Well, this is Awkward: Did Willy Rice really Call Tom Ascol a “Jerk”?


You may have heard the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, will bring two candidates out for President. Both are pastors. Both are Floridians. One is Willy Rice; the other is Tom Ascol.

After Rice’s nomination, rumors circulated that Voddie Baucham, an SBC missionary and African-American, would also be nominated. Liberals piled on in racially-motivated attempts to prevent Baucham’s nomination on a technicality. Rice begged his progressive supporters to stop personally attacking Baucham. To his credit, Rice wrote, “I condemn both the nature and the content of criticisms that distort the truth, unjustly impugn Voddie’s character, and attack his family…Voddie is my brother in Christ, and I welcome his voice and involvement in the Southern Baptist Convention.” That’s all very nice, but Rice won’t be running against Voddie Baucham, who is being nominated for SBC Pastors’ Conference President, not SBC President.

During his convention sermon in Nashville, Rice made a point of claiming Critical Race Theory was a “thing.” “But,” he added, “being a jerk is a thing, too.” Some honorable mentions may have helped us here. Who’s the jerk, and why is being a jerk, in Rice’s mind, tied specifically to the topic of Critical Race Theory? Thankfully, Baptist News made the connection for us:

“Hell does not quake when the Southern Baptist Convention passes a resolution. Remember, the real work of Southern Baptists is out there, not in here.”

But that seems to have been lost in “the unusually rancorous debate” over Critical Race Theory, Rice added, with far too many voices “speaking about something they have little understanding of.”

Two motions related to the academic theory were ruled out of order at the convention June 16, including one to rescind a 2019 resolution declaring Critical Race Theory permissible as long as it is subordinate to the Bible.

Who was concerned about resolutions in Nashville? Who was debating Critical Race Theory? Who made a motion to rescind the 2019 resolution on Critical Race Theory? Who was ruled out of order?

Well, that would be Tom Ascol. This is awkward. Should we expect something else nice from Rice?

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