PHOENIX (RNS). After a fierce backlash on social media, Southern Baptists reversed course and adopted a statement denouncing “alt-right white supremacy,” calling it “antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The unusual move on Wednesday (June 14) was a shift from the previous day, when the Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolutions Committee declined to bring to a vote a Texas pastor’s proposed resolution condemning the “alt-right” movement, whose members include white supremacists.
“(W)e denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil,” reads the one-page statement distributed just before the last session of the two-day meeting.
Passage of the resolution was met with thunderous applause.
Resolutions Committee chairman Barrett Duke said Tuesday the original proposal was “too open-ended” and could be misinterpreted.
A day later, he apologized.
“We regret and apologize for the pain and the confusion that we created for you and the watching world when we decided not to report out a resolution on ‘alt-right’ racism,” he told messengers, or delegates, adding that he shares their abhorrence of the “particularly vicious form of racism that has manifested itself in the ‘alt-right’ movement.”