If someone who knew absolutely nothing about white evangelicalism picked up the New Testament and read it, he/she would conclude that those who follow the Bible are liberals. Actual followers of the Bible would believe in giving their money away to the poor, helping the dispossessed and turning the other cheek. How peculiar it is that actual evangelical “followers of the Bible” are in a political camp with exactly the opposite views.
The reason for this ironic state of affairs goes back to the Civil War period. Back then a religious justification was needed for slavery and later segregation. An innovative way of reading the Bible was preached allowing the passages leading to liberal political conclusions to be set aside and ignored.
The largest Protestant denomination, Southern Baptists, were formed in 1845 during a split over slavery. According to today’s link, From that point forward, social and economic pressure dictated white Christian churches reading of the Bible, leaving them with a selective memory..a..world where up is down and wrong is right.
A good example was the late Billy Graham. While he made one famous gesture of taking down racial seating barriers at one of his events, he made no important statements during the civil rights years. He never appeared on stage with Martin Luther King. When King’s famous writing about his children’s segregated schools demanded a response, Graham merely said all children will walk hand in hand in the afterlife.
That dealing with wrongs can be delayed until the afterlife is Southern Baptist gold.