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ALCOHOLIC PROHIBITION IN SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCHES AND ITS IMPLICATION ON THE PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS
Christian right Race and diversity
The conclusions of a review of 112 studies on Christian faith and ethnic prejudice were summarized by a study in 1980 as being that “white Protestants associated with groups possessing fundamentalist belief systems are generally more prejudiced than members of non-fundamentalist groups, with unchurched whites exhibiting least prejudice.” The original review found that its conclusions held “regardless of when the studies were conducted, from whom the data came, the region where the data were collected, or the type of prejudice studied.” More recently in 2003, eight studies have found a positive correlation between fundamentalism and prejudice, using different measures of fundamentalism.
A number of prominent members of the Christian right, including Jerry Falwell and Rousas John Rushdoony, have in the past supportedsegregation, with Falwell arguing in a 1958 sermon that integration will lead to the destruction of the white race.
In Thy Kingdom Come, Randall Balmer recounts comments that Paul M. Weyrich, who he describes as “one of the architects of the Religious Right in the late 1970s”, made at a conference, sponsored by a Religious Right organization, that they both attended in Washington in 1990:
In the course of one of the sessions, Weyrich tried to make a point to his Religious Right brethren (no women attended the conference, as I recall). Let’s remember, he said animatedly, that the Religious Right did not come together in response to the Roe decision. No, Weyrich insisted, what got us going as a political movement was the attempt on the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies.—Paul M. Weyrich
Bob Jones University had policies that refused black students enrollment until 1971, and admitted only married blacks from 1971 to 1975. The university continued to forbid interracial dating until 2000. In an interview with The Politico, University of Virginia theologian Charles Marsh, author of Wayward Christian Soldiers and the son of a Southern Baptist minister, stated:
As someone who grew up in Mississippi and Alabama during the civil rights movement, … my reading is that the conservative Christian movement never was able to distinguish itself from the segregationist movement, and that is one of the reasons I find so much of the rhetoric familiar — and unsettling.
By the end of the civil rights movement, the way was set for this marriage of the Republican Party and conservative Christians. … At the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi in 1980, (Ronald) Reagan’s statement “I am for states’ rights” was a remarkable moment in the conservative South. The Southern way of life was affirmed and then deftly grafted into national conservative politics.