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Mon Jun 11, 2018, 04:09 PM

SPLC: Racial division within the Southern Baptist Convention

June 11, 2018

Hatewatch Staff

James Edwards, host of “The Political Cesspool,” a white nationalist AM radio broadcast, is the latest source of controversy over racism the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is facing.

Edwards’s congregation, Lighthouse Baptist Church of Bartlett, Tennessee, is no longer a member of the Mid-South Baptist Association (MSBA) according to an official with the group. The split is a result of mounting pressure from pastors of other Baptist congregations urging Edward’s “personal minister and lifelong friend,” Pastor David Rogers, to expel Edwards from his congregation.

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Rogers appeared on “Cesspool” numerous times over the years. Other alumni include white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, former Klansman and Holocaust denier David Duke, former head of the British Nationalist Party Nick Griffin and League of the South president Michael Hill, in addition to a laundry list of prominent radical right figures.

Edwards’ associations have cost him. He lost a 2017 defamation suit against the Detroit News, who referred to him as a Klan leader. The appeals judge in the case reminded Edwards in a written opinion that “a man is known by the company that he keeps.”

Edwards’ connections to hate groups extend well beyond his radio program. He served as a board member for the Council of Conservative Citizens, the organization responsible for propaganda that radicalized Dylann Roof, the young man who killed nine parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2016.

<snip>

During the March 21, 2015, “Cesspool” episode, Edwards told listeners, “I am firmly of the belief that race relations were better during Jim Crow, and even better in the antebellum south, than they are now.”

Eight years prior, Edwards appeared on an April 4, 2007, broadcast of CNN where he told viewers that, “crime and violence follow African Americans wherever they go.”

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https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/06/11/pastor-defends-white-nationalist-parishioner-james-edwards-amid-racial-divisions-within

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