In 1965 during the Civil Rights Movement, was the first gay rights demonstration which led to the gay liberation movement in the 70’s. Being such an impactful commemoration it inspired more liberating groups in the growing gay and lesbian world such as: feminist movements, record labels, music festivals and the National Organization for Women. This quickly evolved into acceptance in a place of worship when the first gay minister was ordained in ’72. Soon after, several large political groups formed in support of the growing “outing” of a gay society in a stand for gay rights. (Morris, 2017)
Homosexuality is one of the most debated issues among Christians today, regardless of the denomination of their church. Some churches view homosexuality as a sin and have no tolerance for it, while other denominations are more accepting and consider it a non-sin. Even though some denominations have taken a stand on homosexuality, there seems to much discord within the governing bodies of the churches regarding this issue. It has moved from a topic rarely discussed and considered very personal and private, to a mainstream topic of conversation.
The struggle to obtain gay and civil rights has been directly influenced by religion, either in a positive or negative way. More specifically, religion has served as a disadvantage to achieving gay rights and an advantage to those that participated in the civil rights movement. Contrary to the recent successes of the gay rights movement, there have been a lot of obstacles along the way and most of them have been due to religious beliefs and practices. Religion opposes gay rights, especially gay marriage on the basis that it immoral and unnatural, it is against the word of God and it is incompatible with religious beliefs, sacred texts, and traditions of many religious groups(Eskridge,15). On the other hand, religion more directly influences the outcome of the civil rights movement by providing a basis for unity among African Americans. The concepts and strategies of the civil rights movement alluded to Biblical stories and admonitions. The church provided a physical shelter for African Americans to congregate and organize marches, sit-ins and protests, but also a spiritual overlook that guided them to the freedom that they always deserved.
By the middle of the 1700’s, a significant organization took place. From New England to Georgia, different groups of Baptists began to form churches. They had only one doctrinal requirement that united them, i.e., the believer’s baptism by full immersion in water; also, Baptists then had different theological doctrinal beliefs. Notwithstanding, in the 1700’s, Baptist leaders sought to unify and homogenize the Baptist theology; they founded colleges and formed associations. However, the cause of “religious liberty,” was also a unanimous and significant characteristic that united the majority of Baptists. Their participation within their communities distinguished from other denominations. The Baptists were not contending for tolerance but for absolute “religious liberty.” Theirs demand was not for their right only but for the right of all dissenters and non-conformists as well. Some historians affirm that religious liberty in America was accomplished due to the diligence of the American Baptist, which now is proven to be the greatest contribution to American science and statecraft.”11
Considering the dominant heterosexual culture that dominated the conservative south throughout Jennings’ childhood, tolerance for homosexuality was seemingly non-existent, as beliefs were fueled by deep-rooted religious beliefs. The concept of societal discrimination explains that homosexual prejudice originates from an illogical fear of sexual minorities. Such discrimination produces a sense of concern and segregation for those populations that are not treated as equals (Lum, 2011). With the southern Baptist church serving as the central institution of Jennings’ community, he felt hate toward the institution as early as grade school when he was targeted with the words, “faggot” and “queer.” Despite this constant battle for acceptance, Jennings received no help from his school’s administrative leaders. He writes, “I’d better not count on authorities to do the right thing because they tended to side with those who had power already” (Jennings, 2006, p. 61).
This book Pray the Gay Away by Bernadetta C. Barton discusses about certain areas in the United States called Bible Belts were they have made absolutely no progress in securing rights for gay people. They lag behind the rest of nation were people are accepting homosexuality (Pray the Gay Away 15). Barton argues that in small towns were Christian institutions serve as a foundation for both passive and active homophobia in these areas (Pray the Gay Away 19). This article is related to the play because the two dominant religions discussed in the play was Judaism and Mormonism and both religions strongly oppose homosexuality and this lead to homophobic attitudes and themes within the play.
The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest denomination in the world. Claiming about 16 million followers of Christ, the convention is known for its mission work and outreach programs designed to draw in more and more members each day. The conventions future, though, did not always look so bright. The convention was and still does play key parts in world controversy’s like war, homosexuality, race, and women’s rights. Many would even say the world looks up to the Southern Baptists. Which makes me ask myself a question, “Have the Southern Baptists play a bigger part in culture than I realized?”. In the next few paragraphs, I would like to explore the culture and history of Southern Baptists.
This time in the post World War II era, many African Americans had began to become a more urbanized center of population, around 1970. (Inmotionaame, pg. 1) The regular population included about 70 percent of just the natural population to live in more urbanized cities. (Inmotionaame, pg. 1) Soon African Americans dominated, having 80 percent of their community to live and take the same benefits in more urbanized centers of the Unites States. (Inmotionaame, pg. 2) Only about 53 percent of African Americans and others who seemed to migrate stayed in the same area around the South. (Inmotionaame, pg. 2)
Community leaders in the city of Atlanta knew it was time for drastic changes, and by the 1920’s Tech-woods Flats were run over by unsafe and unsanitary structures, overcrowded residency, and poor ventilation. In response to this devastation among residency of Tech-wood Flats, in 1936 Atlanta built the first ever Tech-wood Home that provide temporary housing for white families, although Tech-wood populations was 94 percent black. African American families were forced to move out of their homes and look to stay somewhere else, while white families were able to move in. Things began to change in the 1960’s, when laws were passed prohibiting officials from continuing the practice on barring single mothers and welfare recipients from there complexes.
Brownell, Mixon, and MacLean all strive to present a straightforward explanation of how racial tensions led to the events discussed in their articles, and the impact in they presented in everyday southern society. All of these articles actively described the effects of racism, but also present a deeper understanding to the underlying causes from primary and secondary sources, directly contributed to the drastic changes, yet similarities still present in modern-day Atlanta.
The book “White Flight: Atlanta and the making of modern conservatism” by Kevin M. Kruse does not simply describes the migration of white population of European origin from racially diverse regions, it explains the reasons for the white flight, where Atlanta got an important role. Despite, its being one of the most important and of the largest scale migration in the middle of the 20th century, Kevin M. Kruse is the first who described the phenomenon in depth enough. Questioning the traditional point of view that white flight was not more than a simple migration of white population to the suburbia, this author argues that it meant a more important metamorphosis in the political beliefs of those involved. In a challenging review of American history in the postwar period, Kevin M. Kruse shows that conventional components of present-day conservatism, such as antipathy to the federal government and trust in free enterprise, were subjected to substantial changes in the time of the postwar fight against discrimination. “… white southern conservatives were forced to abandon their traditional, populist, , and often starkly racist demagoguery and instead craft a new conservatism predicated on a language of rights, freedoms, and individualism. This modern conservatism proved to be both subtler and stronger than the politics that preceded it and helped southern conservatives dominate the Republic Party and, through it, national politics as well.” (Kruse, 2005, p. 6). Similarly, the
Existing in this book are fifteen essays, all written by Flynt, and all are relative to the South, religion, and diversity. His essays review southern history, politics, southern regionalism, evangelicalism, traditionalism, fundamentalism, social history, labor history, two case studies; one on the Southern Baptists in Appalachia and of modernization and community; the second one of twentieth-century politics and religion in Florida. Asserts the complexity of social issues and the reforms Baptists felt were necessary to change. He expounds a minister’s battle within a church to not display the American flag because of the death involved behind it and to not be willing for his church life to be separated from his personal convictions. Flynt
The history of religion in the United States comes a long way dating from the early 1600s when the first pilgrim settlers came to this country. It has been noted that these settlers were highly influenced by the Protestant faith which led to a community level of influence in this country as well. The faith of theses settlers were motivated from the New World of Europe where they practiced their religion in a peaceful environment. Later in history, it was noted that people of Spanish decent started the famous network of the Catholic missions in California. When California became a part of the United States, Catholic churches and institutes were formed. These churches and institutes were also formed in New Orleans and Louisiana.
In the 1950’s, the inhabitants of Little Rock saw segregation and Jim Crow laws as “God’s way,” which white ministers preached from their interpretation of the bible. They used this reasoning to legitimize their discrimination against African Americans. This is shown in the town’s highly segregated schools, with Central High School as a place for white students and Horace Mann High for black students. Horace Mann High was a good school compared to other black schools in the South, but it only offered a basic and unchallenging curriculum along with industrial courses such as laundry and food service that aimed to prepare black students for the jobs available to them at the time (Walker, 2015, p. 12). Educational expectations for black students and white students, along with segregationist attitudes in Little Rock, helped create the belief that a black student’s only probable track led to low wage and low effort jobs after their graduation. They did not have access to a future of further education and a more prestigious career path that white students