Since the 1860s, but particularly between 1970 and 1990, Americans have often viewed cities as depraved, dirty and dangerous places full of people who look and act differently. Two articles trace why these themes resonate strongly with so many White Evangelicals, 90% of whom live outside the center city.
The first, by Mark Mulder and Jas. Smith (11/23/15 Christian Scholars Review) describes how evangelical churches got a jump on mainstream churches in creating sequestered suburban enclaves of “righteousness”, where the single-family home could be a sanctuary for the woman’s sacred work of raising a family.
The second article by Justin Taylor (7/1/16 Gospel Coalition) summarizes four historians on how White Evangelicals helped uphold Jim Crow. (That may explain why conservative churches used to be less “political”.) A 2017 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute found 57% of White Evangelicals believe immigrants threaten American society. Have things really changed?