The Evangelical Political Movement’s Racist Origins

Religion Dispatches explains the actual galvanization of the modern evangelical conservative movement:

The right-wing evangelical movement was not an immediate backlash to Roe v. Wade. The evangelical community, unlike Roman Catholicism, showed little interest in combating abortion until almost 1980.

Although evangelicals were mostly silent on abortion after Roe v. Wade, they were not silent on other political issues. Paul Weyrich, one of the evangelical right’s most influential founders, recalls that the movement initially emerged to defend racially segregated Christian schools from government intrusion:

What galvanized the Christian community was not abortion, school prayer, or the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment]. I am living witness to that because I was trying to get those people interested in those issues and I utterly failed. What changed their minds was Jimmy Carter’s intervention against the Christian schools, trying to deny them tax-exempt status on the basis of so-called de facto segregation.

In other words, as Randall Balmer has succinctly put it: “the religious right of the late twentieth century organized to perpetuate racial discrimination.” Only after the movement was underway did it begin advocacy on abortion.

90 Comments on "The Evangelical Political Movement’s Racist Origins"

  1. Abortion, also, has a similarly interesting lineage. In the 19th century abortion and birth control (i.e., condoms or whatever) were treated on identical terms. The main argument against them was that they permitted women to have extramarital sex without fear of pregnancy/discovery/punishment. Only after birth control became normative did the anti-abortion movement jump on the whole “life” thing–but if you trace it back to its origins, it really has everything to do with controlling women’s sexual behavior, which is why the evangelical movement is so crazy about it.

    • agreed. It’s not about life. It’s about controlling sex, especially controlling the sexual behavior of women. You can see this in the pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control to single women. They dispense Viagra without questioning the marital status of the men. Religion is a choice and they choose to use religion as a means to dominate and abuse.

      • Yes and its curious all human societies place a higher value upon female virginity and chastity. Sort of comes with the potential costs of sex being higher for females than for a man who can ‘pump and dump’..

        Shame the underlying biology isn’t a social construct, isn’t it.

    • It doesn’t even have to be theoretical. Chile has all the laws the anti-choicers want. If you even help a woman get an abortion its 5 yrs in prison and a whopping high fine. Yet Chile has twice as many abortions as Canada (which has state-run universal health care and abortion on-demand), even though Chile has half the population of Canada. So despite the laws, in truth it has four times the number of abortions.

      Point blank, anti-abortion laws do not stop abortions, in fact they simply increase the danger to “life” by putting the mother at risk in unsanitary conditions.

      If you are TRULY pro-life (something which is noble) you should be pro-choice, anti-war, and anti-death penalty.

      But if your true motivation is the SUBJUGATION OF WOMEN, then boy howdy, anti-abortion laws are your thing.

      For those of us who are NOT insane patriarchal d-bags, the choice then becomes clear. Make abortion safe, legal and as rare as we can, by ALSO encouraging the use of all means of birth control, and family planning education.

      Moreover, you should be in favor of REAL sex education in school. By this, I do not just mean the mechanics of sex, but also how men and women and women and women and men and men are supposed to treat each other.

      Right now, IF kids have sex education, even the best of it is just about mechanics, which is a bit like teaching someone about the combustion engine, and then expecting them to know how to drive.

      These kids have no sense of the rules of the road, when to yield right of way, when to stop, what the speed limit is, how to approach another car without hitting it, how to park, how to idle, when to use your turn signals, where the breaks are, how your rubber bumpers protect you, etc., etc., etc…. and then we wonder why they get into even bigger “trouble”.

      Seriously people, do the fracking MATH. Unplanned pregnancies and the spread of disease are a direct result of your lax parenting and crappy sex education programs.

      And NO, this will not get better by not talking about it, or pretending that utter shite like “abstinence education” will work on an adult, much less a hormonal teenager.

  2. This is actually bullshit. Because first of all Pentecostal churches are under the heading of “evangelical” and have historically been very integrated. Form what I understand in the history of the South, poor white people and poor black people weren’t really at odds with each other. This is the milieu from which Pentecostalism arose.

    The Southern Baptists, and independent Fundamentalist Baptists in the South, I think were a different matter, they did often have a racist history and are often intimately connected to segregation.

    Bob Jones University has a history of Racism and segregation but Bob Jones does not equal all of evangelicalism. Evangelicalism is not a monolith like the Roman Catholic church. Its a big tent. What these Political organizations do is work to build consensus, take people in to gain political power. A lot of this goes on through Christian radio.

    But to say “Evangelicalism” comes from racism is not correct.

    • Luis A. Valadez | Feb 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm |


      Pentecostalism was not always segregated. After the Azusa Street Revival in 1906, politics began to enter the young movement. Eventually, the White Elders from William Seymour’s congregation left and created the Assemblies of God. The Black Elders formed their own church: The Church of God in Christ. So although during the initial meeting they may have come together, eventually there was a split because of racism. Also keep in mind that Charles Parham supported the KKK; he was the preacher who taught the black William Seymour. But because of segregation laws Seymour couldn’t even take notes in the classroom. He had to sit out in the hallway.

      So there is racism, and to this day AOG and COGIC are predominantly one or the other (white or black respectively). While times have changed and at large this may no longer be the case, it would be ignorant of us to think of our beginnings as having an unadulterated foundation.

      • There are way more than two denominations (one mostly white and one mostly black) of Pentecostal. That is very simplistic.

      • There are way more than two denominations (one mostly white and one mostly black) of Pentecostal. That is very simplistic.

        • Luis A. Valadez | Feb 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

          I understand that. But you were the one saying that Pentecostal churches “have historically been very integrated.” I was disputing your statement. Especially when it has been evident from the two largest Pentecostal denominations that were birthed at the onset of the Azusa Street Revival, which defined the Pentecostal movement.

          • You haven’t seen any old pictures of tent revivals showing black people and white people? I guess I am going on more anecdotal evidence. Like going to Pentecostal churches and seeing racial diversity time and time again. You know, like Indians and Eskimos, white people, black people and Samoans all in the same church.

          • Luis A. Valadez | Feb 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm |

            Yes I have. But those were not from 1906. Again as I said times changed. But to say that Pentecostals were from the beginning “historically integrated” as you said in your post is not correct. My example was correcting your assumption. I never said that Pentecostals were ALWAYS segregated. I just said that to think there was no racism at all is to be have a picture that doesn’t exist. Please re-read my response to yours.

          • So if you are a such a nit picker why not not nitpick the author? Is the origin of the Evangelical movement racist?

          • Luis A. Valadez | Feb 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm |

            I have nothing to nitpick because I agree with the author. It’s you I don’t.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm |

            You should look into the Evangelical funded “Black Buffer” Militant Negro Militias clad in African garb patrolling the DC streets post- MLK Assassination to prevent unrest in the capital.

            Or check all the money that was poured into the effort to keep blacks out of unions.

            Read a bio on Strom Thurmond or any of the Dixiecrats. Check into the Christian
            Coalition as a political fundraising machine. Perhaps you want to dig real deep and find their connections to scamming Indian Reservations, Jack Abramoff, off-shore sweatshops, African goldmines, the S&L crisis…. it’s a nasty bunch of characters.

          • So all of evangelicalism was rotten to the core and completely racist from its inception and then was corrupted and subverted by power mongers? That is your premise?

            I think the more interesting story is that it was more populist and egalitarian originally, and that various nefarious elements have been working hard to subvert it to fascist political ends. I think more interesting story is closer to reality.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm |

            Once again:

            Evangelicalism ≠ “Evangelical Political Movement”

            We are talking about different things.

          • David Howe | Feb 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm |


          • NO, wrong again. The racial integration DID start in 1906 and maybe among some denominations became more segregated later.

          • David Howe | Feb 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

            Why are you so invested in this?

          • Because its not true. Because I worked in NY city with a group of Evangelicals, from an extremely racially, culturally and ethnically diverse back ground. Becauase wherver I go, the only people that really seem to give a shit about people living at the absolute bottom eschelon of society are Evangelicals and other church groups, even though ideological Left Wingers might talk a good game, saying to the poor basically “depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled” Church people actually provide food clothing and shelter and the means to improve their situation. This is not some limited perspective. This the case in NYC, Chicago, Seattle, LA, Anchorage etc. all over the place.

            I mean sure I have philosophical differences. But to say Evangelicals are a whole are basically just a bunch of racists is a bum rap. Tell that to the Samoan Pastor in Seattle that goes around with a bus, picking up homeless people of all races and backgrounds and taking them to church and giving them a huge hot meal.

          • David Howe | Feb 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm |

            Glad to hear that your (alleged) personal experience trumps actual research

          • actual research….such as?

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm |

            Yes but your comment was referring to your understanding of the south. We have very few samoans & eskimos.

          • OK. I stand corrected all Southern Pentecostals are inveterate racists and the second they spread beyond the mason Dixon line they suddenly aren’t.

          • Luis A. Valadez | Feb 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |

            You are very ignorant. Have you actually even looked up anything before you typed?

          • Ignorant of what? I go on actual knowledge from having been an Evangelical Christian and studying in Bible college and travelling around the country, not quick google searches while I’m typing.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm |

            Was it at bible college that you transformed into a dragon?

          • I no longer consider myself an Evangelical Christian. I am just not a completely disloyal fuck. I’m not going to say that now that I no longer run with this group of people, that all of them are complete assholes and that everything they do is worthless.

            I also don’t talk shit about my ex-wife.

            I was in the ministry with completely, ethnically and racially diverse congregations. Its just not accurate to say that they are basically a bunch of racists.

          • Here is my convoluted line of thinking: White people with Southern accents and black people who grew up in the South, for some reason are well represented in these various Pentecostal Churches I have attended around the country, along with Hispanics, Koreans, Samoans, Africans. etc. To me that implies that they are racially diverse in the Southern US also. It looked to me like these White and Black Southerners, finding themselves in California, through being in the Armed forces or whatever, chose to worship in a way that was familiar to them back home.

            Also growing up as a did with a Black Stepfather, who grew up Pentecostal in Virginia and West Virginia, hearing anecdotal accounts from his childhood, I also had the impression these churches were integrated. I’ve read literature to that affect. of Anthropologists studying Glossolalia.

            I have feel like I have seen a pretty good sampling of Pentecostals around the country, and to me it seems like a racial diverse group, more so than most other churches. My Roommate’s church here in Madison, WI seems to be the same way, and his mother how attends a different church is mostly black, but also racially integrated.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm |

            We all have different experiences. Let me share an aspect of mine.

            I am a white southern male, married to a white southern woman. We attend a large African-American church in the Holiness tradition. When I first started attending some thought I was an FBI agent (lots of politically charged sermons).

            My wife & I were married by the pastor of this church, the first white couple he had ever married and the ceremony was held in a small town white Pentecostal church that my wife’s family came from. Having a black pastor their was very upsetting for some. He even brought a bodyguard.

            Welcome to Dixie.

          • OK. Well, for some reason you weren’t racist. How did that happen? Obviously the Pastor that married you wasn’t racist. I am not denying that racism exists. I am just saying Evangelical Christianity didn’t form due to a racist origin.

            The title of this article struck a nerve, because I think its sloppy to just sling hot button words around. I mean sure you can make a distinction, between evangelicalsm and the “evangelical political movement” which usually people just (more accurately) say “religious right” so saying

            “The Evangelical Political Movement’s Racist Origins” implies a racist origin of evangelicalism which is inaccurate.

          • I mean obviously Evangelicals are a popular whipping boy of the the counter culture and that’s all well and good. But I think sloppy scholarship leaves out a lot of interesting history. I think a far superior narrative can be constructed, one that involves a lot of egalitarian sentiments.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

            “The Evangelical Political Movement’s Racist Origins” implies a racist origin of evangelicalism which is inaccurate.

            I don’t see it at all.

            Are you missing the words “Political Movement”?

            If it said the “Dog Breeder’s Political Movement” I would not assume that it was commenting on the origins of Dog Breeding.

            To me what is being illustrated is that you have hot buttons that can be pushed (as do others).
            The article is rational and accurate. That some might be upset merely shows that they have the above mentioned sensitivities or are unable to handle the truth.

          • “The Evangelical Political Movement” appears to have been coined by Jacob Sloan. Show me it referenced anywhere else. Its sloppy inaccurate use of language used for purposes of innuendo to make an association between “Evangelical movement” and “racist origin”.

            There is no evangelical political movement, but rather Political movements that appeal to evangelicals. These same groups appeal to Roman Catholics for support as well. For example “the Pro-life Movement”

          • But “we all know” they are just a bunch of dumb racist red necks from down south anyway, right? “We” being Urban counter cultural types, “knowing” meaning intellectual masturbation exercises of reinforcing our own prejudices, instead of trying to learn things about the World.

          • mannyfurious | Feb 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm |

            For what it’s worth, I’m on the same page with you on this one. I think it’s interesting how we’re quick to attack other groups’ prejudices and nitpick at every little thing that supports our our viewpoints, but on the other hand display a complete lack of self-awareness about our own prejudices. It’s going to be popular on a site like disinfo to assert something juicy like “The Evangelical movement sprung forth from racist origins” but, just because we like the sound of it, that doesn’t make such a claim necessarily true. It might be true, but I think you’ve provided more than enough reasons to be initially skeptical. I grew up Catholic, and though I’ve long since abandoned entertaining the nonsense of such an institution, it still irks me when people make sweeping generalizations of Catholicism and it’s adherents. Very few things are simply “black and white.” There is such a thing as nuance, however, acknowledging as much usually isn’t conducive to fostering our self-righteous anger.

          • I admit, I got a little too emotional. But anyway, thanks for the comment. I was going to be in the Ministry, but ended up having serious marriage problems, and I felt that it disqualified me so ended up dropping out of training for the ministry. I met my now ex-wife in Bible College.

            I also later developed pretty serious intellectual, philosophical and political differences with the vast majority of evangelicals. But I did do a Summer internship with a Church in Manhattan that was extremely racially, culturally and ethnically diverse. Black, White, Filipino, Asian, Jamaican, African, etc. I worked at a Camp for adult men overcoming drug addiction. I lived there in the dorm and taught Bible classes. It was an Amazing experience. I befriend a lot of really hard core people who had been in gangs, prison, drug dealing, HIV positive, you name it. It really was a beautiful thing. I can’t think of what else could have brought all these people together in such Unity. It was the real deal. It was a very uplifiting experience for everybody. Lives were really transformed. and you know, I probably could never really go back. But i’m not going to shit on these people.

            What it was is they had a kitchen in Manhattan, where they served meals to the homeless and they would have evangelical sermons and some people wouyld come forward to be delivered from crack addiction and things like that. The problems was they were often homeless and around people doing crack and stuff. So they would attend this camp in the Poconos kind of like a Spiritual Retreat. It was a year long, they would have Descipleship classes and also job training, then they would go back to Manhattan and live with a family that went to the Church.

            These were amazing people, with amazing stories that were pretty much at death’s door and their lives were saved and had absolutely nothing to do with racism or any kind of negative bullshit. Its good work they are doing. And I think its a very simple kind of faith. Some Guy living on the street smoking crack, maybe they want to hear about existentialism and but probably not. I’ve seen what the gospel can do in that situation.

            The Bible College We went to wasn’t extremely diverse, but we did know
            about Bob Jones and their anti-inter racial dating stance and we all
            pretty much agreed it was messed up. I’ve been all over the Country and Most Pentecostal Churches are really diverse, Baptists less so, but this Church in manhattan wasn’t Pentecostal, anyway, I see lots of ministries in major Cities much like Manhattan Bible Church.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm |

            that’s funny. google just gave me 257,000 results on the “…” term. Sloan’s is listed. All the rest predate.

            i’m going to dc this conversation.

          • You are probably mentally retarded. The Azusa street revival was started by a Black preacher and involved religious worship of a racially mixed group. That is the origin of Pentecostalism. Seems like you are disagreeing with me just to disagree. If the first day of the movement was racially integrated to an anusual degree, especially for the day and age, then its hard to argue (uless you are mentally retarded) that is has a racist origin. Simple logic.

            And so what if the Black preacher had a racist Bible Teacher? Are you saying Seymour was a member of the KKK? I think you are mixing up history with a Dave Chapell skit.

            The orgin of Pentecostalism is not racist.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm |

            You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgement.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother is liable to judgement, and whoever says to his brother ‘Raqa’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says ‘You fool,’ wil be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5 21-24

          • So am I in trouble with Sanhedrin?

            OK sorry, Bro. You probably aren’t retarded.

          • I was going to say that I doubt the enlightenment of anybody who goes around calling those who disagree retarded, fools, faggots, idiots, shills, sheeple and the like, but I think your citation makes the point very well.

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm |

      Pentecostal churchs have not and are not currently “very” integrated. The “evangelical movement” is a well understood term and used by a specific group that primarily excludes pentecostal denominations.
      Not only does the Evangelical movement have strong origins in racial segregation, it is intimately intertwined with classism, anti-communism and union busting.

      • So if you say its not in italics (meaning emphasis) that solves it then?

        • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm |

          That does not even make sense.
          Perhaps I should have just said your comment was bullshit.

      • Luis A. Valadez | Feb 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm |

        Pentecostals and Charismatics often put themselves in with Evangelicals. It is the mainline, Protestant evangelical churches that at times do not accept Pentecostals. Pentecostal teachings, however, slowly were integrated into mainline Protestant churches beginning in the 1970s with the Charismatic Movement, and then again in the 1980s with the Third Wave Movement.

        However, some Protestant ministers such as John McArthur refuse to accept Pentecostal churches or teachings, deeming them “too pagan” and “fringe practices.”

        • It would be more accurate to say that Fundamentalists don’t accept Pentecostals. Fundamentalists aren’t really mainline protestants though. Its splinter groups vs. splinter groups.

          These political organizations are lumpers, trying to pull as many groups as they can into a big tent.

        • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

          Yes, you are correct. The exclusion and even outright derision by the mainline has been ardent. The slow integration as you mention is interesting and as either a populist strategy or natural evolution is creating a growing body of political importance to the conservatve movement.

          • Luis A. Valadez | Feb 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

            I think because of the popularity, prestige and wealth of the Pentecostal movements due to the vast amount of money pulled in by televangelists, there is definitely a growing linkage between the two so that they are fusing together. Back in the day Pentecostal preachers were sued for practicing medicine without a license and worked out of storefronts and tents. Nowadays, Republicans align themselves with prominent Pentecostal ministers like John Hagee, Rod Parsley and other “apostles and prophets” from the Pentecostal Dominionist camp.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm |

            In addition to the cash and influence is the longterm commitment to the political process the Dominionist’s have made. Music to the republican’s ears.

          • Do you even know what these terms mean that you throw around? Have you studied dominion ism? To me Dominionism/Pentecostalism/Evengelicalism/Fundamentalism are not completely inter changeable words. Are they to you?

          • Luis A. Valadez | Feb 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm |

            Having been involved heavily with the Movement for many years, yes. Do your research,

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |

            Wow, Ted….are you even paying attention to the results of your (italics mine, added for emphasis) use of these terms in this thread?

            I dare say that Mr. Valadez has a greater degree of expertise regarding these branches of Christian worship & has already provided sufficient correction to your misunderstanding.

            My own contribution, and here I will claim some substantial understanding, would be regarding the ‘evangelical political movement’ for which you have already conflated with Evangelicalism.

            I believe you will see my use of the term Dominionism was in response to its direct usage by Mr. Valadez & if you are unawares of Dominionism and its involvement in the political process I would question any notion that you have studied anything about it.

            The fact that you would derive from any of my statements such a lack of distinction only furthers the presentation of your own ignorance on these topics.

            You now have my permission to post a picture of yourself bare chested & challenge me to acts of physical exertion.

          • And you have my permission to be needlessly verbose and use words like “equate” and “equivocate” “amused” and “bemused” interchangeably.

            I have taken a college course on Dominionism, for what its worth. If you wanted to learn more about it I could enlighten you. But then it probably would ruin the reason for which you entered in this discussion. Maybe I am wrong, maybe you still hold out the possibility of being surprised.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm |

            I am amused [mildly] by your comment. I am bemused by the fact that you would ever think that I am unaware of using words in such a fashion that could be equated with equivocating (or other sundry dalliances ) . Perhaps you have underestimated both my need for verbosity & and the degree to which I dwell in multivalent episteme that renders my experience in communicating with the majority of individuals so relativistic that every thought is a translation through which I must attempt to construct the degree to which I will deign to approximate their own understanding whilst abandoning my own internal construct.

            (Sufficiently verbose?)

            ….and yes I want Heistman to enlighten me on Dominionism.

            Suprise please.

          • Well first of all Its incompatible with dispensationalism, which the school of Theology, also more specifically “eschatology” that most Independant Fundamentalist Baptists ascribe to. Also Baptists have a tradition of honoring the Seperation of Church and State and also “individual Soul Liberty”

            People like D. James Kennedy actually have deep theological differences with say somebody like Tim La Hey. I mean, at least they should, given where they each went to seminary.

            Dispensationalists don’t believe Israel and the Church are the same entity. Dominionists do. They believe the Church is the modern day version of Israel in the Old testament. Therefore dispensationalists don’t believe the OT law is in effect still for Christians to follow, and because of this have historically supported the seperation of Church and State.

            Dominionists think that the Church should take over the State and bring about a restoration or OT law.

            This is where support of the Modern state of Israel gets tricky. Dominionists logically wouldn’t support Israel, because they think the Church=Israel, but dispensationalists do support the modern State of Israel because they think Israel will choose Jesus after the rapture and after the Great Tribulation.

            Domionionists don’t believe in the Rapture or the Tribulation.

          • I mean, which is it? All of Evangelicalism is rotten to the core, rotten from the get go, rotten from its inception, and then was seduced by political groups and infiltrated by followers of Dominionism?

            Does that make any sense? How do you subvert movements that are already completely corrupt? So they were all racist to begin with, the Azusa street revival originated in racism, apparently, and then the Religious Right took them over?

            My goal to be more precise in the painting of the narrative, here.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

            Evangelicalism ≠ “Evangelical Political Movement”

            No one in this entire thread introduced anything remotely close to the “narrative” you just spelled out.

  3. Francis Schaffer wasn’t a racist either. This article is like basically, people telling themselves what they already suspected. Bad journalism. Its all innuendo, guilt by association.

    I prefer curiosity to simple intellectual masturbation exercises of reinforcing my already established prejudices.

  4. The original title was more accurate. The one here is basically just sensationalism, designed to reinforce existing prejudices. I don’t see any smoking gun that evangelicalism originated with racism. Its a sloppily made case. I mean basically you can say “I don’t like evangelicals, fuck them!” and that’s fine. But no amazing info has been uncovered here. I mean Francis Schaeffer is racist because he was not a good scholar? I thought being racist involved other things?

  5. When middle and lower class whites want to avoid bad schools it’s racist, never mind that Obama has never sent his precious children to vibrantly black public schools.

  6. When middle and lower class whites want to avoid bad schools it’s racist, never mind that Obama has never sent his precious children to vibrantly black public schools.

  7. The origin of planned parenthood is arguably racist and intimately connected to the Eugenics movement. So according to the orginal article the origin of the Pro-life movement is racist as well.

    By basic logic One of these two arguments has got to be tendentious to the point of ridiculousness.

  8. lifobryan | Feb 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm |

    Well …. I grew up in a Bob Jones University-spawned church & Christian School, and even attended the blessedly-benighted institution myself … until being deemed a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and forbidden to ever set foot on campus again. (The only bright spot in my bleak internment there).

    So, from my now lofty position as a long-long-ex-fundamentalist, now occulty neopagan art hippy, I can say with some confidence that:

    Sumbunal (some but not all) of the people at Bob Jone University, an evangelical fundamentalist educational institution, were racist.

    Sumbunal of the people at Clemson University, a secular educational institution across town, were racist.

    Sumbunal of the people at various institutions in the same Southern town, religious or secular, educational or otherwise, were racist.

    Most, of the people at Bob Jones Univ were not racist.

    However, unlike other institutions in the same town, Bob Jones University had a codified prohibition on interracial dating. That makes them officially racist.

    Other institutions had taken the same codes off of their books years prior, and were therefore not officially racist.

    But lots of people were still racist, codes or no codes, secular or fundamentalist.

    Bob Jones University was founded to preserve the “old learning” in a time when other educational institutions (ok, everyone else in the civilized world), were embracing new ideas & advances in science, archeology, social justice, philosophy, Biblical criticism, etc. BJU’s goal was to maintain ‘fundamentals’ by separating from the world as it advanced, thereby preserving their culture like jurassic DNA in amber, or like pickles.

    Objectively, racism per se was not the rationale for their establishment … but it was an entrenched part of the culture they sought to pickle.

    And fundamentalist thinking (religious or otherwise) is usually manifest as institutional paranoia and fear of any kind of change. It is the perfect place to “preserve” personal prejudices and phobias in the sticky amber glow (or sweet pickley juice) of nostalgia.

    Recommended texts:

    Reading with the right eye: “An Island in the Lake of Fire: BJU, Fundamentalism & the Separatist Movement” by Mark Dalhouse

    While reading with the left eye: “The New Inquisition” by Robert Anton Wilson

    • “Objectively, racism per se was not the rationale for their establishment
      … but it was an entrenched part of the culture they sought to pickle”

      At Bob Jones maybe. But that doesn’t represent all of evangelicalism. As a matter of fact the Northern Baptist convention split off due to protesting racism and segregation and several Evangelical denominations were formed out of the Northern Baptist Convention, such as American Baptists, Conservative Baptists and several Independent Baptist Groups. Also other Evangelical denominations, such as Weslyans had a long tradition of supporting Abolition, the underground RR etc.

      Bob Jones does not equal Evangelicalism.

      • lifobryan | Feb 11, 2013 at 10:12 am |

        I agree with that – and I was careful to specify “fundamentalist.” Both Progressive & Fundamentalist strands can be found in many denominations. BJU is ‘non-denomintional,’ and so there is no real spectrum of opinion or practice. It’s straight up fundamentalism. Kinda like munching on boullion cubes ….

      • Calypso_1 | Feb 11, 2013 at 10:48 am |

        The SBC dwarfs all other baptist denominations.

        There are and have always been good people within religious organizations, people that take the highest of ideals to heart & practice them.

        The point of an article like this and the argument to the contrary of any minority of individuals who are exemplars of such teachings is that religions like all ensembles of human interaction involve power dynamics. Those power dynamics entrenched over time and growing in size become politically indistinguishable from the more base sociological/biological imperatives that play out in the political sphere.
        Making these elements within religion even more egregious than those in secular society is that those who participate in the church under the auspices of spirituality & morality are
        often unaware of the degree that their own beliefs are used to conceal the machinations
        of power within a titular church-state apparatus and to subvert the free operation
        of civil-political society.

        Yes it is true that that religion has at times upheld the higher principles of human freedom in the public arena but more often than not it has been used in the opposite fashion.

        • How old are you? Are you in your 60’s?

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm |

            At one time you wanted to know if I was a woman…

          • I’m just wondering because growing during Segregation might give you a different perspective, than people that grew up later. Some times that perspective kind of congeals in people, I notice.

            Before you had a woman Avatar.

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm |

            I still have a woman avatar (currently her bare breasts are covered).

            No I didn’t grow up during segregation but being from Bombingham gives you a degree of historical immersion that few places in the country can match.

          • She’s not as hot tho…

          • Calypso_1 | Feb 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm |

            any better?

            Red velvet bag, candle wax, diamond choker….works for me.

          • I’m just wondering because growing during Segregation might give you a different perspective, than people that grew up later. Some times that perspective kind of congeals in people, I notice.

            Before you had a woman Avatar.

        • The purpose of this article seems to be quite simply “people from my set don’t like people from your set so fuck you”

  9. Its a moot point now though because sentimental ‘liberation theology’ is mainstream for todays Evangelicals.

    Of course they wouldn’t touch the issue of abortion till they needed Christian votes – people overlook that Roe vs Wade was decided by Republican supremes, to suit big business by keeping women in the workplace instead of granting us the necessary maternity leave if we get knocked up.

    Ditto with immigration, ‘racist’ Republicans play race baiting but, when it comes down to it, they do more than the Democrats to bring cheap labour across the border to please big business, and put native born people out of work. It’s silly to say that Evangelicals are a racist ideology, as they are but a front for people with no ideology at all. And yet the people who snigger most at how dumb rednecks fall for this scam, actually think supporting open borders and abortion rights, works against the pig system.

    Leftards will never admit to the above even though the facts are readily accessible round the internet – because they’re actually fine with the machinations of big business when it suits ’em. They’re every bit as odious, ignorant and self-righteous as the ‘religious right’ they use as a bogeyman.

    And certain kneejerk anti-state kooks will naturally prattle about the state trying to control women’s lives and invade people’s bedrooms, when in historical pre-state societies people breaking reproductive or sexual taboos were often, in fact, killed.

    Or exiled which was actually crueler, because they knew it meant very slow starvation.) Instead of reading nonsense about noble savages and fictional goddess cults, they should read what real tribal societies are like – strong discipline reinforced by the community, not individual choices as religion-like shibboleths.

    A society with no control over the reproduction of its members could not even exist in a state of nature, any more than a tribe with no control over its means of production. The ideas some people have about what a functional anti-state society is really like, are kind of comical if you understand history, anthropology etc.

    Sort of takes us back to the observation that people whine about The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984, when its actually A Brave New World we already live under. People like their ‘freedom’ too much, even though ‘freedom’ is control through the state encouraging hedonism – the accompanying ‘rights’ of individuals are today the moral rationalisation of selfishness, and a holocaust of unborn children, as they were always called by the public before pro-choice were invented, is the death toll inflated by all of the AIDS victims.

    Just supposing the state really did take away our 24/7 access to online porn (which was enabled by technology), and takes away modern means of reliable contraception and safe abortion (invented in the 20th C) – can someone explain how this would be some kind of oppression when its modern society itself that enabled them, and it would only constitute a return to the past conditions our pre-state ancestors knew?

    My point is the freedoms and equality people believe in, is as silly and misguided as the crap Evangelicals shit out of their mouths.

    • ToadieJay | Feb 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm |

      Ah, the demographic paranoia of the white nationalist right. They wring their hands all day worrying about pornography and abortion and homosexuals yet very rarely can they be bothered to go out and procreate themselves.

  10. Christian Evangelical : Just racism and Jim Crow by another name, Huh?

Comments are closed.