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Editors’ Note: We are introducing this weekly feature for our readers of just a few of the important developments in the world that it would be important for revcom.us readers to be aware of—as part of knowing and understanding the world in order to change it, in the interests of humanity.

Christian Fascist Fanatics Nearly Take Over Southern Baptist Convention

Over ten thousand vote on a motion at the SBC national meeting in Nashville, June 2021. The Christian fascists may have failed take over the SBC, for now, but they passed resolutions opposing all abortions, and opposing bans on discrimination against LGBTQ people. Photo: AP

Last week the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—an umbrella group for right-wing evangelical churches, and the largest Protestant denomination in the country with about 14 million members—held their convention in Nashville, Tennessee. SBC is already extremely conservative.1 But during the convention, Mike Stone, a Christian fascist fanatic, nearly won the election to become the president of the SBC, losing by only a slim margin to the winner, Ed Litton, described as someone who is more “moderate.”

The SBC was founded in 1845 explicitly on the basis of upholding slavery, and for most of the time since then, it has openly supported white supremacy. In recent decades, the SBC has moved to change their image, taking some formal stands against racism and attempting to distance themselves from their slavery-upholding roots. Some SBC leaders spoke positively of the mass protests in recent years against police murder and said that critical race theory could be “useful” for pastors in engaging their congregations around questions of racism. One SBC megachurch ordained several women as pastors. At the same time, the SBC has been home to a big chunk of Donald Trump’s white supremacist, hardcore fascist base. At their national meeting in 2017, the SBC initially refused even to vote on a resolution proposed by a Black pastor condemning white supremacy and the alt-right. Ultimately they did vote on and passed a similar resolution, but the new version was stripped of language renouncing the so-called “curse of Ham”—a theological justification that claimed that the subordination of Black people to whites was ordained by God (a claim promoted openly by the SBC in its early years).

But to a large section of the SBC, even the modest concessions that the SBC has made around the question of racism and other issues like the role of women in society and literal interpretation of the Bible are too far “left.” Last year, key fascists (including several prominent Christian fascist Trump supporters like former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council) formed the Conservative Baptist Network (CBN). Its goal is to reaffirm everything reactionary and oppressive about SBC, root out critical race theory2 (which is in line with the offensive by fascists across the country to pass laws forbidding the teaching of any truth about the foundational role of slavery in this country and the continuing institutionalized racism today), drive out the “Biden Baptists” and elect one of their own as the SBC president. They declared they wanted to “take the ship” in order to steer the SBC in the direction they want. Never mind “conservative”—these people are outright Christian fascists.

These fascist forces may have failed to take over the SBC, for now. But they had other victories, including passing resolutions opposing all abortions “without exceptions or compromise” and laws that ban discrimination against LGBTQ people. And they came very close to winning the top leadership. A prominent Stone backer, a member of the powerful executive committee of the SBC, summed up, “If we do not prevail today, we will come back next year and the next year and the next year.” After pointing out that most of Jesus’s apostles were eventually martyred, he said, “We are here to the death! We will not stop.”

* * *

U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference: Weaponizing the Eucharist

On June 18, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to move ahead with drafting guidance on the sacrament of the Eucharist. The New York Times noted that the overwhelming vote (73 percent of the bishops voting in favor) “advance[ed] a push by conservative bishops to deny President Biden communion because of his support of abortion rights.” The final guidance has not been written yet, much less approved. But the clear vote to go forward is a very public threat and slap in the face to Biden (and other political leaders who supports women’s right to abortion) and an indication that the final version may well pass.

The Eucharist (or Holy Communion) is a ceremony in which Christians receive wine and a wafer from a priest. According to Catholic doctrine, this “becomes” the blood and body of Jesus Christ. This belief, like all religious belief and ritual, has no basis in reality, and such beliefs actually do harm to people’s ability to understand reality. But denying the Eucharist to those who support a woman’s right to decide whether or not to bear a child on the basis that they have committed a grave sin is intended to intimidate and silence millions of Catholics who do support abortion rights, as well as being a blow in the Christian-fascist effort to delegitimize Biden.

This attempt to use the Eucharist takes place at a time when abortion rights are hanging by a thread. There are over 500 anti-abortion laws now being pushed in the states, and Texas recently passed a law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy—basically outlawing nearly all abortions. The Christian fascists see enforced motherhood (via denial of abortion and contraception) as a key pillar of their overall program of reducing women to their “biblical status”—subservient and inferior to men.

This move by the U.S. bishops is part of fascist attacks on Biden’s legitimacy and hold on power from various directions. In January, the archbishop of Los Angeles3 accused Biden of promoting “moral evils... in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage and gender” (i.e., LGBTQ rights). Now a similar message is being taken up by the U.S. Catholic hierarchy as a whole. For the tens of millions who take moral guidance from these religious fascists, this amounts to saying that Biden is against god and morality. How far is that from saying he must be removed “by any means necessary”?

There are over 500 anti-abortion laws now being pushed in the states, and Texas recently passed a law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The Christian fascists see enforced motherhood as a key pillar of their overall program of reducing women to their “biblical status”—subservient and inferior to men. These are youth members of Notre Dame Catholic Church in Houston at the Texas Rally for Life, January 2018.

These developments among Catholic bishops (and in the Southern Baptist Convention) are examples, among many, of the growing intensity of conflicts at the top of this society, with huge implications. As A Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution says:

Throughout this country the workings of this system have given rise to deep divisions which cannot be resolved under this system. Society is being ripped apart. Those who rule are locked in a bitter fight among themselves, and they cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past. Although there are a lot of bad things connected with this and it could lead to something really terrible, it is also possible that we could wrench something really positive out of it—revolution, to put an end to this system and bring something much better into being.

* * *

Biden in Europe: Imperialist Threats vs. Russia and China

Biden is a stone-“cold-war” warrior, one who established his imperialist credentials in relation to U.S. interests globally through many decades. Biden salutes upon returning from Europe summit meeting where he declared: “America is back.” Photo: AP

In his first overseas trip as president, Joe Biden traveled to Europe for a summit with G-7 (the group of seven top imperialist powers headed by the U.S.) and meetings with European Union and NATO officials, as well as a one-on-one talk with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Biden declared that “America is back”—in contrast with Trump, who constantly derided the U.S.’s European allies and openly slammed them around economic and military issues. One thing this meant was that Biden’s European trip was marked by sharp threats against Russia and China.

The U.S. has been accusing Putin’s Russia of being behind cyberattacks in the U.S., such as the ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline, a major operator of oil pipelines. Right at the start of the Europe trip, Biden declared, “The United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities.” Then after a meeting with Biden, NATO issued a joint communique that included describing Russia as a “threat” and threatening language against China. The NATO statement declared that China posed “systemic challenges” to the Western alliance and that “We will engage China with a view to defending the security interests of the alliance.” This comes as the Biden administration is stepping up moves against China in a number of ways, including initiatives by the Department of Defense aimed at “truly treating China as the number one pacing challenge.”

Under Biden, the tone and some of the actual policies in terms of U.S. foreign policy and geostrategic moves around the world may have changed. But the reality is that both Trump/Republi-fascists and the Democratic Party are representatives of capitalist-imperialist rulers, whose top priority is protecting and advancing the interests of the U.S. as the top-dog oppressor and exploiter worldwide. And for the U.S. imperialists, China4 is increasingly posing a threat to U.S. domination, not only in Asia but throughout the world.

Biden is a stone- “cold-war” warrior, one who established his imperialist credentials in relation to U.S. interests globally, through many decades.5This move marks a return to some of these liberal imperialist policies and approach, fundamentally based on seeking to retain U.S. domination in a very challenging and changing world.


1. The SBC has barred the ordination of women as pastors, opposed gay marriage and other LGBTQ rights, opposed all abortion, and heavily promoted the view that the Bible is “the inerrant Word of God,” every word the literal truth, which means denying science and leaving people wallowing in ignorance.  [back]

2. Critical race theory has become a stalking horse for the white-supremacist fascists against any critical examination or interrogation of institutionalized racism in this system and in the history of this country. We will write more on critical race theory later, as there is much more to explore on whether this actually goes to the roots of this system and country, and how white supremacy is interwoven in the fabric of this society. But for more on the question of white supremacy in this country, see “The Oppression of Black People and Other People of Color” from Bob Avakian’s speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.  [back]

3. Jose Gomez, LA archbishop, is a member of Opus Dei—a secretive, fascistic group within the Catholic Church.  [back]

4. China was a genuine socialist country until 1976, when socialism was defeated by a capitalist coup after the death of Mao Zedong. Since then China has developed into a major world power, vying with U.S. imperialism for global dominance.  [back]

5. See “Empire Politician,” a project by journalist Jeremy Scahill on The Intercept website, for extensive information on “A Half Century of Joe Biden’s Stances on War, Militarism and the CIA.” Just a few of the many examples noted in this project of Biden’s positions during his years as U.S. senator (1973-2009) and vice president (2009-2017) include the following:

  • Supported the extended bombing of Iraq under President Bill Clinton—the longest sustained U.S. bombing campaign since the Vietnam War—and the genocidal years-long economic sanctions on Iraq that led to the death of more than 500,000 children and hundreds of thousands of other people in Iraq.
  • Was a major force behind Plan Colombia in the 1990s, under which the U.S. sent hundreds of millions of dollars yearly to the brutal military in Colombia in the name of “war on drugs.” Thousands of people were killed by U.S.-trained forces under this plan, and nearly seven million were driven out of their homes.
  • Strongly backed the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, saying he wanted to send in “people who shoot and kill people… badasses who will come in here with guns and understand that they don’t have to check with anybody before they return fire.”
  • As head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voted for the resolution giving George W. Bush the authority to use military force against Iraq—giving a green light to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on blatant lies, that led to massive deaths, dislocation, and turmoil for people in Iraq.
  • Like other top U.S. ruling class politicians, has been a staunch defender of Israel’s genocidal actions against Palestinian people—for example after Israel’s bombing of Gaza and southern Lebanon in 2006 (killing over 1,000 in Lebanon), Biden said Israel had “done the right thing”; and in 2010, he said Israel’s raid on a flotilla of ships trying to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people of Gaza under Israel’s murderous blockade was “legitimate.”  [back]



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