The Southern Baptist Convention Condemns 'Alt-right' After Initial Attempts Failed

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The Southern Baptist Convention formally condemned the political movement known as the "alt-right" during a national meeting in Phoenix.

The denomination initially refused to take up a resolution repudiating the movement that emerged dramatically during the U.S. presidential election and mixes racism, nationalism and populism.

Pressure built on Southern Baptists to make some statement against the movement. They did so Wednesday after emotional appeals from attendees.

The resolution decries every form of racism, including what the denomination called "alt-right white supremacy" as antithetical to the Gospel.

The Southern Baptist Convention was formed in the 19th century in defense of slaveholders. It has been working to overcome its history.

The denomination initially took up the issue at its national meeting Tuesday. Southern Baptist leaders said the proposal as originally written was overly broad and had inflammatory language. At the time they refused to present the suggested resolution for a vote.

"All hell then broke loose," reported the Atlantic, quoting a black Southern Baptist pastor, “The amount of work left to do in ‘evangelical’ (who knows that means any more?) church is staggering” tweeted Thabiti Anyabwile, an African-American pastor of the Anacostia River Church in Southeast Washington, D.C.

But the move created a backlash from Southern Baptists and other Christians, especially black evangelicals, who questioned the denomination's commitment to fighting racism. Alt-right leader Richard Spencer quickly tweeted his support when the resolution was not voted upon.

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