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Religious Racism: Texas Church Argues There's a Biblical Precedent for Strict Racial Segregation

Nacogdoches' Appleby Baptist Church commits a sin against humanity.

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Finally, for proponents of our 13th Amendment, the church helpfully reminds us that slavery is fine with God. “The New Testament does not condemn slavery,” it says. “What it does condemn is the misuse of a slave.”

Although such overt racism is certainly waning in fundamentalist Christianity, especially in the Southern Baptist Convention (which now has a black president for the first time), Tabachnick worries about remaining outposts.

And there’s great concern about the increased teaching of Biblical literalism to thousands of U.S. children. Homeschooling is on the upswing, and public dollars are flowing into private schools through vouchers and corporate tax credit programs, she points out. In textbooks used by students in these programs “some of the foundations for the Biblical justification of racism and slavery are still being widely taught,” Tabachnick said.

So the same seeds of hatred proudly displayed by Appleby and an unknown number of other independent fundamentalist churches are scattering, planted to grow in coming generations.


Marilyn Elias, a Los Angeles journalist, was the lead behavioral sciences reporter at USA Today for 26 years. Her stories have won awards from the American Psychological Assn., the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Council on Contemporary Families and Mental Health America.

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