Pastor Dwight McKissic of Arlington won this week, and so did Southern Baptists everywhere.
The loser was the “devil” of ethnic nationalism and the political “alt-right” as led by Dallas-bred activist Richard Spencer.
But it wasn’t that simple, or that quick, and for a day it looked as if the Southern Baptist Convention might pass up the chance to condemn the new white racist nationalism poisoning America.
To McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, it should have been a pushover for the denomination’s Phoenix convention to support a proposed resolution against the “xenophobic biases and racial bigotries of the so-called alt-right.”
Never miss a local story.
Instead, the predominantly white resolutions committee chewed over the resolution for hours, then dropped it. The Montana chairman called it “not well written” and “inflammatory.”
When McKissic asked the convention to let him submit it directly to the floor, that move failed the needed two-thirds vote.
The result: headlines such as “A Resolution Condemning White Supremacy Causes Chaos at the Southern Baptist Convention” or that the convention “went off the rails last night over white supremacy.”
Rubbing their nose in it, Spencer himself celebrated on his vile Twitter feed, writing: “So apparently [Baptists] *didn’t* denounce the alt-right after all. Interesting development!”
“I prayed about it,” McKissic said Thursday.
“There were so many other people angered that they took up the fight. And they were all white. That was the beauty of it.”
Some at the convention said they simply didn’t know what the white racist alt-right is. Others said they took the resolution as a slam against President Donald Trump’s voters.
“This wasn’t about politics or Trump. It was about white supremacy and the growing alt-right movement,” McKissic said.
I see the ‘alt-right’ as a Klan without a hood.
Cornerstone Baptist Church pastor Dwight McKissic
“I see the alt-right as a Klan without a hood. They’ve infiltrated our society.”
It reads in part: “We denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as of the devil.”
Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore wrote on Twitter that the alt-right is “anti-Christ and satanic to the core.”
RESOLVED, [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 of the devil.
Southern Baptist Convention resolution
Georgia pastor James Merritt, a former SBC president, wrote: “Every time the SBC can put another nail in the coffin of racism or the perception of it all Southern Baptists should say ‘Give me a hammer!’ ”
The new version passed almost unanimously.
McKissic said Baptists “did some damage in the larger marketplace by being hesitant.”
Some Baptists were contemplating leaving the church, he said.
“I hope the last vote cemented everybody.”
He called the vote a “strong condemnation of the alt-right.”
“And if you look at their profiles online,” he said, “many of them identify as Southern Baptists.”
Spencer’s nasty retort on Twitter: “Jesus never complained about ‘racism.’ ”
Just look who has more followers.