This is the era in which I grew up. Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority. Right to Life. Republican Party. God bless America. All rolled into one.
Over the years I began to extract myself from that. Remnants remain and I will probably always be picking out small roots that fiercely remain. Kristin Kobes DuMez brings all that brief history flooding back in her bestseller Jesus and John Wayne. There are some hard realities I am reminded of as I read this book.
Her writing can easily summarize what I’ve gone through and what I have learned. My words are not well formed. I can say in this particular “kairos moment” I read words from 50 years ago describing the Civil Rights Movement as “socialist” and see how Christian nationalism today is simply rehashing old scare phrases with what is going on today.
But, I like her words. I am reading through her history on Jerry Falwell with my comments in parenthesis:
A child of the South, Falwell was a segregationist. Rather than fearing that American racism would discredit the country globally, Falwell insisted that civil rights agitation was inspired by communist sympathizers. (SOUND FAMILIAR?) He saw Marxism at the root of the movement, not a Christian social justice tradition. (Which we have conveniently rolled into one big bad wolf today.) — p. 98