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The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

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Grace Halsell

Grace Halsell's book, Prophecy and Politics, is no longer in print, but can be found in some libraries. It was published in 1986 by Lawrence Hill and Co. She grew up in rural Texas in a fervently fundamentalist Christian culture. She remembers a time as a child panicking when she arrived home and her mother wasn't there. She thought her mother had been raptured.

Halsell, an author and journalist who worked as a copy writer for President Lyndon Johnson, attended two pilgrimages organized by the Reverend Jerry Falwell -- one in 1983 attended by 630 pilgrims, and a second in 1985 attended by 850 pilgrims. She also attended the First Christian Zionist Congress in 1985. One resolution at that Congress called for all Jews living outside Israel to move to Israel.

The Christians also urged Israel to annex that portion of occupied Palestine called the West Bank, with its near one million Palestinian inhabitants. An Israeli Jew, seated in the audience, rose to suggest that perhaps the language might be modified. He pointed out that an Israeli poll showed that one-third of the Israelis would be willing to trade territory seized in 1967 for peace with the Palestinians.

"We don't care what the Israelis vote!" declared van der Hoeven [spokesman for the International Christian Embassy]. We care what God says! And God gave that land to the Jews!" After his impassioned outburst, the Christians by a nearly unanimous show of hands passed the resolution. (p.133)

Halsell interviewed Charles Fischbein, executive director of the Jewish National Fund, who described his work with the American Christian Trust headed by Mrs. Bobi Hormas, wife of a top official with a West Coast defense contractor:

"The trust enjoys 501(c)(3) status and receives funds from private individuals, estates and large evangelical-fundamentalist organizations.. The Trust in turn gives this money to Israel, expressly for Jewish settlements in the West Bank.. Mrs Hormas told me the Trust planned to raise a hundred million dollars to purchase land for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the present target area being in the Palestinian town of Hebron... This I was told would help fulfill biblical prophesy. (p,170-171)

Last updated: January-2005