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The Long Southern StrategyHow Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics$
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Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190265960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190265960.001.0001

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Southern White Fundamentalism

Southern White Fundamentalism

Chapter:
(p.259) 8 Southern White Fundamentalism
Source:
The Long Southern Strategy
Author(s):

Angie Maxwell

Todd Shields

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190265960.003.0009

The fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention that began in 1979 provided the GOP the opportunity to close the deal with white southern voters. Fundamentalist members, anxious over social changes, successfully executed a decades-long plan to seize control of reshape the SBC to reflect their extremist views. They exiled moderates from the denomination almost entirely and re-codified the inferior status of women in the church; biblical inerrancy and absolutism triumphed over interpretation and compromise. The absolutism in terms of religious doctrine gave way to an absolutism in public policy, hyper-partisanship, and demand for political action. In order to court southern evangelical voters, the Republican Party took increasingly hardline stances on issues like gay marriage and abortion under the banner of family values, a slogan cribbed from the anti-feminists who had been propping up white supremacy in the South for generations.

Keywords:   Southern Baptist Convention, biblical literalism, gay marriage, abortion, family values, Christian Fundamentalism, 2012 election, 2016 election

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