Wind and rain swept the shores outside fundamentalist preacher Carl McIntire’s shoreline hotel at Cape May, New Jersey, but it was nothing compared to the turbulence generated by his followers within. Meeting for the silver anniversary of the McIntire-founded International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC), the 825 delegates from seventy countries stormed over Soviet Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev’s visit to the United States, raged over the Supreme Court’s decision to put McIntire’s radio station WXUR (in Media, Pennsylvania) off the air, lashed the World Council of Churches, rumbled over what they termed “neo-evangelicalism,” and flashed lightning at the Roman Catholic Church.

The unanimity of the eleven-day session was broken only during discussion of a proposed rally in Washington, D. C., to protest Brezhnev’s visit. While the majority of delegates approved dropping council business for the rally, several, including Dutch Christian Reformed Church minister Bauke van Smeden, objected to what they felt was interference by the world body into a nation’s internal affairs. Said van Smeden: “Matters pertaining to politics and the Church must not be mixed.” In an interview later, McIntire said the “entire” Dutch delegation “assured” him they did not hold van Smeden’s views and intended to participate in the anti-Brezhnev rally. (Nearly 1,000 ICCC delegates and East Coast McIntire supporters showed up for the four-hour rally at the Washington Monument on the first day of Brezhnev’s visit.)

Delegates unanimously approved a resolution condemning the closing of the radio station. (The Federal Communications Commission ordered WXUR off the air for failure to adhere to FCC fairness doctrines and broadcast opposing sides on controversial ...

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