The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Separating Church And Hate

    The Southern Baptist Convention deserves no credit for doing the right thing after the fact. You shouldn’t have to think twice about condemning ideologies associated with the Klan, Neo Nazis or the alt-right.

    On Wednesday (June 14), the Southern Baptist Convention approved a resolution formally distancing itself from the alt-right movement. The legislation condemns “every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ” and “every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil.” Had this resolution passed a day earlier it wouldn’t be newsworthy, but it didn’t. The Southern Baptist Convention’s bumbling of this issue is another stain on a denomination that seems to take a step backward for every step forward it takes.

    There are dozens of published statements from Evangelicals who were in attendance Tuesday supporting the first draft of the amendment, yet they lacked the sufficient will or power to push it through. It took public shaming to get the largest Protestant denomination in America to disavow white supremacy. All of the work the SBC did in the mid-’90s to address their support of slavery and Jim Crow is undermined by the constant stream of microaggressions committed by the convention. The SBC wants to distance itself from its past, but seems unwilling to make the move from words to actions.

    If you are interested you can read the rest at:



    The Klan is coming to Charlottesville on July 8th. Wise voices here are telling everyone to stay home and ignore them but I doubt that everyone will do that (like my son). The KKK thrives on the attention they get from these things. They are coming specifically to protest the removal of the Robert E Lee statue in a park in the center of town. 

    What do you think, Danny?  Should they be allowed to "peacefully assemble" and just go home?


    edited for wrong spelling of Klan.

    I think we should treat them like petulant children and ignore them, yet we have to strongly condemn the behavior. Shame might be our best weapon.

    I don't think ignoring them will have any positive effect. They are not children but I don't even think that ignoring petulant children is effective. I don't think ignoring or at most strongly condemning children when they misbehave without some action is good parenting.

    Strongly worded statements have considerably less effect than action on the ground. Letting groups protest without pushback on the ground gives them more power, not less. They will feel empowered to protest more not less. Those sympathetic to the views who chose not to join this protest will be more likely to join the next one if they see no pushback on the ground. The movement will grow not disappear if ignored. Politicians or businesses will be less likely to pushback against them if they see no counter protests.

    I don't much care, but the SBC is putatively a Christian organization focused on the teachings of Jesus, not a socio-political organization taking on every injustice, hate group, what not. Denouncing slavery, Jim Crow laws and various other hardcore racist institutions of the South (and sometimes of the North) was much more a mandatory step - it was a cancer on the whole population and called lie to being even a sinning Christian. Worrying too much about alt-right and the latest shit disturbing group du jour seems hardly necessary without some specific impetus.

    The Southern Baptists supported Jim Crow. Three ministers invited Martin Luther King Jr. to speak at the seminary. It is doubtful that these three ministers would be allowed to be in the Southern Baptist clergy today.

    And what? The blog's about calling out alt-right 1 day too late (presumably because from attack on white Senators vs black everymen I guess), not re-treading 60's civil rights? Again, I'm not a Christian aside from ethucal influences, and not part of the SBC, but I question how big a role as social seer & evaluator-condemner of right/wrong groups the SBC will be playing, but maybe that's part of their function, who knows. Will they make a statement on Mel Gibson's drunken tirade or that well-known designer who drunkenly insulted some Jewish girls and got fired, or Putin's diatribes against gays?

    The Southern Baptists are the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. They carry a great deal of political clout from the pulpit. Since at least 1979, they have provided religious cover for Republicans, including Donald Trump. Their view on issues is important.

    Edit to add:

    There are rifts in the Southern Baptist Convention regarding issues like race. The reason Southern Baptists are important is that they influence (read support biases) of their parishioners. They allow acceptance of Trump and the knee-jerk response to reject criticism of the alt-right. Their numbers make statements from the Baptist Convention important.

    Well if it's truly the case that the leaders have that much say in what individual adherents chose to believe, think and how they behave, I hope they can one day decide to pick and chose cafeteria style like American Catholics, Jews and Muslims do. devil

    Followers of Baal have rights too, as does the reformed branch of Zoroastrianism. Sheesh, Americans so quick to marginalize us. All hail Mithras.

    two idle thoughts to add on the American religions thing

    1) During the Clinton years I was working with a Manhattan art dealer a lot where I'd often have to sit and wait for him after business hours, ended up getting friendly with their cleaning lady. She was smart, sassy and funny, would say things like what I do is push dirt from one end of the earth to the other. She would quote scripture a lot, so we'd get into that, then I learned she was a longtime Deacon at a Harlem Baptist church, was her "real" job, her career, her mission. One day abortion is in the news, there are a couple employees still there discussing it, she stops and puts her hands on her hips and pronounces IT'S THE WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOSE! Never thought of Baptists the same after that, realized they actually do do the cafeteria thing.

    2) I'm a middle boomer raised Catholic in the Midwest, parochial schooled, huge extended family. Shocked when I moved to NYC in the 80's to find out how conservative the Catholic church is in this area compared to the Midwest. Somehow they never got the message of Vatican II. I'd like to report: do not be fooled by Pope Francis that things have changed. Just like there were tons of liberal American Catholics waiting out the last few papacies for a better pope, there are tons of very conservative Catholics just waiting out this papacy to get things back to their normal again.

    Careful - Baptists and Southern Baptists are 2 different animals.

    This is an old joke, but oh, well....

    Why don't Baptists have sex standing up?

    So no one will think they are dancing.

    yes I know (still, I'd like to point out this is a story about an argument and negotiation over what that church stands for, no infallibility, not even dogma here)

    FWIW, here's how the Godless Yankee New York Times reported the story:

    In Quick Reversal, Southern Baptists Denounce White Nationalists

    By Jacey Fortin, June 15

    Southern Baptists voted to formally condemn the political movement known as the alt-right during their national meeting in Phoenix on Wednesday. Credit Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Delegates of the Southern Baptist Convention, an evangelical church fellowship with about 15 million members across the United States, condemned white supremacists and the “alt-right” in a resolution on Wednesday, one day after the delegates provoked a backlash by turning down a more harshly worded resolution.

    The denomination’s annual meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday in Phoenix attracted about 5,000 delegates and pastors from across the country.

    While the convention tends to lean conservative on many issues — one resolution that was approved called for defunding Planned Parenthood — Russell Moore, who is in charge of public policy for the convention, said in an interview on Thursday that the resolution against the alt-right had to do with Southern Baptist values, not politics.

    “I heard no objections, privately or publicly, to this resolution,” he said. “None.”

    The original resolution denouncing white supremacy was submitted by Dwight McKissic, a black Southern Baptist pastor in Texas. It called alt-right — a far-right, white nationalist movement — and white supremacists groups a “toxic menace.”

    The convention’s resolutions committee announced on Tuesday that it had declined the resolution, provoking criticism from delegates and on social media. That led the committee to reconsider the matter on Tuesday evening, and a revised version was approved nearly unanimously by the delegates on Wednesday.

    Most of Mr. McKissic’s language did not make into the final version, which was written by the committee [.....]

    I was raised as a Baptist.  You know...where the children went to Sunday School and the parents (for the most part stayed home).  I went to Sunday School, then Church, then Wednesday Night Prayer meeting, and then Saturday Teen Meetings.  

    Looking back at it, it was the worst part of my life, because I was too young to have confidence in myself to refute the BS that went on ad nauseum, but I realized it.  Finally, one Sunday there was a big kerfuffle, because one of our sponsored African missionaries was going to come to church.  The only black person allowed in the church prior to this was the janitor.  The question was if he could show up in normal clothes or if he should wear his African Robes and thereby keep us all comfortably separate.\

    The minister was a wonderful man,(who later left the church to sell insurance) called on me during the sermon.  I think i was no more than 12 at the time.  I said that if we sponsored missionaries that we would not welcome in our church, we were a pretty low church.  I can still remember those words.  

    He showed up 2 weeks later in African garb

    I just can't find one single religion that is honorable, and so I am out.

    Many black voters see the church as a positive influence. Local churches feed and close the poor. Some have established housing for the elderly. The younger black population is less religious. Younger voters have a lower voting rate. Black congregations tend to lean more Democratic. It will be important for Democrats to reach out to black congregations. 

    So that's why the little kids need to go to church all the time: to point out when the grownups there are going batshit crazy and not making any sense!

    Thanks Danny.  Really good stuff as usual.

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