The Religion of Whiteness: How Racism Distorts Christian Faith

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by: Michael Emerson and Glenn E. Bracey II

Are most white American Christians actually committed to a Religion of Whiteness?

Recent years have seen a growing recognition of the role that White Christian Nationalism plays in American society. As White Christian Nationalism has become a major force, and as racial and religious attitudes become increasingly aligned among whites--for example, the more likely you are to say that the decline of white people as a share of the population is "bad for society," the more likely you are to believe the government should support religious values--it has become reasonable to wonder which of the adjectives in the phrase "White Christian Nationalism" takes precedence.


In this book, Michael O. Emerson and Glenn E. Bracey II respond definitively: the answer is "white." The majority of white Christians in America, they argue, are believers in a "Religion of Whiteness" that shapes their faith, their politics, and more. The Religion of Whiteness, they argue, raises the perpetuation of racial inequality to a level of spiritual commitment that rivals followers' commitment to Christianity itself. This religion has its own unique beliefs, practices, sacred symbols, and organizations. What is more, this religion affects more than just churches. It drives the nation's politics, divides families, and is especially harmful to communities of color.


Using national survey data, in-depth interviews, and focus group results gathered over several years, Emerson and Bracey show how the Religion of Whiteness shapes the practice of Christianity for millions of Americans--and what can be done to confront it.