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Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar SouthWhite Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie$
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Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039034

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039034.001.0001

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Red Scares and Black Scares

Red Scares and Black Scares

(p.179) Chapter 7 Red Scares and Black Scares
Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf

Ken Fones-Wolf

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores two issues that forced the (CIO) religious cadre to make difficult decisions—racial justice and Communism. The Christian values that drove the Community Relations Department and the ordained ministers who served on the CIO staff pushed them ultimately to place racial justice above the immediate goals of the Southern Organizing Campaign, even when it meant that they had to defy CIO leadership. But on the issue of Communism, the CIO's religious activists shared the anti-Communism that permeated southern evangelical Protestantism. In some cases, their anti-Communism outweighed their commitment to racial justice. The mix of racism, anticommunism, and evangelicalism offers an easy explanation for the failure of the CIO's Operation Dixie.

Keywords:   racial justice, Communism, Christian values, Community Relations Department, Southern Organizing Campaign, religious activists, anti-Communism, southern evangelical Protestantism, Operation Dixie

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