Kevin Smith, a pastor at Family Church in West Palm Beach and former executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, criticized his fellow pastors for being "wh*res" for former President Donald Trump during a speech he gave on the first day of the annual Southern Baptist Convention.
Smith–not to be confused with the director of the films Clerks and Dogma–said some ministers were guilty of "losing their damn minds" after former President Barack Obama, a Democrat and the first Black President of the United States, was re-elected in 2012.
Smith suggested that Obama's re-election inflamed racism within the Southern Baptist denomination, though he acknowledged that he'd witnessed this metamorphosis following the murder of Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager who was gunned down by a White man and whose death was widely justified by the right-wing in its defense of "stand your ground" laws.
You can hear his remarks in the video below.
"I think some Southern Baptists lost their minds when a Black man was elected President—not all, but some."
"I think some Southern Baptists were unloving to Black people beginning in 2012 with the killing of Trayvon Martin."
"I don’t mean agree about politics or policy… I just mean giving a darn that somebody else is hurting who is supposed to be your brother or sister in Christ, and I think some Southern Baptists just bent over and became political whores with this whole Trump stuff."
Many others agreed with Smith's assessment.
Southern Baptist churches are evangelical in doctrine and practice and evangelicals have been described as a "key cog" of Trump's political base.
Evangelicals played a major role in delivering Trump the presidency in 2016 and Trump, who countless sources have alleged he is all but certain to commit to a 2024 run, has "continued contact with white evangelical Christian leaders in phone calls and regular meetings at Mar-a-Lago."