Podcast / racial justice / Racial Reconciliation

The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity: A Conversation with Robert P. Jones

By Andy Hale

“If you were recruiting for a white supremacist cause on a Sunday morning, you’d likely have more success handing out in the parking lot of an average white Christian church than approaching whites sitting out of service at the local coffee shop,” said Robert P. Jones, the CEO and Founder of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI.org), on the CBF Podcast.

Jones made this audacious statement, not as an opinion, but in reading the facts and trends that support it.

Before one even attempts to argue against these statistics, it might help you consider how we got here. Turning to our present and deeply rooted history in subjugating and discriminating against others, the white church in America has more than enough data to back that unfortunate claim.

A few years back, when it was disclosed that many churches and institutions across the South were built on the backs of slaves, many churches and denominations issued heartfelt apologies for their religious ancestors’ error. The problem is that many of those local churches and organizations moved on as if that apology solved the continued issue of racism.

We sat down with Robert P. Jones to discuss the work of PRRI, which focuses on nonpartisan, independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy. The facts and trends uncovered by their recent work show the disparity between the dream that racism has been solved in America and the reality of just how far we have to go.

Jones is also the author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity.

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This podcast episode is brought to you by Fuller Seminary and The Center for Congregational Health.

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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy

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