Mormons have long had a problem with race regarding the ban that resulted in blacks being denied priesthood and temple blessings until 1978. Mormons aren’t the only ones with racial problems though. According to Wikipedia,
In May 1845, the Baptist congregations in the United States split over slavery and missions. The Home Mission Society prevented slaveholders from being appointed as missionaries. The split created the Southern Baptist Convention, while the northern congregations formed their own umbrella organization now called the American Baptist Churches USA (ABC-USA).
The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest group, but even they have had problems with regards to race. A resolution in June proposed to condemn the alt-right movement as one that
seeks to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide our people, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic cleansing.” It identified this “toxic menace” as white nationalism and the alt-right, and urged the denomination to oppose its “totalitarian impulses, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that infect the minds and actions of its violent disciples.” It claimed that the origin of white supremacy in Christian communities is a once-popular theory known as the “curse of Ham,” which taught that “God through Noah ordained descendants of Africa to be subservient to Anglos” and was used as justification for slavery and segregation. The resolution called on the denomination to denounce nationalism and “reject the retrograde ideologies, xenophobic biases, and racial bigotries of the so-called ‘alt-right’ that seek to subvert our government, destabilize society, and infect our political system.”
However, the resolution was shot down. Meanwhile, alt-right figure Richard Spencer tweeted his support.“ Baptists Convention *didn’t* denounce the Alt-Right after all. Interesting development! ”
A few days later, a similar resolution did pass when the SBC
wrapped up its annual meeting this week in Phoenix with a nearly unanimous vote to condemn the racist political movement commonly referred to as the “alt-right.”
Among other things, the resolution states that church representatives “denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil intended to bring suffering and division to our society.”
It makes me feel a little better that it isn’t only the Mormon Church that grapples with race issues, although more than one Facebook user noted that the LDS Church didn’t even try to make a similar statement condemning white supremacy. Is that a given, or should the LDS Church put out a forceful statement like the Baptists did? We don’t have a similar convention system like SBC. If the church makes a statement, it can’t come from the members, it has to come from the Brethren. What do you think?