Evans, a Christian writer, was tweeting from a panel discussion held at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty forum. Here’s the “ironic” history of how the Southern Baptist Convention came to be:
Largely comprised of slaveholders, the gathering at the First Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia, in May 1845 publicly pled their case. Slavery was biblical. Therefore abolition was sinful, and Baptists of the North were wrong to oppose slavery. Abolitionists of the North were responsible for the Baptist division; southern Baptists had been patient with the agitators, but enough was enough. Pledging allegiance to slavery, they vowed “we will never interfere with what is Caesar’s” (a biblical allusion implying it was their moral and legal responsibility to uphold the legal institution of slavery). And for good measure, the delegates expressed outrage that a northern Baptist missionary had “actually remitted money to the United States to aid in the assisting of slaves to ‘run away from their masters.’” (See Proceedings of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1845.) From this point forward, white Baptist leaders in the South through the end of the Civil War openly and insistently championed and defended white supremacy and black slavery, along the way migrating into a form of Christian nationalism heretofore foreign to the very Christian denomination that had been the most vocal champions, since the seventeenth century, of the separation of church and state.
In 1995 the SBC finally issued a formal apology to African-Americans for having supported slavery and for having supported segregation right through the civil rights era.
RELATED: One of the panelists at the SBC’s forum was Mark Regnerus. The event closed with the announcement that in October the SBC will “hold a conference exclusively focusing on homosexuality.”