My Reponse to Richard Land
I must say, Richard, that I find your attempt to connect me with an “inside-the-beltway urban myth” rather amusing.
Unlike you, I don’t live or work inside the beltway; I live in rural Connecticut, and the closest I came to being inside the beltway was when I was an intern for the House Republican Conference in the summer of 1975.
If you’re looking for an inside-the-beltway myth, however, I suggest you review your own posting, where you’ll find a whopper!
You identify the Carter administration with “efforts to lift the tax-exempt status of private Christian academies.” You’re not alone in making this charge, of course. Paul Weyrich, arguably the architect of the Religious Right, in talking about why evangelicals suddenly became politically active in the late 1970s, said, “What changed their mind was Jimmy Carter’s intervention against Christian schools, trying to deny them tax-exempt status on the basis of so-called de facto segregation.”
A bit of historical spadework, however, will reveal how spurious this charge is. After years of warnings, the IRS finally stripped Bob Jones University of its tax-exemption on January 19, 1976 – precisely one year and a day before Jimmy Carter took the oath of office as president. Yet you and Weyrich pin this action on Carter!
Your last posting provides still another example of distortion and outright fabrication. I never accused you or anyone associated with the “pro-life” movement of being racist (although I argued in our debate that many associated with the movement are inconsistently and insufficiently “pro-life”). Nor did I question the sincerity of your concern over, as you put it, “the horrible flood tide of approximately 1.5 million abortions.”
If you read “Thy Kingdom Come,” where I expose the “abortion myth,” the fiction that the Religious Right coalesced as a political movement in response to the 1973 Roe decision, you will find that I took considerable pains to absolve leaders of the Religious Right from the charge of racism.
Their principal motivation for becoming politically active in the late 1970s was, in fact, not racism but rather the attempt to protect what they regarded as the sanctity of evangelical institutions from governmental interference. Only later, as I document copiously in the book, was opposition to abortion cobbled into the political agenda of the Religious Right.
You can sputter and bluster all you want, Richard, and hurl all sorts of accusations in my direction, but it doesn’t change that historically verifiable fact. Nor does it alter the paradox that, whatever their real motivations, the very people who styled themselves the “new abolitionists” actually organized, effectively, to defend segregation.
I’m disappointed that you would stoop to these tactics of distortion, Richard. I thought better of you. You and your inside-the-beltway buddies may find character assassinations like these acceptable. Out here, frankly, they smell.
Posted by: Miggsathon | March 5, 2007 10:27 PM
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