White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America

Univ. of North Carolina. Mar. 2021. 176p. ISBN 9781469661179. $24. SOC SCI
Butler (religious studies, Univ. of Pennsylvania; The Rise of the New Religious Right) offers a concise history of the racism that structures white evangelical Christianity in America. "Evangelicalism is not simply a religious group," Butler argues. "Rather, it is a nationalistic political movement whose purpose is to support the hegemony of white Christian men over and against the flourishing of others." Beginning with evangelicals' theological defense of slavery, Butler draws our attention to the ways in which white evangelicals have promoted and defended racial terrorism, segregation, and xenophobia, from before the Civil War through to the early 21st century. Particularly important is Butler's assessment of white evangelical power during the George W. Bush presidency, which led seamlessly into the racist resistance during President Obama's tenure, which in turn led directly to the rise of Donald Trump. A section of selected further reading, organized by era, offers options for those wishing to dig further into a particular period.
VERDICT While the history Butler shares will be familiar to many scholars, her clear and forceful synthesis provides a useful entry point for evangelicals and non-evangelicals alike seeking to learn the history and contemporary reality of white evangelical political power in the United States.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing