Carl McIntire

Carl McIntire was a very outspoken fundamentalist radio broadcaster and pastor. McIntire would make his own church, and later, that church would meet in his living room. His radio broadcastings would be known for their far-right religious views. This radio broadcasting would be widely heard; Hendershot states McIntire’s Twentieth Century Reformation Hour was “carried on more than six hundred stations at its peak” (376). The Christain right would not mention McIntire’s history because of the shameful way he presented his thoughts. Today’s presentation of political beliefs is far different than McIntire’s. Hendershot says, “Rather than speak Bible-thumping language in the political arena, today’s conservative evangelicals use a secular-sounding rights- based discourse that they have carefully shaped to meet their needs.” (375). From the way Hendershot talks about McIntire’s broadcasting, it seems the broad castings were anything but “carefully shaped” like today. Mctire would have very interesting theory’s. He led a “UFO conference” at one point in his career (381). Also, McIntire claims Nixion placed him under FBI surveillance (389). Although not recognized by the Christian right, McIntire would pave the way for this group of people. McIntire’s view might have been traditional, but his method for spreading his information was modern. Using radio stations was one way McIntire paved the way for the Christian new rights. The article says fundamentalists stepped back after the Scopes trial, in this trial over a science teacher teaching evolution in public schools. In their stepping back they, “built up their own separatist network of schools, churches, and Bible colleges, and of course radio stations.” (385). Also, this stepping back “laid the foundation for the emergence of neo-evangelicalism in the 1950s, a movement of intellectual and culturally engaged Christians…” (385) So, Mc Intire was fundamental to the Christian Right even without their acknowledgment.
Yes, I do think neo-evangelicalism was important to the rise of the “conservative consensus.” The use of religion to push political agendas has been a constant in the history of the United States. This is just one of those examples. Neo-evangelism was line religious people could follow when voting. Also, neo-evangelism gained precedence on a higher level. Hendershot says, “New Evangelicism would receive a huge boost from Jimmy Carter’s election to the office, and it would officially win out over separatism with the formation of the Moral Majority in 1979. Neo-evangelist were able to push for political policy that McIntire was not. They used language much milder than the language used by McIntire. The neo-evangelist were able to spread their information in a similar way to McIntire, but their information was easier for people to support openly. The number of listeners McIntire had it leads me to think many people had similar political ideologies. Except it’s not socially acceptable to be openly anti-Semitic and racist. I believe the Christian right has gotten really good at using coded language to cover their unpopular political beliefs.

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