Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Resolution To Disavow ‘Alt-Right’ Divides Southern Baptists

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention were divided over a resolution affirming the denomination’s opposition to the “alt-right” during their annual meeting this week in Arizona.

On Tuesday, they initially declined to consider the proposal submitted by a prominent black pastor, the Atlantic reported, but changed course after a significant backlash.

“The drama over the resolution revealed deep tension lines within a denomination that was explicitly founded to support slavery” in the 19th century, the Atlantic writes.

The rise of the “alt-right” a loose movement comprising white supremacists and provocateurs, has triggered tensions in the Jewish world, as some have publicly embraced the movement, while most have rejected it and reviled its Jewish supporters.

Leaders of the faith group initially refused to take up a proposal that they repudiate the political group, the Associated Press reported, with one Baptist leader saying the resolution contained broad language “potentially implicating” those conservatives who may not support the “alt-right.”

On Tuesday night, there was a dramatic turnaround, with leaders announcing that they would take up the proposal after all on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said he wanted to send the message that “we love everybody on this planet.”

The Southern Baptist Convention, based in Nashville, has more than 15 million members and is the largest Protestant group in the country.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.