Pho to by Dave Den iso n When the righteous rule, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. Proverbs 29:2, as quoted by a biblical conservative running for the chairmanship of the Texas Republican Party Oh Lord, give us fearless leaders. . . . Oh Lord, give us righteous leaders. . . . Leaders like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clements. invocation at Texas Republican Prayer Breakfast, June 28, 1986 Dallas OUTSIDE THE DALLAS Convention Center, conspicuously parked in the VIP drive, was a long white automobile with vanity plates that spelled MONEE. This was what you would expect at a Republican convention, though you might wonder why, to be just right, the car was not a Cadillac or a Lincoln Continental. Instead, it was a New Yorker. There has been much talk lately that the state Republican Party is diversifying, reaching out, finding a new face, and I took this as my first piece of evidence. Inside the convention hall, the delegates did indeed prove to cut a wide swath across the political spectrum, ranging from conservative, to very conservative, to very very conservative. This was the story the reporters were looking for: how far would the state party stretch and bend to accommodate new recruits and the new recruits were all coming in from the far side of Texas Republicanism, heretofore thought to delineate the outer regions of civil discourse in America. In the end, the extreme Republicans were soundly defeated in their attempt to install an Austin pastor as head of the state party, and even after two days of noisy ovations for Reagan Republicanism, for moral crusades against abortion rights, pornography, and government regulation of home schooling, and for the war in Nicaragua, moderation was said to have won the day in the Republican Party. The onslaught against nambypambyism in the party was led by Sam Hoerster, pastor of the People of Prayer Rev. Hoerster: “Somebody needs to die . . .” Fellowship of Austin. He pronounces his name “Hurster,” but many of the delegates called him “Hoyster.” It was clear by the time he took the podium that he thought the convention was his oyster. A large man in a three-piece western-style polyester suit, he made rousing hellfire orations before the 8,000 delegates. He has a trained preacher’s grin a Jerry Falwell grin and he spoke of the struggle in America between “God-honorin’ people” and the “death culture of humanism. He distributed pamphlets suggesting that state party officials were not doing enough to fight abortion and state “harassment” of Christian schools. “At this critical point in history,” said one leaflet, “God has raised up a leader, Sam Hoerster, who we can count on to unswervingly stand in the gap for God’s principles and values.” To get to this critical point in history, Hoerster, like any pilgrim, walked a long and winding road. His biography, as presented to the Republican delegates, says he taught in public schools for 13 years and served as a football and golf coach. The two milestones Hoerster lists on his biography are as follows: “Delivered from Hell in 1969 by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.” “Delivered from the Democratic Party and served as a delegate to the Republican state convention since 1978.” And now to deliver the Republican Party from vacillation and weakness. “Pro-life Republicans, you are the most precious people in the world,” Hoerster said. “Remember that we Republicans are effectively representing a constituency of 20 million Americans,” he said, his voice rising, ” those 20 million bay-bies who’ve been slaughtered by abortion! We are their champions!” When Hoerster declared, “Enough is enough!” The crowd rose to its feet and gave him a sustained ovation. “The rapist goes free while the innocent baby dies!” Hoerster declared. “Somebody needs to die and it’s the rapist, not the baby!” Hoerster had a cadre of fundamentalists aligned with him who had come into the party at the precinct and county conventions in May. They could be recognized by their “Let’s Stand With Sam” buttons; most of them did not appear to have been outfitted by Nieman Marcus. These are not the Republicans who would have “MONEE” on their license plates. It sounds un-Republican, but they exalt a higher good than the American dollar. Many of them also wore “God & Government” buttons, which were distributed by the Coalition for Traditional Values and which speak to their desire to nettle those secularists who want to keep religion out of politics. They are part of a vocal minority that advocates “biblical government” returning civil government to the mandates of God, as Hoerster put it. That means, for one thing, abiding by “God’s laws concerning economics,” according to a Hoerster pamphlet, “some elements of which are prohibitions against excessive taxation, governmental indebtedness, governmental theft via debasement immoral wealth redistribution.” \(Pity the unfortunate Jimmy Carter, who presided over a period of sinfully high The conservative biblicists are primed to explain to anyone willing to listen that the Founding Fathers, being Godfearing men, never meant to separate God from Government. “Nowhere in the Constitution is that phrase `separation of church and state’ write that down,” said Hoerster in a talk with the Observer. “I have a Masters degree in history, so I know things like that,” he added, with a God-love-ya grin. The real problem in church-state relations, in the fundamentalists’ view, is government interference in matters of church authority. One Hoerster backer, Mrs. Olen Griffing of Dallas, when asked how the government is interfering with Of George Bush, Jack Kemp, and God-Honorin’ Republicans By Dave Denison 4 JULY 11, 1986
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