In White Evangelical Racism, Anthea Butler sees American evangelicalism as a political movement within the Republican Party–moving the party away from its liberation roots in Abraham Lincoln and moving it toward repressive tactics that echo post-Civil War democrats in the South.
Butler’s subtitle provides a good question for Sunday dinner conversation for individuals, families or faith groups: What are The Politics of Morality in America today? How does your faith (or moral principles) shape your politics? How do your politics shape your faith (or moral principles)?
The Founders tried to avoid two European problems made worse by religious passion: (1) religious autocracies that demanded uniformity of belief and (2) religion-based political divisions. Thus, the US Constitution prohibits a “religious test” as a prerequisite for holding public office.
Lincoln wasn’t very religious, but his politics were shaped by a biblical understanding that liberty and justice are a nation’s highest principles–with malice toward none and charity (love) for all. I share our Founders’ fear of religious parties. I share Lincoln’s politics of human rights and equal justice.