I recalled being assigned Eugene D. Genovese’s A Consuming Fire during my MA thesis. In that short work, Genovese recounted how Christians southerners dealt with the aftermath of their defeat in the Civil War. How could they, who believed they were a particularly Christian people, blessed by God and ostensibly protected by him, be defeated in battle? Various reasons were offered. Some seemed more plausible than other. They argued in the years before the War that God affirmed their slaveholding, and few reconsidered their initial belief that slaveholding was intrinsically sinful (sic). God must have judged them for failing to fulfill their duties as Christian slaveholders. For what particular failure did God allow such a terrible judgement? To a man (and occasionally a woman), they agreed: God judged the slave South for breaking up slave families and forcibly separating slave children from their parents. … If men who continually condoned the maintenance of brutal human bondage warned against breaking up families, surely conservative Protestants in 2018 can easily do likewise.
(Miles Smith IV, Evangelical Indifference to the Immigrant in Historical Perspective)