Posts Tagged ‘Moral Majority’

Campaign Poetry: Bill Clinton learns how to deal with questions about his faith

October 11, 2010

As I traveled the state, I had to contend with the rise of a new political force, the Moral Majority, founded by the Reverend Jerry Falwell, a conservative Baptist minister from Virginia who had won a large television following and was using it to build a national organization committee to Christian fundamentalism and right-wing politics.

In any part of the state, I might find myself shaking hands with someone who would ask if I was a Christian. When I said yes, there would be several more questions, apparently supplied by Falwell’s organization. Once when I was campaigning in Conway, about thirty miles east of Little Rock, I was in the county clerk’s office, where absentee ballots are cast. One of the women who worked there started in on me with the questions. Apparently, I gave the wrong answer to one of them, and before I left the courthouse she had cost me four votes. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t about to answer a question about religion falsely, but I didn’t want to keep losing votes. I called Senator Bumpers, a good liberal Methodist, for advice. “Oh, I get that all the time,” he said. “But I never let them get past the first question. When they ask me if I’m Christian, I say, ‘I sure hope so, and I’ve always tried to be. But I really think that’s a question only God can judge.’ That usually shuts the up.” After Bumpers finished, I laughed and told him now I knew why he was a senator and I was just a candidate for attorney general. And for the rest of the campaign, I used his answer.

Bill  Clinton – My Life (p. 239-240).


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