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Thu Dec 2, 2021, 11:52 AM

( 2014 ) They'll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record's clear: It was segregation.

The Real Origins of the Religious Right

They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.

By RANDALL BALMER

May 27, 2014

( Authors bio: Randall Balmer is the Mandel family professor in the arts and sciences at Dartmouth College. His most recent book is Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter. )

One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.

This myth of origins is oft repeated by the movement’s leaders. In his 2005 book, Jerry Falwell, the firebrand fundamentalist preacher, recounts his distress upon reading about the ruling in the Jan. 23, 1973, edition of the Lynchburg News: “I sat there staring at the Roe v. Wade story,” Falwell writes, “growing more and more fearful of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s act and wondering why so few voices had been raised against it.” Evangelicals, he decided, needed to organize.

Some of these anti- Roe crusaders even went so far as to call themselves “new abolitionists,” invoking their antebellum predecessors who had fought to eradicate slavery.

But the abortion myth quickly collapses under historical scrutiny. In fact, it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools. So much for the new abolitionism.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133/


( ***** 5 stars. ) Throughout history and in the context of today's continued ill-treatment of black people, this remains accurate, imo.

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Reply ( 2014 ) They'll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record's clear: It was segregation. (Original post)
BeckyDem Dec 2 OP
hibbing Dec 2 #1
BeckyDem Dec 2 #2
calimary Dec 2 #29
jmbar2 Dec 2 #3
BeckyDem Dec 2 #6
ShazamIam Dec 2 #4
BeckyDem Dec 2 #9
Marcuse Dec 2 #5
hedda_foil Dec 2 #7
BeckyDem Dec 2 #8
hedda_foil Dec 2 #10
lindysalsagal Dec 2 #11
BeckyDem Dec 2 #13
ck4829 Dec 2 #12
JHB Dec 2 #14
BeckyDem Dec 2 #15
Klaralven Dec 2 #16
TygrBright Dec 2 #17
BeckyDem Dec 2 #18
Bernardo de La Paz Dec 2 #19
OriginalGeek Dec 2 #21
spike jones Dec 2 #26
OriginalGeek Dec 3 #32
spike jones Dec 3 #37
BeckyDem Dec 2 #27
OriginalGeek Dec 3 #34
BeckyDem Dec 3 #35
BeckyDem Dec 2 #23
FakeNoose Dec 2 #20
Ford_Prefect Dec 2 #22
mountain grammy Dec 2 #24
PunkinPi Dec 2 #25
Botany Dec 2 #28
dupagelib Dec 2 #30
BeckyDem Dec 2 #31
niyad Dec 3 #33
BeckyDem Dec 3 #36
uponit7771 Dec 3 #38

Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:07 PM

1. A whole lot of white men in that article

Long article, but good. And good ol Ronnie Reagan supporting Bob Jones while fighting against sanctions on South Africa. So interesting about Nixon too.

Peace

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Response to hibbing (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:14 PM

2. Yep. Thank you.

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Response to hibbing (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 02:47 PM

29. Yeah. And what does THAT tell you?

And who are they targeting - over whom to assert their “supremacy”? Or dominance/domination? Or indeed even ownership? Who are they attempting to control and suppress? Over whom do they assert their mastery?

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:23 PM

3. Important and little known history

Much of this was new to me. Thanks for posting.

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Response to jmbar2 (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:29 PM

6. You're most welcome.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:25 PM

4. And Paul Weyrich and fellow Bircher Joe Coors (the money) founded Heritage Foundation which became

the ideological and message center for the Republican Party and by the late 80s were the heart and soul Republican party deciding who would be candidates with their pledges and ideological proofing. And remember when nearly every Republican had word for word the same response to issues regarding, race, crime, religion, guns, education and of course taxes or any current for the time controversy, they would all say the same thing.

Racism was parlayed in all the mentions of crime, education, guns and of course welfare queens and taxes.

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Response to ShazamIam (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:32 PM

9. +1

Excellent post.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:26 PM

5. A vehicle to power. Similar to the politicalization of masks and vaccines.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:30 PM

7. Thanks. I use this as a handout in a Lifelong Learning class on the Seventies.

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:31 PM

8. You are awesome, hedda.

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Response to BeckyDem (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:33 PM

10. Wow! Thanks, BeckyDem.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:45 PM

11. Power-hungry idiots and fools, using false idols to corral the gullible. It worked.

and their continuing attacks on public education hep to ensure that people can't think for themselves and figure out the grift.

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:49 PM

13. Yes, they've created a storm of sorts and when we add gerrymandering, Citizens United to the mix...

we have a crisis to thwart.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:46 PM

12. K&R

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:52 PM

14. Quite thorough recounting, although I will disagree on a minor point...

...in the naming of the factors affecting Carter's loss in 1980. Putting Kennedy's challenge first is kind of ridiculous. The hostage crisis and the sense of National humiliation was the biggest factor, followed by inflation and oil crisis factors.

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Response to JHB (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:54 PM

15. Point taken, thank you.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 12:58 PM

16. There are two religious rights: evangelical/fundamentalist and catholic

They are "in communion" only on abortion.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 01:28 PM

17. Sort of. To be REALLY clear: It is white patriarchy.

White males are a minority any way you cut it.

So how do they keep an unbreakable hold on power?

With an ideology that lets them co-opt white women against non-white people (racism) and men of color against women (misogyny).

They let men of color just far enough into the 'clubhouse' to sanction their treatment of women as domestic livestock.

They let white women just far enough into the 'clubhouse' to reassure them they're better than those brown people.

Then they position themselves, the white patriarchy, as the "protectors" of the status quo that maintains those privileges for the women and men of color whom they, the white males, otherwise regard with mortal fear.

So yes, the mobilization of Evangelicals to re-establish de facto segregated education, housing, etc., in the wake of civil rights laws breaking de jure color barriers was natural and happened first because those victories happened first.

Then when women started getting notions that their status under the law should be something better than "domestic livestock", they mobilized the same bunch of useful idiots in precisely the same way.

And as long as we allow them to pit us against one another as they have for literally centuries, we will be making progress in painfully slow and expensive increments, fighting rearguard actions and retreats all the way.

wearily,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 01:32 PM

18. Thank you for this post. +1!

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 01:35 PM

19. Great find! Even Saint Reagan signed the country's most liberal abortion bill in 1967


In 1968, for instance, a symposium sponsored by the Christian Medical Society and Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of evangelicalism, refused to characterize abortion as sinful, citing “individual health, family welfare, and social responsibility” as justifications for ending a pregnancy. In 1971, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, passed a resolution encouraging “Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.” The convention, hardly a redoubt of liberal values, reaffirmed that position in 1974, one year after Roe, and again in 1976.

When the Roe decision was handed down, W. A. Criswell, the Southern Baptist Convention’s former president and pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas—also one of the most famous fundamentalists of the 20th century—was pleased: “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person,” he said, “and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.”


Then, the origins of "Take OUR country back!":

Weyrich wrote in the mid-1970s. “When political power is achieved, the moral majority will have the opportunity to re-create this great nation.”


It was segregation that moved the evangelicals:

The Green v. Connally ruling provided a necessary first step: It captured the attention of evangelical leaders , especially as the IRS began sending questionnaires to church-related “segregation academies,” including Falwell’s own Lynchburg Christian School, inquiring about their racial policies. Falwell was furious. “In some states,” he famously complained, “It’s easier to open a massage parlor than a Christian school.”

One such school, Bob Jones University—a fundamentalist college in Greenville, South Carolina—was especially obdurate. The IRS had sent its first letter to Bob Jones University in November 1970 to ascertain whether or not it discriminated on the basis of race. The school responded defiantly: It did not admit African Americans.


Not even Reagan embraced the anti-abortion crusade in 1967 or 1980:

Never mind the fact that his Republican opponent that year, Ronald Reagan, had signed into law, as governor of California in 1967, the most liberal abortion bill in the country. When Reagan addressed a rally of 10,000 evangelicals at Reunion Arena in Dallas in August 1980, he excoriated the “unconstitutional regulatory agenda” directed by the IRS “against independent schools,” but he made no mention of abortion.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 01:44 PM

21. I visited the campus of Bob Jones in my senior year

(1981). It was a youth group trip from our independent fundamentalist baptist church and high school. I was still only 16 then (I graduated at 17). One of the few memories of that tour was that whites were not allowed to date blacks and gays were expelled immediately if found out and these 2 things were pitched as a positive.


Glad I escaped that cult.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 02:33 PM

26. A cousin was a BJU student. Proud to say that I was not allowed on campus because of my long hair.

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Response to spike jones (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 09:56 AM

32. lol yeah that was a big no-no

It wasn't long after I graduated and moved out of my parents' house that I started growing my hair.

The few that are left are well past my shoulders still.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #32)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 03:52 PM

37. I got kicked off the Clemson football team in 1965 for long hair.

Except for twelve years, it has been long since then. My grandchildren adored me because I could make myself look exactly like Gandalf.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 02:35 PM

27. I appreciate you sharing that.

Scary times it must have been.

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Response to BeckyDem (Reply #27)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 10:07 AM

34. The scariest thing is I almost didn't escape and figure out how despicable they were.

Thankfully I had sane grandparents who got to me enough over the years to plant seeds of goodness that the fundies would have stamped out hard if they had known they were there.

But at the time I was just a kid getting a long road trip with my friends and adults who were supposed to be people who were guiding me to adulthood. We weren't allowed any outside secular influences and the bubble we lived in told us we were superior humans as white, straight male christians and when everyone around you, even the straight, white girls, fed into that it was hard to look too far out of the bubble to find reality.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 10:52 AM

35. Rational thinking and love is what they gave you, omg..you really were very fortunate

to have them!

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 01:53 PM

23. Yes, exactly.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 01:40 PM

20. Reagan rode that bandwagon into the White House

Jerry Falwell brought a lot of votes to the Repukes, and he was given way more political credit than he ever deserved. I'm glad they're shining a spotlight on this now, but it would have been way more helpful about 40 (or so) years ago.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 01:53 PM

22. All of it steered by a long running conspiracy of rich white men who also fought against unions.

Edison, Ford, and many more of the same financial class before them, after, and since, right up to Koch, Mercer et al. They've used the Churches, The Masons, the Democratic party ( pre-Truman) and now the GOP.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 02:00 PM

24. Yep..the biggest threat to white supremacy was integration not abortion

and white supremacy is what it's all about.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 02:30 PM

25. K&R - nt

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 02:37 PM

28. Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church was started so "the good white people" wouldn't have ...

... to sit with "the colored people."

I was just in VA last summer around Woodstock, VA and a lot of your southern evangelical Christians
are racist, Trump lovers, and they are still pissed at how the civil war turned out.

A side of a barn had Trump arm in arm with Jesus, a setting sun, an American flag, and a screaming eagle.

The yard had confederate battle flags and christian cross flags too.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 02:53 PM

30. White privilege.

It's always racism, pick the conservative meme of the day, it doesn't matter, at it's core: racism.

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Response to dupagelib (Reply #30)

Thu Dec 2, 2021, 02:57 PM

31. I'm afraid so.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 09:59 AM

33. An excellent find. Thank you.

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Response to niyad (Reply #33)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 10:56 AM

36. As always, you are most welcome.

It is important to know the root causes, how else will we remedy them?

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 04:16 PM

38. Ronald RayGun, a hardened racist, stayed with the "against integration" for the religious right into

... the early 80s.

What an asshole

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