Moments in History: The Moral Majority Launches in Dallas in 1979

I don’t have any reason to doubt Mike Huckabee’s version, as related to Ariel Levy in the June 30th New Yorker. But I was publisher of D Magazine in 1979, and I don’t remember a thing about the incident he describes (below the jump). Maybe I wasn’t paying attention. Can anyone else confirm this story? Perhaps an old hand from those days at WFAA?

In 1976, after college, Huckabee was enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Texas, when he came into contact with the televangelist James Robison. It was Robison who famously declared that he was “sick and tired of hearing about all of the radicals and the perverts and the liberals and the leftists and the Communists coming out of the closet,” and was ready “for God’s people to come out of the closet” and take back the nation. Despite Huckabee’s inclination toward a forgiving Christianity, Robison’s passion drew him in. He dropped out of seminary after one year to take a job as Robison’s director of communications.

“The way the Moral Majority movement was actually started was there was a rally that James Robison did in 1979 that I helped coördinate,” Huckabee said. “It was all because of the local television station in Dallas throwing him off the air, because, in a sermon that he preached on television, Robison said homosexuality is a sin. Think: 1979, it wasn’t really an outrageous statement. Anyway, they got some complaints and they told him he couldn’t be on television. Well, Texas? Are you kidding me?” More than ten thousand Christians came to a “Freedom Rally” at the Reunion Arena, in Dallas, to protest Robison’s expulsion. “There was this amazing energy coming up from these evangelical Christians,” Huckabee said. “I remember almost being frightened by it. If someone had gotten to the microphone and said, ‘Let’s go four blocks from here and take Channel 8 apart,’ that audience would’ve taken the last brick off the building.”

 

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