Many White Supremacists hide their hate behind their love for Jesus Christ and rooted in their Christian values. Sometimes synonymous with racism, much of the Southern United States have a history marred with racial conflict. While hate crimes are on the rise in America, there is still hope for change as communities once deeply entrenched in the oppression of people of color are coming out on the other side to denounce and oppose white supremacy- and one of those largest and most influential is surprisingly the community of Southern Baptists.

As republished on Raw Story from The International Business Times:

In a nearly unanimous vote, Southern Baptist Convention condemned Wednesday the “alt-right” movement and passed a resolution affirming the denomination’s opposition to white supremacy. The vote took place on the second the day of the annual convention in Phoenix, a day after the proposal to condemn “alt-right”, a movement that advocates white supremacy, divided convention leaders and triggered backlash on social media.

The convention 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.”

High drama ensued Tuesday, the first day of the convention, as the evangelical denomination initially decided not to move the proposal submitted by prominent African-American pastor Dwight McKissic. According to reports, the leaders were initially skeptical about using phrases such as “toxic menace,” “xenophobic biases” and “racial bigotries, in the proposal to refer to the “alt-right” movement. The failure to bring the resolution on the floor was followed by a backlash from black and white Southern Baptists and other evangelical Christians.

The Southern Baptist community as a whole is slowly realizing that being apologists for white supremacy to protect those in their congregation who hold these reprehensible views no longer acceptable and that their complacency has dire consequences for people of color and is also in stark contrast to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

After the resolution was passed Wednesday, McKissic expressed his gratitude. However, he also pointed out that it took nearly 24 hours for the convention to reach an agreement. Nine resolutions, including the resolution denouncing Planned Parenthood, were passed by the convention on Tuesday.

“I think that today’s vote will help to mitigate some of the hurt and some of the pain,” he said, according to a statement on the Convention’s website, “because it’s painful to watch people who tout biblical inerrancy and who tout the centrality of the Gospel have to deliberate over denouncing white supremacy.”

McKissic had published a draft of the resolution on a Baptist blog, “SBC Voices,” about two weeks before the meeting. He said many “alt-right” members claim to be Southern Baptists. However, he added he was encouraged “to see so many Southern Baptists take a courageous stand” and for a generation of them to say: “We will not take this sitting down.”

Resolutions committee chairman Barrett Duke offered an apology on behalf of the panel for the delay in passing the resolution. “We regret and apologize for the pain and the confusion that we created for you and a watching world when we decided not to report out a resolution on alt-right racism,” he said. “Please know it wasn’t because we don’t share your abhorrence of racism and especially, particularly the vicious form of racism that has manifested itself in the alt-right movement. We do share your abhorrence.”

Speaking about the resolution from the floor, Southern Baptist ethics leader Russell Moore, said: “Southern Baptists were right to speak clearly and definitely that ‘alt-right’ white nationalism is not just a sociological movement but a work of the devil. Racism and white supremacy are not merely social issues, but they attack the Gospel itself and the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Why is it that you think it took so long, and much push back for there to be a unified stance within the Southern Baptist community to denounce rampant white supremacy within the ranks of their communities? The consequence of turning their backs on the people of color in their congregations resulted in the legitimization the racist views of white supremacists within congregants. While the delay and hesitation to pass a resolution affirming the denomination’s opposition to white supremacy cannot erase the damage already done by turning a blind eye, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

(Article By Tasha Sharifa)

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