Congratulations to Joshua Zeitz on his interesting and insightful look at how the American South has influenced the nation (”Dixie’s Victory,” August/September 2002). Particularly, it was surprising and refreshing to see an accurate understanding of religion and its role as a key piece of the puzzle. It is extremely rare to find an author or reporter who understands the different roles and perspectives of evangelicals, fundamentalists, mainline Protestants, and charismatics. Usually those groups are misidentified, confused with one another, or simply lumped together.
Further, Mr. Zeitz accurately describes each group’s core beliefs, neither advocating nor belittling its perspectives. Truly unbiased writing, particularly in reference to religion, is a rare and cherished thing today. Because of the research my company does with a wide variety of Christian groups, I deal with many religion reporters at major media outlets. Some have a lack of understanding of the Christian world even though it forms a daily part of their jobs, which is disappointing and frustrating. Mr. Zeitz obviously understands what makes various Protestant groups distinctive and how those distinctions have influenced American culture.