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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Wednesday, July 10 2002 

McIntire - 2

It was probably because I felt myself inferior in many aspects of life that I was motivated from childhood to try to get a "handle" on the big picture. Though I didn't have very good resources beyond the Bible, I wanted to read about worldviews and philosophies and understand if and why what I believed could be defended rationally or apologetically ("apologetics" is the science and art of defending ideas). I loved the consciousness-stretching conversations with Jesse Edwards and Frank and Arlene Philbrick in my middle school years.

And I think it was seeing something of that characteristic in me that motivated high school principal Elmer Smith to ply me with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's ponderous tome, Masters of Deceit, when I was in my freshman year. Hoover's book was very thick in more ways than one, but I delved into it and got all the way through it, inspired not only by Mr. Smith's concern for my development but by the frequent kudos the book and its author got in the internationally syndicated columns of Walter Winchell, my teenage hero.

To have finished Masters of Deceit at age 14 was to be an expert on Communism and especially the need for taking a stand against it, at least in comparison with any 14-year-old who hadn't read it. Having completed the "course," however, the natural question was, "what now"? Enter Carl McIntire. Though at first I considered him just another of the preachers my mom was always listening to on WAVL, after being cajoled to listen also I began to see differences. Though I generally feared that fundamentalists were intellectual lightweights based on my exposure to them at revivals and camp meetings (not to mention WAVL), it quickly became apparent that compared with the people I knew in person, Carl McIntire was not only a fundamentalist, he was a highly educated and even intellectual fundamentalist. And he was the first minister I encountered who was doing something about Communism: teaching about it and preaching against it.

After a slow and irregular start as a listener to McIntire's "20th Century Reformation Hour" daily half-hour broadcasts (at 7:30 a.m.), within a couple of years I was an ardent follower. This was all while I was writing the teen column for the Journal and, from late in my junior year of high school, hanging out every night in Nanty Glo. Mom stopped sending offerings to the other radio ministries and sending them to Dr. McIntire. We began receiving the Christian Beacon and sending special offerings to request other literature supporting McIntire's claims about modernism in religion and Communism as the world's greatest threat to peace and freedom. After noticing our enthusiasm for this new thing, even my Dad got interested and persuaded by the broadcasts after a lifetime of advocating liberal Democrats and organized labor.

By the time I was a Pitt undergraduate I'd bought an RCA cassette audio recorder (these "cassettes" were about four times larger than the "compact cassettes" that were still in the future at the time) to record the daily broadcasts. I even bought a car power transformer so I could play the cassettes while commuting between Pittsburgh and Nanty Glo, school and work. When Dr. McIntire's son, a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, did a week of programs with him and encouraged everyone between age 15 and 30 to join their new youth organization, I was first in line.

More tomorrow.

Additional online reading: "Fundamentalist with Flair," a retrospective on Dr. McIntire in a recent edition of Christianity Today.

Obituaries: Fundamentalist radio evangelist—Miami Herald (March 24, 2002);
Carl McIntire, 95, Evangelist and Patriot, Dies—New York Times (March 22, 2002; registration required); Carl McIntire, 95, firebrand pastor—Philadelphia Inquirer (March 22, 2002).

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Dumb crooks

As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately and the woman was able to give them a detailed
description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes Officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from.

— Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trap door.

Paul Beatty

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