The First Radio Preacher Part 2
wilkyjr printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue May 26, 2009 at 10:11:08 AM EST
     Author Barry Hankins said that J. Frank Norris often had dealings with Gerald Winrod.  Winrod was the "Jawhawk Nazi" who ran for senator from Kansas.  Norris was also special friends with Gerald Smith, the notorious anti-Semite.  Norris once had Smith into his church to preach a series of revival meetings.  Smith's topics he preached on included a Communist plot to deceive Negroes and why Elliot Roosevelt is closer to Stalin than any other American.  One message dealt with a special deal insiders had going to pick Stalin as the next President of the United States.  Norris would part with this branch of the religious right over the issue of Jews.  Norris' view of end of times led him to embrace modern Israel.
     Norris once accused Southern Baptist President Louie Newton of being tainted by Communism.  J. Frank wrote the House on Un-American Activities volunteering to appear to expose the Southern Baptist conspiracy before the committee.  Norris aligned himself with the anti-labor movement and befriended Henry Ford.  Other historical religious right figures like Carl McIntire and Father Coughlin were freinds with Norris. Norris praised Joe McCarthy.
     The radio preacher once commented, "The American people , the real white foks, the Protestant population, rose up and put the Catholic machine out of business, and a Roman Catholic is not even allowed to clean spittoons in the court house of city hall in
Birmingham."  Norris changed his mind about some Catholics later on. It is interesting that he would find kinship with Cathoics like Father Coughlin and would denoucne people like George Truett.  Truett was pastor of First Baptist in Dallas.  Norris liked Coughlin's views on Roosevelt and the New Deal.  (Note that Coughlin blamed the depression and World War II on Jews.)
     Gerald smith claims that J. Frank often reinvented himself.  He could curse the Pope and then praise the Pope.  He praises Jews and curses Jews. He is for Roosevelt and then against Roosevelt.  Smith said Norris would thus do anything to keep himself in the public eye.
     Of Democrats, Norris said, "What a conglomeration, Tammy Hall, Roman Catholicism, bootleggers, carpet bag politicians and Negroes.  What will white people of Texas do?"  He believed the Catholic church stood for racial equality with Negroes.  Norris was opposed to sending Negroes to Congress and allowing Negroes to hold political office.4
     What Norris said about himself in his autobiography makes Hankins remarks pale by comparision. His friends admit in the book that Norris enjoyed a fight.  J. Frank  says the people at First Baptist Church who originally were  there made him a mean person. He thus had to come to a new understanding of the ministry.  Norris believed that everyone who lifted their hand against him in the church failed to prosper.  He said of the state's Baptist General Convention of Texas that the organization was a denomination of Hamans.
     Often in the book Norris and others who stood behind the pulpit, told folks publicly to go to hell.  Norris said he would not let a few half dressed women raise hell in the church and tell him what to do. He preached a sermon to the Texas Legislature and ended it by telling Joseph Stalin to go to hell.  One of the laymen in the church gave his testimony about what Norris meant to him.  The man was encouraged to leave the controversial church by his boss.  The man tells the congregation that he told his boss to go to hell.  The church applauds.
     The pastor believed Baptist organizations in his day martyred Batpist preachers. He thought denominations ought to be smashed to smithereens because they were unscriptural.  Norris often accused denominations of being centers for Communist movements. J. Frank said of modernist preachers that they were asses.  He said of these, "Lick-the-skillet-two-by-four aping asinine preachers, who want to be in the priest's office so they can have a piece of the bread, and play kite tail to the Communists."  Of the World Baptist  Alliance, Norris said, "the World Baptist Alliance is the biggest cuckoo frame-up ever known to Baptists."
     The Texan said he was on a crusade and needed to be given the liberty to speak out.  He would excuse his language saying God can't use sissies and cowards.  One woman lamented his attitude. He replied, "Honey, you couldn't know the Christian spirit any more than a bull would know Shakespeare."  The church burst into laughter at the comment.
     The preacher once announced to the church to come that Sunday night and hear him expose the ten biggest devils in Fort Worth. He named names and some were present at the discourse. Norris listed the acquaintances and occupations of who he considered the worst ten sinners in the city.5
      One day a friend of  the Mayor of Fort Worth came to see Norris about berating his buddy.    The man confronts Norris and Norris pulled a gun and killed the man. J. Fank Norris was acquitted on the charges. He was tried twice for torch jobs and once for murder.
     It is a well known fact that Norris would send a weekly condemning telegram to George Truett in Dallas. The message was sent to arrive just before Truett was to enter the pulpit for his Sunday morning sermon.  Norris' telegram was so cruel and vindictive deacons at First Dallas intercepted the messages before they could get to their pastor.
     The Klan in Texas was fond of Norris, which is no surprise, considering his positions. When Norris was indicted in the shooting of the visitor in his office, the Texas Klan publicy said they were ready to rally to his aid.  He once commented that all professors in the state universities are denied the right to challenge the fundamentals of the Christian faith.6
     Hankins claims Norris' influence is stamped on the ministry of Jerry Falwell.  The preacher's friendship with the early religious right in the nation is interesting. It is noteworthy how Norris would cooperate with Catholics and Disciples preachers but  not with traditional Baptists.  His leadership provides a clue to understanding modern fundamentalism which often crosses over denominational and religious lines but will not cross over political ones.  J. Frank certainly was God's rascal.

Endnotes:
1.www.wikipedia.com J. Frank Norris

  1.  Kemp, Roy, J. FRANK NORRIS,  pgs. 18, 26.
  2.  Morris, Gwin, "No  Love Lost", TEXAS BAPTIST HISTORY, Volume XXI XXIII, 2001-2003 pgs. 74-81.
  3.  Hankins, Barry, GOD'S RASCAL, Univ. Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1996, pgs. 9,11,15,49,52,60,63,81,100,105,109,1125,134,135,147,148, 152,154,158,163,165.
  4.  Norris, J. Frank, INSIDE HISTORY OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH FORT WORTH AND TEMPLE BAPTIST CHURCH DETROIT, Pgs. 12-18, 56,58,72,80,82,93,112,117,120,158.
  5.  William Pitts, Ed., TEXAS BAPTIST HISTORY Vol. VII, 1987, pg. 6.



Display:
"Elliot" Roosevelt? Shouldn't that be "Franklin Delano" Roosevelt?

"Jayhawk", not "Jawhawk" (clearly the author is not from Kansas)

This is an interesting article, and I only nitpick because some people tend to stop reading when they encounter obvious errors such as the Roosevelt one.

by NancyP on Fri May 29, 2009 at 04:14:38 AM EST


Right Nancy, it should be Jayhawk.  The other one quote on the name is a direct quote from my source, Dr. Hankins.  (He is a much better editor than I am so I went with it.)

by wilkyjr on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:21:30 AM EST

this is a great story.. i wish i've been there. best regards psycholog online

by pac79 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 10:00:54 AM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Whither the Christian Right in the Democratic Party?
You don't have to be a Hillary hater (and I'm not) to recognize that Clinton and other Democratic Party leaders have had long and......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bishop Robert Finn Resigns Leadership of St. Joseph-Kansas City Diocese
Bishop Robert W. Finn, the Opus Dei Bishop who was convicted by a Missouri court for failing to report suspected child abuse by a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Two Overlooked Indiana Outcomes that Could Haunt the Christian Right
I think there are two underreported features of the fallout from Indiana that we should make sure do not get lost in the hoo......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
President Obama Can Help Stop Religious Discrimination
Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently posted an important essay at Huffington Post. In......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Marriage Matters: Thoughts On The Recent Unpleasantness In Indiana
Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of "Interfaith Voices," a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Campaign Against Pro-LGBTQ Denominations
The recent endorsement of marriage equality by the Presbyterian Church (USA) seemed like a good moment to discuss the campaign to divide and conquer......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Upcoming Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice
The 29th annual conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom will be held from April 10-12 at Hampshire......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Team Jeb Bush's Liaison to Religious Right Is Hardcore Culture Warrior
In 2008, Senator John McCain's campaign recognized that he needed to shore up his credentials with the Religious Right, which was skeptical about his......
By Bill Berkowitz (3 comments)

Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (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 (3 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 (5 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 (2 comments)
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 (1 comment)

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.