I was raised in a Southern Baptist family. My father is a pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), and growing up, I was heavily entrenched in the typical American evangelical subculture. Being in such a family, I was all too familiar with charismatic song and dance, fire and brimstone, and a globalistic attitude to boot.
In June 2017, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) formally denounced the alt-right movement in a second reiteration of a resolution to decry “every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” This is a rather forward attempt to resist any racist connotations that the SBC acquired during its earlier years. In fact, the “Southern” part of the religious organization’s name stems from disputes with its northern counterpart regarding whether or not slave owners should be permitted to be missionaries. After the Civil War, however, many freed black individuals began Southern Baptist congregations of their own, and by the middle of the 20th century, the SBC had become well known for its desire to attract minorities, having renounced it racist past in 1995.
The decision to condemn the “alt-right” as an oppressive, hateful organization was done without any acknowledgement of the morally atrocious “alt-left,” i.e., Antifa.
In recent history, the SBC has condemned the flying of the Confederate flag and encouraged its members to accept and support the mass immigration of Muslim refugees into the United States. As the prominent Baptist speaker Russell Moore puts it, “freedom must be for all religions,” revealing that his religious organization may know less about Islam than the average Republican voter. Islam is not merely a set of religious principles or a morality that governs one’s life. It is an ideology of global conquest dedicated to the eradication of Western civilization, and to welcome them into one’s homeland in the name of “religious freedom” has no basis in the objective world.
In September 2017, the SBC resisted the Trump administration’s push to revoke DACA. Alan Cross, pastor and long-time associate of Baptist social initiatives, claimed that evangelicals have two choices in wake of the 6 month hiatus:
“1) Evangelicals can speak on behalf of Immigrant DREAMers (those brought here illegally as children) and ask Congress to pass legislation to allow them to stay legally, or, 2) we can do nothing, sit back, say it isn’t our problem, and whatever happens happens. If we do that, then DREAMers will lose their protection, lose their jobs, not be able to go to school, and will be eventually deported.”
The sound of Cross’s virtue signaling is almost unbearable to behold, as it echoes the cries for “social justice” by leftist groups. If Americans are to put Americans first, then that means that some peoples must not be first; that is, they must be set aside for the betterment of the nation.
My father, who has been a pastor in the very same organization, provided the following statement back in June, when the alt-right issue was hot among pastors. His name is withheld to protect his identity.
“The alt-right is mostly immoral people like Milo [Yiannopoulos], so you can have them. I don’t agree with a lot of things the SBC leaders do, but for the most part they have been solid on issues like gay marriage and abortion. Can’t say the same about most other Protestants and the [Eastern] Orthodox barely engage culture at all.”
Both the SBC and the far-right seek to engage culture in the most effective way possible, trying to evangelize the masses to come around to their way of thinking. Thus, a natural opposition arises when the worldviews held by both entities are foundationally at odds with each other.
Unsurprisingly, due to the SBC’s straightforward socio-cultural alliance with globalism and the social justice movement, the convention’s membership and financial backing is rapidly declining. According to the Baptist Press, contributions to the SBC (together with its national and international ministries) were 0.05% below the first two months of last year’s fiscal year; however, the contributions received were also 5.67% below the projected budget for the first two months of the current fiscal year.
Many of the younger generation, coined as “Generation Z” by contemporary sociologists, find themselves with political grapplings that are inherently at odds with the Boomer-esque vibes that the SBC unashamedly emanates.
The alt-right is a constantly growing movement that encompasses more than simplistic racial identity politics, and is rooted more in the convictions of Western chauvinism and a rally to protect national identity than anything else. The SBC did not have an adequate understanding of the alt-right or what it stands for, and therefore its condemnation of the movement was ultimately hasty and done out of ignorance. Will we eventually see a turnaround down the road when evangelicalism recognizes the cost of a multicultural society? Or will the SBC continue to spiral downward in the abyss of cultural decay alongside other factions of Western civilization? Only time will tell.