic knows how to write resolutions—the convention passed his 2014 resolution condemning the Confederate battle flag. Not to mention that all nine other resolutions before the committee passed with nearly unanimous votes.
Plus, these are religious people. This was the religion of Martin Luther King Jr.! Of course they’d vote to condemn the people trying to rebrand white supremacy as “alt-right.” McKissic was confident that this was a slam dunk.
After viewing McKissic’s proposal, the committee voted—and I’m paraphrasing here—“Nah, bruh.”
Make that a double “Nah, bruh.”
Not only did McKissic’s resolution not receive a two-thirds vote, but the committee voted that they didn’t even want to listen to that bullshit again. (Again, I’m paraphrasing here, because I know quite a few Baptists, and they’d never refer to anything as “that bullshit.” The ones I know would say “that motherfucking bullshit.”) McKissic’s resolution didn’t even get enough votes to be tabled for a later date. McKissic was sorely disappointed and said that criticism of his resolution by committee Chairman Barrett Duke was “unfair” and “inappropriate.”
“He’s allowed to attack this resolution from the floor of the Southern Baptist Convention, and I’m not allowed to respond?” McKissic said. “I’m shocked that this would be permitted.”
To be fair, Duke said, “The resolution just contained some significantly inflammatory language that we felt was over the bar.”
I guess we will never find out, because the resolution didn’t get to the floor where everyone could hear it, vote on it and at least have it as part of the permanent record. There’s no way of knowing what was so offensive about McKissic’s proposal, right?
Here is the full text of McKissic’s proposal:
WHEREAS, Scripture teaches that from one man God made every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation (Acts 17:26); and
WHEREAS, the prophet Isaiah foresaw the day when the Lord would judge between the nations and render decisions for many people (Isaiah 2:4); and
WHEREAS, the Psalmist proclaims the Kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations; and
WHEREAS, the promise of heaven includes the eternal blessings of the Tree of Life for God’s people, which includes the healing of the nations that comes from the leaves of that tree; and
WHEREAS, the supreme need of the world is the acceptance of God’s teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love; and
WHEREAS, all Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society, opposing all forms of racism, selfishness, and vice, and bringing government and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love; and
WHEREAS, just societies will order themselves as free men and women and organize at various times and for various purposes to establish political order and give consent to legitimate government; and
WHEREAS, the liberty of all nations to authorize such governments will, at times, allow for the rise of political parties and factions whose principles and ends are in irreconcilable conflict with the principles of liberty and justice for all; and
WHEREAS, there has arisen in the United States a growing menace to political order and justice that seeks to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide our people, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic cleansing; and
WHEREAS, this 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; and
WHEREAS, the roots of White Supremacy within a “Christian context” is based on the so-called “curse of Ham” theory once prominently taught by the SBC in the early years—echoing the belief that God through Noah ordained descendants of Africa to be subservient to Anglos—which provided the theological justification for slavery and segregation. The SBC officially renounces the “curse of Ham” theory in this Resolution; now be it therefore
RESOLVED, that the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Phoenix, AZ, June 13-14, 2017, denounces every form of “nationalism” that violates the biblical teachings with respect to race, justice, and ordered liberty; and be it further
RESOLVED, that we 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; and be finally
RESOLVED, that we earnestly pray, both for those who lead and advocate this movement and those who are thereby deceived, that they may see their error through the light of the Gospel, repent of their perverse nationalism, and come to know the peace and love of Christ through redeemed fellowship in the Kingdom of God, which is established from every nation, tribe, people and tongue.
Let’s be honest—we all know what the problem is: The Southern Baptist Convention has over 15 million members in 47,000 churches and made $10 billion last year. A lot of those people support white supremacy, and the SBC doesn’t want to lose those tithes and offerings.
Duke even confirmed this when he said, “Some of the ideology associated with certain people with the alt-right are certainly offensive to us. If we had received a resolution that we believe could speak to those problematic ideologies in a way that would enable us to only speak to those who are associated with the alt-right, we would have been happy to take that up.”
Wait ... what? Some of the ideology associated with some people with the alt-right?
When newspapers and magazines started spreading the story, somehow the convention reversed course and decided 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).
Yes, some people are threatening that they’d rather switch Gods than condemn racism. But perhaps this tweet said it best:
I guess when it comes to the hateful rhetoric and views expressed by white supremacists, maybe the Southern Baptist Convention believes what the Bible says:
Only three things will last forever—faith, hope and love ...
But the greatest of these is hate and money.
Again, I’m paraphrasing.
Read more at the Arizona Republic.