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There is a straight line from racism in the United States to an anti-abortion movement | Randall Balmer

NSThe Supreme Court’s refusal to block Texas’s new restrictive abortion law suggests that the end of national abortion is imminent.For the White Evangelicals, the ranks and files of the anti-abortion movement that made tireless efforts to overturn 1973. Roe v. Wade The decision, which represents the culmination of efforts dating back to around 1980.

Religious right-wing leaders make us believe that Roe’s decision triggered their political mobilization in the 1970s, but that claim cannot withstand historical scrutiny. In fact, it was the advocacy of racism that prompted evangelical interest in politics.

Evangelicals consider abortion a “Catholic problem” throughout most of the 1970s, and there is little suggestion in the history of evangelicalism that abortion is of interest. Even James Dobson, who later became a mysterious enemy of abortion, was silent on this issue after Rho’s decision, and the evangelicals said, “A developing embryo or foetation was not considered a perfect human being. I admitted that it was plausible to insist. Being “.

Immediately after having a meeting in a hotel conference room in Washington in November 1990, I began investigating the origin of religion. The rally celebrates the 10th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s election as president, but the reason is still unclear. , I was invited to this private celebration. There I met genuine religious right-wingers, including (especially) Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention; Ed Dobson, one of Moral Majority’s Acolytes of Jerry Falwell. Richard Viguerie, a conservative direct mail mogul. Paul Weirich, a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and a right-wing religious architect.

In the course of the first session, Weirich tried to point out his religious right-wing brothers (as I remember, the woman did not attend the meeting). Recall that he actively said that the religious right did not rally in response to Roe’s decision. No, Weirich turned the movement into a political movement because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tried to revoke Bob Jones University’s tax exemption status due to racist policies, including bans. Claimed to be. Interracial dating that the university maintained until 2000.

During the break after that session, I approached to make sure I heard Weirich correctly. He emphasized that abortion has nothing to do with the origin of the Christian right. He added that he has been trying to get interested in evangelical politics since the 1964 Goldwater campaign. He argued that nothing caught their attention until the IRS began to challenge the tax exemption at Bob Jones University and other white-only abortion academies – school prayer, pornography, and women’s equality. Right, abortion.

Indeed, in 1971 the Southern Baptist Convention Legalization abortion. When Roe’s decision was communicated, some evangelicals praised the ruling as an indication of the proper distinction between personal morality and public policy. He then – 14 years later – argued that opposition to abortion was the catalyst for his political activity, but Jerry Falwell was his first opposition to abortion until February 1978, more than five years after Law. Did not preach.

Falwell, who founded his own racist academy in 1967, joined forces with Weirich and others to strengthen defenses against IRS, the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 and civil rights in 1964. I worked diligently to enforce the law. “In some states, it’s easier to open a massage parlor than a Christian school,” Falwell famously moaned.

So how did the evangelicals become interested in abortion? As you can see from the conversation with Weirich, in a conference call with Falwell and other evangelicals, he suggested that someone might be in a political movement while planning a strategy on how to maintain tax exemption. , They wondered how other issues work. Some suggestions followed, after which a voice on the line said, “How about an abortion?”

Still, it took some time for the opposition to abortion to take hold among the evangelicals. According to Frank Schaefer, he made a series of anti-abortion films called “What Happened to Humans.” Race?? Featuring C Everett Coup, who later became General of Ronald Reagan’s surgeon, his father, Francis Schaeffer-when the film appeared in early 1979, the evangelical reaction was at best lukewarm.

And when Reagan addressed 20,000 cheering evangelicals in August 1980, he referred to his support for creationism and criticized the IRS for its supposed revenge on evangelical schools. He said nothing about abortion. Only in the early 1980s did the opposition to abortion finally become a cry of evangelical warfare.

The beauty of the Christian right, which accepts abortion as a political issue, is that it allows leaders to disguise the true origin of their movement, the advocacy of racism in evangelical institutions.

  • Randall Balmer, a professor at Dartmouth College, is the author of more than 12 books, including Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right.

There is a straight line from racism in the United States to an anti-abortion movement | Randall Balmer

Source link There is a straight line from racism in the United States to an anti-abortion movement | Randall Balmer

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