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The Gaithers and Southern GospelHomecoming in the Twenty-First Century$
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Ryan P. Harper

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496810908

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496810908.001.0001

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Let’s Just Praise the Lord

Let’s Just Praise the Lord

(A)Politics of the Homecomings

(p.100) 3 Let’s Just Praise the Lord
The Gaithers and Southern Gospel

Ryan P. Harper

University Press of Mississippi

Chapter three explores the (a)politics of the Homecomings. For several reasons, the Gaithers intend their gospel programs to be free of politics—primarily free of the party endorsements that have saturated and often harmed the ministries of a number of their fellow public evangelicals, dating back to the Nixon-Billy Graham era, into the heyday of the Religious Right. Notwithstanding some kinds of Homecoming “apoliticism,” there are several senses of “politics” resident, implicitly and explicitly, in Homecoming discourse. The appearances and disappearances of these “politics” in the Homecoming world exposes the promises and perils that face American evangelical communities—and, more broadly, the American democratic community of which they are an important constituent.

Keywords:   Evangelicals and politics, Religious Right, Gaither, Homecoming, Gospel

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