Tuesday Conversations, S1E14 (NPR PODCAST): Understanding the Causes and Consequences of White Evangelical Fear

A conversation with me and Dr. Anthea Butler, hosted by NPR's Meghna Chakrabarti

Happy early Thanksgiving, #WhiteTooLong readers!

This week, I’m bringing you a recent in-depth conversation I had with my friend Dr. Anthea Butler, hosted by the always insightful Meghna Chackrabarti on NPR’s “On Point” Radio. The show, which focused on “Understanding the Causes and Consequences of White Evangelical Fear,” aired live last Friday and is now available as a podcast. Dr. Butler has the historical receipts and can bring the heat, and she was tagged as NPR’s “source of the week.” I hope you’ll click below and listen in.

The NPR conversation took place just before the #RittenhouseVerdict. That decision can’t be understood without seeing it against the backdrop of white supremacy. And white supremacy, in turn can’t be understood without seeing how it has been historically legitimized by white Christians, and how it has more recently found continued support because of white Christian fears about a changing country.

When the Rittenhouse news broke last Friday afternoon, I sat down to write a column that connects these dots. That piece—Free as F^(< : Kyle Rittenhouse, Whiteness, and a Divinely-Ordained License to Kill—has become in just a few days the most read column here on #WhiteTooLong, with over 8,000 views. If you missed it, you can read it below.

White Too Long
Free as F^(< : Kyle Rittenhouse, Whiteness, and a Divinely-Ordained License to Kill
Today the news broke that Kyle Rittenhouse had been “acquitted on all charges in the shooting deaths of two men and wounding of a third at a Wisconsin protest against racial injustice last year,” as AP put it. I don’t say this glibly: God help us. Rittenhouse, as we would say growing up, was clearly “looking for trouble.” He intentionally traveled acros…
Read more

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Now, on to the conversation….

Click below to hear the full conversation with me and Dr. Anthea Butler, hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti on NPR’s “On Point.”

Here’s the setup for the show:

A recent poll by PRRI found that more than any other group, white evangelical protestants believe American culture and values are under threat.

"You hear a lot of things about our country, saving the country," Robert P. Jones says.

But … what exactly do evangelicals believe needs saving?

"When you really boil it down, there is a kind of ethno-religious vision of the country as a white Christian country," Jones says. "It's both about ... a dominant race and a dominant religion."

Today, On Point: Understanding the causes and consequences of white evangelical fear.



Anthea Butler, professor in American social thought and chair of the department of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Author of “White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America." (@AntheaButler)

Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). Author of "White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity." (@robertpjones)

Also Featured

Scott Dudley, lead pastor at Bellevue Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, Washington.

Alan Godwin, member of Koinonia, a church in Nashville, Tennessee. (@alangodwin52)

This program aired on November 19, 2021.

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