There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the fact that leaders at the Southern Baptist Convention were divided on a resolution condemning white supremacy and the alt-right movement, but most people don’t realize what really happened. So, let’s break it down.
The Atlantic reported that there was “chaos” surrounding whether nor not to adopt the resolution, submitted by prominent black pastor Dwight McKissic in Texas, and that is true. What isn’t true, however, is the suggestion that it was rejected because it would offend White Supremacists.
The strongly worded resolution wasn’t rejected because it went against white supremacy or the alt-right movement. In fact, it wasn’t rejected at all. It was initially overlooked, and then adopted.
As The Atlantic itself reported:
Late on Tuesday afternoon, McKissic went to the mic and moved for additional time to be allotted for the resolution to be heard. Standing among a chatting body of tired pastors, many of whom were already checked out for the day and didn’t realize what was happening, his motion failed — once again, the resolution would not be heard. According to several attendees, once people realized what had happened, a number of leaders started lobbying to get the motion reconsidered.
“It wasn’t that they didn’t like the resolution. It’s that they didn’t like the wording of the resolution.”
The Baptist pastors ultimately reconvened and voted in favor of the resolution without a single “no” vote, according to Gass.
Ed Stetzer, a Southern Baptist who followed the developments closely, explained how social media didn’t necessarily understand what was happening.
First, there is not some alt-right wing at the SBC arguing the other side of this motion. The issues were around what the committee considered poor wording of the submitted resolution… Nobody at #SBC17 has come to a mic to defend white nationalism, white supremacy, or the alt-right. Not a one. But more needs to be said!
As Stetzer acknowledges, there is a lot more Southern Baptists can and should do to make up for past transgressions. But there is no way an objective observer can look into this “controversy” and think the group is advocating for white supremacy.
There are a lot of reasons to criticize the SBC, but this isn’t really one of them, so think critically when you hear the rumors and pick your battles wisely.
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