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didn’t find much substance in the “social gospel” of her home church. “Her background was something like Hillary Clinton’s,” says Marvin pointedly. “It’s a good question which one of us had furthest to go, to actually become a Christian in the sense of belief as opposed to just sort of general identification.” Susan and Marvin embarked on their spiritual journey together. The dissertation \(“Clean Pictures with Red Blood? American Popuand that same year Susan and Marvin were married. They moved to San Diego \(Marvin had been hired as a lecturer in Literature at San Baptist Church of La Mesa, near their home. “I picked it out of the yellow pages,” says Marvin. Following a year in San Diego, he took a job in public relations at the DuPont Corporation in Delaware, and for the next five and a half years he wrote speeches, articles for business magazines, and related p.r. material. He found the work challenging but ultimately unsatisfying. “I wanted to work at DuPont because I was on the side of free enterprise. But I found out … you were largely lobbying government officials and others so that when they do the next set of regs say environmental regs that they write the regs in a way that benefits you and hurts your smaller competitor. I found that distasteful after a while.” During his time in San Diego, on a lecture trip to Indiana he met a Presbyterian minister, also a Yale grad, who had introduced him to the writings of John Calvin and to the Puritan roots of the Presbyterian Church of America. According to Paul Hahn, pastor of Austin’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church \(which the Olaskys helped P.C. A. was founded in 1973 in an orthodox schism from the mainthe divinity of Christ, the uniqueness of Christianity as the sole path to salvation, the virgin birth and resurrection, and upon the Bible as infallible and inerrant. Hahn says the mainline denomination affirms many of the same doctrines on paper, but no longer in practice. “We’re the fundamental idiots, basically,” said Hahn. “We actually believe what the Bible says.” The church traces its historical roots directly to the American Puritans and beyond, to Scottish Calvinism. “The word ‘Puritan’ has been given such negative connotations,” says Hahn: “Puritanism can be summed up like this: people getting drunk on the Gospel.” Of Olasky, his pastor says, “He’s real. He’s got sins of his own, but he’s genuinely seeking to know and enjoy God, and to be that kind of Puritan figure.” 0 Lasky had come home, spiritually and ideologically. Had he found it at all wrenching to move not only from atheism to belief, but from Judaism. to Christianity? “I never really exchanged Judaism for Christianity, because Judaism was gone. I changed from Judaism to atheism to Marxism…. In some way, early on, before college, I had bonded with American history. It wasn’t any particular nationality or ethnic group. I bonded with the idea of America, as a city on a hill.” Had it ever occurred to him that he might simply be exchanging one sort of rigid orthodoxy, that of Marxism-Leninism, for another? “Oh yeah. And I think that’s probably a reason why I was very reluctant to explore this in any organized fashion. At first I only did it for other, academic rea sons. Perhaps that’s why Catholicism never appealed to me, because it seemed too organized. Protestantism seemed at least a little more anarchic.” His fame as a conservative theorist was still several years away, but Olasky arrived at the University of Texas in 1983 fully formed in his new theological and political beliefs. His first book, Corporate Public Relations: A New Historical Perspective cused primarily on the failings of major corporations to promote what he considers ideologically correct capitalist public policy. In Olasky’s view, modern corporations have abandoned a nineteenthcentury ethic of pure competition, and “worked diligently to kill free enterprise by promoting government-big business collaboration [and] supported economic regulation with the goal of eliminating smaller competitors and insuring their own profits.” As far as it goes, such a critique of corporate action is unremarkable, even commonplace, but Olasky’ s corollary that the heads of major corporations are in fact closet liberals seemingly engaged in a leftwing conspiracy against private interest drifts into ideological fantasy. “The problem of the left in the twentieth century,” he says, “is the problem of big government.” No doubt his successors at DuPont are saying much the same thing, as they work diligently in consort with their industry colleagues to subvert effective regulation of toxic chemicals. But despite his occasional “free enterprise” obsessions, the center of Olasky’s work is not economic. He has been breathlessly productive, churning out a dozen books under his own hand in as many years, another half-dozen as a co-author, while editing sixteen more in the Turning Point Christian Worldview series produced by Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers lished several hundred articles, maintains a regular column in the Austin American-Statesman, and in the mid-nineties assumed the editorship of World magazine, an evangelical newsweekly with a mission “to help Christians apply the Bible … to everyday current events.” The publications are quite repetitive, and many of the books, and the magazine, are issued by Christian or conservative publishers subsidized by religious or right-wing foundations \(causing some skepticism among his academic colleagues about the intonishing, calling to mind Olasky’s frequent quotation of one of his political heroes, Teddy Roosevelt: “Black care seldom sits closely behind a rider when his pace is fast enough.” Olasky’s personal life in Austin has been similarly eventful. He and Susan now have four children, all boys, the eldest twenty years old and the youngest eight. They helped found the Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center, which Susan describes as part of the “evangelical response to Roe v. Wade.” \(The Center, occasionally a target of protest by abortion rights groups, provides anti-abortion and pro-adoption With four other families, they began a Presbyterian prayer group that in 1994 became Redeemer Presbyterian Church, now with some 400 members. The family also spent two years in Washington, D.C. that time Susan and Marvin also adopted their youngest son, a biracial child, partly as an expression of their anti-abortion convictions. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11 MAY 14, 1999