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  • Writer's pictureRev Joseph Taylor

The Tale of Two Gospels: Southern Baptist vs. Northern Baptist - Whose Supporting Trump & Why?

Echo Soapbox Critique

October 20, 2023

Have you ever wondered how a church-going, self-professed, Bible-toting Christian can be a supporter of slavery? For the sake of time and space, I will not offer an entire history of the Baptist Convention and the origins thereof; suffice it to say, a prominent split occurred over the issue of slavery. Southern Baptists believed that a man could own slaves yet still be in the ministry and serve as a missionary. Northern Baptists vehemently disagreed and firmly held that no Christian should own another human being, let alone serve in the ministry. It is well known that slavery was a hot issue in the mid-1800s. In Abraham Lincoln’s 2nd inaugural, he stated, “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may be strange that men should dare to ask God’s assistance in

wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.”

The man who penned the famous words, “All men are created equal, and endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights, among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” was a slave owner: Thomas Jefferson. How could there be such a dichotomy in ideals? How can one serve a loving, righteous God who sees no difference in people and hates those who are different because of the color of their skin or the texture of their hair? On any Sunday, lynchings in the South were often announced in local churches as commencing upon the completion of church service. When the church let out, there was a rush to the site of the lynching. It was a festive atmosphere; attendees gleefully carried their Bibles still donned in church clothes.

There were men posted outside of White southern churches that would not allow people of color entry into the service. Integration was severely forbidden. Medgar Evers, the great civil rights leader, was killed in his driveway on June 12, 1963, because he was fighting partly for the integration of churches. The preservation of segregation was more important than a human being worshipping God. Now, in 2023, White Southern Baptists can support Donald Trump. A man who is a civilly convicted sexual assaulter who bragged on Access Hollywood about sexually assaulting women: his immoral and unethical behavior is legendary. His racism is displayed almost every time he speaks. Yet, white evangelical Southern Baptist practitioners still fervidly support him. It boggles the mind how this can be among our fellow Christians. I can understand it among non-believers, atheists, and agnostics. But not God-fearing Christians!! Perish the thought!

Now, let’s try to explain this. White Southern Baptist folks still enjoy the privilege. They still enjoy the benefits of policies that suppress the underserved, plus people of color. They applauded the abolition of Affirmative Action and simultaneously proclaimed that everyone should be treated equally. They support a man who spews dog whistles that register subconsciously. Our good bible-toting, God-fearing Christians go behind that voter box curtain, put their Bibles face down, and pull that lever. The equality they espouse is good as long as it doesn’t interfere with their privilege.

They support this man and others like him while hiding behind the cloak of conservative views. You see, they say, “We’re not supporting his racism, we’re supporting his conservative views. We’re not supporting his behavior; we are supporting his proclivity to enact conservative policies.” Well, that stance is a good hiding place, but we see you. You’re not hiding well. The complex, cold truth is that Trump represents the old guard's keeping. He represents the preservation of the status quo. He represents the protection of the white power structure. Simply put, Trump represents White supremacy, which is comfortable concerning his supporters. You see, should there not be a line that even conservative views won’t cross?

With the ascension of President Barack Obama came an awakening, a renewed awareness, if you will. For example, per a large section of White Southern Baptist, it appeared that this was the beginning of the end. Is the entitlement that they’ve enjoyed for centuries about to cease? Can the betides of White privilege be at stake? Are the proverbial tables turning? God forbid!!! Those thoughts and questions were internal conversations, of course, almost on the subconscious level. Donald Trump does not uphold their Christian ideals, but at least he will be their hero, champion, and Keeper of the Gate. They could never openly admit this of course; they’re “good” Christian folks. It’s better left unsaid, only to be communicated by the lever behind the curtain. On a side note, I am a professed liberal. However, if Barack Obama, or any liberal leader, had the same unethical, immoral, and downright outrageous behavior as Trump, I couldn’t support him. There is a line my liberalism will not cross. I always believed there was one Gospel. I sincerely didn’t know there were two; who knew? Well, like they say, “Live and learn.” By the way, this isn’t a race thing; it’s a God thing.

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