Historian Kevin Kruse explains how Corporate America created what we call “Christian America.” (26 minutes):
So many of us want to know how our current alignments got to be the way they are. Some are somewhat easily explainable even if they are not logical. For instance business’ alignment with the Republican Party. While Republicans are well known as the party of cutting taxes, that policy also leads to much higher costs for businesses and almost inevitably lead to recessions and depressions which often wipe businesses out.
One alignment that has always tickled my curiosity is the alignment between christians and the Republican Party. I could never understand what ever got these two entities together. Surely they are held together these days by anti-abortion stances and hate for gays especially and other groups of people in general.
However, the Republican Party has never been exactly an organization that modeled Christian principles. Honestly, it has never been a secret that money gets a lot more love than Christ does in their circles.
So what was it that got these two seemingly disparate entities together into what seems to be a marriage made to conquer earth? It always helps to know where you have been to figure out where you are at.
The setting is the 1930s. America is reeling from a Great Depression that many feel was caused by bad monetary policies of successive Republican administrations and business excesses. Onto the scene steps President Franklin D. Roosevelt with his programs to attack the grinding poverty.
Historian Kevin Kruse explains how even he was surprised to find that the roots of Christian America begins in corporate America’s reaction to FDR’s New Deal and the implicit challenge that government would be supplanting business. Note that the rise of Labor union power was one of the major drivers for corporate America to challenge FDR.
Kruse then goes into many of the events and people who then helped shape the “Christian” America over the next two decades that culminates in the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower and the change of the national motto to “In God We Trust” from “From many, one.” (E pluribus unum). Note also that Corporate America chose to exploit America’s trust in ministers.
This was a real eye opener for me. Another question I had always had was at what point did Catholics go from outsiders to part of the club. Kruse enlightens us on this also. Hint: it had nothing to do with President Kennedy.
I hope you enjoy this video and I hope it answers some questions about the unholy alliance between the Republican Party and Christians in America.
Kruse’s story ends with some reference to Nixon driving the Republican Party apart from the Christians. This then brings up the question of what reunited this alliance after Nixon poisoned it to some degree. To answer that question We turn to the Samantha Bee videos that I have posted here several times. It is the videos that explains how the Republican Party latched on to the abortion issue not as a matter of principle, but as a way to exploit the Christian vote. This also folded well into Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” that exploited race issues: