The World According to Tim LaHaye: Chapter Seven - Humanists Attack the Family
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 10:58:22 AM EST
Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates (author info)
Left Behind Tim LaHaye is a Christian family counselor, rooted in apocalyptic evangelicalism. In 1975 LaHaye wrote Revelation: Illustrated and Made Plain, followed in 1978 by, The Unhappy Gays: What Everyone Should Know About Homosexuality. These two themes converge into an elaborate conspiracy theory about secular humanism in his series of books on The Battle for the Mind (1980), The Battle for the Family (1982), and The Battle for the Public Shools (1983)

In 1972 Tim and Beverly LaHaye launched a national series of workshops called the Family Life Seminars, which is what first gained the LaHaye’s national attention, at least in evangelical circles.

A biographical study written by Shintia R. Argazali, as part of a bibliographic research project provides important details that set the historic context:

During 1948 – 1950 he served as Pastor of Baptist churches in Pickens , S.C. , and then in Minneapolis , Minn. 1950 – 1956. From Minnesota he moved to El Cajon , California , and became the senior pastor in Scott Memorial Baptist Church during 1956 - 1981.

Tim LaHaye founded the largest Protestant high school and a school system of ten Christian schools including two accredited Christian high schools, and a Christian Heritage College, where he became president in 1970- 1976. He also assisted Henry Morris in finding the Institute for Creation Research.

In 1980 he started Californians for Biblical Morality, a branch of Moral Majority, where he was one of the founders. In the same year, he formed a coalition of religious right leaders, named the Council for National Policy. (Argazili, read more at: http://slisweb.lis.wisc.edu/~jcherney/argazali.html)

LaHaye starts writing his series on the secular humanist conspiracy, at a time when this is a hot issue on the Christian Right. In 1976 the Heritage Foundation published Secular Humanism and the Schools: The Issue Whose Time Has Come, a tract by Onalee McGraw, in which she argues that humanistic education in the public schools does not focus on “the traditional and generally accepted virtues” based on “Judeo–Christian principles taught by most families at home,” but on secular humanist theories of “moral relativism and situation ethics” that are “based on predominantly materialistic values found only in man’s nature itself” and “without regard for the Judeo–Christian moral order, which is based on the existence and fatherhood of a personal God.”(McGraw 1976)

This may seem odd coming from the Heritage Foundation, but recall that it was Christian Right strategist Paul Weyrich who had been sent to DC as agent of Joseph Coors to found the Heritage Foundation in 1973. The next year Weyrich set up a lobbying group, the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress. As Heritage became more Inside-the-Beltway policy wonkish and secular, Weyrich left Heritage to turn the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congressinto the Free Congress Foundation, to continue with the battle to extend Christian evangelical influence through what Weyrich called “Cultural Conservatism.” Weyrich and LaHaye helped create the New Right and the Moral Majority in 1979.

Before his series on the Secular Humanist conspiracy, LaHaye attacked the growing gay rights movement. As the Southern Poverty Law Center explained in their timeline of the anti-gay movement, in 1978:

John Birch Society trainer and "family activist" Tim LaHaye publishes The Unhappy Gays (later retitled What Everyone Should Know About Homosexuality). Calling gay people "militant, organized" and "vile," LaHaye anticipates anti-gay arguments to come.(SPLC 2005, http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=523)

John Cloud in Time magazine noted that:

On another subject—gays and lesbians—LaHaye's views are not just eccentric but downright odious. In his 1978 book The Unhappy Gays—which even today LaHaye calls "a model of compassion"—he wrote that homosexuality is "vile" and that gays share 16 pernicious traits, which include "incredible promiscuity," "deceit," "selfishness," "vulnerability to sadism-masochism" and "poor health and an early death." He wondered who was more "cruel and inhuman"—those who accept gays even though they are so unhappy or "those who practiced Old Testament capital punishment" on gays. (Cloud, 2002, http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101020701/books3.html).

In his 1982 book The Battle for the Family, LaHaye continues to list acceptance of sinful homosexuality as part of the secular humanist conspiracy, but his top three enemies of the family are:

LaHaye Chart
  1. One: Humanism
  2. Two: The Government
  3. Three: Our Public Schools

LaHaye also has chapters on the other enemies of the family: television; a “controlled” media; feminism, materialism, urbanization, easy divorce, women in the work force, pornography, free access to drugs, rock music, and homosexuality.

When asked by a parent if they shouldn’t send their children to public school as a way to “be witnesses for Christ?” LaHaye writes that he responded: “You mean cannon fodder for Humanism!” (p. 88). According to LaHaye, “Modern public education is the most dangerous single force in a child’s life: religiously, sexually, economically, patriotically, and physically.” (p.. 89)

LaHaye then reproduces a list of common school problems in 1940 and 1980. In 1940, the problems are running in the halls, chewing gum in class, “talking out in class.” The 1980 list includes violence, stealing, forcible rape, arson, etc. But this list is something of a hoax, because it is derived from a number of sources that are not actually based on survey data.

Barry O'Neill, writing in the New York Times Magazine, reports:

Their originator was T. Cullen Davis of Fort Worth , a born-again Christian who devised the lists as a fundamentalist attack on public schools. Davis was born again through a remarkable course of events. He and his brother Ken had built the family business in oil equipment into a billion-dollar conglomerate, but in 1976 Cullen was arrested for a double murder, accused of shooting his stepdaughter and the lover of his estranged wife. The sensational trials, which featured lurid tales of his wife's drug and sex parties and his mansion, became the talk of bridge tables and barrooms across Texas .

After his acquittals, Davis turned from the fast life to Christianity. One night at his home, he and James Robison, a television evangelist, took hammers to Davis 's million-dollar collection of jade and ivory statues, smashing them as false religion. He plunged into a reading program on public schools, fought plans for sex education and lobbied for the teaching of creationism.(O’Neill 1994)

LaHaye states that “Feminism is the ultimate in selfishness,” because:

It appeals to "my rights," "my goals," "my feelings"; consequently it destroys whatever it touches. Historically and biblically, selfishness has always been a destroyer. God challenges us, "Give and it shad be given unto you." Feminism is not interested in giving -- it takes….(p. 145).

Working women throughout the Western world are coming to the sad realization that by the time they have paid the additional costs of transportation, higher-income and social-security taxes, tithes, union dues, clothing, lunch, and particularly child care, they only gain 12 to 30 percent by working forty hours a week outside their home. Because their efforts put such a strain on the whole family, many are beginning to take a second look at it and ask, "Is it really worth it?" (p. 172, read more at: http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/HIUS316/mbase/docs/lahaye.html)

According to LaHaye, the feminist movement is really about advancing “the cause of homosexuality, lesbianism, and radicalism.” (p. 140). In this and other sections of the book, LaHaye repeatedly returns to the theme of a vast secular humanist conspiracy that tracks back to John Dewey and the plot to take over the public schools system and use it to turn children against God and family.

More on this in the next installment.


Sources:

Shintia R. Argazali, “Tim LaHaye, Introduction to the American Right, course developed by James Danky, SLIS, University of Wisconsin, Madison, http://slisweb.lis.wisc.edu/~jcherney/argazali.html

Brian Balogh, University of Virginia, “Viewing America: The United States from 1945 to the Present,” course materials, online, http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/HIUS316/mbase/docs/lahaye.html.

Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons, Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort, New York: Guilford, 2000.

John Cloud, 2002, “Meet the Prophet” Time Magazine, July 1, http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101020701/books3.html.

Sara Diamond, 1989, Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right, Boston: South End Press.

Sara Diamond, 1998, Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States, New York: Guilford Press.

Tim LaHaye, 1975 Revelation: Illustrated and Made Plain. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Tim LaHaye, 1978, The Unhappy Gays: What Everyone Should Know About Homosexuality, Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Tim LaHaye, 1982, The Battle for the Family, Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1982).

Onalee McGraw, 1976, Secular Humanism and the Schools: The Issue Whose Time has Come, Pamphlet, Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation.

Barry O'Neill, 1994, “The History of a Hoax,” New York Times Magazine Section, March 6, pp. 46-49

Amy Smyth, “Beverly LaHaye,” Introduction to the American Right, course developed by James Danky, SLIS, University of Wisconsin, Madison, http://slisweb.lis.wisc.edu/~jcherney/smyth.html

SPLC, 2005, “The Thirty Years War: A timeline of the anti-gay movement,” Intelligence Report, Spring, Issue 117, http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=523


On LaHaye:

by Chip Berlet

"Left Behind Video Reflects Bigoted Apocalyptic Violence of Original Fiction Series," (6/12/2006)

"LaHaye and Jenkins: Why is the Criticism Left Behind? "

The World According to Tim LaHaye: A Series
Part One: Hunting Down the Enemies
Part Two: Pre-Trib Perspectives
Part Three: Satanic Secular Humanism
Part Four: Secular Humanism as False Religion
Part Five: The Secular Humanist Web
Part Six: The Council for National Policy
Part Seven: Humanists Attack the Family
Part Eight: The Age Old Conspiracy


Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates


The Public Eye: Website of Political Research Associates

Chip's Blog




Display:
For example, divorce in the US has - nationally -  been in steady decline since the med 1980's.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 12:21:26 PM EST
As a general pattern, states and regions in the US where the culture of feminism is strongest tend to have the the lowest divorce rates. In other words, facts on the ground provide a picture that is 180 degree in opposition to Mr. LaHay's claims.

Indeed, I've done rough mapping of anti-gay sentiment in the US at the state level and it furthermore tends to be the case that tolerance or acceptance of gay rights correlates with lowered rates of social pathology ( divorce, murder and violent crime,  teen pregnancy, even rates of some STD's ).  Why ? - Well, that's a complex question, and I doubt there are any direct causal mechanisms. But, the correlation exists.

No doubt that would come as quite a surprise to Mr. LaHaye.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 12:29:25 PM EST
Parent


Facts are alarmingly absent from much of LaHaye's work. And when they appear, they seldom seem to be used in the normal way.
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 10:47:29 PM EST
Parent



WWW Talk To Action


On Christmas Day, in the Morning
In recent years at Christmastime, I have posted a response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Hallelujah, Mike Huckabee, Hallelujah
Fox News personality Mike Huckabee had a defining moment in the wake of the Newtown massacre. One that as we enter the 2016 presidential......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Moses And Michele: Departing Member Of Congress Spreads More Misinformation
The Religious Right's Moses fixation continues to grow.As you might recall, the Texas State Board of Education recently demanded social studies textbooks that highlight......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right Silent about Bob Jones U Sex Abuse Report
One of the deep scandals of our time, and apparently times past, is that sex abuse, particularly of children, has been so tolerated and......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Boot These Bigoted Bans: Movement Seeks To Remove Anti-Atheist Bias From State Constitutions
Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
James Madison and Tax-Supported Chaplains
In light of former Sen. Rick Santorum's recent silly declaration that “the words ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the U.S. Constitution,......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Death to Obama; Death to "Homos"; What's Next?
When the Obama administration was young, threats against the president were common, and sometimes quite public. One notorious such incident was that of Rev.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Rick Scarborough's America
When Stand Up Sunday was convened by Mike Huckabee in Houston it was to feature the leading spokesmen for the Religious Right agenda.  The......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
The Republican Diversity Program... Is Working
I don't usually write directly about electoral politics, but sometimes I bring an outsider's perspective to how the inside looks to some of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
American Christian Right Leaders in Rome
The remarkable and growing alliance between conservative Catholicism and protestant evangelicalism was on prominent display at a recent event at the Vatican. My colleague......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Religious Supremacism on the Rise Against Marriage Equality
This is a crosspost of an op-ed I recently published at LGBTQ Nation.  -- FC Christian right undermines marriage equality with religious supremacism FREDERICK......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
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)

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 (5 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.