The Passion of Southern Christians

In How We Behave, Uncategorized On
- Updated

A good number of Southern Christians tend to vote Republican, but in truth the values of the rural South are not incompatible with the policies of the Democratic Party. Our famed Southern hospitality is just an illustration of Jesus’ exhortation to welcome the stranger. And consider what happens here whenever there’s a flood or a tornado: Long before the government agencies mobilize, local churches are taking up donations, cooking hot meals, helping people pick through the wreckage — helping everyone, no matter their religion or the color of their skin or the language they speak at home.

But as with a lot of people, including secular liberals, the way Christians behave as human beings can be completely at odds with the way they vote. Decades ago, when I was still a teenager in Alabama, I heard my grandmother refer to some new neighbors as the Tallyho Boys. Turns out a gay couple had bought or inherited a farm just down the road from her. The good ladies of that rural community welcomed the couple with poundcakes and homemade jelly, but would they have voted for a political candidate who supported marriage equality? Not a chance.

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