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Response to EleanorR (Original post)

Wed Dec 1, 2021, 02:45 PM

7. Interesting Guardian article linked in tweet thread:

There’s a straight line from US racial segregation to the anti-abortion movement
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/08/abortion-us-religious-right-racial-segregation

Evangelicals considered abortion a “Catholic issue” through most of the 1970s, and there is little in the history of evangelicalism to suggest that abortion would become a point of interest. Even James Dobson, who later became an implacable foe of abortion, acknowledged after the Roe decision that the Bible was silent on the matter and that it was plausible for an evangelical to hold that “a developing embryo or fetus was not regarded as a full human being”. [snip]

Indeed, in 1971 the Southern Baptist Convention had passed a resolution calling to legalize abortion. When the Roe decision was handed down, some evangelicals applauded the ruling as marking an appropriate distinction between personal morality and public policy. Although he later – 14 years later – claimed that opposition to abortion was the catalyst for his political activism, Jerry Falwell did not preach his first anti-abortion sermon until February 1978, more than five years after Roe.

Falwell, who had founded his own segregation academy in 1967, was eager to join forces with Weyrich and others to mount a defense against the IRS and its attempts to enforce the Brown v Board of Education decision of 1954 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “In some states,” Falwell famously groused, “it’s easier to open a massage parlor than a Christian school.”

So how did evangelicals become interested in abortion? As nearly as I can tell from my conversation with Weyrich, during a conference call with Falwell and other evangelicals strategizing about how to retain their tax exemptions, someone suggested that they might have the makings of a political movement and wondered what other issues would work for them. Several suggestions followed, and then a voice on the line said, “How about abortion?”


It boils down to racism, money, and power. Same old, same old.

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