Racial Issues

An Obituary for White Christian America

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The following excerpt is from Robert P. Jones’ book The End of White Christian America.1 He wrote the book in 2016. Jones is the founder of the Public Religion Research Institute, and holds a PhD in religion from Emory and an MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

After a long life spanning nearly two hundred and forty years, White Christian America—a prominent cultural force in the nation’s history—has died.

WCA first began to exhibit troubling symptoms in the 1960s when white mainline Protestant denominations began to shrink, but showed signs of rallying with the rise of the Christian Right in the 1980s. Following the 2004 presidential election, however, it became clear that WCA’s powers were failing. Although examiners have not been able to pinpoint the exact time of death, the best evidence suggests that WCA finally succumbed in the latter part of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The cause of death was determined to be a combination of environmental and internal factors—complications stemming from major demographic changes in the country, along with religious disaffiliation as many of its younger members began to doubt WCA’s continued relevance in a shifting cultural environment.

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