A NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist Poll survey taken after the protests found that few white evangelicals agreed that statues honoring Confederate leaders should be taken down. Only 6 percent said they should be removed because they offend some people, far fewer than the 27 percent of Americans and 40 percent of African Americans who wanted to see them removed.
While a plurality of African Americans defended such statues as historical symbols, white evangelicals were more likely to do so; 85 percent believed they should remain, compared to 62 percent of Americans and 44 percent of African Americans.
The SBC’s Steve Gaines, senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, joined more than 150 Memphis-area clergy in a letter requesting the state historical commission relocate a statue of Memphis native Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader is buried in a city park that bore his name until 2013.
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