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


A Talk to Action Anthology on Neo-Confederacy, Nullification and Secession (Updated)
Over the past year, a number of posts have addressed the growing Neo-Confederate movement, the advocacy of nullification of federal laws, and even the......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Two Years Ago Today, the 'Least Credible History Book in Print' was Published
This post is an updated version of my post from this same date last year, which, not surprisingly, was titled "One Year Ago Today,......
By Chris Rodda (1 comment)
Geocentrist Creationists Seek To Become The Center Of Attention
There are days when fundamentalist zealots do something so off the wall that I don't know whether to laugh or cry, so I do......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
A Full Quiver of Bad Advice
Mike Huckabee mailed out an open invitation to all Texas pastors inviting them to attend the Texas Renewal Project.  The first 1,000 to respond......
By wilkyjr (7 comments)
Opus Dei Priest's Secessionist Roadmap to Theocracy
Fr. C.J. ("John") McCloskey is in many ways the  American face of the secretive Catholic organization, Opus Dei.  He is a former Wall Streeter,......
By Frank Cocozzelli (10 comments)
Don't Be April Fooled by Far-Right Activists Dressed Up as Democratic Candidates
This is cross-posted from The Huffington Post. It expands and updates previous posts about the Neo-Confederate theocrats Michael Peroutka and Pastor David Whitney. Maryland......
By jhutson (0 comments)
Dangerous Defiance: Md. Official Ignores Court Ruling On Sectarian Prayer
I'm not a lawyer, but let me give you a little free legal advice anyway: It's never a good idea to defy a federal......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors'
Austin Ruse doesn't understand why people were so upset when he said on a national radio program that university leaders "should all be taken......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Justice For All: The Supreme Court And The Role Of The Justices' Religious Beliefs
Today's Washington Post has an interesting story about how the personal religious beliefs of members of the Supreme Court might affect their decisions.The question......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
RINO Says His Dino Proves Noah's Flood -- Wha Wha What?
Michael Peroutka, the presidential candidate of the Constitution Party in 2004 and co-founder of the theocratic Institute on the Constitution, made news recently when......
By jhutson (0 comments)
Franklin Graham Slams Obama and Supports Putin in Battle Over Gay Rights
With a column vigorously supporting Vladimir Putin's anti-gay crusade in Russia, Evangelist Franklin Graham finds himself edging closer to inheriting the mantle of Fred......
By Bill Berkowitz (3 comments)
Neo-Confederate Democrats: Oxymorons?
“Many of you may be thinking that I have lost my mind,” Republican Del. Don Dwyer wrote in a March 2013 email and Facebook......
By jhutson (2 comments)
The Catholic Right Star & the Porn Star -- UPDATED
A Duke University freshman best known by her stage name Belle Knox has been much in the news. She was even interviewed by Piers......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Baptists and Bullets in Texas Politics
One thing regional Baptist GOP candidates share in common is a deep affection for gun rights.  The endorsements of pro-gun positions takes precedence over......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
The Battling Noahs & The Titanic Film Comeback of Noah & His Ark
Who would have imagined that in 2014, Noah, yes the Noah of the Biblical story of Noah and his Ark, would be garnering so......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)

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 (1 comment)
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 (0 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 (0 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 (1 comment)
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)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
A Wiccan Witch In Salem
Since it's only two weeks from Halloween, I made my usual foray into Christian Right Country to find out what their plans are for this Halloween. I don't know where to be sad or......
irishwitch (0 comments)
Jerry Falwell's Fundamentalist Liberty University Still Getting Hundreds of Millions in Federal Aid
In 2010, Liberty University got more federal funding than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In a 2011 Talk To Action story, contributor Bill Berkowitz covered the new trend in which right-wing evangelical colleges and......
Bruce Wilson (2 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.