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During the Civil War, both North and South taught that God was on their side and favored their cause. For Southerners, this meant arguing that God favored preserving the institution of slavery. Southern preachers argued that the South was the last, best hope for Western civilization. It is difficult to overestimate the role of Christianity in providing the South with a religious and ideological basis for secession and nationalistic aspirations.


Read Article: Christianity in the Confederate South: Southern Nationalism and Christianity

October 16, 2007 at 2:01 pm
(1) John Hanks says:

People will do almost anything to protect some sense of identity. The combination of Southern nationalism and Southern religion puts everyone in a stranglehold of half-baked people who consider themselves to be “special”.

Everyone is unique, but no one is special.

February 22, 2010 at 11:14 pm
(2) Michael Rudas says:

What most folks don’t realize is that the Southern Baptists originally split from the main Baptist church group because the Southerners felt that the Bible condoned and justified, even glorified, slavery. Anyone that says that the Civil War was not about slavery (states’ rights is one alternative excuse) is lying through their teeth– the destructive effects of Christianity in this case cannot be overstated.

February 23, 2010 at 10:43 am
(3) Ol'Froth says:

You shouldn’t discount the role property has in southern culture as well. Its been a couple of decades since I lived below the Mason-Dixon line, but property ownership was a very big deal, people who owned land free of debt or morgatges (at least the few I knew) felt that they should be accorded more consideration by elected officials than debtors or leasers.

February 17, 2013 at 3:05 pm
(4) Anand says:

There are secular causes for such tragic aspects of humanity such as:

- Instinctive inclinations (territorialism, familism, xenophobia, etc.)
- History (breaking patterns are much more difficult than continuing them)
- Poverty (our productive capabilities aren’t all the same; due to historical, topographic, climatological, etc. factors).

So, do dysfunctions exist because of religion, or does religion exist because of dysfunctions? Or is there a reciprocity of some sort?

If it’s the first; then we’re basically saying that religious people are the architects of their own downfall. And if it’s the second; then criticizing religion is criticizing the effects not the causes. And if it’s the last; what are the mechanisms of this reciprocity?

February 18, 2013 at 5:55 am
(5) Austin Cline says:

So, do dysfunctions exist because of religion, or does religion exist because of dysfunctions? Or is there a reciprocity of some sort?

The first step in answering the question is to replace “religion” with “ideologies” – i.e., to treat religion like other ideologies.

So, looking more narrowly, do dysfunctions arise because of racist ideologies, or do racist ideologies arise because of dysfunctions? Or is there reciprocity of some sort?

Obviously there is reciprocity: every human ideology, religion include, arise out of human context, dysfunctional and functional. At the same time, ideology has an impact on that context, changing it for better and for worse. Most of the time, it serves to reinforce the premises and agenda of those most responsible for promoting it.

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