Throughout the Southern Tier of the nation, an intense evangelicalism was spread upon the wound of slavery and Jim Crow laws - a thick, gooey, perfumed, salve, that healed nothing, even as it was used, none too successfully, to obscure the stench.
And the more the wounds suppurated, the more was spread the salve.
In part, to ease the conscience ("look at what fervent believers we are"), but religion so used can never heal the troubled conscience; in fact, the conscience itself, deeply troubled, has to engage in ever-tightening circles of self-deception, making a lie of the very religion so used.
Yes, true as well, in lots of places throughout the nation (because racism is part of our DNA), but the South, I fear, is the motherlode from whence the sorrow flows and spills over into the nation.
Many in the South stand against this; yes, this I know. But the current status of the South is frighteningly regressive, from statehouse to statehouse, and my sympathies to those of enlightened mind and heart who have to live in such environments.
One can only hope that RW people in the South will see how deceived they've been by a couple of centuries of preachers and politicians.
And I can only hope that women and men of good faith and conscience will confront these evils for what they are, and offer to the world something far better.