Page 10


=mplin <01 and Associates 1117 West 5th Street Austin, Texas 78703 REALTOR Representing all types of properties In Austin and Central Texas Interesting & unusual property a specialty. 477.3651 I it Our outstanding lunches have been an Austin must for eleven years. Our international grocery features food and wine from around' the world. Come see us at our new home. OCHIM011 MBRISET 1610 San Antonio Austin, Tex. 78701 472-1900 Hours: 7am 7pm Mon. to Fri. and 8am 4pm on Sat LOUIS DUBOSE Roy Farrell beaten back. Ernie Angelo, nominated by outgoing party Chairman Strake, and seconded by Fran Chiles serving her last day as national committeewoman, prevailed 2,968 to 1,793. "We got 38 percent," Farrell said after the convention. "The establishment had to pull out their big guns to stop us. Two years ago, Christians only got 18 percent of the vote. I think we've earned some credibility with the party." In a race for national committeewoman, Diana Denman, a Robertson supporter and the more conservative of the candidates, was defeated by Penny Butler, the state co-chair for the Bush campaign, by roughly the same margin, 2,567 to 1,885. The extreme Christian Right, however, did not embrace Denman's candidacy with the fervor they reserved for Farrell's. One secular activist suggested that it was because of their perception that women are secondary to men. WHAT THEN, to make of the new Christian Right in the Republican Party? John T. Knaggs, author of Two Party Texas and a delegate at the convention, said diversity is a sign of the remarkable growth of the Republican Party. "These disparate elements come with growth in the party," Knaggs said. According to Knaggs, who wrote the book on Republican numbers in the state, from 1962 to 1972 participation in the party's primary remained at 115,000. Since 1972, Knaggs said, Republican primary voters have grown to one million the number in this year's election. Another old hand at Republican demographics, who requested to remain unnamed, suggested that the Robertson faction could present a problem for the party, unless George Bush is elected. Most of the conservative Christian activists at the convention, he said, rode the Robertson campaign through the primary and precinct caucuses and on to the convention. "If Bush loses, and Robertson keeps kicking around the idea of his Presidential candidacy, they could gain strength," he said. They have already altered the terms of participation in the party. Women who chose to participate in party politics are compelled to present themselves as something of a reproductive corollary to their husbands. Penny Butler ran for committeeman as womb, wife, then woman. "I'm a mother of six children," Butler said, at every caucus stop. Then came mention of her husband, John, and finally a recitation of her own political history that went all the way back to Barry Goldwater's Presidential campaign. Another article of faith that Butler and others embrace is participation in some sort of organized antiabortion activism: for Butler, charter membership in the first right-to-life group in Houston in the late '60s. And, of course, some religious affiliation: "Sunday school teacher, community bible studies." No one, it seems, runs for party positions without taking the pledge on what are described as "the social issues." Christian activists' influence on the state platform is also evident. This year's Republican platform includes the standard foieign policy and fiscal formulas. What makes it distinct from, say, a similar document drafted in Pennsylvania, is its focus on the social issues: A narrow definition of family as a "Godordained institution. . . persons related by blood, heterosexual marriage, or adoption." Recommended restrictions on homosexual parents' custody or visitation rights with their children "We also believe that no homosexual, male or female, should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child, and that visitation with minor children by such persons should be limited to supervised periods." Classification of homosexuals in the same category as pedophiles and necrophiles "No person should receive special legal entitlements and/or privileges based on sexual preference \(homosexuality, necrophilia, pedophilia, bestiality, or of the same sex or custody of the adoptive children." Opposition to government-funded early childhood education ". . . programs designed to bring about a comprehensive, taxpayer funded, federally controlled and regulated system of educational, psychological, and physical development for all children from birth." "Pat is coming," read the crude, handlettered signs taped to walls on every level of the post modern George R. Brown Convention Center. And, of course, on the final day of the convention; Pat came and spoke to Republicans, secular and religious, LOUIS DUBOSE A Farrell Delegate side by side. So it seems that these fundamental Christians are here to stay; they've found their place in the state's Republican Party. If George Bush wins Pat might be leaving. Then, in the absence of a charismatic leader to motivate Christians to the polls and caucuses over the next eight years, this movement will probably lose force. But there is here an authentic, religious populist movement, disdainful of wealth and social position and inclined toward an austere and theocratic party and society. Should George Bush lose, the message for the Fred Meyerses, Penny Butlers, and other mainstream Republicans is clear: Watch out! O 10 JULY 1, 1988