Below are a few comments on Resolution #10. Take these comments, if you please, as from one outside looking in, since I did not attend the convention this year.
First, I’m troubled with the way Resolution #10 presumes “alt-right” is a hard term used to denote definite parameters of beliefs of an observable group we might learn through empirical research. The truth is, “alt-right,” so far as I am aware, has no official creed (political or otherwise); nor as a social movement has “alt-right” been around long enough to reasonably discern one. In other words, just who belongs to the so-called “alt-right” movement? What do they embrace?
If all I had to go by was Resolution #10 that Southern Baptist messengers passed, I would assume that “alt-right” was a synonym for white supremacy and the very embodiment of racism. Or, at minimum, while all those who are racists are not necessarily “alt-right,” all those who are “alt-right” are indeed racists. As a conservative, I'm often viewed as being "on the right." Am I "alt-right" too? Or, since presumably politically "alt-right" is just a shade beyond being politically "right," am I just a shade shy of racism? Do my beliefs which are considered "on the right," when followed consistently, lead to being "alt-right"? If I take Resolution #10 at face value, I very well may be in moral trouble as a politically right conservative.
Second, since the so-called “alt-right” became popular during the latter part of President Obama’s second term, and specifically, as I recall, became associated with presidential contender, Donald Trump’s, rise in national populism; and since the media made very much about the “alt-right” being behind Trump’s rise in presidential viability, it seems to me that Resolution #10 has the appearance of a backdoor hand slap to the purported 80%+ evangelicals who supported Trump. I don’t know this. I only see this a potentiality from one outside looking in.
Third, since the “alt-right” was so broadly condemned in Resolution #10 for its undeniable racism and hatred,2 I find it more than telling that there exists no condemnation of the undeniable racial hatred expressed by organized groups like BLM that has targeted and encouraged the murder of white police officers in cold blood, murders which literally took place on the streets of our cities over the last year. Unless I am mistaken, there was no “alt-right” group calling for and/or encouraging the murder of any people of color or ethnic origin.3
Why more than telling?
If one is going to name one group (“alt-right”) as racially depraved, why spare another group (BLM) as also racially depraved? Especially since the latter unnamed group is:
a) unlike “alt-right” identifiable (they wear T-shirts for pete’s sake!; and they march; and in some cases, dead bodies are left behind);
b) clearly organized;
c) publicly calling for and supporting violence as a viable answer to social ills.
I can’t help it. I sense a bit of political tomfoolery bleeding over the edges of Resolution #10.
Fourth, the unprecedented way Resolution #10 passed seems to me a predictable trouble spot for future annual conventions. If I understand it properly, Dwight Mckissic’s resolution was submitted to the Resolutions Committee in advance according to proper protocol. The committee considered the resolution but rejected it according to proper protocol. McKissic apparently moved to have it reconsidered and brought to the convention floor according to proper protocol. The convention debated it and then voted on whether to receive the resolution to the floor of the convention according to proper protocol. The convention’s vote denied bringing the resolution to the floor since it required 2/3 majority according to proper protocol, and the vote failed the 2/3 majority rule.
However, according to this article,
“Messengers’ reactions to the committee’s decision, both on Twitter and in person, was swift, immediate, and strong. Almost immediately, “messengers” … began lobbying for the chance for SBC messengers to weigh in publicly… “big names” worked in parallel behind the scenes…”
If I may.
The convention considered and voted its mind in due process according to established protocol. The vote failed on the part of those to hear the contentious resolution. Nevertheless, due to the reportedly “swift, immediate, and strong” reaction of guys with Twitter accounts, coupled with “big names” who lobbied “behind the scenes” to overturn the duly established will of the assembled convention, the resolution was brought back to the floor.4
Am I supposed to be proud of this? Overlook this? Accept this?
That Southern Baptists who lose a vote on the convention floor will turn to Twitter to publicly criticize on the one hand while others work “behind the scenes” with “big names” on the other to purposely overturn a duly processed vote on the floor of the SBC?
And just what does this look like to you?
What it looks like to me is the very same reaction I’ve seen in our nation since Nov 2016. A president was elected in due process according to established protocol. But those who didn’t get their way in the election, rejected the process. They publicly wreaked havoc on the one hand and worked “behind the scenes” with “big names” on the other to usurp the established democratic process in our American republic for electing a president.
Do you not see the connection here?
The Southern Baptist Convention was already politicized enough (arguably too much). Now, however, it’s not going to be *normally predictable politics* through which our annual convention made decisions, whether contentious or uncontentious in nature.
Rather, it’s going to be the politics of disruption, the politics of disorder, the politics of disrespect… if you will, the politics of anarchy, the politics of rebelling against the mind of the people by disrupting and destroying due process and hence validating a process of disorder. Guys exploiting social media on one hand while others labor under cover to exploit the ones with the "biggest name." Why? To diss decisions by established protocol and pursue the politics of lawlessness.
If the mind of the people is at odds with either the mind of those with the microphone, or those who lost their motion on the floor of the convention, then the new politics of anarchy kicks into position to publicly complain and intimidate on the one hand, while “big names” work “behind the scenes” to usurp the mind of the people on the other.
Sweet Georgia peaches!
Where has our collective Baptist mind gone?
Where are our denominational statesmen who can pull the warring armies inside our convention together during a crisis like this?
Where is the E.Y. Mullins?
The George W. Truett?
The Adrian Rogers?
"Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?" (Jer 8:22)
Is it the best Southern Baptists can produce today the “big names” who only work in stealth “behind the scenes,” and work against the mind of the Southern Baptist Convention duly expressed at its annual convention?
It’s perhaps true during the Conservative Resurgence, “big names” worked “behind the scenes” to gain support for their cause. Granted.
But remember. We peed on Liberals and Moderates. Phoenix peed on its own people.5
If this can happen in Phoenix this year, it can certainly happen in Dallas next year, and Orlando the next, etc. etc. when a person or an organized group not only takes to Twitter but exploits their relationships with "big names" to work behind the scenes to overturn any decision the SBC makes during due process at the annual convention.
Most sadly of all, it’s a bridge we politically crossed upon which it will be next to impossible to go back.
1I’m undecided whether I will ever again take up discussing SBC matters on this blog—on a consistent basis at least. I couldn’t right now even if I wanted to. I’m presently involved in a major research project and just don’t have the sufficient time it takes to keep abreast of SBC issues, offering a well-documented case for the views I publicly voice. Documented research has always been a key component of this site; and since I can’t research specific claims, I don’t have an opinion to publicly offer! That could change in a year or so. But certainly not now.
2I too condemn without qualification racial and ethnic hatred wherever and from whomever it is found, including within my own denomination starting with its very beginning in 1845
3Though admittedly there has been much criticism and condemnation toward Islam in general and Islamic terrorists like ISIS in particular, I hesitate to say either was necessarily due to “alt-right” persuasion.
4Either an edited copy of the original resolution or a substitute resolution written by the committee to capture the “spirit” of the original
5I know this is a crude metaphor. But, it is also an accurate one from an outsider like me looking in. My apologies to those who take offense.