If you grew up in the culture I did, you’d already know the answer to that question. If you didn’t, or if you’re much younger than I am, you might very well not.
Charles Curtis McIntire, Jr (who was always called “Carl”) was a well-known forceful fundamentalist Presbyterian preacher. He was born in 1906 and died in 2002, just in time for Cathy to start accusing him of stuff without any legal risk.
After getting his bachelor’s degree in Missouri, he enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary with the goal of becoming a preacher. At that time (the late 1920s), Princeton was in the midst of a big upheaval. One of the profs there, J. Gresham Machen, didn’t like what he saw as creeping modernism, a shift away from the dogmatism of Christian fundamentalism, and in a big break, left Princeton and founded a new theological school, Westminster. McIntire left with him and enrolled at Westminster.
It was the first of a lot of arguing and bitching and ranting and raving and splitting that he would do during his very long life.
He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1931, and kicked out by 1936. He took his congregation, set up a tent, and started a whole new Presbyterian denomination, which immediately split (I’m telling you, this is what fundamentalists do – they love church splits). His portion was called Bible Presbyterians.
While he was in the splitting mode, he decided that he didn’t like the National Council of Churches, so he formed a rival conservative organization that nobody gave a flying fuck about and that I cannot even remember the name of without going to look and who cares.
Of course, Carl McIntire was the head of all this.
In addition, he started or took over a couple of seminaries, one of which had to be relocated to Florida for a while because New Jersey wouldn’t allow them to operate there due to the fact that they weren’t accredited. I guess that Machen’s Westminster, his alma mater, wasn’t good enough or something.
He had a little eight-page newsletter that he published periodically, called the Christian Beacon, and that organization figures pretty heavily in our story, so here’s the front page of the first issue, February, 1936.
I love the title of the article at the bottom of the page: Atheism Rules Soviet Russia.
That was Carl. The man did not like Russia. Or atheists.
And finally, he bought a hotel in Cape May, New Jersey which he dubbed the Christian Admiral and held Bible conferences there as often as he could get people to pay money to attend.
But his real claim to fame came with his radio broadcasts. Based at a radio station in Pennsylvania, which he bought, WXUR, he preached endless sermons (they are available on SermonAudio if you are ever just bored out of your mind).
I know about all this because my mother “got saved” in the early 1960s and this was just about the time that Carl was gaining steam. My mother thought he was great. You have to understand that my mother also thought the John Birch Society was a benevolent organization of do-gooders. Those were the days of McCarthy, when there were secret communists everywhere around us, when you couldn’t trust the plumber or the mail man.
In the late sixties, McIntire’s station, WXUR, ran into a road block in the form of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) because of something that was called the Fairness Doctrine. I’ll save that for later, because it requires its own page.
As a result of his tangle with the FCC (see, I told you, he fought with everybody), his station got closed down and he bought a big boat and put it offshore of New Jersey and broadcast from there, until the long arm of the government explained to him that he couldn’t do that either. It was a sort of silly stunt, but it got lots of attention. I remember when it happened because my mother, predictably, was outraged by the evil liberals.
And that began his long decline. By the early seventies, he was in his sixties and started to wane. He appears to have continued preaching well into his eighties but pretty much nobody was listening. And by the time he died 2002, I think most people had forgotten all about him.
Except Cathy Harris, of course.