The Southern Baptist Convention refused to denounce the controversial "alt-right" movement during the Christian organization's annual meeting on June 13 in Phoenix.
Barrett Duke, a Southern Baptist Convention executive, said the resolution condemning the white nationalist movement had broad language "potentially implicating" conservatives who are not supporting the "alt-right" movement, notes The Associated Press.
Rev. William Dwight McKissic Sr., an African-American pastor from Arlington, Texas, proposed the resolution, which he posted on his Facebook page on May 27:
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
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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.
Some opponents of the resolution asserted that the SBC had previously denounced racism.
While the attempt to condemn the "alt-right" movement failed, attendees did pass a resolution on moral leadership that praised public officials who "displayed consistent moral character and uncompromising commitment to biblical principle."
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Pastor Micah Fries tried to get the convention to reaffirm wording based on a 1998 resolution that said "serious allegations continue to be made about moral and legal misconduct by certain public officials," and "character does count in public office," but the Christian organization shot that down as well.
The resolution did say that leaders "in every walk of life" have "destroyed their careers" and "brought shame" because of their moral choices.
The statement also praised leaders who would not meet with members of the opposite sex alone -- a possible tip of the hat to Vice President Mike Pence. In March, The Washington Post reported that Pence who refuses to eat alone with any woman except his wife.
In other actions, the convention approved a resolution that called on federal, state and local governments to stop taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, and urged the U.S. Justice Department to criminally charge unidentified people over the handling of fetal tissue.