Recommended Reading: Sarah Posner at The Nation
"The Southern Baptist Convention’s Deal With the Devil"
Sarah Posner has a new piece at The Nation this week called “The Southern Baptist Convention’s Deal With the Devil.”
If you don’t know Posner’s work, you should. She has been tracking developments within the conservative movement for a long time, and her book Unholy [affiliate link] is one of the most helpful books for understanding the intellectual and political connections of today’s GOP and other conservative movements.
Her piece at The Nation dives into how the “conservative resurgence” within the SBC in the 80s presaged the political victories SCOTUS handed conservatives in the striking down of Roe:
“Mohler’s jubilation over the death blow to liberal jurisprudence echoes the recent history of his denomination, which underwent its own right-wing radicalization in the 1980s and ’90s. Known to its proponents as the “conservative resurgence” (and to its critics as the “fundamentalist takeover”), the radicalization of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) fueled the rise of the modern religious right and its formal marriage to the Republican Party. That transformation has reverberated throughout our politics, as Southern Baptists have forged unprecedented alliances with Catholics and other conservative Christians in a quest to drive progressive advances back to the margins, much as they had driven liberals out of their own denomination. In the years since the takeover, the homophobic, transphobic, and patriarchal views cemented in official Southern Baptist statements have become the gospel of the denomination and its 14 million members, a bellwether for tens of millions of other evangelicals, and the lodestar of the Republican Party, whose leaders have sought the moral imprimatur of popular Southern Baptist leaders. The reach of this regressive theology into our national politics is now at a historic apex, with Dobbs energizing the right’s pursuit of ever more punitive crackdowns on abortion and a revitalized offensive against LGBTQ rights.”
This history is vital, and simultaneously, this conservative energy remains unrelenting. In 2021, the NYT reported on similar factions emerging for the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention, rallying under the #TaketheShip hashtag.
You can listen to my interview with Sarah Posner here:
A new interview for Exvangelical is coming! I’m back in the swing of interviews, and will have more to share soon.
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