Southern Baptists Must Apologize, Again

By Warren J. Blumenfeld

Three years ago, delegates to the annual Southern Baptist Convention held in Atlanta passed a resolution apologizing to African Americans for condoning racism for much of its history, including the institution of slavery, and for its failure to support civil rights initiatives of the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, the Southern Baptists, this country's largest Protestant denomination, was born over the split between the North and South over slavery.

Two years ago at their convention in New Orleans, delegates overwhelmingly passed a resolution commiting to put more energy and resources into converting Jews to Christianity,

Last year at their convention in Dallas, the Southern Baptists voted to boycott Walt Disney theme parks, movies, and products over what they see as Disney's "promotion of homosexuality" and retreat from "traditional family values."

And in Salt Lake City this year at their convention, they passed an amendment to their basic statement of beliefs stating: "A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband."

Will the Southern Baptists never learn? Though their long-established collusion with racism is significantly different from their blatantly anti-Semitic, homophobic, and sexist actions, they consistently react from a place of intolerance and bigotry. Therefore, the Southern Baptist leadership must issue apologies again--this time to Jewish people, to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and to all women. I hope we won't have to wait another 150 years for them to do so.

Warren J. Blumenfeld
Northampton, Massachusetts

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