Southern History Series: Antebellum Christianity and Southern Racialism

Here’s an excerpt from David Goldfield’s book America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation:

“Slavery had made the black man in America, in a few centuries,” Virginia jurist William C. Daniell explained in 1852, “what thousands of years had failed to accomplish for him at home, cultivating the aptitudes of the negro race for civilization and Christianity.”

As Daniell’s boast implied, it was incumbent upon White Americans, as part of their Christian duty, to rescue inferior races by offering instruction and the possibility of salvation. This was a key argument of white southerners for the institution of slavery, that it raised a downtrodden race from its primitive African origins to the possibility of salvation through Jesus Christ, inculcated discipline, and fashioned a family life unburdened by the need or concern for daily subsistence.”

I have always loved the 19th century. It is a Boomer-free zone.

In the 19th century, the Jewish Question was remarkably muted in the South and the dispute over racial equality in America was being contested between Eastern and Southern Christians. In the South, Christianity was always invoked to justify racialism, slavery and white supremacy. In parts of the East, the style of Christianity there often clashed with all of these things, most famously with the abolitionists who advocated disunion for a generation because the Constitution was a pact with the Devil.

While researching the origins of the Golden Circle, I learned this was also true of Cuba. In Cuba, the Catholic Church also justified racialism, slavery and white supremacy. This seems to have been true of all slave-based plantation societies with perhaps the exception of foreign born Baptist and Methodist missionaries operating in the British West Indies.

Here is another excerpt on the “incompatibility” of racialism and Christianity:

“It was not coincidental that the white southerners who took back their governments from black and white Republicans were called Redeemers, nor that the process through which it occurred was called Redemption. The term “redemption” was, of course, in widespread in America prior to the Civil War, especially among evangelicals. It referred to the process by which Jesus sacrificed His life to rescue sinful mankind from God’s wrath. The term implied a new birth as those who come to Christ are cleansed of their sins and saved “unto a new life eternal.”

Confederates talked of “redeeming” their states from Union control during the Civil War. After the war, the term usually implied a two-step process. Redemption would cleanse southern sins and therefore restore the Lord’s blessing on the South that He had withdrawn, as evidenced by defeat. It would remove “the yoke of Yankee and negro rule.” Redemption, therefore, would secure for white southerners the victory denied to them in the Civil War. The process toward Redemption was clear. As an Alabama editor declared in 1871, “The road to Redemption is under the white banner.” White southerners employed evangelical Protestantism to recreate an antebellum regime cleansed of sin. White religion in the South became the handmaiden of white supremacy.”

How strange.

I’ve heard from both White Nationalists and Baby Boomer conservatives that Christianity and racialism are irreconcilable, but our own history shows us otherwise. The truth is that what the Baby Boomer generation made of Southern evangelicalism in a time in which a Jewish elite had come to dominate the mass media in the 20th century was very different from what previous generations of Southerners made of it before the War Between the States when the pro-slavery was argument was justified on the basis of Christianity and afterwards when a fervent evangelicalism fueled the Redemption movement that brought down Reconstruction.

The following excerpt comes from Colin Woodard’s book American Nations which is the source of the map of regional cultures we always use below:

“Scholars have long recognized that “the South” as a unified entity didn’t really come into existence until after the Civil War. It was the resistance to Yankee-led Reconstruction that brought this Dixie bloc together to ultimately include even Appalachian people who’d fought against the Confederacy during the war.”

True story.

Kentucky finally joined the Confederacy during Reconstruction.

Woodard continues:

“Their institutions and racial caste system under attack, Deep Southerners and Tidewaterites organized their resistance struggle around the one civic institution they still controlled: their churches. The evangelical churches that dominated the three southern nations proved excellent vehicles for those wishes to protect the region’s prewar social system. Unlike the dominant denominations in Yankeedom, Southern Baptists and other southern evangelicals were becoming what religious scholars have termed “Private Protestants” as opposed to the “Public Protestants” that dominated the northern nations, and whom we’ll get to in a moment. Private Protestants – Southern Baptists, Southern Methodists, and Southern Episcopalians among them – believed the world was inherently corrupt and sinful, particularly after the shock of the Civil War. Their emphasis wasn’t on the social gospel – an effort to transform the world in preparation for Christ’s coming – but rather on personal salvation, pulling individual souls into the lifeboat of right thinking before the Rapture swept the damned away. Private Protestants had no interest in changing society but rather emphasized the need to maintain order and obedience.

Slavery, aristocratic rule, and the grinding poverty of most ordinary people in the southern nations weren’t evils to be confronted but rather the reflection of a divinely sanctioned hierarchy to be maintained at all costs against the Yankee heretics. By opposing slavery, one Southern Methodist minister declared, the Yankee “was disloyal to the laws of God and man” – “a wild fanatic, an insane anarchist, a law breaker, [and] a wicked intermeddler in other men’s matters.” Since biblical passages tacitly endorsed slavery, abolitionists were proclaimed guilty of being “more humane than God.” The Episcopal bishop of Alabama, Richard Wilmer, proclaimed his church had been right to the support the Confederacy in order “to maintain the supremacy of the Word of God and the teachings of universal tradition.” It was no accident that hard-core resistors of the northern occupation called themselves Redeemers, and that the end of the Union occupation in 1877 was labeled “The Redemption.”

The southern clergy helped foster a new civil religion in the former Confederacy, a myth scholars have come to call the Lost Cause. Following its credo, whites in the Deep South, Tidewater, and, ultimately, Appalachia came to believe that God had allowed the Confederacy to be bathed in blood, its cities destroyed, and its enemies ruling over it in order to test and sanctify His favored people. Defeat of God’s chosen on the battlefield, Nashville Presbyterian preacher and wartime chaplain James H. McNeilly noted, “did not prove the heathen to be right in the cause, nor that the Israelites were upholding a bad cause.” Confederate soldiers may have “poured their blood like festal wine,” McNeilly added, but it was not in vain, as “questions of right and wrong are not settled before God by force of arms.” Instead, a Deep Southern theologian would argue, the righteous would “by steadfastness of principle” defeat the federal government, which he had determined to be akin to the “beast having seven heads and ten horns” in the Book of Revelation. The righteous cause was, conveniently enough, to promote the folkways of the Deep South to the greatest degree possible, upholding the classical Roman idea of the slaveholding republic, prescribing democracy for the elite and obedience for everyone else. …”

This is all seen from an outside Yankee perspective.

It is still valuable though. If you had lived in the South of the late 19th century before the age of “Judeo-Christianity,” evangelical Christianity would have looked completely different to you. It wouldn’t have struck you as the handmaiden of Zionism and there was no weird cult of racial guilt and interracial adoption that you see with modern evangelicals like David French.

As a historicist, I spend so much of my time immersed in studying history in order to gain perspective on our own times that I tend to be more aware of how and why cultures have changed over time. I’m confident our culture will continue to change too as the Boomers fade from the scene.

Note: As we have seen, Judeo-Christianity is a Boomer religion. It did not gain traction in the South until the mid-20th century.

About Hunter Wallace 12366 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. Racialism and Christianity are irreconcilable, because Christianity tells Whites to worship a Semitic Rabbi.

    • Pardon me, but your bullshit meter is showing. For the record, WHITES are the only real ‘Semites’- as Shem, Ham, and Japheth were full blood brothers of their Father, Noah. Today’s “Jews” are neither Semites, nor the People of the Bible, but a miscegenated Turkic mongrel race, whose god is the Talmud.
      Get a life.

  2. Mr. Wallace,

    An excellent article. I never thought the history of another people could be so interesting.

    Your last comment on Jewish-Christianity is of course correct. My religion as defined dogma believes the Old Law is dead and it is a mortal sin to observe it. Some fundamentalist Protestants seem to think otherwise.

    We even consider the Old Testament practice of circumcision to be a damnable offence for parents to voluntarily put their male children through.

      • Mr. Wallace,

        Thank you for your kind words. As an aside we now have a Mexican heavyweight boxing champion. Andy Ruiz. Granted he is a Mexican-American but he obviously identifies as Mexican. And no one is giving him trouble over his putting race ahead of citizenship. The wimpy conservatives will be quiet for the most part.

        What government a person is under does not determine who your people are. It only means what rights and mutual obligations exist.

        Can you imagine an anglo expressing such racial pride? I grant to the anglo and everyone else the same right to exist as a people that I demand for my own.

    • Christina, you keep mentioning circumcision. I only encountered anti-male circumcision views after I joined Faceborg years ago. (The pro-foreskin zealots were called “intactowackos.”) Anyway, after reading so much vitriol about the subject, I decided to do my own investigation into medical studies on male circumcision. In every area, from infection rates to sensitivity, and even in non-scientific areas like women’s preferences on appearance, the circumcised penis was superior. There’s some anti-Jewish attitudes included in the pro-smegma crowd, which I understand. But scientifically speaking, there’s no reason for a guy to have a foreskin, and it’s advantageous not to have one.

      • Rich L,

        Besides the fact that is a religious issue there is a lot of science against circumcision.

        With only a few minutes of research I came upon the following scientific reasons for being against circumcision——————-Journal of Men’s Health and Gender ran an article on the issue condemning the practice.

        Science Based Medicine 11/04/2008 ran an article stating benefits and detriments of circumcision are minor to non existent.

        Andrew Mac Neily Nov. 2007 writing in Cuaj/Jauc magazine stated there is no scientific advantage to circumcision. His final conclusion was – Routine circumcision of all infants is not justified from a health or cost-benefit perspective.

        The scientific case for circumcision is the relatively small amount of cancer it might prevent as well as in Africa sexual diseases. But that is not scientific as much as it represents the sexual habits of those people. To mutilate boys because Africans are sexually immoral is ridiculous. They need to stay chaste. If not they bring these problems on themselves. In short committing a sin by chopping a baby’s manhood because he might sin later by having lots of pre-marital sex is to support one sin by committing another.

        Brian Earp in the Skeptic 1987 found that scientifically the benefits and detriments of circumcision were about equal.

        Current science is indecisive on the issue. It is primarily a religious issue.

        Health organizations in most Industrialized countries do NOT advocate for circumcision. Did you only research American propaganda? Even with that in mind I gave you American sources above. Read sources other than American.

        As a Catholic circumcision for boys is forbidden based on it representing the Old Law—which you evidently agree with.

        Some of the non-religious case against circumcision are:

        . “Nature makes no mistakes.”
        It’s genital mutilation and a violation of human rights.

        It’s cruel; babies suffer terrible pain.
        Babies remember the pain.
        There are permanent physiologic consequences: boys who were circumcised at birth are more sensitive to pain later in life.
        The uncovered glans becomes less sensitive.
        Circumcised men don’t get as much pleasure from sex.
        Circumcised men are psychologically damaged.
        Some men mourn their lost foreskin; some miss it so much that they try to reconstruct it.
        The foreskin is required for the homosexual practice of “docking.”
        An intact foreskin provides more scope for body art like piercings and tattoos.
        There are complications from the surgery including hemorrhage, infection and even death (in one famous case a boy’s penis was accidently burned off by an electrocautery device and they elected to raise him as a girl).
        Other complications include poor cosmetic results and meatal stenosis.
        If reconstructive surgery is needed later in life, an intact foreskin can provide tissue.
        It’s elective surgery and the patient doesn’t get a choice in the matter

        I cry over your lost manhood and the fact you were chopped. One of the many reasons why I would probably never marry an anglo.

        • I can point to actual medical evidence, not propaganda from a magazine. The sensitivity issue (as in pleasure received from sex) has been DISPROVEN in seven studies. Not articles, but studies. The psychological damage issue is so obviously crazy I’m surprised you brought it up. There are six studies debunking that. Six. As well as common sense. Contracting and passing STDs go way, way up with the uncircumcised (and their lovers), as do cervical and breast cancer for their partners. Plenty of deaths because of the procedure? Bull. One sample of many: “A study by others found that of the 11,000 circumcisions performed at New York’s Sloane Hospital in 1989, only 6 led to complications, none of which were fatal [Russell, 1993]. An early survey saw only one death amongst 566,483 baby boys circumcised in New York between 1939 and 1951 [National, 2003].” Complications were also much higher for the uncircumcised. More examples than you gave could have been given for those. And why would having more room for body piercings and facilitating queer “docking” (whatever that is) be positive things?

          In other words, what you wrote was pure nonsense, not backed up by reality.

          • Rich L,

            The sources I put out were by medical doctors and journals as I quite clearly stated. it was based on research not layman opinion.

            I also would clearly be against docking which is a homosexual activity. I never said it was positive. Also automatically damaging all boys because of the immoral sexual behavior of some is ridiculous.

            As of aug 2015 the Canadian Paediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recognize the health need for circumcision as something that should be routinely done. My source was Pediatrics Child Health 2015-aug/sept. issue.

            Most research suggests that Africans and african-americans have high sexual diseases way more than whites. The research I read suggested circumcision might benefit them. But acting moral and waiting until marriage and testing is best.

            The only other possible slight benefit was a possible minor reduction of penile cancer which only occurs in 1 out of 100,000 in developed countries and is highly correlated with HIV. 80% correlation. Is not HIV sexual? Well then the only possible benefit would be to protect such sexually immoral populations. But mutilation for all to protect for the most part sexually guilty behavior is to punish all for the sins of others.

            Is not most sexual diseases caused by sex outside of marriage? I would think so. Well it is a sin.

            The German Society of Pediatrics considers circumcision to be grievous hurt on a child. August 2012.

            Research was conducted that found 300,000 boys would have to be circumcised in order to prevent 1 person from catching penile cancer which is highly correlated with the HIV virus. This was published in 2016 by Dr. Carroll. This pertains to the US population.

            So torturing all boys because of a possible small gain in a rare cancer which is correlated with HIV and in order to protect people from the health risks of immoral sexual behavior is as twisted as it is immoral.

            The conclusion is: even ignoring religion circumcision has little to no benefit for civilized white people in advanced countries. It has the obvious drawbacks anyone can look up—-if they do objectively.

            It’s main benefit in study after study I looked at seems to be to prevent Africans from paying health wise for their sexual looseness.

            Any way you slice it our law prohibiting circumcision for religious reasons takes precedence for our males. Our laws in such matters only binds males of our religion. We might allow a certain boy for specific reasons to have circumcision. But it would have to be life-threatening I would imagine. I cannot think of such a situation—but who knows?

          • Rich L,

            I have also found medical surveys where women report on average way more sexual pleasure with normal men compared to circumsised men. A 138 women were surveyed on sexual pleasure for a Medical Journal. They were to rate sex on a 1-10 scale. With 10 being fantastic and 1 abysmal. The following information is from:
            Circumsision Resource Center

            “Women who have only had sex with circumcised men may not know what they are missing.
            According to surveys in the medical literature, women reported that they were significantly more likely to have vaginal dryness during intercourse with circumcised men than genitally intact men. A medical journal survey of women who had comparative sexual experience included 138 responses. Other things being equal, on a scale of ten, they rated genitally intact men 8.03 and circumcised men 1.81. With circumcised partners, women were less likely to have one or multiple vaginal orgasms, and their circumcised partners were more likely to have a premature ejaculation. Circumcision was also connected with vaginal discomfort. Women were less likely to “really get into it” and more likely to “want to get it over with” if their partner was circumcised.”

            The rating of circumcised men of 1.81 is truly sad. Way different than the 8.03 with uncircumcised men.

            There are plenty of other surveys that support sex is better with uncircumsised men than cut ones. There are probably surveys that say the opposite of course.

          • You lied about the AAP position, and ignored other info I laid out to act as if the only reason to circumcise is to avoid penile cancer. No, there are many reasons, as I already said. I’ve gone with published medical studies.
            Here is the AAP position:

            “Systematic evaluation of English-language peer-reviewed literature from 1995 through 2010 indicates that preventive health benefits of elective circumcision of male newborns outweigh the risks of the procedure. Benefits include significant reductions in the risk of urinary tract infection in the first year of life and, subsequently, in the risk of heterosexual acquisition of HIV and the transmission of other sexually transmitted infections.
            The procedure is well tolerated when performed by trained professionals under sterile conditions with appropriate pain management. Complications are infrequent; most are minor, and severe complications are rare. Male circumcision performed during the newborn period has considerably lower complication rates than when performed later in life.
            Although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the benefits of circumcision are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns. ” Do you get it now?

            Here’s a summary of an Australian study (Badger) that has similar results echoed throughout the world: the US, Canada, Africa:

            • Women with circumcised lovers were more likely to reach a simultaneous climax – 29% vs. 17% of the study population grouped across the orgasmic spectrum of boxes for ticking labeled “together”, “man first”, “man after” and “never come”; some ticked more than one box. (Could the superior response involve psychological factors? … Could it be that more circumcised men have a better technique? … Or could other factors be involved?)
            • Women who failed to reach an orgasm were 3 times more likely to have an uncircumcised lover. (These data could, however, possibly reflect behaviors of uncircumcised males that might belong to lower socio-economic classes and/or ethnic groups whose attitudes concerning sex and women may differ from the better-educated groups in whom circumcision is more common.)
            • A circumcised penis was favoured by women for appearance and hygiene. (Furthermore, some women were nauseated by the smell of the uncircumcised penis, where, as mentioned in another section earlier, bacteria and other micro-organisms proliferate under the foreskin.)

            You, on the other hand, chose to refer to a sex survey that had no medical references. I looked it up. Go to an honest resource, like I have done, and you will get those medical references. Your source will only provide references “upon request,” which is suspect and dishonest.

            As I have shown you to be liar and careless about where you get your info, it’s pointless to engage with you further on this subject.

          • Rich L,

            I have said that most Pediatric organizations quite clearly state that the health benefits do not warrant across the board circumcisions but that for some people and groups of people then health wise it might. Disregarding religious considerations of course.

            Nothing I said was I lie. The sources I gave are easily found. You just ignored them.I gave Doctors, pediatrician organizations etc. I gave you Canadian Pediatric information and American ones. I gave the German Pediatrician statement which you can find.

            Here is the AAP position as of 2012

            After a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics found the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision. The AAP policy statement published Monday, August 27, 2012

            Canadian Pediatrics also support the above AAP statement.

            In Europe circumcision is less common and accepted. Most pediatrician organizations seem to have the AAP position in that for most boys it is not necessary for health reasons but for some it is.

            At this point in time outside of your bad manners and emotionalism we actually somewhat agree on the health pros of the issue. Just not on the negative aspects of circumcision. Nor on the religious aspects.

  3. My chief concern is to try to be a humble, earnest Christian.
    Robert E. Lee

    The education of a man is never completed until he dies.
    Robert E. Lee

    The war was an unnecessary condition of affairs, and might have been avoided if forebearance and wisdom had been practiced on both sides. Robert E. Lee

    This war is not about slavery. Robert E. Lee

    We failed, but in the good providence of God apparent failure often proves a blessing.
    Robert E. Lee

    Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future. Ulysses S. Grant

    Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor. Ulysses S. Grant

    Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. Ulysses S. Grant

    Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. Ulysses S. Grant

    There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. Ulysses S. Grant

    “If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission, and offer my sword to the other side.” Ulysses S. Grant

    No political party can or ought to exist when one of its corner-stones is opposition to freedom of thought and to the right to worship God “according to the dictate of one’s own conscience,” or according to the creed of any religious denomination whatever.
    Ulysses S. Grant

    I don’t underrate the value of military knowledge, but if men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail.
    Ulysses S. Grant

    Grant’s General Order No. 11. Ordered the expulsion of all Jews in his military district, comprising areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
    Ulysses S. Grant

  4. “Christianity tells Whites to worship a Semitic Rabbi.”

    A product of American public schools demonstrates his limited knowledge of Christian history and Christianity.

  5. “Their emphasis wasn’t on the social gospel – an effort to transform the world in preparation for Christ’s coming – but rather on personal salvation, pulling individual souls into the lifeboat of right thinking before the Rapture swept the damned away. Private Protestants had no interest in changing society but rather emphasized the need to maintain order and obedience.”

    This is more than half the problem with history, post-WBTS. The reality of Preterism as the only valid eschatological position for a Christian to hold, clearly states that Christ DID conquer, the Jews ARE disenfranchised, the Kingdom IS a present reality, and the ‘End Times’ were @ AD 70, not some ‘escape clause’ to avoid ‘polishing brass on a sinking ship’ per the God-damned Dispensationalists! We are ALREADY in the post-‘this generation’ of the book of Matthew, and ALL attempts by Jews to gain legitimacy…. are ALREADY 2000 years out of date! All claims of ‘Anti-Semitism’ are BOGUS.

    “Many theologians know that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was important in God’s scheme of redemption, but never understood its full significance. It has to do with the consummation of the plan of redemption. The final events of the redemptive drama came to pass in the first century within the apostles’ generation (before A.D. 70). Christ’s kingdom is here now. Paradise has been restored in Christ (for our afterlife in heaven above). Christ has conquered all His enemies and has given us His Eternal Kingdom, “of the increase of which there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

    This view offers a much more positive and realistic worldview. It is conservative, consistent, optimistic, responsible and accountable. And it robs us of no motivation for either living the Christian life, or evangelizing the world. In fact, it’s the only view which gives us a consistent reason for being constructively involved in making the world a better place for the eternal long-term, unlike the short-term escapist, retreatist, defeatist, and withdrawal mindset of many futurists.”

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