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- - Effects of WWII: America as
- a world leader (politics and morality) and widespread revival.
- - 80s and Reagan: Attempt to
- go return to WWII ideals, partially successful but impossible due widespread
- change that had already occurred.
- American Tri-faith melting pot
- (pluralism): Jews, Protestants, Catholics.
- Secularism fourth big part of American culture.
WWII and the American Faith
- - WWI: Protestant leaders
- became pro-war, later realized that they had been influenced by pro-war propaganda. They then took anti-war stances,
- Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, 15 nations renounced warfare as national policy.
- - Pearl Harbor: December
- 1941, changed stance of religious leaders to pro-war in the name of
- survival. America may have been flawed,
- but it was better than the alternatives and must be defended.
- - Christian Republican Heritage:
- Freedom and the American way of life were a great success of the
- Judeo-Christian ways and must be defended.
- - “Just War”: America’s
- motives in WWII began to come into question.
- Though they entered into the war for good reasons, the Japanese
- internment camps, indiscriminate bombing of German cities (Dresden), and atomic
- bombs led many to either renounce the war effort or accept terrorism against
- civilians as part of war.
- - American Idealism and
- Anti-Communism: America as a world leader must be concerned with spreading
- democracy and the Christian way of life.
- Senator McCarthy and the Red Scare and the Cold War introduced militant
- anti-communism, supported by Conservatives and Fundamentalists.
Irony of American history
- 1952 work by Reinhold Niebuhr, similarities between USA and Soviet
- Union: achievement through technology and economic system, humanity defined in
- terms of property, propaganda to “expose” other country as corrupt and to
- portray itself as virtuous. Attempted to
- create policy to stand up to Soviet Union and also to criticize America for
- materialistic justification.
The postwar revival
- - Widespread but possible shallow (60% attended church, but over 50%
- could not name a gospel)
- Eisenhower: national symbol of spiritual values.
- 1954: Under God added to Pledge of Allegiance.
- - Religion and faith in general good, not necessarily
- Christianity. Promoted optimism,
- individualism, democracy, tolerance, and humanitarianism.
Billy Graham: from fundamentalist to evangelical
- - 1930s-40s: Fundamentalism widespread but not popular in media,
- heavily criticized.
- - 1945, established Youth for Christ, named Billy Graham as first full-time
- - Caught attention for portraying America as Babylon rather than
- Israel, wanted old-time American values.
- - In 1957, accepted sponsorship of a group of liberal Protestants. Due to this, fundamentalist leaders John R.
- Rice and Bob Jones Sr. broke Graham from fundamentalism.
- - Fundamentalists broke from other conservative Protestant
- conservatives, now called evangelicals (or neo-evangelicals.)
- - Oral Roberts: healed by tuberculosis young, hidden knowledge of
- people and treatment of illnesses.
- Stressed positive thinking and prosperity.
Jewish indentity and the american way
- Secularization of American Judaism.
- - American Anti-Semitism after the war, like Ford’s Protocols of the Elders of Zion,
- falsified documents that proclaimed a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. Protestant churches prevented Jews from
- buying homes, getting jobs, and getting into colleges.
- - Jews found acceptance in the Democratic party, as well as stage and
- comedy shows (Marx brothers).
- - Holocaust and establishment of Israel caused great Jewish pride among
- American Jews, caused an identity conflict.
Catholics move into the main stream
- Protestants equated Catholicism with totalitarianism.
- - Catholicism flourished after the war, becoming a large part of
- American religion.
- - Election of Kennedy in 1960 caused outrage among some, but large
- acceptance of Catholicism among others.
- Second Vatican council, great reforms in Catholic Church.
- Blacks shifted from Republican to Democratic.
- - Black churches greatly supported institutions like NAACP, great
- source of power.
- Christian in tone and prophecy.
Martin Luther King Jr.
- Taught at Northern, liberal Protestant schools.
- - Believed and preached social gospel, combined American Protestant
- ideals with African-American religious heritage, power of love, tolerance, and
- - Became Baptist preacher, supported Montgomery bus boycott, led
- protest of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, “I Have a Dream” speech.
- Black integration into mainstream society.
Alternatives for Black Power
- - Separatist Black Nationalism:
- Henry McNeal Turner, Marcus Garvey, African movement and colonization away from
- - Black Muslim movement, Malcolm X: Anti-White and anti-Christian,
- Christianity portrayed as the religion of the white people.
- - Though Black Muslim movement gained a lot of power, most leaders
- against King were still Christian leaders.