Most SBC resolutions are both forgotten and forgettable but indications are that the resolution to be submitted by Dwight McKissick, Resolution on the Elimination of the Confederate Flag from Public Life, will be much more notable than what the SBC is accustomed to.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution political writer Jim Galloway has an article about the proposed resolution in yesterday’s AJC, Southern Baptists asked to endorse ban on public display of Confederate battle flag, in which he says,
Passage of the resolution would be an important milestone in the Southern Baptist Convention’s long struggle to come to grips with its origins — and expand its appeal to minorities. But as the strongest religious conservative condemnation yet of what the Confederate banner has come to represent, support for a ban on public display would also send shockwaves across the South.
If that sounds a bit hyperbolic, don’t complain to me. Galloway is nothing if not in touch with the politics of the South.
Though an SBC resolution would be binding neither on congregations nor its 15 million members, heritage forces that want to keep the battle flag flying at Stone Mountain Park, for instance, would be deprived of an important acre of moral high ground.
Such a move would also give succor to politicians who stepped up in the days after the Charleston massacre, like Mississippi House Speaker Phillip Gunn, who has unsuccessfully argued for removing the Confederate battle emblem from his state flag — as Georgia did in 2001.
Astutely noted by Galloway is the composition of the SBC Resolutions Committee. The group includes “ranking executives with both the Family Research Council and the National Religious Broadcasters” as well as “Mat Staver, attorney for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to process marriage licenses for gay couples.”
The resolution has “high profile” written all over it.
A certain blog made Galloway’s column,
Though it won’t become full-throated until messengers assemble in St. Louis, the debate has already begun. On SBC Voices, a denomination-oriented blog, McKissic emphasized in a post on the topic that the resolution would be aimed only at Confederate flags on public ground. “Where this flag is displayed on private properties, it is none of my business, unless those who wave it claim to belong to God’s Kingdom,” he wrote.
A moderator ultimately shut off commenting on the post, in part because of the “racist” tone of some critics.
Obviously, some connected SBCer talks to Galloway because in the print column he calls SBC Voices a “denomination-sponsored” blog. This is corrected to “denomination-oriented” blog in the link above.
I support the resolution. It needs some tightened language and a bit of tweaking to clarify some things but the resolution committee will certainly handle that. There’s no chance at this stage of the resolution being buried in committee. There is a chance that Southern Baptists will embarrass themselves in the debate but my guess is that such will be very closely controlled by the moderator.