- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Baptist denomination in the world, passed a resolution officially condemning the “alt-right” political movement and white supremacy during its annual meeting Wednesday in Phoenix, but only after rejecting a more strongly-worded draft a day earlier.

Southern Baptists on hand at Wednesday’s conference 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,” The Arizona Republic reported.

The resolution was passed nearly unanimously by the roughly 5,000 members attending Wednesday’s afternoon vote – albeit after its author removed certain language that church leaders considered to be “potentially implicating,” Fox News reported

Dwight McKissic, a pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, initially proposed a resolution Tuesday urging Southern Baptists to “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.”

“More and more of the alt-right people were identifying themselves as part of the Southern Baptist Convention, and I went ‘Whoa!’” Mr. McKissic told WFAA-TV in Dallas.

The original resolution was rejected upon being introduced Tuesday, however, after the chairman of the SBC’s resolution committee, Barrett Duke, insisted it contained “inappropriate” and “inflammatory” language that could potentially implicate conservatives who don’t align with the alt-right, a controversial far-right political movement that rose to prominence during the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

Tuesday’s rejection quickly triggered heated reactions and ultimately an apology from Mr. Duke when Wednesday’s resolution was offered in its place.

“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,” Mr. Duke said. “Please know it wasn’t because we don’t share your abhorrence of racism and especially the particularly vicious form of racism that has manifested itself in the alt-right movement. We do share your abhorrence.”

The Southern Baptist Convention is branded as the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. in addition to being the biggest Baptist denomination on the planet with more than 15 million members. President Trump, a Republican who has been widely championed by the alt-right, won about 80 percent of the white evangelical vote during last year’s election.

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