ERIC Number: ED199803
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
God, Preachers, and Segregation.
Butler, Jerry P.
In 1965, transcripts were collected of 72 sermons on the issue of racial integration preached between 1955 and 1965. The sermons, all given by Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Episcopal ministers in the southern United States, were examined to determine the position advocated by the minister. The sermons deemed segregationist were then analyzed for recurring strategies used to defend the segregation viewpoint. The major arguments of the segregationists may be summarized as follows: (1) segregation is the divine will of God as expressed in the Bible; (2) desegregation leads to mixed marriages, which are undesirable; (3) segregation is a universal law of nature; (4) integration is supported by the Communist party; (5) the motives of those who support integration are improper; (6) segregation does not necessarily entail discrimination; (7) segregation is desired by blacks; (8) a democracy allows the free choice of personal associates; and (9) segregation is supported by many great and famous people. The collected segregationist sermons are not, however, representative of the bulk of southern preaching during that ten-year period. Many southern ministers were silent on racial issues, while others felt that general lessons of fellowship and love of neighbor were sufficient. Some were, no doubt, afraid to preach on the subject, but a surprising number of the collected sermons openly advocated integration. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Sermons; United States (South)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Speech Communication Association (Austin, TX, April 7-10, 1981).