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“It Has to Come from the Hearts of the People”: Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Race, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act



In recent years historians and scholars of religious studies have chronicled and debated the critical role that black and white liberal Protestants, Catholics, and Jews played in the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s. At every stage of the movement, mainline and traditional black churches proved vital. Less is known about the actions and reactions of conservative or moderate white believers. The churches that these fundamentalists and evangelicals belonged to would grow tremendously in the coming decades, eventually claiming roughly 26 percent of the American population. From the 1960s forward, conservative Protestants would also become key political players, helping to decide national elections. Their responses to the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, which intended to end discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin, and the heated debates that led up to the law reveal much about how conservative Christians related to the state and to a changing society. Responses to the bill ranged from resigned acceptance to racist denunciation. But believers were united in their antistatism and in their opposition to political and theological liberalism. This article examines how evangelicals and fundamentalists engaged in politics and understood race and racism in personal terms. It also analyzes the religious dimensions of modern American conservatism.



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1 Lyndon Johnson call to Roy Wilkins, 5.20 p.m., 19 June 1964, in Beschloss, Michael R., ed., Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963–1964 (New York: Touchstone, 1998), 421. The key passage of the bill was §201(a): “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.” Civil Rights Act, at, accessed 21 April 2014. On the history of the bill see Purdum, Todd S., An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (New York: MacMillan, 2014); Risen, Clay, The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2014); Loevy, Robert D., The Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Passage of the Law That Ended Racial Segregation (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997); and Grofman, Bernard, Legacies of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2000). On LBJ's mixed earlier record see Caro, Robert A., The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990), xvii–xviii.

2 “The Vigil for Civil Rights,” Christianity Today, 5 June 1964, 45; Philip A. Johnson, “Religious Leaders Lay Groundwork for Action on Race Prejudice,” National Lutheran, March 1963, 20; Michael S. Lund, “March on Washington,” National Lutheran, Oct. 1963, 23–25; “Conference Joins the March in Spirit,” Christian Advocate, 12 Sept. 1963; James K. Mathews, “The Bishops Speak on Race,” Christian Advocate, 2 Jan. 1964, 7–8; and see Nov. 1963, March 1964, and Oct. 1966 issues of the left-leaning Methodist student publication Motive Magazine, with contributions from Martin Marty, Vincent Harding, Nat Hentoff, Thomas Merton, and other luminaries of social justice.

3 Clarence Taylor, “African American Religious Leadership and the Civil Rights Movement,” at (June 2006), accessed on 15 March 2014.

4 Findlay, James F., “Religion and Politics in the Sixties: The Churches and the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” Journal of American History, 77, 1 (June 1990) 6692 ; Friedland, Michael B., Lift up Your Voice Like a Trumpet: White Clergy and the Civil Rights and Antiwar Movements, 1954–1973 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998); Harvey, Paul, Freedom's Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005); Chappell, David, A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004); Dickerson, Dennis, “African American Religious Intellectuals and the Theological Foundations of the Civil Rights Movement, 1930–55,” Church History, 74 (June 2005), 217–35; Manis, Andrew Michael, A Fire You Can't Put Out: The Civil Rights Life of Birmingham's Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1999); Koehlinger, Amy L., The New Nuns: Racial Justice and Religious Reform in the 1960s (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007); Newman, Mark, Divine Agitators: The Delta Ministry and Civil Rights in Mississippi (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004); Webb, Clive, Fight against Fear: Southern Jews and Black Civil Rights (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001).

5 Graham quoted in “Graham Speaks at N. Y. Meeting,” News and Courier (Charleston, SC), 7 April 1964, 9-A. For the most insightful treatment of Graham and race see Miller, Steven P., Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).

6 Marsden, George M., Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1991), 1.

7 Henry, Carl F. H., The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003; first published 1947), 39. On the evangelical fear of becoming too isolated and irrelevant see John Goodwin, “Separate } But =,” Eternity, Aug. 1964, 16–18.

8 Swartz, David R., Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 20, see also 21–25.

9 Herzog, Jonathan P., The Spiritual–Industrial Complex: America's Religious Battle against Communism in the Early Cold War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 12, see also 191–209.

10 Rosell, Garth M., The Surprising Work of God: Harold John Ockenga, Billy Graham, and the Rebirth of Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 1416 , 143–47.

11 Mullin, Miles S., “Neoevangelicalism and the Problem of Race in Postwar America,” in Hawkins, J. Russell and Sinitiere, Philip Luke, eds., Christians and the Color Line: Race and Religion after Divided by Faith (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 15.

12 Smith, Christian and Emerson, Michael, American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998), 10, original emphasis.

13 See, for example, evangelical awareness of domestic and foreign news: “This Present World … News and Notes on Our Times,” Pentecostal Evangel (Springfield, MO), 22 Jan. 1956, 12–13; “The Church and Political Pronouncements,” Christianity Today, 28 Aug. 1964, 29–30; “Politics and the Protestant Press,” Christianity Today, 6 Nov. 1964, 47; and the “Editorial” and “News” sections in Christianity Today, 1957–65.

14 See denominational statistics in Landis, Benson Y., ed., Yearbook of American Churches (New York: Office of Publication and Distribution, National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. A., 1964), 253–59. A tabulation of the membership numbers of 30 predominately white denominations in the evangelical and fundamentalist camp for 1964 comes to 26,229,317. On growth from the 1950s to the late 1970s see Jacquet, Constant H., ed., Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches (New York: Office of Publication and Distribution, National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. A., 1980), 219–27.

15 On evangelical demographics see “Religious Landscape Survey: U. S. Religion Map and Religious Populations,” at (2008), accessed 14 Dec. 2013; and David A. Roozen, “Oldline Protestantism: Pockets of Vitality within a Continuing Stream of Decline,” Hartford Institute for Religion, Hartford Seminary, 2004, at, accessed 21 April 2014.

16 Casey, Shaun, The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 104. For another estimate of evangelical numeric strength see Menendez, Albert J., The Religious Factor in the 1960 Presidential Election: An Analysis of the Kennedy Victory over Anti-Catholic Prejudice (Jefferson, NC: MacFarland and Company, 2011), 31. The Assemblies of God, one of the NAE's member denominations, charted a worldwide growth from 3 million in 1960 to 30 million in the 1990s. Anderson, Allan H., To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 53. See UPI religion writer Cassels, Louis, “Pentecostals Have Fast Growth Rate,” Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, CA), 26 April 1969, 4; and Cassels, Louis, “Movement Includes Large, Small Groups,” Eugene Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), 7 Jan. 1961, 2.

17 Boyer, Paul, “The Evangelical Resurgence in 1970s American Protestantism,” in Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer, eds., Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 2951 , 39, 44–45.

18 McAlister, Melani, Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, and U. S. Interests in the Middle East since 1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 168.

19 Lewis, Frederick Allen, Only Yesterday: Informal Treatment of the 1920s (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997; first published 1931), 151. Pieper, Christopher and Young, Michael P., “Religion and Post-secular Politics,” in Leicht, Kevin T. and Jenkins, J. Craig, eds., Handbook of Politics: State and Society in Global Perspective (New York: Springer, 2010), 349–65, 355. Farnsley, Arthur Emery, Southern Baptist Politics: Authority and Power in the Restructuring of an American Denomination (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994), 65.

20 James M. Johnston, “Conservatives Shook Religious World in ’80,” Milwaukee Sentinel, 3 Jan. 1981, 8.

21 Falwell's “Ministers and Marches” sermon quoted in Falwell, Macel, Jerry Falwell: His Life and Legacy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008), 96.

22 Williams, Daniel K., God's Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 86. On communism and evangelicals and fundamentalists see Heale, M. J., American Anticommunism: Combatting the Enemy within, 1830–1970 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), 170–72. For typical evangelical critiques of mid-century liberalism see Carl F. H. Henry, “Liberalism in Transition,” Christianity Today, 20 Dec. 1963, 10–11; Jesse J. Roberson, “Liberalism's Fatal Weaknesses,” Christianity Today, 24 April 1964, 5–7; and “No Reason for Liberalism,” Christianity Today, 30 July 1965, 31.

23 See, for example, the essays in Schäfer, Axel R., ed., American Evangelicals and the 1960s (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013); Williams; and Sutton, Matthew Avery, American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014).

24 “Evangelicals and Public Affairs,” Christianity Today, 17 Jan. 1964, 24–25; “Christian Conscience and the Vote,” Christianity Today, 28 Feb. 1964, 26. See Sutton, Matthew Avery, “Was FDR the Antichrist? The Birth of Fundamentalist Antiliberalism in a Global Age,” Journal of American History, 98, 4 (March 2012), 1052–74; Turner, John, Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008), 111; and Williams, 20, 40–43, 85–86.

25 Synan, Vinson, Old Time Power: A Centennial History of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (Franklin Spring, GA: LifeSprings Resources, 1998), 256–57. “Assemblies of God Opposes Kennedy,” Leader and Press, n.p. (newspaper clipping at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, Springfield, MO). Crews, Mickey, Church of God: A Social History (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990), 161. For an earlier view see C. Stanley Lowell, “Will a Roman Catholic Be President,” Christian Herald, Nov. 1958, 22–23, 40–43.

26 Webb, Clive, Rabble Rousers: The American Far Right in the Civil Rights Era (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010), 26, 85–86, 148, 162–63, 197.

27 Dochuk, Darren, From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010), 299300 .

28 On the perceived intrusion of the federal government into racial matters see Noll, Mark A., God and Race in American Politics: A Short History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009), 157–59. J. Edgar Hoover, “The Danger of Civil Disobedience,” King's Business, Feb. 1966, 14; and Frank Farrell, “NCC Pleads for Racial Justice,” Christianity Today, 3 Jan. 1964, 34–36. Axel R. Schäfer, “The Great Society, Evangelicals, and the Public Funding of Religious Agencies,” in Schäfer, American Evangelicals and the 1960s, 160–88, 167–69.

29 Gallup, George, The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion, 1999 (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc., 2000), 237.

30 There surely was much opposition to civil rights among believers in the North and West as well. But on the very strong southern evangelical and fundamentalist reaction see, for example, the demographics of conservative Protestantism in Gaustad, Scott and Barlow, Philip L., New Historical Atlas of Religion in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 402; and Landis, Yearbook of American Churches, 254–59; see also the extensive regional survey on racial attitudes taken by the evangelical publication Christian Herald: “The Poll Report: Integration and You,” Christian Herald, Feb. 1965, 22–26. Finally see the strong sectional evidence in Dupont, Carolyn Renée, Mississippi Praying: Southern White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945–1975 (New York: New York University Press, 2013); and Dailey, Jane, “Sex, Segregation, and the Sacred after Brown,” Journal of American History, 91, 1 (June 2004), 119–44.

31 Mullin, “Neoevangelicalism,” 15. See also Henry, Uneasy Conscience, 3–4, 22. For a good example of a middle-of-the-road approach to the issue of civil disobedience see “Editorials: The Bible and Civil Disobedience,” Eternity, Oct. 1966, 6. See the San Diego pastor Tim LaHaye's letter to the NAE asking for “the scriptural position” on the “racial situation,” Tim LaHaye, San Diego, CA, to the National Association of Evangelicals, Whittier, CA, 16 March 1964, National Association of Evangelicals Records, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, Series 5: executive director files, Subseries 2: Clyde W. Taylor, Box 52, Folder 11: Civil Rights, 1964–1965.

32 Hill, Samuel S. Jr., Southern Churches in Crisis Revisited (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1999; first published 1966), lxvi, 106–7, 114–15. Marsh, Charles, God's Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997), 113. Dupont, 35–36.

33 James O. Buswell III, “Segregation: Is It Biblical?”, Eternity, Oct. 1962, 14. For a similar evangelical left-of-center response on race see George A. Turner, Wilmore, KY, to Clyde W. Taylor, Wheaton, IL, 11 June 1964, National Association of Evangelicals Records, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, Series 5: executive director files, Subseries 2: Clyde W. Taylor, Box 52, Folder 11: Civil Rights, 1964–1965. See also Swartz, Moral Minority, 37–40.

34 Whitt, Jan, Burning Crosses and Activist Journalism: Hazel Brannon Smith and the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2010), 9293 . “Letters: Color-Blind,” Eternity, June 1964, 2. For a typical middle-of-the-road stance see “What of Racial Intermarriages?” Christianity Today, 11 Oct.1963, 26–28.

35 Dayton, Donald W., Discovering an Evangelical Heritage (New York: Harper and Row, 1976), 2. On the behavioral “ethic of separation” and personal holiness among the Assemblies of God and the Nazarenes see Blumhofer, Edith, Restoring the Faith: The Assemblies of God, Pentecostalism, and American Culture (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 9799 ; and Smith, Timothy L., Called unto Holiness: The Story of the Nazarenes (Kansas City, MO: Nazarene Publishing House, 1962), 349–50. Fulop, Timothy E., “The Wheaton College Pledge: Student Behavior Codes and Religious Identity,” Fides et Historia, 32, 1 (Winter–Spring 2000), 2338 .

36 Mullin, 23–28. Smith, Rogers M., “An Almost-Christian Nation? Constitutional Consequences of the Rise of the Religious Right,” in Brint, Steven and Schroedel, Jean Reith, eds., Evangelicals and Democracy in America, Volume I, Religion and Society (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2009), 329–56, 333–34. Frank E. Gaebelein, “The March to Montgomery,” Christianity Today, 9 April 1965, 45.

37 Billy Graham, “No Color Line in Heaven,” Ebony, Sept. 1957, 100. Graham, “Billy Graham Makes Plea for an End to Intolerance,” Life, 1 Oct. 1956, 138, 140, 143, 145, 146, 151.

38 Purdum, An Idea, 240.

39 Graham quoted in Kenneth L. Woodward, “The Preaching and the Power,” Newsweek, 20 July 1970, 52.

40 Reinhold Niebuhr, “A Theologian Says Evangelist Is Oversimplifying the Issues of Life,” Life, 1 July 1957, 92. See also Niebuhr, “Literalism, Individualism, and Billy Graham,” Christian Century, 23 May 1956, 640–42.

41 “Graham in Greenville,” Christianity Today, 1 April 1966, 44. See also Jones, Bob Jr. quoted in “Jones Says Graham Trying to Socialize Christianity,” Spartanburg Herald-Tribune (Spartanburg, SC), 24 April 1966, 11.

42 Blackwelder, Julia Kirk, “Southern White Fundamentalists and the Civil Rights Movement,” Phylon, 40, 4 (1979), 334–41; Oliver, John W., “Evangelical Campus and Press Meet Black America's Struggle for Civil Rights, 1956–1959: Malone College and Christianity Today ,” Fides et Historia, 8 (Fall 1975), 5470 . Dalhouse, Mark Taylor, An Island in the Lake of Fire: Bob Jones University, Fundamentalism, and the Separatist Movement (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996), 7883 . Jones, Bob Sr., Is Segregation Scriptural? (Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1958). The hardline southern fundamentalist newspaper Sword of the Lord regularly lashed out at Martin Luther King Jr., integration, and the civil rights movement: G. Archer Weniger, “Martin Luther King, Negro Pro Communist,” Sword of the Lord, 9 Nov. 1962; John R. Rice, “Editor's Note,” Sword of the Lord, 19 Aug. 1964; Rice, “White Minorities Have Rights, Too,” Sword of the Lord, 3 Sept. 1965.

43 Dalhouse, 156. “Curtained Control,” Dothan Eagle (Dothan, AL), 24 June 1965, 6.

44 Adam Bernstein, “Evangelist Billy James Hargis Dies. Spread Anti-Communist Message,” Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2004, B06.

45 Hargis, Billy James, Communist America … Must It Be? (Tulsa, OK: Christian Crusade, 1960), 97. See also issues of the Christian Crusade magazine from the early 1960s; and Hargis, Facts about Communism and Our Churches (Tulsa, OK: Christian Crusade, 1962). Woods, Jeff, Black Struggle, Red Scare: Segregation and Anti-communism in the South, 1948–1968 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004), 119, 191.

46 Ferris, Thomas J., “ Christian Beacon, 1936–”, in Lora, Ronald and Longton, William Henry, eds., The Conservative Press in Twentieth-century America (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999), 142–51, 146. Ruotsila, Markku, “Carl McIntire and the Fundamentalist Origins of the Christian Right,” Church History, 81, 2 (June 2012), 378407 . McIntire, Carl, Private Enterprise in the Scriptures (Collingswood, NJ: Twentieth Century Reformation Hour, 1961), 1. Hendershot, Heather, What's Fair on the Air? Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011), 124125 . Webb, Rabble Rousers, 85–86, 148–149, 197.

47 “An Open Letter to Martin Luther King, from Dr. Carl McIntire,” Christian Beacon (Collingswood, NJ), 11 June 1964, 3, 7–8.

48 “From Dr. McIntire: A Letter to President Johnson,” Christian Beacon (Collingswood, NJ), 2 April 1964, 1, 4.

49 Lyndon Johnson call to Houston Harte, 11.25 a.m., 4 June 1964, in Beschloss, Taking Charge, 383.

50 Quote from Lyndon B. Johnson, “Remarks to Members of the Southern Baptist Christian Leadership Seminar,” 25 March 1964, online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project, at, accessed 19 March 2014. See also Walker, Samuel, Presidents and Civil Liberties from Wilson to Obama: A Story of Poor Custodians (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 253; and Branch, Taylor, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963–65 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998), 266–67.

51 Fulton B. Creech, Sumter, SC, to K. Owen White, Houston, TX, “Letters to the Editor,” Sumter Daily Item, 22 May 1964, 6.

52 Landis, Yearbook of American Churches, 23.

53 “Negro Rights Backing Urged: Southern Baptists Receive Proposal,” The Blade (Toledo, OH), 20 May 1964, 45.

54 Chappell, David L., “A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Faith, Liberalism, and the Death of Jim Crow,” Journal of the Historical Society, 3, 2 (March 2003), 129–62, 150; and Alvis, Joel L., Religion & Race: Southern Presbyterians, 1946–1983 (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1994), 9, 71, 120. For the more militant end of the spectrum see Dailey, “Sex, Segregation,” 119–44. See also “Free Will Baptists Take Racial Stand,” Christianity Today, 27 Aug. 1965, 54.

55 Wayne Dehoney and E. S. James quoted in “Civil Rights Law Viewed as a Test,” News Service of the Southern Baptist Convention, 8 July 1964 (Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, TN), 1, 2.

56 Manis, Andrew M., “‘Dying from the Neck Up’: Southern Baptist Resistance to the Civil Rights Movement,” Baptist History and Heritage, 34, 1 (Winter 1999), 3348 , 34. See also Newman, Mark, Getting Right with God: Southern Baptists and Desegregation, 1945–1995 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001), 63, 83, 125, 185, 206. “Sou. Baptists Chided to Be More Active in Politics, Public Life,” Biblical Recorder (Raleigh, NC), 4 April 1964, 9. For an earlier, staunch segregationist take see Leon Macon, “The Segregation Problems,” Alabama Baptist, 8 March 1956, 3; and Macon, “Integration,” Alabama Baptist, 3 May 1956, 3. On the Southern Presbyterian split see Dupont, Mississippi Praying, 63, 214–216.

57 “Amendment Opposed by Baptists,” Daytona Beach Morning Journal, 23 May 1964, 5.

58 KJV, Romans 3:1.

59 For an insinuation of immorality and duplicity on the part of King and other activists see “To Tell the Truth,” Christianity Today, 4 Dec. 1964, 32.

60 Kenneth W. Shipps, “Christianity Today, 1951–,” in Lora and Longton, Conservative Press, 171–80, 171, 173. On Christianity Today's coverage of King and the civil rights movement see Evans, Curtis J., “White Evangelical Responses to the Civil Rights Movement,” Harvard Theological Review, 102, 2 (2009), 245–73, 263, 268. “The Racial Turmoil,” Christianity Today, 2 Aug. 1963, 47; William Henry Anderson Jr., “Evangelicals and the Race Revolution,” Christianity Today, 25 Oct. 1963, 6–7.

61 “Civil Rights and Christian Concern,” Christianity Today, 8 May 1964, 29.

62 National Association of Evangelicals, Office of Public Affairs, “Pros and Cons of the Civil Rights Bill,” 6 Feb.1964, 1, 2, National Association of Evangelicals Records, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, Series 5: executive director files, subseries 2: Clyde W. Taylor, Box 52, Folder 11: Civil Rights, 1964–1965. For a similar moderate, cautious position see “Civil Rights Legislation,” Christianity Today, 22 Nov. 1963, 31.

63 Henry, Carl F. H., “What Social Structures? Some Remarks on Professor Smedes's Alternative,” Reformed Journal, 16, 5 (May–June 1966), 810 .

64 Dan Merrick, Dallas, TX, to Clyde Taylor, Washington DC, 27 Feb. 1964, National Association of Evangelicals Records, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, Series 5: executive director files, Subseries 2: Clyde W. Taylor, Box 52, Folder 11: Civil Rights, 1964–1965.

65 W. R. Kliewer, Bakersfield, California, to Cylde W. Taylor, Washington, DC, 22 March 1965; and Paul Gray, Tucson, Arizona, to Clyde Taylor, Washington, DC, June 9, 1964, National Association of Evangelicals Records, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, series 5: executive director files, Subseries 2: Clyde W. Taylor, Box 52, Folder 11: Civil Rights, 1964–1965. And see Taylor's replies in Clyde W. Taylor, Washington, DC, to I. F. Scott, Brooks, GA, 15 April 1964; Clyde W. Taylor, Washington, DC, to P. H. Radke, Westwego, LA, 11 June 1964; Clyde W. Taylor, Washington, DC, to Elton Crowson, Memphis, Tennessee, 17 June 1964; Clyde W. Taylor, Washington, DC, to Ralph A. Vanderwood, 16 June 1964; and Clyde W. Taylor, Washington, DC, to Herbert S. Mekeel, Schenectady, NY, 22 March 1965, National Association of Evangelicals Records, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, Series 5: executive director files, Subseries 2: Clyde W. Taylor, Box 52, Folder 11: Civil Rights, 1964–1965. For a similar response concerning the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer see Paul H. Leber, Moss Point, MS, letter to the editor, “In Mississippi,” Christianity Today, 25 Sept. 1964, 46.

66 P. H. Radke, Westwego, LA, to Clyde W. Taylor, Washington, DC, May–June 1964, National Association of Evangelicals Records, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, Series 5: executive director files, Subseries 2: Clyde W. Taylor, Box 52, Folder 11: Civil Rights, 1964–1965.

67 On the law-and-order point of view see “Editorials: Wrongs Do Not Make Civil Rights,” Eternity, June 1964, 4–6, 36; and “Christian Responsibility and the Law,” Christianity Today, 17 July 1964, 20–21.

68 Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Christian Century, June 12, 1963, 772. Miller, Billy Graham, 93, 95.

69 Sutton, American Apocalypse, 288, 306, 330. Andrew Preston suggests that at a fundamental level evangelicals feared that the government might have a hand in regulating religion. Andrew Preston, “Tempered by the Fires of War: Vietnam and the Transformation of the Evangelical Worldview,” in Schäfer, American Evangelicals and the 1960s, 189–208, 206 n. 12. See also Schäfer, Piety and Public Funding: Evangelicals and the State in Modern America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).

70 Steven P. Miller, “The Persistence of Antiliberalism: Evangelicals and the Race Problem,” in Schäfer, American Evangelicals and the 1960s, 81–96, 83, 86.

71 Phillips-Fein, Kim, Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade against the New Deal (New York: W. W. Norton 2010), 228–31.

72 Ibid., 76.

73 Goldwater, Barry, The Conscience of a Conservative (Memphis: Bottom of the Hill Publishing, 2010; first published 1960), 18.

74 Billy James Hargis quoted in “Ike Called Dictator, Group Hears Cry for Press Purge,” Tuscaloosa News, 11 Aug. 1964, 3.

75 On evangelical support and/or disapproval of Goldwater see Dochuk, From Bible Belt to Sunbelt, 245–56; Williams, God's Own Party, 76–77. The anticommunist Oklahoma preacher Billy James Hargis used his magazine to endorse Goldwater. Richard V. Pierard, “Christian Crusade, 1948–1969,” in Lora and Longton, Conservative Press, 471–78, 474. See also Iola B. Parker, “Our Church's First Negro,” Christian Herald, Feb. 1964, 15; and John Edgar Hoover, “Bad Men Cannot Make Good Citizens,” Christian Herald, Oct. 1964, 23–27.

76 Billy Graham, “Message to Students,” University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan, 13 Feb. 1964, Sermon 2832, Box 28, Folder 102, Archives of the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton, Illinois, 4. See also Graham's remarks on the civil rights bill in “Billy Graham Holds Press Conference,” News and Courier (Charleston, SC), 8 April 1964, 3-A. On evangelical worries about LBJ's raft of Great Society legislation see “Churchmen Ponder Blitz of Bills,” Christianity Today, 27 Aug. 1965, 45.

77 Marty, Martin E., “The Protestant Press: Limitations & Possibilities,” in Marty, Martin E., Deedy, John G. Jr., Silverman, David Wolf, and Lekachman, Robert, eds., The Religious Press in America (New York: Holt Rinehart, and Winston, 1963), 363 , 58. Board, Stephen, “Moving the World with Magazines: A Survey of Evangelical Periodicals,” in Schultze, Quentin J., ed., American Evangelicals and the Mass Media (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 119–42, 128–29.

78 “The Poll Report,” 22–26.

79 Coffman, Elesha J., The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 69. “How Do You Feel about Integration,” Christian Herald, Nov. 1964, 18; “The Poll Report,” 22–26.

80 Ronald L. Heinemann, “A. Willis Robertson (1887–1971),” at, accessed on 7 June 2014.

81 Senator Willis Robertson (VA), “Civil Rights Act,” Congressional Record, 110, 6 (9 April 1964), 7417–18.

82 Ibid., 7418.

83 “Ours Is the Generation,” Christianity Today, 13 Oct. 1967, 28. Weyrich, Paul M., “Blue Collar or Blue Blood? The New Right Compared with the Old,” in Whitaker, Robert W., ed., The New Right Papers (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1982), 4862 , 52.

84 Graham quoted in AP, “Graham Asks Congress Act on Violence,” Florence Morning News (Florence, SC), 15 Aug. 1965, 1. “Graham Predicts Worse Violence: Calls Riots in Los Angeles ‘Only a Dress Rehearsal,’” New York Times, 16 Aug. 1965, 18; Gladwin Hill, “Relief Begun: 20 Agencies Give Aid to Riot-Torn Area,” New York Times, 17 Aug. 1965, 1. See also Edward R. Fiske, “Billy Graham Links Concern with Social Issues to Religious Conversion,” New York Times, 6 Dec. 1966, 38.

85 Graham quoted in Frady, Marshal, Billy Graham: A Parable of American Righteousness (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006; first published 1979), 415.

86 Oliver, “Evangelical Campus,” 57; “Editorial,” Christianity Today, 15 Jan. 1971, 22; and “Editorial,” Christianity Today, 7 June 1974, 30. See also the shift in opinions within the SBC: Manis, “Dying from the Neck Up,” 33–34.

87 “A Nation in Social Upheaval,” Moody Monthly, Feb. 1966, 21.

88 Balmer, Randall, “The Politicization of Evangelicalism,” in Lippy, Charles H. and Williams, Peter W., eds., Encyclopedia of Religion in America (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010), 809. C. Robert Zelnick, “High-Court Tax Rulings: Bob Jones University, Church–State Group Receive Setbacks,” Christian Science Monitor, 16 May 1974, 2; and “Court Upholds U. S. Fund Cutoff in College Discrimination Case,” Atlanta Daily World, 20 Aug. 1974, 1.

89 Smith, “An Almost-Christian Nation?”, 338; BJU spokesperson quoted in Robert H. Reid, “At Bob Jones University Disciplined Life Stressed,” Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 4 June 1974, 11. “Supreme Court Will Hear Bob Jones Suit,” Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 10 Oct. 1982, A-9. Tax-Exempt Status of Private Schools: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, Ninety-Sixth Congress, First Session (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1979), 1319.

90 Reed, Ralph, Active Faith: How Christians Are Changing the Soul of American Politics (New York: The Free Press, 1996), 105. Balmer, Randall Herbert, Thy Kingdom Come: How The Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America, an Evangelical's Lament (New York: Basic Books, 2006), 1417 ; Richard J. Meagher, “Right Ideas: Discourse, Framing, and the Conservative Coalition,” PhD diss., New York University, 2008, 169–70. Crespino, Joseph, In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007), 256.

91 Paul Weyrich's comments in Cromartie, Michael, No Longer Exiles: The Religious New Right in American Politics (Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1993), 2526 .

92 See Edward G. Dobson in ibid., 52.

93 Richard Viguerie telephone interview with Washington Post reporter Thomas Edsall, 18 Jan. 1990, quoted in Edsall, Thomas Byrne and Edsall, Mary D., Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics (New York: W. W. Norton, 1991), 132. See also Joseph Crespino, “Civil Rights and the Religious Right,” in Schulman and Zelizer, Rightward Bound, 90–94.

94 Rogers M. Smith, “Church, State, and Society: Constitutional Consequences of the Rise of Christian Conservatism,” unpublished paper in the possession of the author, 15.

95 Weyrich quoted by Martin, William, With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America (New York: Broadway Books, 1997), 173. Balmer, Randall, Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter (New York: Basic Books, 2014), 103–8.

96 FitzGerald, Frances, “The Evangelical Surprise,” New York Review of Books 31, 54, 7 (26 April 2007), 31.

97 Emerson and Smith, Divided by Faith, 63–68.

98 “Religious Groups Weigh in on Health Care Reform,” Pew Research: Religion and Public Life Project, at, 8 Oct. 2009, accessed 24 April 2014. “The Tea Party and Religion,” Pew Research: Religion and Public Life Project, at, 23 Feb. 2011, accessed 24 April 2014.

99 Noll, Mark A., “What Lutherans Have to Offer,” in Shahan, Michael, ed., A Report from the Front Lines: Conversations on Public Theology: A Festschrift in Honor Robert Benne (William B. Eerdmans, 2009), 7686, 77.

The author would like to thank Hilde Løvdal Stephens for her insights into this topic and the participants in the 1964 as a Watershed Year symposium at Northumbria University, May 2014, for thoughtful comments and criticisms.

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Journal of American Studies
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