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Making the Bible BeltTexas Prohibitionists and the Politicization of Southern Religion$
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Joseph Locke

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190216283

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190216283.001.0001

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Unto the Breach

Unto the Breach

The Politics of Clericalism

(p.151) 7 Unto the Breach
Making the Bible Belt

Joseph Locke

Oxford University Press

An aggressive clerical mood penetrated the deepest ranks of religious leadership and convinced evangelical Texans to overcome their doubts and refuse to yield any longer to the culture of anticlericalism. All over the state—and the region—activists undertook the prohibition crusade. Moral reforms attracted massive numbers, mobilized communities, created new organizations and institutions, and ultimately transformed the very nature of religion in Texas. Politics and Christianity became increasingly intertwined, grafted together so seamlessly that the two seemed indistinguishable. Religious leaders preached the prohibition gospel and, fighting county by county in local option elections, dried up great swaths of the state.

Keywords:   local option, Prohibition, moral reform, church and state, Oscar Colquitt, James Ferguson, George C. Rankin, statewide prohibition, anticlericalism, Farmers Union

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