IFAS | Freedom Writer | November 1995 | update.html

Religious right update

Buckley's advice to Coalition

Washington, DC In an article titled "Listening to Mr. Right," Michael Cromartie, for Christianity Today, recently interviewed National Review founder William F. Buckley, Jr. One of the questions posed was: "What warnings would you have for the leaders of the Christian Coalition and other evangelical organizations and individuals speaking out on social issues?"

Buckley replied: "What frightens people most about the Religious Right is the rhetoric that is sometimes used. There ought to be some thought given, for example, as to how you formulate your antihomosexual position: it should be more pastoral than vitriolic.

"Now, I haven't entirely figured out a way to do it, and I haven't given it as much thought as I should have. But I have found myself consciously, in the last several years, avoiding just plain old-fashioned gay bashing. In the first place, it is unchristian, and in the second place, it just doesn't work. It doesn't persuade anybody of anything."


CNP honors D'Souza

Nashville, Tennessee With about 360 members and guests present, the Council for National Policy, at its September 29th and 30th meeting at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, honored Dinesh D'Souza, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, with its Winston Churchill Award. Mr. D'Souza is the author of the controversial book, The End of Racism: Principles of a Multiracial Society.

As a result of D'Souza's book, other fellows at the American Enterprise Institute, a leading conservative think tank, have disassociated themselves from the organization. Glenn Loury, economics professor at Boston University, and Bob Woodson, president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, both black, denounced the book. Woodson called D'Souza "the Mark Fuhrman of public policy." He said, "The End of Racism, the title itself a deceit, fans the flames of racial animosity."

Other black conservatives, including writer Shelby Steele and magazine editor/publishers Gwen and Willie Richardson, have also denounced the book.

With chapter titles such as "Uncle Tom's Dilemma: Pathologies of Black Culture," and "The Content of Our Chromosomes," D'Souza writes about "a natural hierarchy of racial abilities." He also suggests that segregation was a system designed "to protect blacks."

Michael Cromartie, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said, "There are certain phrases and arguments Dinesh uses in the book that could either have been edited out or not said."

With almost 600 members, the secretive Council for National Policy is a virtual "Who's Who" of the radical political and Religious Right. The group meets four times a year to socialize, network, and plan national conservative strategy.


Police prevent abortion

Blair, Nebraska Within 48 hours after making an appointment for abortion counseling, a 15-year-old high school freshman was picked up by the police and placed in a foster home in order to prevent her from having an abortion.

Now, a year later, "Mary Smith" is suing the parents of her baby's now 17-year-old father, local police, county officials, a doctor, and a physician's assistant, in a federal court in Lincoln, Nebraska. The girl is charging trespass, false arrest, and assault.

Last year, after the young couple confirmed the pregnancy, Mary decided to have an abortion. However, Heath Mayfield, her boyfriend, begged her not to. Then, Heath's mother, Cathy Tull, got a local physician's assistant to write a letter saying an abortion would be "harmful...even fatal...to the mother." A doctor co-signed the letter, even though neither of them had examined the girl.

Tull took the letter to the police, who consulted the county attorney. Next, the complaint says, the police responded with 10 squad cars to take the teenager into custody and place her in a foster home. According to the police report, the action was based on "the health risk to Mary if an abortion was performed at this stage and due to the fact that an abortion was planned." By the time Mary appeared in court, her pregnancy was too far along to opt for an abortion.

The Rutherford Institute, a Radical Religious Right legal organization, is defending the boy's parents on the grounds of "free speech the father's right to express his concerns and convictions to the mother."

The American Civil Liberties Union is representing Mary Smith. The group is applying the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, saying the 1994 law applies to pregnant women in all places at all times. The case is expected to be heard before the end of this year.


Thousands pray at their poles

Colorado Springs, Colorado What began five years ago when a small group of Texas high school students gathered to pray around their school's flagpole has now become a worldwide movement that embraced an estimated 2 million students last year.

Although a final count is still being tabulated for the September 20, 1995 event, Doug Clark, promotion coordinator for "See You at the Pole," told Pastor's Weekly Briefing, "We're seeing a significant increase in the number of kids praying this year despite terrible weather in may cities across America. For instance, 1,200 participated last year in Wichita. This year, it was 2,100."

Organizers estimate 75% of all high schools have students participating. In addition, Clark said the number of "post-pole" rallies and other results appears to be up from last year. "They are not just praying one day," explained Clark. "They are starting campus Bible Studies by the thousands and ongoing prayer meetings to reach their friends for Christ. 'See You at the Pole' is just the tip of the iceberg." (The Pastor's Weekly Briefing, 9/23/95)


Back to basics with Baldwin

San Diego, California Although he has been in office for only nine months, Assemblyman Steve Baldwin has worked tirelessly to promote his agenda. Though education was not one of his initial priorities, he has directed most of his attention toward California's public education policies and programs since he was appointed vice-chair of the Assembly Education Committee.

Earlier this year, Baldwin participated in a public education conference in San Diego sponsored by Concerned Women for America, a right-wing Christian women's group. During a panel discussion Baldwin stated, "The things that are going on in our school system today regarding levitation exercises and dialectical journalism and fixated on feelings and attitudes and beliefs to me is one of the key issues that we must fight. There's an agenda out there in our schools that we must fight."

Although Baldwin's views may seem laughable, some California politicians apparently take him seriously. "Steve Baldwin's greatest weakness as vice chair of Assembly Education is that he is an intellectual," commented Assemblyman Jim Rogan. "When you have someone with great intellect in the lead, people can be threatened." (Adapted from Mainstream Voters Project Bulletin!)

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.