“White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”

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Tcg
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“White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”

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Post by Tcg »

.
How white supremacy infected Christianity and the Republican Party

Image
A vendor displays a Confederate flag next to a Trump 2020 “Make America Great Again!” flag outside the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee before the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race on July 15. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)


Opinion by
Jennifer Rubin
Columnist

Robert P. Jones, chief executive and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), is fast becoming the leading expert in the values, votes and mind-set of White Christians. His work has explained how loss of primacy in American society fueled a white-grievance mentality — the same mind-set President Trump so effectively read and manipulated.

His latest book, “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity,” is a masterful study documenting how white supremacy came to dominate not just Southern culture, but White Christianity. In it, he argues that “most white Christian churches have protected white supremacy by dressing it in theological garb, giving it a home in a respected institution, and calibrating it to local cultural sensibilities.” He also recounts ways in which White churches are moving to account for their past and explore their history with Black Americans.

Jones posits that it is not simply intermingling a celebration of the “Lost Cause” and religion that has led White Christians who do not think of themselves of racists to harbor views that reinforce racism; he also points to the theological worldview of White Christians, including “an individualist view of sin [which ignores institutional racism], an emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus, and the Bible as the protector of the status quo.” If you want to know why White Christian ideology is the best predictor of racist attitudes (a shocking revelation for the author and likely many readers), the book is essential reading.

Below is my conversation with Robert P. Jones, edited for style and length.

Q: Did Trump inspire this undertaking?

A: In some important ways, “White Too Long” represents my accounting of a journey I’ve been on at least since my seminary days in my early 20s. I was raised as a Southern Baptist in Mississippi and attended a Southern Baptist college and seminary. At the same time, I attended newly integrated public schools in Jackson, where I attended classes and played sports with African American classmates. But our social lives, our neighborhoods and churches were largely still segregated. It wasn’t until I was in seminary that I became aware of the genesis of my denomination, which I capture in the first sentence of the book: “The Christian denomination in which I grew up was founded on the proposition that chattel slavery could flourish alongside the gospel of Jesus Christ.” That appalling contradiction, and its legacy all around me growing up, has haunted me my whole adult life.

In the more recent context, the eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, coupled with the racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric that became the central campaign strategy of Donald Trump in 2016, were certainly catalysts for writing the book. Trump’s response to the neo-Nazi demonstrations in 2017 was also a turning point for me. Trump waited 48 hours to issue any statement, and when he did, he equivocated, stating there were “very fine people on both sides.” And I was stunned that Trump’s inability to flatly condemn neo-Nazis — who were chanting “Blood and soil!” and “Jews will not replace us” and who murdered a person protesting that hatred — had no discernible impact on his White Christian support. PRRI’s fall American Values Survey, conducted just a few weeks after these remarks, for example, found his favorability among White evangelical Protestants remained remarkably high, at 72 percent. So I began working on the book in earnest in 2018 with the goal of getting a deeper understanding of these confounding and unsettling patterns.

Notably, these dynamics are still with us. In more recent days, Trump’s use of police and federal agents to disrupt peaceful protests connected to the Black Lives Matter movement and his doubling down on support for the Confederate flag and monuments has also done little to dislodge White evangelical support, which remains at 63 percent favorable.

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Re: “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”

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Post by Mithrae »

Tcg wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:03 pm
Trump’s response to the neo-Nazi demonstrations in 2017 was also a turning point for me. Trump waited 48 hours to issue any statement, and when he did, he equivocated, stating there were “very fine people on both sides.” And I was stunned that Trump’s inability to flatly condemn neo-Nazis — who were chanting “Blood and soil!” and “Jews will not replace us” and who murdered a person protesting that hatred — had no discernible impact on his White Christian support.
That's not quite true; on August 12th the day of the neo-Nazi attack in which Heather Heyer was killed, speaking at a previously-scheduled event Trump said that "we're closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides."

Facing criticism for that equivocation, Trump's August 14th press release declared that "Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."

It wasn't until an August 15th press conference that he made the 'very fine people' remark, but then too he remained on-message in his condemnation of neo-Nazis and white nationalists, as distinct from supporters of white supremicist monuments:
"Yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. If you look at both sides — I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. And if you reported it accurately, you would say.
Q: The neo-Nazis started this. They showed up in Charlottesville to protest —
TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. They didn’t put themselves down as neo — and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group....
You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name. . . .
So you know what, it’s fine. You’re changing history. You’re changing culture. And you had people — I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.
"


There's a kind of genius to Trump's mixed messaging. It happens far too often to be accidental. He obviously knows the angle the media and his political opponents will emphasize, but he leaves just enough ambiguity and 'plausible' deniability that Fox and any of his supporters who don't want to see racism in his comments can in turn slam the dishonesty and supposed bias of those opponents for exaggerating what's technically there. And meanwhile those among his supporters who do want to see support for white supremicism from the presidency are getting more than enough to work with, with a narrative already in place that any specific condemnations of white supremicism must be 'forced' by 'the pc police.'

koko

Re: “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”

Post #3

Post by koko »

Mithrae,

remained on-message in his condemnation of neo-Nazis and white nationalists ... mixed messaging


Bible thumper Trump does cover his butt by making these assertions but he has never retracted his words about Mexicans being rapists or that Haiti and Africa are "sh.... hole nations." Today there have been reports of attacks on Chinese-Americans and it has been said that Trump's calling of covid the "Chinese virus" is part of the reason for these attacks. Trump's mixed messaging are examples of his political Pharisaism.

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Re: “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”

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Post by woodtick »

[Replying to Tcg in post #1]
That's probably one of the most misleading deceptive, and biased articles I've ever read. The liberal left in America and the EU are becoming the most hypocritical countries in the world. In order to prop up their ideals, liberals are bent on accusing others of racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, misogyny, etc., and are notorious at accusing others of offenses they are guilty of themselves.

Thank God I'm no longer a Democrat.

koko

Re: “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”

Post #5

Post by koko »

woodtick wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:29 am [Replying to Tcg in post #1]
That's probably one of the most misleading deceptive, and biased articles I've ever read. The liberal left in America and the EU are becoming the most hypocritical countries in the world. In order to prop up their ideals, liberals are bent on accusing others of racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, misogyny, etc., and are notorious at accusing others of offenses they are guilty of themselves.

Thank God I'm no longer a Democrat.

On the one hand you accuse others of engaging in projection. But then, you are doing this yourself as right wingers often do.

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Re: “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”

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Post by Elijah John »

Tcg wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:03 pm
From the article Tcg posted:
.
Trump’s use of police and federal agents to disrupt peaceful protests connected to the Black Lives Matter movement....
To focus on this quoted portion for now,

At best, that is a distortion, at worst it's a lie. Those "peaceful" protesters were setting fires, defacing federal courthouses, blinding police officers with lasers, hurling bricks, etc, etc. That is not peaceful protest. That is why the federal agents were sent, not to disrupt any peaceful protest that may have been going on.

Seattle, Portland and other cities were (and some still are) out of control. And local authorities tie the hands of law enforcement, instead of empowering them to use whatever legal means necessary to restore law and order. Local authorities are either unable or unwilling to restore law and order, and ensure actual peaceful protest.

As for Evangelical support for President Trump, it's partly because they see though the lies, smears and false witness of racism etc. leveled against him, and partly because he upholds religious freedom and values.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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Re: “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”

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Post by otseng »

koko wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:44 am But then, you are doing this yourself as right wingers often do.
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koko

Re: “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity”

Post #8

Post by koko »

woodtick wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:29 am [Replying to Tcg in post #1]
That's probably one of the most misleading deceptive, and biased articles I've ever read. The liberal left in America and the EU are becoming the most hypocritical countries in the world. In order to prop up their ideals, liberals are bent on accusing others of racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, misogyny, etc., and are notorious at accusing others of offenses they are guilty of themselves.

Thank God I'm no longer a Democrat.




May I ask why you did not apply the same standard here as you did on this post:

viewtopic.php?p=1019229#p1019229



Frankly, I am having trouble understanding when your standards are applicable. I am not criticizing, I am asking for clarification.

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