His critics call him a flaccid-faced fundamentalist, a sower of dissension in the churches, and a religious bigot. Time magazine once said that everything he touches “turns to schism.”
But even his sharpest accusers seldom underestimate his prowess. The Reverend Carl McIntire can stir up a controversy with a twitch of an eyebrow; he draws flak like a lightning rod draws zaps. And though he probably would deny it, he thrives on turbulence. His lightning on the right sparks his vast radio empire and his pulpit ministry.
None dare call him stupid. The onetime United Presbyterian clergyman knows how to milk dollars and disciples out of an issue. And he knows how to use the press he constantly berates for “misinterpreting, maligning, and slandering” him.
Once again the Collingswood warrior demonstrated his formidable mettle this month as he led the highly publicized Viet Nam Victory March in Washington, D. C. Never mind that the attendance was but a fraction of what he predicted; the redoubtable Mr. McIntire told reporters the rally was everything he had hoped for, and more.
Who would have thought a 64-year-old fundamentalist preacher would come within a star and a stripe of coaxing the hawkish vice-president of South Viet Nam to address a victory rally in the capital of the United States? When McIntire announced a month before the rally that Nguyen Cao Ky would speak, he sent usually unflappable political Washington reeling.
And Ky’s cold feet only confirmed what McIntire already suspected: Nixon didn’t want to win in Viet Nam. “Nixon is responsible himself … for keeping Ky from speaking to us,” McIntire told the audience massed at the Washington Monument October 3. Accusing the administration of violating free speech by preventing ...1
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