Roots of Today’s Christianity?

The Problem: Separating the Difference
Does Proximity Define Correlation?

Recently I have been studying the possible linkage between feminism and the Woman’s Klu Klux Klan (WKKK) via the respected history of Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender (Blee, Kathleen). The issue is not the inherent racism of feminism but how the WKKK was able to co-opt feminist issues into its agenda and spread the feminist agenda across America so that when the WKKK became defunct these issues of feminism had become embedded into the culture and took on a life of their own.

The reason for this article was that I discover a similar linkage existed between the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), with the WKKK, and christian fundamentalism. Having been saved in the late 1970s in the fundamental movement I was concerned if the doctrines I was taught then were truly Bible-based or Klan-based. In addition, the rhetoric in this recent presidential election sounded a lot like the rhetoric of the 1920s on both sides of the aisle.

Cultural Changes Occurring in the 1920s
Led Many to React in many countries

In the Wikipedia article, Christian Fundamentalism, the author(s) give a thumbnail sketch of the cultural changes occurring in Western culture at the time. This could probably best be summed up in one word, modernism. The industrial revolution coupled advances in scientific (empirical) inquiry led to these investigative principles being applied to areas that were “not” empirical such as psychology, religions and history. History requires what we of today call forensic inquiry with tenets that differ from empirical inquiry. The reactions for and against these forces also became entangled with social issues such as immigration. However, the largest entanglement came from the unresolved issues of our founding and not resolved by war; i.e., race relations.

The Second Generation of the KKK
with the WKKK tapped into America’s Hypocrisy

If the Civil War had been about “freeing the slaves {Negros}” then the northern victory would have laid this issue to rest. However, the war was primarily about concentration of power with race relations being a pawn in the game to obscure the true goal. This was made clear by Lincoln’s Gettysburg address which addressed the source of federal power and not equality of men. This unresolved conflict became entangled in the misapplication of empirical methods to non-empirical studies; i.e., eugenics which grew out of evolution {another misapplication of empirical methodology to beginning of life when forensic inquiry would have been a better approach}. The KKK/WKKK were able to use these trends that coincided in time and claim that they were correlated {interrelated} when in fact they were not interrelated. Thus, the conflict was between mislabeled forces: modernism vs. biblicism; fundamentalism vs. higher criticism and evolution {masquerading as science} vs. religion. The Klan groups were able to get their message across because they tapped into these other movements so effectively. They allied themselves as promoting Protestantism, Americanism and morality. They became an extra-legal group “fighting” against bootlegging, drugs, immorality, especially protecting young white women.

These were similar to the goals of Christian Fundamentalism. The Kingdom of God became confused with “America First” jingoism, proof of salvation became aligned with sporting “conservative values” and, even more confusingly, the federal government was the force behind pro-evolutionary public education and other laws that put “true” salvation at risk! The “right” became demonized as the perpetrators of hate {fascism} while the “left” was promoted as the protectors of knowledge, science and “fair-treatment” of all those who were not accepted by the rigid religious right.

I believe this how the Democratic party which was the author of slavery, Jim Crow laws and anti-Negro race relations as late as the 1960s became the protector of minorities, immigrants, Catholics, Jews as well as nearly every flavor of behavior that the Bible explicitly labels as immoral. The “taint” of the KKK/WKKK coupled with the fight against Nazi fascism and Japanese racism in World War II caused a dramatic cultural change in America. America had just fought a costly, blood war against German and Japanese discrimination. Coupled with hidden influences infiltrating our university system {Frankfurt School of Criticism} and pure political lust for power {LBJ’s Great Society} these influences became married in the Democratic Party since 1968. However, is this a fair assessment of either side of the debate?

Regardless of the Issues
Each side demonizes the other

The truth of these issues is that no one defines what their terms mean! This allows people to assign their own meanings without ever realizing the true goals these terms may intend. The above graphic polarizes the viewer against the cross while promoting democracy symbolized by the Statue of Liberty’s torch. However, any student of history would realize that the Statute of Liberty is actually the French goddess of Reason worshiped during the French Revolution and is to be no more accepted than the burning cross. But these symbols have become so polarized that no one cares about their real meanings. This past presidential election revealed that these forces are not old history but remain with us today; however, without understanding history it is impossible to discuss these colliding forces coherently. And, it is not limited to our country. These issues are being yelled about in Europe. Those who want limited immigration are called “fascists” while those who promote immigration label themselves as tolerant. It would be nice if the press, who claims to be educated, would educate rather than prostitute themselves for viewers and readers.

Truth is that sin accounts for all these issues. Bigotry is the natural product of sin and everyone is a bigot! Those that claim to hate bigotry practice bigotry against those who disagree with their positions. Anti-immigration will not eliminate problems nor will it solve problems. It just illustrates ongoing bigotry masquerading under the guise of security. But, what about biblical Christianity?

The Gospel message preached by Christ and taken into the world by His apostles was free from the taint of cultural exclusivity and jingoism. Christ told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world (Jo 18:33-37). Peter and John challenge all those who place their faith in jingoism by telling the rulers of their day that they were first to follow God rather than man {government} (Ac 4:19-21). We are to pray for peace for all rulers so that the Gospel message may be heard and support the government when it does right, according to the Scriptures (1Ti 2:1-4; Ro 13:1-5). But, at NO time are we to be in rebellion even when the government is evil! We are to refrain from becoming entangled in the affairs of this world which rejects the Gospel (2Pe 2:19-20). If Christian men and women of the 1920s had refused to become involved in the myriad of movements sweeping America they would not have become entangled in the many issues that still plague Christians today nor would they have been used by such groups as the KKK/WKKK. Christians should not be against any peoples as all people need to hear the message of salvation in Christ. We are not to be entangled in the sin of the world but we first recognize and deal with our own sin. It is for Christ to deal with the sin of the world. We reject what the Bible rejects and speak the message to whomever will listen in order that all peoples everywhere may be saved. In this manner we remain free from these worldly entanglements and charges of bigotry and hatred except by those who themselves hate God and thus will always hate those whom God has identified as His own.

Author: LeeS

Retired naval nurse, Dad, Husband, Christian who seeks to share the Bible with those who want more than the superficial milk given out in the majority of today's churches. God has taught me through hard experiences as well as through book learning (Master's of Ministry, Doctor of Ministry).