The Demise of American Christianity

The Demise of American Christianity December 10, 2022

It is commonly believed that the Religious Right emerged as an outraged response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalised abortion. This is a myth, used to rally Evangelicals to vote as a block.


At the time, and for years afterwards, Evangelicals were largely ambivalent on the topic, taking a sensible, compassionate view in conservative circles. In 1968, a symposium sponsored by the Christian Medical Society and Christianity Today, offered “individual health, family welfare, and social responsibility” as valid reasons for a termination. In 1971, the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis passed a resolution urging the movement to champion legislation that permitted abortion under conditions like rape, incest, severe foetal deformity, and the likelihood of damage to the physical and emotional wellbeing of the mother. This position was reaffirmed in 1974, one year after the Roe v. Wade ruling, and again in 1976.


Baptists were among the most vocal Christian approvers of the Supreme Court decision, seeing it as a clear expression of the separation of church and state. Despite attempts by conservative activists to create popular opposition to abortion, it was in fact the issue of segregation in Christian private schools that led to a political outcry from Evangelicals. Legislation had been introduced to remove tax-exempt status from schools that refused access to African Americans, which most Christian schools still did around the early 70s. The removal of this privilege from prominent, segregationist Christian schools such as Bob Jones University was the catalyst that galvanised religious unity – a lamentable legacy that is yet to be accounted for.


Ronald Reagan, who as Governor of California had passed the most liberal abortion law in the States in 1967, gave a speech to a huge gathering of Evangelicals in Dallas, 1980, in which he railed against the regulation of segregated Christian schools but made no mention of abortion. The heart of the argument was that because some Christians believed the Bible was pro-segregation, their religious liberties were under assault. It was this battle over segregation that led to the politicisation of the Evangelical movement, whose block vote in 1980 saw Carter lose and Reagan win. Since that time, abortion has been successfully harnessed as a motivation for block voting among believers, but the idea that it was this and not straight-up racism and the love of money that began the journey is, frankly, a lie.


If we move from the past to the present, things have only gotten worse. The current state of the Republican Party is, in my view, a disgrace, and its pollution has leached into the highly politicised church that backs it. The Republican Party is now the party of bigotry, injustice, racism, xenophobia, conspiracy theories, deception, and discrimination. Their last president was the most corrupt and dishonest America has ever known, and yet many believers I know were hoodwinked by the talking heads who lied for Trump, believing every last nutjob theory that issued from the mouths of devious people. Truth is no longer recognised in these circles, and once-decent people are now members of a cult, with a myriad of false prophets like Mark Taylor, Johnny Enlow, Greg Locke, Kat Kerr, and a host of others, none of whom have acknowledged the failed prophecies they spoke after the 2020 election.


I don’t recognise the twisted form of Christianity that is most prominent in the States today. It has none of the likeness of Jesus about it, and barely a whiff of the Gospel.


I write this as a warning to all those who still have ears to hear. If your pastor tells you who to vote for, you are in a cult. If you’re told there’s only one issue that matters at an election, you are in a cult. If you’re told to distrust your own questions and feelings, you’re in a cult. You have been recruited by devious or deceived people, baffled by lies and the undermining of verifiable facts, and harnessed to drag a plough not made for your shoulders. Pray, repent, and get out while you still can.







Browse Our Archives

Close Ad