Commentary Magazine

Article Preview

The Radical Right & the Rise of the Fundamentalist Minority

- Abstract

EARLY IN FEBRUARY of this year a group of leading Protestant ministers and laymen in Dallas, Texas, were invited to form the core of a local chapter of “Christian Citizen,” a new national organization whose announced aim is to train Christians in the techniques of practical politics. The founder of Christian Citizen, Mr. Gerri von Frellick (a Denver real estate developer and a Southern Baptist lay leader), spelled out the program of his movement as primarily an educational one whose purpose is to foster Christian principles in the nation’s government and to combat “an increasing sense of futility and apathy in America.” Qualifications for membership require only that the recruits must “give testimony of their personal experience with Christ” and must “accept the Bible as the infallible word of God.” Once having joined, the “Christian Citizen” will be given an extensive training period at the precinct level and then go to work in the political party of his choice. The organization itself, according to von Frellick, will not endorse any candidate or take partisan stands on controversial issues. Appropriate action will be left to the “graduates” who will organize Christians to vote as a bloc and thus “participate effectively in the nation’s political life.” It is von Frellick’s expectation that the movement will eventually become influential enough to “take over a majority of the precincts in this country.”

About the Author