Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

Kristin Kobes Du Mez. Liveright, $28.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-63149-573-1
Historian Du Mez (A New Gospel for Women) explains white evangelical support for Trump in this engaging history of the shifting ideal of Christian masculinity. Starting in the early 20th century, white Christian men followed charismatic preachers in striving for a muscular, militant masculinity. For Du Mez, the growth of Christian publishing and popular culture in the mid-century reinforced the sense that evangelicals were at war with liberal social movements like feminism and civil rights. 9/11, she argues, revitalized the extreme warrior ideal for evangelical men and curtailed the softer patriarchy fostered by the Promise Keeper rallies of the 1990s. The recent growth of homeschooling and Quiverfull (child-centric evangelical theology) and evangelicals’ suspicion of Obama are also explored. Persuasively arguing that the evangelical dismissal of Trump’s flaws is the culmination of believing that “God-given testosterone came with certain side effects,” Du Mez closes with a bruising chapter on recent evangelical leaders’ abuses and sex scandals, such as those involving Mark Driscoll, Ted Haggard, and C.J. Mahaney. This lucid, potent history adds a much needed religious dimension to understanding the current American right and the rise of Trump. (Jun.)
Reviewed on : 03/23/2020
Release date: 05/19/2020
Genre: Religion
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