Modern Evangelicalism

 

american apocalypse

A transcript of one of Billy Sunday’s famous sermons captured his sentiments on intermarriage and the ways fundamentalists routinely used class to reinforce their racial ideals, as well as a revival crowd’s enthusiastic response to his race-baiting. “Talk about social equality!” Sunday preached in Philadelphia in 21922. “There never will be social equality between the white and the black. (Applause) . . . The black man is entitled to civic equality. . . . When you are out on the highway with your Pierce-Arrow limousine you have got to give half of the road to that darkey with his tin lizzie. (Laughter.) Civil equality is all right. Social equality is another proposition.” Then he turned to the bugaboo of sex.” No decent negro man would want to marry a white woman. No decent white man would want to marry a negress.

  • American Apocalypse A History of Modern Evangelicalism by Matthew Avery Sutton

[Reverend Billy] Graham had long feared that women’s efforts to move into new spheres had hastened the breakdown of the culture. Too many women, he lamented in the 1950s, “are wearing the trousers in the family” despite the biblical principle “that the husband be the head of the house.” Nevertheless, Graham believed that God had still given women important responsibilities to fulfill. “The Bible,” he explained, “teaches that the wife is to make the home as happy as possible . . . as near like heaven as possible.” In case Graham’s biblical exposition went over the heads of those he hoped to reach, he offered women some practical suggestions for serving their husbands. “You can keep the house clean and in order, you can prepare his favorite dishes and have the meals on time . . . Consider, too, that any slovenliness or carelessness in your dress or personal appearance and cleanliness will naturally lessen the admiration and love your husband has for you” Ruth Bell Graham agreed with her beau. “I just don’t approve of the working wife, “she told a reporter.

  • American Apocalypse A History of Modern Evangelicalism by Matthew Avery Sutton
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