Struggles for Civil Rights
This chapter investigates the role that McIntire played in debates over proposed civil rights legislation from the Brown decision of 1954 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. McIntire’s own and his associates’ racial thought is examined in detail and contextualized with recent scholaship on the theologizing of race. The chapter shows that while not without racial prejudices, McIntire’s position on race was more nuanced than many contemporaries recognized and his organizations racially integrated long before legal desegregation. His public support for segregationists legitimated and helped prolong their resistance, but constituted only a minor aspect in his broader resistance to modern political and theological liberalism. This resistance is examined as it unfolded in McIntire’s faith-based critiques of President Kennedy’s foreign policy and in his polemics about the Kennedy and Johnson administrations’ alleged repression of the fundamentalists’ civil rights.
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