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Southern Baptist Convention, Largest Protestant Unit in U.s., Calls Anti-semitism ‘unchristian’

June 8, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The 12-million member Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the US, declared anti-Semitism “unchristian” in a resolution adopted unanimously here this morning by 13,000 “messengers” attending the Convention’s annual meeting. The resolution pledged the Southern Baptist Convention to combat anti-Semitism “in every honorable Christian way.” The resolution, the first of its kind to be adopted by the Convention, was drafted and introduced by Dr. Elmo Scoggin, of Raleigh, N.C., a lay leader and professor of Biblical literature at Wake Forest University. Rabbi Marc Tannenbaum, director of the interreligious affairs department of the American Jewish Committee hailed it as an “unprecedented development in Southern Baptist history.”

Rabbi Tannenbaum told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the resolution was “one of the impressive fruits” of a recent dialogue held between the Southern Baptist Convention and the American Jewish community. He said it was particularly significant, coming on the eve of Explo-72, an evangelical meeting to be held in Dallas, Texas June 12-15 expected to be attended by 100,000 people. Rabbi Tannenbaum said that misgivings have been felt that Explo-72 might spark a resurgence of anti-Semitism and conversion attempts because its organizers are fundamentalists who demand a literalist interpretation of the Scriptures which lends itself to the charge of deicide against the Jews. He said the forthright resolution adopted in Philadelphia today placed the nation’s major Southern Baptist body squarely against anti-Semitism.

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