“Having accepted both evangelicalism and white supremacy as unassailable truths for years, these Mississippians generally regarded as patently absurd the notion that God frowned on their racial arrangements; the sudden appearance of segregation in some syllabus of sins jolted their sensibilities. In their religious world, racial integration represented a heinous moral evil—and they fought it as if against the devil himself. White Mississippians’ fierce and tenacious defense of their segregated society relied heavily on religious ideas and frames of reference. Their segregationist polemics employed biblical apologetics, but religion figured in the defense of the racial hierarchy in other far more significant ways, including the overt sanctification of a political philosophy that underpinned segregation. And evangelicals went well beyond rhetoric. They marshaled the power of the state, warred against their own denominations, caucused and organized, and ejected black worshippers from their sanctuaries. Yet,”

Carolyn Renaee DuPont, Mississippi Praying: Southern White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1975
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