Southern Baptists adopt moral leadership statement
Tensions over the U.S. presidential election were on display Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The denomination is home to not only to prominent evangelical supporters of President Donald Trump, but also some of Trump’s most vocal evangelical critics, including The Rev. Russell Moore, who in 2015 called evangelical support for the Republican “illogical” and a repudiation of everything Christian conservatives believe.
The convention voted on resolutions at its gathering in Phoenix, the first since since the U.S. presidential election, which riled the denomination’s leadership over whether Trump, a thrice-married casino and real estate mogul, was morally fit for office.
The assembly issued a statement encouraging morality in leadership that avoids language critical of current political officeholders. But it rejected a proposal that would have condemned the “alt-right,” a political movement that mixes racism, white nationalism and populism because the proposed resolution was too broad and inflammatory.
The convention approved a different resolution re-stating the faith group’s long-standing opposition to gambling and condemning the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for its role as the leading abortion provider in the U.S.
That resolution urged Congress, as well as state and local governments, to halt all taxpayer funding that supports Planned Parenthood. Citing a series of controversial undercover videos, the resolution also urged the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges related to the handling of fetal tissue.