What if Atticus Finch turned out to be a polite racist?

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A woman holds a copy of Harper Lee's book "Go Set a Watchman" before purchasing it inside of a Barnes & Noble store in New York, on July 14, 2015. "Go Set a Watchman," the much-anticipated second novel by "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee, is the most pre-ordered print title on Amazon.com since the last book in the "Harry Potter" series, Amazon said. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A woman holds a copy of Harper Lee's book "Go Set a Watchman" before purchasing it inside of a Barnes & Noble store in New York, on July 14, 2015. "Go Set a Watchman," the much-anticipated second novel by "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee, is the most pre-ordered print title on Amazon.com since the last book in the "Harry Potter" series, Amazon said. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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A spoonful of Atticus Finch helped white people deal with their racism. But this Atticus is harder to swallow.

  • Jack

    Atticus Finch was a fictional character, so in a way, it’s silly to mourn the revelation of a racist side to him.

    The real question is whether the “good” side of Finch was alive and well among real people in 20th century America….and the answer, in retrospect, is emphatically “yes.”

    And the proof is obvious:

    In the end, there were enough decent white people in America who pushed through civil rights. While King was the catalyst, he never would have succeeded without enough whites agreeing with him, especially in influential positions.

    More to the point, major civil rights organizations like the NAACP never would have gotten off the ground without significant white financial support.

    Sometimes, the way folks like Gushee write, you would think it was space men from Mars or Jupiter who got civil rights passed. In fact, it was decent human beings, white and black, from King to the great senator from Minnesota, Hubert Humphrey, along with so many others.

  • bqrq

    Dear “Rev” David Gushee,
    Are you still evolving on gay marriage? As a Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, could you please explain to lay folks how sodomy is morally righteous? How does it helps children and families? Where is the human dignity, love, grace and wholesomeness that flows from gay sex? How does gay marriage make us a better nation. Did God really create certain people for the purpose of practicing sodomy? Is it really genetic?

    Please help us Professor Gushee, we are trying to understand this divisive and troubling issue. Since you are a man of God, tell us why it is good.

  • Dominic

    Atticus Finch as the righteous lawyer sold books for Harper Lee in the 60’s. Atticus Finch as a closet racist will sell books for Harper Lee in 2015. He is a work of fiction, so outrage over it can be settled by not buying the book. We have real issues to worry about.

  • bqrq

    Dominic,
    You are exactly right. But you are not Professor Gushee, let’s hope that he is thoughtfully composing answers to my questions and will post in due course.
    Have a good evening,

  • Greg J

    Dude!!! You musta totally stumped him! Dude finish him off tell him how you got to get right opinions about stuff to go to heaven. Right? Mean that’s what its about? right dude?Righteousness be in wrong bout nothin. Yeah you got him good dude. All he could probly come up wit is love ya gay neighbour like you own self.

    Rev Gushing is probably above posting something like that…l aints.
    I believe in a enemy on this issue. I just beleive he works both sides of the issue.

  • ZT

    He wrote a book on it. So quit trying to pick a fight and go read the book like everyone else.

  • Greg J

    A national god will serve my opinions, a personal God will not. I can claim a god or deny a god and remain unchanged.

  • Jack

    Because of his instinctive worship of whatever is fashionable, Gushee is buying into the radical-left critique of America as a place that needs not reform but revolution….not a basically good place that has moral blind spots needing removal, but a thoroughly evil place requiring a complete transformation.

    That’s the motive behind the far left’s constantly telling us how much racism remains despite its demonstrable decline by every objective measure.

    It wants to pretend that America 2015 is Mississippi 1950 so that it can tear down American institutions and start all over again.

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