Evangelism’s secret history of racial discrimination
As the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wadepassed, evangelical leaders marked the occasion with histories of how their community took up the anti-abortion cause. Mark Galli, editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, (with whom I engaged in a discussion-via-blog-post this past fall) has suggested the movement formed out of grassroots reflection on “the terrible and inevitable consequences of legalized abortion.” Albert Mohler, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president, insisted it arose from moral outrage triggered by Roe v. Wade.
Both histories provide pristine portraits of the origins of the evangelical right, suggesting its founders based their advocacy on scholarly assessments and aspired to noble political ends. But a history can be told that is significantly less flattering.