PHOENIX — Southern Baptists on Wednesday formally condemned the political movement known as the “alt-right,” in a national meeting that was thrown into turmoil after leaders initially refused to take up the issue.
The denomination’s annual convention in Phoenix 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.”
Tuesday night, Southern Baptist officials who oversaw the resolutions had refused to introduce a different repudiation of the “alt-right,” which emerged dramatically during the U.S. presidential election, mixing racism, white nationalism and populism.
Barrett Duke, who leads the resolutions committee, said the original document contained inflammatory and broad language “potentially implicating” conservatives who do not support the “alt-right” movement.
Introducing the new statement Wednesday, Duke apologized “for the pain and confusion that we created,” but said the committee had been concerned about giving the appearance of hating their enemies. Duke said the committee members “share your abhorrence of racism” and were grateful for the chance to “speak on ‘alt-right’ racism in particular and all racism in general.”