On Sunday, a church chair belonging to a Southern Baptist church was set alight in Louisiana, setting off a firestorm of criticism on social media.
In the aftermath, the Rev. Mark McBride, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressed his deep sorrow over the tragedy.
“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of this beautiful church chair,” McBride said.
I am profoundly saddened by this tragedy.” “
The SBC has long been a strong and courageous voice in support of religious liberty and equality.
I am profoundly saddened by this tragedy.”
In a statement Sunday night, the SBC said it was saddened by “the loss of the life of a beautiful woman who made her home in this country.
The SBA has always stood for religious liberty, equality and inclusion, and the safety and well-being of all people, regardless of race, creed, religion, or sexual orientation.
We have a responsibility to do more to protect religious liberty in this nation.”
McBride said in a statement that he “deeply sympathizes” with the families of the victims.
“While we will always be mindful of our responsibilities to serve and protect all people in our country, the safety of our congregations, as well as the lives of others, is paramount.”
“As Christians, we have a duty to speak out and stand with our fellow Americans when they feel threatened by hate and intolerance, and to speak up when they are victimized by it,” McBrides said.
SBC leaders have been criticized for not taking more action to condemn hate crimes against people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants and other vulnerable groups, especially since a gunman in June 2016 killed nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people.
McBrides has also been criticized by some who say he is too cozy with the Trump administration, which has expanded the role of the U.S. military in the Middle East and other parts of the world.