Who Are Justice Sunday's Ministers of Minstrelsy?
Max Blumenthal printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 10:38:59 AM EST
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others... are known to have left-wing associations. It is very obvious that the Communists, as they do in all parts of the world, are taking advantage of a tense situation in our land, and are exploiting every incident to bring about violence and bloodshed"         --Scheduled Justice Sunday III speaker Rev. Jerry Falwell

"I want to boldly affirm Uncle Tom. The black community must stop criticizing Uncle Tom. He is a role model."                       --Scheduled Justice Sunday III speaker Rev. Wellington Boone

Christian right leaders love to invoke the legacy of the civil rights movement in their struggle to undo it. During Justice Sunday II, born-again Watergate felon Chuck Colson declared that the Christian right was doing nothing but "giving voice" to Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy. Later in the evening, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue told the nearly all-white, Southern Baptist audience, "Now we're in the back of the bus."

For Perkins, who is today perhaps the Christian right's most influential operative, linking his agenda to the civil rights movement serves a purpose almost as important as indulging the persecution fantasies of his followers. The image of Perkins and his allies as the logical heirs to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy helps obscure his past involvement with racist groups and figures as he advances an anti-civil rights agenda.

In 1996, while working as campaign manager for the failed US Senate candidacy of his mentor, Woody Jenkins, Perkins signed a check for nearly $90,000 to David Duke for the purchase of his phone bank list. Then, even after a steady stream of bad press doomed his own Senate campaign, Perkins spoke at a 2001 fundraiser for the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white nationalist group which has called blacks "a retrograde species of humanity" on its website. And this Sunday, Perkins will be joined by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who incited opposition to the civil rights movement from the pulpit in 1950's and 1960's Virginia.

Seeking to continue his image makeover while advancing the case for the confirmation of Samuel Alito, who would, by all accounts, severely limit civil rights, Tony Perkins has staged Justice Sunday III at a black church in inner-city Philadelphia. And he has assembled three black speakers to sermonize by his side, including Martin Luther King's Jr.'s niece, Alveda King. Judging from their past statements and activities, it looks like these figures been providing cover for racial reactionaries for the entire span of their careers. This Sunday will be no exception.

Esther Kaplan has already done a thorough job with her summary of Justice Sunday III, so here is what I can add:

Wellington Boone

Boone makes no secret of his theocratic intentions. He's a member of the Dominionist umbrella group, Coalition on Revival, which advocates the replacement of Constitutional democracy with Biblical law. He's also a former leader of the right-wing Christian men's group, the Promise Keepers, which, with its overt promotion of women's submission (along with a theocratic patriarchy), makes Arnold Schwarzenegger look like Andrea Dworkin.

Boone makes no secret of his bizarre racial views either. Consider this statement he made in his book, "Breaking Through:" "I want to boldly affirm Uncle Tom. The black community must stop criticizing Uncle Tom. He is a role model." Or this, in the same book: "I believe that slavery, and the understanding of it when you see it God's way, was redemptive." Or this, on Pat Robertson's 700 Club, in the immediate wake of Hurricane Katrina: "We need to consider the culture of those people still stranded in New Orleans. The looting of property, the trashing of property, et cetera, speaks to the basic character of the people. These people who have gone through slavery, segregation and the Voting Rights Act are doing this to themselves." Now that's putting the compassion in "compassionate conservatism."

Herb Lusk

The host of Justice Sunday III and former NFL benchwarmer known as "the praying tailback" used to be a Democrat. Then, thanks to the aggressive lobbying of Sen. Rick Santorum, George W. Bush's Office of Faith Based Initiatives began bankrolling Lusk's operations, starting with an grant of over $900,000 in 2002. Then, like magic, Lusk became a rock-ribbed Republican.

Lusk's hosting of Justice Sunday III is not the first time he's provided political help to the GOP leadership. In 2000, in possible violation of IRS laws, Lusk delivered the invocation at the Republican National Convention. Four years later, he hosted the President at his church for a speech praising abstinence as the best -- and perhaps, only -- way to prevent AIDS. Lusk also provides much-need cover for Santorum, allowing him to highlight their work together whenever his support for tax cuts for the rich, Walmart, and opposition to the Family Leave Act and affirmative action are criticized. As Santorum's possibly doomed re-election campaign kicks into high gear, he is joining Lusk at Justice Sunday III.

Alveda King

A few years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, his niece, Alveda, had what she now calls "an involuntary abortion." A few years later, after Roe v. Wade was decided, she had another abortion. Her response to what she has characterized as a personal crisis was to join up with the offspring of the anti-integration movement -- the Christian right -- in the struggle to ban abortion. So much for internal reflection.

"My grandfather, Dr. Martin Luther King Sr., once said, 'No one is going to kill a child of mine,'" Alveda King wrote on her website. "Tragically, two of his grandchildren had already been aborted when he saved the life of his next great-grandson with this statement." Move over George Wallace. Planned Parenthood has tossed the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny and said, 'abortion now,' 'abortion tomorrow,' 'abortion forever.'

In the 1990's, Alveda King became an ardent supporter of school vouchers for inner city children. Yet her advocacy was performed through a well-compensated fellowship at the right-wing Alexis De Tocqueville Institution. The ADT Institution (and by extension, King, during her fellowship) is essentially a front for big business interests and conservative foundations like Scaife, Olin and Bradley. During the period the Bradley Foundation subsidized King's fellowship at ADT, it was  funding Charles Murray's infamous "Bell Curve" study asserting that blacks and Latinos are genetically inferior to whites and Asians.

Historical Amnesia

On Sunday, King, Lusk and Boone will share the stage with the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Perhaps they're too young to remember the sermon Falwell delivered from his segregated Thomas Road Baptist Church in 1958, "Segregation and Integration: Which?" in which he declared that integration would lead to the destruction of the white race.

Maybe they have forgotten Falwell's 1963 attack from the pulpit on LBJ's civil rights legislation: "It should be considered civil wrongs rather than civil rights." And they might be unable to recall that, according to William Martin's "With God On Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America," Falwell distributed anti-MLK literature provided to him by J. Edgar Hoover. Or that he founded a "Christian academy" in 1966 described by the Lynchburg News as "a private school for white students."

I find it hard to believe, however, that Boone, Lusk and King could be unaware of Falwell's famous 1965 sermon, "Ministers and Marches," in which he assailed MLK and his allies more stridently than ever. In this sermon, Falwell questioned "the sincerity and intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left-wing associations. It is very obvious that the Communists, as they do in all parts of the world, are taking advantage of a tense situation in our land, and are exploiting every incident to bring about violence and bloodshed." Falwell added, "Preachers are not called to be politicians, but to be soul winners." (If only he'd followed his own advice.)

Martin Luther King once said, "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism, or in the darkness of destructive selfishness." In joining racial reactionaries this Sunday in support of Samuel Alito's appointment to the Supreme Court, Boone, Lusk and Alveda King have chosen the latter.




Display:
Although Rev. Falwell's expressions of white supremacist views in the 1950s and 1960s were not intelligently designed, he would likely claim to have evolved since then. His speech is now much more inclusive, encompassing attacks on gays and lesbians, Muslims, and others with whom he disagrees. So if Rev. Falwell can admit that he was wrong in his moral judgment on racial discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s, he may continue to evolve, and may one day admit that he was wrong to excoriate gays, lesbians, and Muslims.

by jhutson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 11:45:39 AM EST

  1. The word Minstrel seems egregious. They aren't using it, which means you are introducing it.

  2. The most important thing, I'd say, is that reporters who might cover Injustice Sunday know this information, but when I look at it from their perspective, I think a couple things:
 a. Gosh, it's long, will there be anything good?
 b. The stuff on Falwell, the newest stuff is 1965? Lots of people, maybe even most people in my neck of the woods, agreed with that back then. Now, maybe they shouldn't have read the fake stories Hoover put into the papers, but how would they have known?

One sec...

by JoshNarins on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 11:56:53 AM EST


This comment has been deleted by Esther Kaplan



by Esther Kaplan on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 12:17:13 PM EST

I tried whipping up a version of the article (almost identical text) the way I might like to see it. It's still fairly ugly, but you might get the idea...

Still need to add paragraph indenting, and, like I said, it is ugly.

Lesson? Write in HTML

by JoshNarins on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 12:48:18 PM EST

It's a very good one. I'd just been considering that approach. I could implement it quite neatly with css.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 01:32:45 PM EST
Parent


I sincerely enjoyed it; thank you for the information and the links.

The point is that Jerry Falwell hasn't changed, at least in one sense; he continues to fire up his base, and get money coming in by attacking a minority or those suffering from lack of equal protection of the law, not hestiating to hang around extremists.  Tony Perkins has changed his spots either.


by Maat on Sun Jan 08, 2006 at 02:35:22 AM EST



WWW Talk To Action


The Author of Loathing Lincoln Explains Why Some on the Christian Right Loathe Lincoln
One under-reported result of the 2014 elections was the rise of Neo-Confederate politics in the U.S. This included the election of unabashed apologist for......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
A Catholic Theocracy Grows in Florida
Catholic Right pizza mogul Tom Monaghan and his Ave Maria School of Law are back in the news.  Journalist Eleanor Bader has a new......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Mississippi Madness: Group Wants To Designate An Official Religion
A group in Mississippi is collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to change the state constitution in several ways.The proposal put forth by the......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
I Stand Sunday Part 2
I Stand Sunday took place in Houston, Nov. 2, 2014, motivated by the cities' mayor who subpoenaed sermons from local pastors.  The host church......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
I Stand Sunday Part 2
I Stand Sunday took place in Houston, Nov. 2, 2014, motivated by the city's mayor who subpoenaed sermons from local pastors.  The host church......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Houston's I Stand Sunday
In response to Houston's gay mayor's solicitation of church sermons, on Nov. 2, 2014, Houston Texas will host an I Stand Sunday.  The event,......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Real Religious Liberty is Not Oppression
This is a reposting of an op-ed I recently published at LGBTQ Nation -- FC Real Religious Liberty is not Oppression FREDERICK CLARKSON Senior......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Houston Mayor Ignites Fervor of Religious Right
The best take on Houston Mayor Annise Parker vs. the churches in her city is the story written by Marv Knox in the Baptist......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Four Stories
LGBTQ Nation   In my first bi-weekly column on religious liberty, I discuss how  "Religious liberty is a progressive and liberatory value, over which......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Christian Right Voter Mobilization -- The Season Finale
One of the secrets of the success of the Christian Right over the years has been that opponents have taken the movement with insufficient......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Sins Of Omission: When Religious Right Leaders Speak, The Whole Truth Is Often Left Behind
When an individual doesn't feel like being absolutely truthful, there are a couple of things he or she can do. One is to simply......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Bishop Finn Under Vatican Investigation
Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has long been a symbol of the ongoing institutional intransigence in addressing......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
"The $1-Billion-a-Year [Religious] Right-Wing Conspiracy You Haven't Heard Of"
In honor of the 2014 incarnation of the event known as The Gathering, I've given an interview with Jay Michaelson, writing for the Daily......
By Bruce Wilson (5 comments)
(Un)Fantastic Five: A Remembrance Of Values Voter Summits Past
The Religious Right's annual "Values Voter Summit" (VVS) takes place this weekend. Americans United staffers Simon Brown, Sarah Jones and I will be there.......
By Rob Boston (7 comments)
The Christian Right's Voter Mobilization Strategy for 2014
My latest post at Political Research Associates is about how this weekend's Values Voter Summit fits into the Christian Right's wider electoral strategy for......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)

Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.