Topics in the News
Abortion as a Political Issue.
The issue of relaxing laws restricting medical abortions was one of the many reforms raised in the seething climate of the 1960s. For some years efforts had been made to ease the restraint on abortion so that women would have access to safe medical termination of their pregnancies. Sexual reformers were joined during the decade by other groups, among them the new women's advocacy groups, such as the National Organization for Women (NOW), which advocated the repeal of abortion laws at its second annual convention in November 1967. These groups demanded modification if not repeal of the various states' laws prohibiting the termination of pregnancy in order to increase women's freedom. Other groups concerned with the world's exploding population, such as Zero Population Growth, saw access to abortion a part of their larger goals. By 1969 there was sufficient interest to create a national organization, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL).
People associated with NARAL...
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In the open cultural climate of the 1960s and 1970s a variety of religions new to, or previously unnoticed in, the United States attracted attention from the press and the general public. Some of these organizations engaged their converts in beliefs and activities that seemed strange by traditional American standards, occupied all their time, and frequently tried to break their ties with their families. The detractors of these groups labeled them "cults" and warned of the danger, particularly to the young.
Some of these groups came from India, such as the International Movement for Krishna Consciousness, which incorporated itself in the United States in 1966. The organization attracted increasing numbers of young people, who were called Hare Krishnas by outsiders
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Consultation on Church Union.
The 1970s opened with high hopes for closer relationships between various religious groups. The most obvious evidence was the developing plans for a merger of nine of the leading Mainline Protestant denominations in the Consultation on Church Union (COCU). Here representatives from the African Methodist Episcopal, the African Methodist Zion, and the Central Methodist Episcopal churches; the Christian church, or Disciples of Christ; the Episcopal church; the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.; the United Church of Christ; the United Methodist church; and the United Presbyterian church worked on a structure that would permit the creation of a denomination with about twenty-three million members. Observers found it interesting that the COCU denominations had lost nearly two million members since the project began a decade earlier.
Plan of Union.
In 1971 COCU sent its Plan of Union, a document on how to create what would be called "The Church of Christ Uniting" to its member groups and immediately encountered opposition on the basis of governance, tradition, and theology. When the United Presbyterian church left the organization the enterprise collapsed, and in April 1973 delegates of the eight remaining denominations voted to postpone indefinitely the study of merger at the top and instead supported inter-church...
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Churches and Homosexuality
In the 1970s homosexuals, now identifying themselves as gays and lesbians, began to demand an end to the discrimination they encountered because of their sexual orientation and activities. They achieved some public success in large, tolerant cities like New York City and San Francisco but encountered opposition in other places. In 1977 Anita Bryant, a former Miss Oklahoma and well-known singing star, led a successful effort to keep Dade County, Florida, from adopting laws to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. Bryant, the most visible member of the antigay organization Save Our Children, based much of her argument against nondiscrimination laws on religious grounds and received most of her support from other religious conservatives. While she won this war and the ordinance failed to pass, she ultimately lost her position as a spokesperson for the Florida Citrus Commission, which preferred not to work with a "controversial" public figure.
As the demand for gay rights intensified, homosexual members of various religious groups, such as the Episcopal Integrity and the Roman Catholic Dignity, organized to influence their denominations. Pressed by these groups and the current of the times, denominations wrestled first with the issue of homosexuality itself and then with the question...
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The Peoples Temple
The Jonestown Massacre.
On 18 November 1978 James Warren ("Jim") Jones, founder and head of the Peoples Temple, ordered the assassination of California congressman Leo Ryan and the mass suicide of nearly a thousand of his followers in the colony he had established in the jungles of Guyana, the Promised Land. Jones himself died in the catastrophe. The events in Jonestown, as reporters called the enclave, stunned the world and deepened the fear of cults that was already rampant in the United States.
Jim Jones was born in Indiana in 1931. He went into the Pentecostal ministry as a youth, establishing a congregation in Indianapolis that took the name Peoples Temple in 1955. In time Jones affiliated both himself and his congregation with the Mainline denomination the Disciples of Christ. From the beginning Jones maintained a biracial congregation.
In the early 1960s Jones became increasingly concerned about the nuclear threat and left Indianapolis for about two years, visiting Hawaii, Guyana, and finally Brazil before he returned to his congregation in Indiana and began to shift his beliefs from his original Christian base. In 1965 he sent the first of his followers to Mendocino County in northern California, incorporating the Peoples Temple there in 1966....
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Politics and Religion
At the beginning of the 1970s religious leaders active in politics came mostly from the Left. Mainline Protestant ministers and Roman Catholic priests opposed the war in Vietnam and supported government action to alleviate the problems of race and poverty at home. The scandal of Watergate and Richard Nixon's political disgrace tainted even the respected Billy Graham, who had openly supported his old friend's election bids and had performed religious services in the White House, as well as invited the president to his crusades and Billy Graham Day in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although Graham had distanced himself from Nixon after 1973, he insisted after the Watergate revelations that he was deeply troubled by his failure to know the darker aspects of Nixon's personality and actions. Apparently Nixon's use of foul language in private was most disturbing to Graham.
Rise of the Conservatives.
By the end of the decade religious liberals seemed weak, and activists came from the Right as conservative Protestants and Mormons, with support from the Roman Catholic hierarchy, organized to overturn the Supreme Court's abortion decision in Roe V. Wade, oppose the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and inhibit the growth of the gay rights movement. Some, mostly Protestants, continued this culture...
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Pope John Paul II Visits the United States
A New Pope.
On 1 October 1979 Pope John Paul II arrived in Boston on the first leg of his first trip to the United States. Pope John Paul II had been elevated to the chair of Saint Peter the previous October after the sudden death of Pope John Paul I, whose thirty-four-day reign was the shortest in modern history. The new pope, formerly Cardinal Karol Woytyla, archbishop of Krakow, Poland, was the first non-Italian pope since 1522 elevated to the papacy.
The Pope's Message.
American Catholics received John Paul II with great excitement at his stops in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Des Moines, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. In New York the pope spoke to the United Nations, endorsing support from industrial countries for the less-developed nations of the world which struggled to provide for their people. He also spoke out vigorously for human rights: "All human beings in every nation and country should be able to enjoy effectively their full rights under any political regime or system." On the Middle East he insisted that the...
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Religion and the Popular Arts
The Christian Arts.
With the growth of the Pentecostal and Evangelical movements a new segment of commercial entertainment appeared. In 1979 people could order directly from the Born Again Christian Catalogue or learn the latest in the music world from Contemporary Christian Music. New Christian music carved out a body of listeners that overlapped but did not cover those who listened to traditional gospel music. Christian artists like Bill Gaither won not only the commercial industry's Grammy Award year after year but also the Gospel Music Association's Dove Award. Maranantha! Music, established in 1972 in Costa Mesa, California, developed a small empire in providing products for the expanding number of Christian-music buyers.
There were Christian romance novels for women interested in that genre of fiction, which was popular in the decade. The religious publishing house, Thomas Nelson, joined like-minded publishers with a line called "Promise Romance" that not only reassured readers of the possibility of true love and happiness but also of God's redeeming love for them. Some of the romantic novels were of respectable quality, such as Shirley Nelson's The Last Year of the War (1978) or Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly (1979).
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The Supreme Court and Religion
Taxes and the Church.
The Court continued to wrestle with religious issues during the decade. In 1970 the Court upheld the right of New York State to grant tax exemptions for church property used for religious purposes. This had national application since all fifty states and the District of Columbia gave such exemptions. It was estimated that this affected over seventy billion dollars worth of property in the nation.
Rights of Religious Belief.
Issues in education continued to appear before the Court. In 1971 the Court upheld a decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court which struck down a state law requiring Amish families to send their children to schools until they were sixteen. The Court ruled that the Amish were exempt from that law after their children completed the eighth grade. The three-hundred-year history of the educational practices of that group demonstrated that limited education was a religious tenet.
The Court also grappled with the issue of public schools and the teaching of evolution. For a hundred years they had resisted scientific challenges to the biblical account of creation on the grounds that the Bible was infallible in all its parts and that if one part were wrong, the entire faith would be challenged. In 1974 the Court let stand a decision...
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The Great Commission.
Christians from the beginning were committed to using all means to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus, to go to all the world and preach the gospel. When electronic communication systems were developed in the twentieth century, preachers used the radio and then television to broadcast their good news. While Charles Fuller's Old Time Gospel Hour did not make the transition from radio to television, such successors as Billy Graham quickly recognized the potential of the new medium. The pattern set by Graham and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in the 1950s dominated religion on television for nearly twenty years.
In the 1960s evangelists began to adapt to the potential of television. When the Federal Communications Commission ruled that stations did not have to provide free time for community service, including religion, television companies began to sell their religious time to anyone who wanted it. Buyers turned out to be primarily...
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As 1970 began, public concern about the long American involvement in the Vietnam War seemed to decline as the Nixon administration withdrew ground troops, announced future troop reductions, and escalated the air war, with a resulting decline in American casualties. This had not been true the previous autumn when religious leaders, mostly Roman Catholic and Mainline Protestant, were prominent in the great, peaceful demonstrations in October and November 1969 called the Vietnam Moratorium. Crowds, large and small, clerical and lay, met in cities and communities around the country in the most extensive protest in the nation's history to express their disappointment with the new administration's failure to end the war more quickly. At this time Middle America seemed to be speaking about what liberals considered a moral and political issue.
In response to the moratorium President Nixon appealed to another part of the middle class, what he called the "silent majority," the great mass of Americans who did their work, worshipped their God, and supported their nation. He effectively contrasted these people with the war's opponents by suggesting that those who did not support his efforts to end the war aligned themselves with the radical young whose violent and vocal protests offended people more than did the...
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The rebirth of feminism was one of the crucial movements of the 1970s. Women demanded and received admission into the professional world, and ratification of the ERA, which would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sex, became one of the most hotly debated issues of the decade. In this context there was an inevitable attempt to advance the position of women in religious groups, including the right of women to ordination to the highest priestly office. Liberal groups, including Reformed Jews, who ordained their first woman rabbi in 1972, had relatively little difficulty in permitting women to exercise their highest spiritual office. Some Protestant denominations had long ordained women to the ministry, and other Mainline Protestant denominations extended that right in the latter half of the century. In 1970 both the American Lutheran church and the Lutheran Church in America authorized women's ordination.
Schism over Ordination.Religious conservatives saw this acceptance of women in the pulpits as clear evidence of the general liberalism of the Mainline denominations and equated it with a decline in traditional religious beliefs. Women's ordination seemed an explicit rejection of
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The Yom Kippur War, 1973
Day of Atonement.
On 6 October 1973 Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack against the Jewish state of Israel. It was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the Jewish year. The war was brief, but it was hard fought in its early stages when the combined forces of Egypt and Syria, armed with Soviet weapons, nearly overwhelmed the Israeli forces. It was only with the resupply of Israeli weapons by the United States and the U.S. warning to the Soviet Union to stay out of the conflict that Israeli forces rallied and the Arab states were defeated.
The Oil Weapon.
In response to the support for Israel from the United States and other Western European powers, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), dominated by the Arab states, employed the "oil weapon," an embargo on the export of oil from the Middle East to those nations they deemed sympathetic to Israel. The result was a sharp decline in the availability of oil and a corresponding increase in prices of oil and related products. Gasoline soared in price and heating fuel was not only expensive but scarce. Americans faced new inflation as well as lower temperatures in their homes and workplaces and lower driving speeds on their highways.
Response by U.S. Jews.
All Americans were inconvenienced by the...
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Armstrong, Herbert W. 1892-1986
FOUNDER OF WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD;
RADIO AND TELEVISION PERSONALITY
Worldwide Church of God.
Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in Oregon in 1931. This church, which celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday, grew in large part by Armstrong's effective use of radio. In 1935 he began to call his program The World Tomorrow, a name which he carried over into his television broadcasts. In 1947 he opened his Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, which became the headquarters for his faith. Armstrong's broadcasts and his publication, Plain Truth, concentrated on presenting his explanation of biblical mysteries. In time he abandoned the concept of the Trinity and declared himself God's Chosen Apostle, warning his listeners that the end of the world was approaching. His ministry attracted a devoted following who accepted the severe strictures of their faith and eagerly supported their church financially.
The Worldwide Church of God was shaken by a series of crises in the 1970s. Armstrong himself violated the rules he had given to his followers when he married his previously divorced secretary after the death of his first wife. For years he had forbidden both divorce and marriage to divorced persons to his followers. In time he divorced this second wife. He...
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Bakker, Jim 1940- and Bakker, Tammy 1942-
TELEVAGELIST TEAM; FOUNDERS OF THE PTL NETWORK
Image Pop-UpTammy and Jim Bakker preaching to their followers.
In 1965 Jim and Tammy Bakker, two young, itinerant evangelists, joined station WYAH in Virginia, Beach, Virginia with a Christian puppet show. It quickly attracted a devoted local audience and also became one of the most successful syndicated programs for Pat Robertson's developing Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). A year later Jim Bakker was allowed to broadcast the Christian talk show of which he had always dreamed, with a format based on the popular The Tonight Show. The 700 Club, as Bakker called it, became the prototype of the developing television ministry. Both the puppet show and The 700 Club were crucial in bringing new stations into the CBN system. It was also on The 700 Club that Bakker learned how effective his pleas for funds could be. When he weepingly asked his viewers to send in money to keep CBN on the air during an early fund-raising campaign, the station was flooded with pledges. Bakker would make financial crises a regular part of his ministry when he later set up on his own.
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Bright, Bill 1921-
NONDENOMINATIONAL MINISTER; FOUNDER OF THE
CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CHRIST
In 1951 Bill Bright founded the Campus Crusade for Christ, a nondenominational ministry that targeted the salvation of high-school and college students. His "Four Spiritual Laws," which spelled out his basic belief that salvation comes from the acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior, were effective evangelizing tools. The laws were
- God loves you and has a plan for your life.
- Sin separates us from God.
- Jesus is the only provision for man's sin.
- We must individually receive Christ as our Savior.
The Campus Crusade for Christ attracted increasing numbers of young people, although some observers noticed that Bright's workers had a minister's exemption from the draft in the turbulent days of the Vietnam War and wondered if that accounted for the young men who joined his program.
In the 1970s Bright set as his target the carrying of the word of Jesus to the entire world, and he staged a series of what he called "Explos" to bring young people together to stimulate the advance of Christianity. Explo '72 was in Dallas and attracted an estimated eighty thousand...
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Graham, Billy 1918-
Image Pop-UpBilly Graham (1918–) has preached his biblical message to more than 100 million people throughout the world, more than any other Christian in history.
Billy Graham expanded his influence in the course of the 1970s after the embarrassment of his close association with the failed presidency of Richard Nixon. Graham had a long friendship with Nixon. In contrast to his hesitation in 1960, Graham endorsed Nixon in the 1968 and 1972 presidential races. Nixon even half offered the vice-presidential nomination to the evangelist in 1968, an offer easily declined in jest.
Graham and Nixon.
Graham's esteem for the new president was obvious in his frequent presence at White House prayer breakfasts and other quasi-religious events. In May 1970 Graham invited the president to join his crusade in Knoxville, Tennessee, where the president spoke to a huge audience at the University of Tennessee football stadium, the first university campus Nixon had visited since the student turmoil which followed the Kent State shootings earlier that month. In spite of the sympathetic crowd in this Republican area of the...
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Greeley, Andrew Moran 1928-
ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST; SOCIOLOGIST;
Education and Writings.
Andrew Moran Greeley was born in Chicago and educated in Catholic schools and Mundelein College. He was ordained in 1954 and assigned to a prosperous suburban Chicago parish, an experience that became the basis for his The Church and the Suburbs (1959). He was permitted to do graduate work at the University of Chicago and completed his Ph.D. in 1961, a study that led to The Education of American Catholics (1966), which attracted attention with evidence that American Catholics were becoming the best educated of American ethnic groups.
After his degree Greeley affiliated with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), focusing on analyzing the social implications of religion and ethnicity. In 1965 he was released from parish duties and permitted to devote himself to academic and scholarly work. In 1970 the Ford...
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Hargis, Billy James 1925-
RIGHT-WING CHRISTIAN MINISTER
Billy James Hargis attracted public attention in the 1960s with his Christian Anti-Communist Crusade ministry, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This right-wing political and religious group focused on the threat of Communist subversion in the United States and Communist influence in Mainline Protestant denominations.
American Christian College.
In 1970 Hargis organized the American Christian College in Tulsa to teach "anti-Communist, patriotic Americanism." The following year he organized Americans for Life, one of the growing number of antiAbortion groups hoping to block the liberalization of Abortion laws. Hargis's thriving ministry erupted in scandal in 1974 when several of the students at his college, male and female, accused him of sexual improprieties. In spite of Hargis's resignation from the college presidency, the American Christian College closed in 1977. Meanwhile Hargis himself returned to the revival circuit, opening the Billy James Hargis Evangelistic Association in 1975, but he had passed the peak of his influence.
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Jackson, Jesse 1941-
BAPTIST MINISTER AND CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER
Links with King.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson came a long way very quickly from his beginnings as an illegitimate child in Greenville, South Carolina. His charm, drive, intelligence, and athletic ability led him into a football scholarship at North Carolina A & T University in Greensboro, where he became a leader in desegregation activities. His desire to become a Baptist minister led him to Chicago. Jackson first attracted national attention when he led a delegation from the Chicago Theological Seminary, where he was a student, to join demonstrations in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 organized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Impressed by the young man's ability, King gave Jackson a job organizing black preachers in Chicago for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). When King moved his campaign north to Chicago in 1966, Jackson moved even closer to the center of the SCLC. He was placed in charge of Operation Breadbasket, which placed economic pressures on businesses to hire black workers. Jackson's highly publicized selective boycotts secured some work for black Chicagoans, and deposits in...
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Kahane, Meir 1932-1990
JEWISH RABBI; MILITANT JEWISH ACTIVIST
Martin David Kahane was born in Brooklyn, the son of a distinguished Hassidic family. His father, a rabbi of an Orthodox synagogue, was an ardent Zionist, working actively to support the Jews in Palestine before the creation of Israel. Meir, as he would later call himself, grew up with both his politics and religion intertwined. In 1946 he joined Betar, a quasi-military, international youth movement which aimed at protecting Jewish people from their enemies. Clearly this involvement was the source of Kahane's cofounding of the Jewish Defense League several years later.
Kahane was educated in Talmud schools but graduated from a public high school in Brooklyn. He attended Brooklyn College and took a law degree from New York University, but he never took the state bar examination. He married, had four children, and served in the late 1950s as rabbi of the Howard Beach Jewish Center, where he generated opposition from the adults by his inculcating what they considered extreme religious and ethnic ideas in their children.
In the 1960s Kahane entered a period of life that he never made clear, but apparently he became an FBI informant, infiltrating and reporting on various groups...
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La Haye, Tim 1926- and La Haye, Beverly 1926-
RELIGIOUS RIGHT-WING ACTIVIST TEAM
Christian Heritage College.
Tim and Beverly La Haye married in 1950 while students at the Bob Jones College, the Fundamentalist school in Greenville, South Carolina. Unable to continue at the college because of their marriage, they then began a Baptist mission, moving in time to California, where they created a television program, The La Hayes on Family Life, that ran for three years. In 1965 Tim La Haye opened the Christian High School of San Diego, which expanded to the Christian Heritage College in 1970. He remained president of the school until 1976.
Sexual Manual for Christians.
In 1972 the La Hayes expanded their television program into their Family Life Seminars, a ministry designed to revitalize Christian marriages. In 1976 the Christian publishing company Zondervan published their Act of Marriage, a sexual manual for Christians. Some observers believed this explicit book was an important signal of the lessening of conservative Christians' concern over sexual pleasure.
Tim La Haye was also a founder of the Institution for Creation Research, which insisted that biblical accounts of creation could be studied scientifically. He sought to include what he called creation science in...
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Roberts, Oral 1918-
TELEVANGELIST; FOUNDER OF ORAL ROBERTS
In the early 1970s Oral Roberts attained a newfound acceptance and celebrity, symbolized in part by his induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1972. His television program, Oral Roberts and You, took on the trappings of regular television entertainment to widen its appeal and consistently attracted the largest audiences for regular religious programming for most of the decade of the 1970s. Roberts became a frequent guest on talk shows and other commercial television programs. As the nation's most famous charismatic preacher, he had become a part of the celebrity culture, having dinner with Billy Graham and President Jimmy Carter in the White House.
Oral Roberts University.
Part of Roberts's acceptance came from the success of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. Roberts continued to serve as president of the University, but about half the expenses of the institution came from contributions to the Oral Roberts Evangelical Association, which operated his ministry. By the end of the decade there were about four...
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Robertson, Pat 1930-
TELEVANGELIST; FOUNDER OF THE CHRISTIAN
Image Pop-UpPat Robertson
In 1960 Marion ("Pat") Robertson, son of a U.S. senator from Virginia and graduate of Yale Law School, purchased a UHF television station in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He had gone through a religious experience that led him to the New York Theological Seminary and showed him how, as he explained, he was ready to carry out God's order to begin a religious television ministry. His original audience was small. Not only did the signals of UHF stations have a limited range, only recently had television manufacturers been forced to make sets that could receive their signals. Robertson struggled in his early years. At a low point he asked for seven hundred listeners to join his ministry by contributing ten dollars a month to keep his station on the air. The response of what he called his "faith partners" was astounding, and the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) was underway.
The 700 Club.
By the 1970s CBN and The 700 Club, hosted by Jim Bakker in its early years, began to spread by syndication across the country....
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Schuller, Robert 1926-
REFORM MINISTER; TELEVANGELIST
Move to California.
In 1955 Robert Schuller, who was ordained in the Reformed Church of America, moved to Garden Grove, California, to establish a church in this fast-growing region of southern California. His resources were modest, so he rented one of the ubiquitous drive-in movie theaters for his Sunday services and advertised for an audience, "Come as you are in your family car." His success was stunning in this booming suburb that had few established churches. In 1961 he opened his new building for the Garden Grove Community Church, which had a conventional sanctuary but still provided for his drive-in members. (He carefully omitted his congregation's affiliation with the Reformed Church of America to avoid sectarian confusion.)
Hour of Power.
The Garden Grove Community Church was one of the fastest-growing congregations in the nation, and Schuller organized the Robert Schuller Institute for Successful Church Growth, which gave population seminars to train others in the techniques he found successful. In 1970 he began his television ministry...
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People in the News
On 29 May 1973 Rev. Philip Berrigan and Sr. Elizabeth McAlister revealed that they had married in 1969.
On 16 June 1974 the Reverend Dr. Lawrence W. Bottoms was elected the first black moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. Blacks made up about 1 percent of the nine hundred thousand members of the largely southern denomination.
On 16 November 1977 the Florida Citrus Commission renewed its contract with singer Anita Bryant despite her antigay activity in Miami.
On 7 December 1972 Rev. W. Sterling Cary of the United Church of Christ was elected the first African-American president of the National Council of Churches.
On 14 August 1977 Rev. William Sloane Coffin was named senior minister of Riverside Church in New York. He had resigned the previous year from his position as chaplain of Yale University.
On 6 May 1973 Rennie Davis, who had been tried as one of the Chicago Seven for his activities in riots during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, announced he was now a follower of Maharaj Ji, the fifteen-year-old Indian guru.
On 5 December 1976 Bishop Carroll T. Dozier of Memphis granted a mass absolution to about fourteen thousand divorced, remarried, and estranged Roman Catholics of his diocese....
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Henry J. Cadbury, 90, founder of the American Friends Service Committee in 1917, 7 October 1973.
Father Charles E. Caughlin, 88, radio priest and founder of Social Justice; in the early 1930s the most popular religious and political speaker on radio; later opposed the New Deal; ordered to cease his radio ministry when he became involved in anti-Semitic activities before World War II, 27 October 1979.
Cardinal Richard Cushing, 75, former archbishop of Boston; considered a liberal in his time and known for his support of the Kennedy family, 2 November 1970.
Maurice N. Eisnedrath, 71, spiritual leader of Reformed Judaism, noted for his social activism, 9 November 1973.
Rev. Leonard Feeny, 80, Roman Catholic priest who was excommunicated in 1953 for continuing to assert there was no salvation outside the Catholic church (the expulsion was rescinded in 1972), 31 January 1978.
Joseph Roswell Flowers, 82, a founder of the Assemblies of God in 1914; served as foreign-missions secretary and then general secretary and treasurer of the denomination, 23 July 1970.
Mordeh Friedman, 80, former president of the Union of Hassidic Rabbis, 2 March 1971.
Nelson Glueck, 70, a leader of Reformed Judaism and biblical...
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Jim Bakker, Move That Mountain (Charlotte, N.C.: PTL Network, 1975);
David G. Bromley and Anson D. Shupe, Jr., "Moonies" in America: Cult, Churchy and Crusade (Beverly Hills, Cal.: Sage Publications, 1979);
Charles Colson, Born Again (Old Tappan, N.J.: Chosen Books, 1976);
Marshall Frady, Billy Graham: A Parable of American Righteousness (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979);
Paul Goodman, New Reformation: Notes of a Neolithic Conservative (New York: Random House, 1979);
Andrew Greeley, The American Catholic: A Social Portrait (New York: Basic Books, 1977);
John Pollock, Billy Graham: Evangelist to the World (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979);
Richard Quebedeaux, I Found It: The Story of Bill Bright and the Campus Crusade (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979);
Quebedeaux, The Worldly Evangelicals (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1978);
Pat Robertson, Shout It from the Housetops (South Plain-field, N.J.: Bridge, 1977);
Robert Schuller, Peace of Mind with Possibility Thinking (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1977);
The Worldly Evangelicals (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1978);...
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Important Events in Religion, 1970–1979
- On January 17, the Right Reverend John M. Burgess is installed as bishop of the Massachusetts diocese. He is the first black presiding bishop in the Episcopal church.
- On February 2, Sister Anita Caspary, president of the Immaculate Heart of Mary religious order in Los Angeles, announces that 315 of the 400 members of the order will end their religious ties and set up a lay community to continue their work.
- On February 6, the Orthodox church in the Soviet Union grants autonomy to the United States Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic church over the protests of the Ecumenical patriarch in Istanbul. The new 800,000-member, autocephalous denomination takes the name the Orthodox Church in America.
- On April 20, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church accepts a statement characterizing the war in Vietnam as a "fiasco" and urges accelerated talks to end the conflict.
- On June 16, the New English Bible, the work of a group of British religious and literary scholars, is published.
- On June 29, the Lutheran Church in America agrees to the ordination of women, the first Lutheran denomination to permit this.
- On July 2, the twentieth biennial meeting of the Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox church agrees to allow the use of the vernacular in...
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