However, to an unusual degree, evangelicals have remained oblivious to how their own stories map onto larger histories. It’s not that evangelicals disregard history entirely, but they tend to prefer their own versions of events. At a popular level, pseudo-historians have played fast and loose with historical evidence to spin fanciful tales of America’s Christian origins. Within academic circles, some evangelical historians have produced narratives that tend to downplay the darker sides of their religious tradition.
It’s mainly because we have created a “vast evangelical industrial complex” and a lot of money is at stake:
Evangelicals have also created a vast consumer culture that reinforces an uncomplicated and uncritical self-perception. Christian radio, Christian publishing and Christian school textbooks and home-school curriculums reinforce narratives depicting evangelicals as the good guys, bravely doing God’s work in the world. The nation’s sins — racism, sexism, xenophobia, white nationalism — are depicted not as problems endemic to the tradition, but rather as departures from “true evangelicalism.” Critical outsider accounts are either ignored or discounted as attacks, reinforcing an evangelical persecution complex. Because enormous profits are at stake in this evangelical consumer culture, both financial and ideological motivations play into efforts to keep evangelical consumers within the fold.