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Mississippi PrayingSouthern White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1975$
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Carolyn Renée Dupont

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814708415

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814708415.001.0001

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“Warped and Distorted Reflections”

“Warped and Distorted Reflections”

Mississippi and the North

Chapter:
(p.181) 8 “Warped and Distorted Reflections”
Source:
Mississippi Praying
Author(s):

Carolyn Renée Dupont

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814708415.003.0009

This chapter discusses how northern ministers converted few to their understanding of Christianity, much as the church visit campaign had failed to alter the convictions of white Mississippians. Instead, these clerics' presence provoked an overt display of the holy symbiosis between white religion and white supremacy. In Canton and Hattiesburg especially, local spiritual leaders and congregations conferred an ideological and moral imprimatur on community resistance. The faith-based message of equality for all won few converts. The specific theological commitments of Mississippians formed essential tools with which they deflected the religious critique of segregation. The chapter also shows how civil rights events in northern cities in 1964, many involving white clergy, would demonstrate that America's strong religious heritage underpinned white supremacy throughout the country, while religious commitments did little to change whites' perceptions of civil rights issues.

Keywords:   northern ministers, Christianity, white Mississippians, white religion, white supremacy, segregation, civil rights

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