The following is an address given by J. Frank Norris to the Texas House of Representatives on April 29, 1949, the he printed and distributed.
Norris has stated that he had interest in international affairs from an early age. I own copies of a few of his addresses against Communism in the 1930’s. He saw Communism as the great enemy of both America and Christianity.
SPECIAL NOTE – This address comes during the time historians call the Second Red Scare when McCarthyism was on the rise. It is a product of that time and for that time. In particular the paragraphs on the “negro question” will be uncomfortable for many modern readers. I cannot condone everything Norris says in this speech, but I still feel that I must honestly present Norris’s own words as an artifact of their own time. I do hope one day to write more on the subject of Norris and his views on race. – MBG
DR. NORRIS: Mr. Speaker, Members of the Legislature, Ladies and Gentlemen: If I remember it was in 1909 that I made my first appearance in the Legislature as a member of the “third house.” We had the famous race track fight, and I have been here several times since, but not recently.
I consider it a great honor, indeed, this resolution, that I will bequeath to my posterity.
Now may I state in the beginning if anybody wants to ask me any questions as we discuss the issues as have been announced, I shall be very happy for you to do so, and I shall give you the most courteous consideration and try to give you a full answer to any question you want to ask. I have had this to occur many times in different audiences, north, south, east and west. Don’t hesitate to ask me any question for fear that you might disturb me, for I feel perfectly at home when anybody asks me a question. We can get at the issues better by asking questions.
(There were Communists present from the State University.)
Now, our danger is that we are lulled into a sense of false security. May I say at the outset, the question might be asked, “Why are you delivering these addresses?”
You understand I am pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, have been for more than forty years, and the Temple Baptist Church in Detroit where I have been for fifteen years, and between times I go out and deliver lectures, unsponsored by anybody in the world except God Almighty and my wife. And I owe no man any obligation except that of love and duty as a patriotic citizen. I have gone throughout the country at my own charge because I have seen the clouds hangıng low on our horizon. It is not the cloud that distresses me, but the fact that the great body of our citizens are asleep. I think of what the old shepherd did when Martinique blew the top off and forty thousand people met with an horrible death in a few minutes time.
The old shepherd walked through the city and warned the people and said, “That mountain is trembling. The birds have left it. The cattle have left. The city is doomed.”
They laughed him to scorn. He walked on through, and in a few minutes the top of that mountain blew off and forty thousand people met with an horrible death!
I tell you now that we are on the trembling volcano. You don’t like to hear that. I don’t either, and expect to bring down on my head floods of criticism and slander.
You hear now, “Oh, we are not going to have any war with Russia. We are already in war with Russia. And the sooner we wake up to it – I think of this Scripture, “For this cause God shall send them a strong delusion that they should believe a lie.”
No great while ago my wife and I spent a week in the ruins of ancient Babylon, the greatest city of all time, a city that was fifteen miles square within its walls, which were three hundred feet high, seventy-five feet wide. Four chariots could drive abreast around that wall. Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest king of all time, walked through his hanging gardens and said, “Behold this Babylon that I have built, the glory of kingdoms, the excellency of the Chaldees. ” And today when you go through that city it is a heap of ruins. Two hundred years before it was destroyed it was prophesied it would be destroyed.
There was a great feast one night when Belshazzar the king with a thousand of his lords, their wives and concubines, as they worshipped their gods of gold and silver and iron and brass and wood and stone – they lifted the golden vessels that had been stolen from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. And as they drank wine from those sacred vessels, suddenly the tips of the fingers moved on the wall opposite the candlestick. The golden sceptre fell from the trembling hand of the king. That goblet fell on the ivory floor. His knees smote together. His joints turned to water. He screamed, “Bring in the wise men, the magicians, soothsayers, astrologers, the Chaldeans.” They all stood before the king speechless. He pointed with his trembling hands and said, “Read that strange writing.”
The queen was not there. She was a good woman, and refused to be in that bachanalian debauche. She appeared on the scene and said to the king, “Be not distressed, there is a man.”
They went and aroused the prophet Daniel. He appeared on the scene unafraid. He stood be fore that trembling king, and before he read that writing he denounced his sins, and said,
“That writing means this:
“Your kingdom is finished. You are weighed in the balance. And your kingdom is given to another.”
And that night, that chapter says, “Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was slain.”
Cyrus had marched three hundred miles and ditched the Euphrates river and the king and his counsellors did not know it. They marched through the gates of the dry bed of the river. As I sat there reading that account, it seemed to me for the first time, my heart sank within me, I said to my wife, There is handwriting on the wall of every nation on earth.”
War had just been declared as we left England. War was in front of us as we were going to the Orient. I said, “Our people at home don’t know it. We are headed for a greater war.”
And I remember when I returned to Fort Worth and Detroit I tried to warn the people and they laughed at me. I got back the first Sunday night in October. October, November, December 7th!
FREEDOM THE ONE ISSUE
And so now we are so busy making money. We are so busy with small issues. That is what Joe Stalin and his gangsters want us to do.
The issue is whether or not we are going to be allowed to have free discussion.
The issue is whether we are going to retain our freedom. Fifteen million human beings – this is no guess work – the best authorities now say fifteen million human beings are now starving to death behind prison bars or in concentration camps in Soviet Russia. Their purpose is to terrorize the world. Only today, as to how it is sweeping on – Dewitt Mckenzie, in my opinion one of the greatest correspondents that you can listen to – “CHINA FACES FATEFUL DAY IN HISTORY.”
Don’ t laugh and talk about the Chinese six or eight thousand miles away. They are at our doors. There is no Pacific Ocean any longer.
This is a day which victorious Chinese Communists set as the deadline for an answer to their ultimatum demanding virtually unconditional surrender of the groggy and disorganized Nationalist forces.
“This Wednesday’s maneuvering is likely to be written down as one of the most critical in the world war between Communism and all other political creeds.
“The fate, not only of China, but of Asia as a whole is involved. Indeed the conflict of the isms may ultimately be decided in that vast theater.” Thus writes Dewitt Mckenzie.
The other night Winston Churchill, speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston said of this situation:
(Quoting from Mr. Churchill), “And the question he asked, ‘Are we winning the cold war?’ That cannot be decided by looking at Europe alone. We must also look to Asia. The worst disaster since our victory has been the collapse of China under Communist attack and intrigue.”
I hope I may say something more about that.
I went through China. Don’ t underestimate the Chinese. They are sturdy, hardworking, diligent people. They are plodding, patient, can endure a great deal. It has been estimated that perhaps thirty million have been killed or starved since the war began with Japan. What does it all mean? One of our finest young missionaries, one of the first graduates of our Seminary, went over there. His name was John Birch. He was sent on a mission to the Communist guerillas in the north, in Manchuria, on a peaceful mission, and was promised protection. As soon as he and three other young men came in they shot the top of his head off. The lieutenant who was with him was in my office not long ago and told me the whole story. You cannot trust a Communist on any inch of the ground. I will make bold to say I have got more respect for an out and out confessed Communist than I have for these fellow travelers who will harbor them. (Applause.)
We have got a law in this State against horse stealing and cattle stealing. Now the law is that if a man will receive stolen cattle or stolen horses he goes to the penitentiary just as much as the thief himself, and ought to.
I read from a Communist by the name of Ilin. He wrote a book called “The Russian Primer. ” One of the teachers brought me this book and said, “I want you to look at it. It is in the public school libraries of this city.” And the thesis of that book was The Superiority of the U. S. S. R. over the United States. And that was in the public school libraries of Fort Worth as a book that they should read. I went to Detroit and found it there. I had an engagement in Pittsburgh afterwards and I found it there. I had an engagement in Los Angeles afterwards and I found it there. They put it out in Fort Worth and Detroit. But I am calling attention to that one case and I have got many, how that they are boring from within. I am not afraid of Moscow. I am not afraid of the enemies on the outside. It is the Benedict Arnolds on the inside that I am concerned about.
THREE CLASSES OF ENEMIES
Now there are three classes of the enemies within our midst. I asked to be allowed to speak on what I want to and you said, “The hour is yours.” Here goes. I do that in my own pulpit and I will do that anywhere until I get under the hammer and sickle – and I never will be under that. I will be in heaven before that happens.
There are three classes of people, or groups if you want to call it that – that are enemies within our gates, playing the Trojan Horse act.
First, the radical Communist labor leaders.
Second, professors that are masquerading under another name, but are Communists in truth.
Third, certain clergymen who are bidding them Godspeed.
You are shocked at that last statement. I will prove it to you. Organized labor is fine. The greatest hotbed of Communism in America, outside of New York City, is Detroit, where I have been for fifteen years. You haven’t had a car. You haven’t had some other things. Why? Because a group of radical labor leaders have blocked the whole of industry. I won’t take time to show you how complicated it is. Five hundred men could cause a shut-down in Ford, Chrysler, General Motors or any one of the other concerns.
I want to give credit to Phil Murray, Bill Green and even John Lewis. They are doing their best to purge the Communists from the ranks of labor. But they waited a long time to do it.
Labor is honest. It may be misled for a while.
Now, the second crowd are certain professors. And I want to emphasize that. I want to discuss this so-called “Academic freedom. ” It is the greatest misnomer and the most dishonest thing that was ever perpetrated on an honest people.
Now if any professor or anybody here wants to challenge that just rise and tell me you want to say a word and I will be glad to give you time. And I will treat you most courteously. You couldn’t do that in Moscow. But we are under the Stars and Stripes, and by the grace of God we are going remain under it! (Applause)
Concerning this academic freedom, here is what happened. It did happen out here at State University, happened at Baylor University when Pat Neff was president – my Alma Mater. If the authorities should dismiss a professor, immediately – for this cause that I am discussing – immediately the Southern Education Association or the American Education Association will put that school under a ban. And here is what that ban means:
Their graduates would have no recognition. Their diplomas would not be acceptable in the higher educational circles. So you can see how they have held that as a cudgel over the schools.
Now I have an answer to it. I think you have. You look like an intelligent body of men. Now they have put an iron curtain up. Let us build an iron curtain.
The best way to fight fire is with fire. When you are fighting this gang you should not give one inch or anything on earth. You can’ t deal with them by putting on appeasement. They tell me there are seventeen hundred kinds of snakes and only three poisonous kinds. As far as I am concerned, I am not going to get in the bed with any one of the other sixteen hundred and ninety-seven. (Laughter)
Now, the Legislature has this authority. You make appropriation of the taxpayers’ money for the institutions for the blind, the insane, the schools and all the state institutions. Say to these schools, “If you are going to have Communistic or subversive teachers on your faculty, we will cut off your appropriations. ” That will make the butter come. (Applause)
Tell the National Association, that is run by a bunch of Communists in Columbia University – tell them, “We don’t want to run your business, but we don’t want you to run our business.” (Applause)
WHAT IS ACADEMIC FREEDOM?
Academic freedom – I had a neighbor – I live out in the country – they were gone from home and his cow died while he was gone. I looked out there and I was sorry to see his cow dead.
The next day the cow was still there. It was summer time and the wind was blowing from that direction.
The third day the cow was still there, and I didn’t have to look out to see it. (Laughter)
There wasn’t any use to sit down to the breakfast table and read the Bible and try to have prayer with that cow out there four days dead. So far as that dead cow is concerned her academic freedom ended where my nose began.
(Laughter and applause)
I use plain barnyard language so nobody needs to have a dictionary to understand it.
Now, gentlemen of the Legislature, you just as well to face it – you take in these departments of economics – as my son was out here in the University and had a Professor Montgomery out there, and he was teaching how that this whole system of our economics ought to be overthrown. I don’ t know whether he is out there or not – Professor Montgomery.
(Laughter) (Voices: Yes, he is here.)
Don’ t make any difference to me. He is not any of my kinfolks. He advocated to those young men the overthrow of the present economic system. That’s exactly what Lenin and Carl Marx advocated. Shall we have that in Texas? Well, it is right here under our noses, like that dead cow. (Laughter)
I delivered an address in Detroit – there I speak very frankly – I don’ t do that so much down here. That’s what you have got to do with that bunch of Communists. They tried to break up my meetings two or three times and we had lots of fun. The head of the FBI told me one Saturday, “Dr. Norris, you are going to have trouble tomorrow night out at Clark Park.” I said, “Well, I am sorry.”
He says, “There’s a bunch of Communists going to break up your meeting. I will bring my men.”
I said, “Oh, no, don’t bring them. Let them alone.” I said, “I have another way of handling it.”
So Sunday morning I said, “I want two hundred young men, twenty-one years old and under forty, that are good and hefty.” (Somebody hands Dr. Norris note)
DR. NORRIS: Thank you very much. “Sociology professor from University State College verbally blasted Modern Capitalism wide open yesterday morning in his convention speech at the Herring Hotel. The speech was made by Dr. Joe I. Duflot.” – Oh, I know that Duflow. (Laughter) I was holding a meeting once in Amarillo fifteen years ago and he advocated companionate marriage and trial marriage – live together awhile and see whether they want to continue. He did that in the college, and I took him to a cleaning. (Applause) Doflot or Dooflow – I don’ t know – he hasn’t got a civilized name to begin with. (Laughter)
A whole lot of these Communists – they may know who their Mammy is, but they don’t know who their Daddy is. (Applause)
Now, don’ t encourage me, because I am under great restraint not to say a lot of things I feel very deeply about. I told these two hundred young men – it got out there was going to be a row. You know if it ever gets out you are going to have a row, everybody will come to see it. I will stop to see a rooster fight – not that I am for it, but I will stop and see it. (Laughter)
I told these young men, “Now you remain standing. Don’ t sit down.” Sure enough one crowd started over here and another crowd started there. I said, Just a minute.”
So these young men, – had five or six to each one of them. There was a lake right behind the band stand where I was speaking, and they took this Communist and threw him in the lake. He crawled out and they threw him in again. And he crawled out and they threw him in again. He said, “You fellows are going to drown me if you don’t quit throwing me in this lake.”
They said, “We are going to send you to Hell the wet route. (Laughter)
He said, “I will do anything. Please don’t throw me in anymore.” (Laughter)
They said, “All right, come up here to the band stand with Dr. Norris and apologize.”
He said, “I will do anything. I don’t want to get drowned.” (Laughter)
So they brought him up there. He looked like. he was half drowned. He said, “I want to apologize.”
I said, “Listen, you don’t need to apologize to me; you need to apologize to the Lord. Get down on your knees.”
He did, and we prayed right there, and that fellow confessed conversion. And I think he meant it. He was baptized before he was saved and I baptized him afterwards. He had a double shot at it. (Laughter)
Well, I will tell you one thing – now listen, After all, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope of all the world, whether it is Communism or anything else. I make no apology for saying it. I am glad to say it. I am not ashamed of the gospel that I preach. I believe in it. When I had a private audience with the Pope, said to be the only Protestant minister that ever had one. He was very courteous, and when I sat down with three of my young men, he was very gentlemanly. He said, “Dr. Norris, what do you Fundamentalist believe?”
I was very glad to tell him. I said,
“A Fundamentalist is a man who believes in an infallible Bible, that tells of a supernatural Christ, who had a supernatural birth, who lived a supernatural life, who performed supernatural miracles, who died a supernatural death, who rose in supernatural power, who ascended in supernatural majesty, and one day is coming in supernatural glory, to establish a supernatural kingdom on the earth.”
He smiled and said, “I believe that. ” And he does, except he adds to it. But we were not going to argue about that. (Laughter)
But the point at issue we did agree on. I said, “You know I greatly admire your stand against the onward sweep of Communism.”
Then in a very quiet voice – he speaks English very fluently – he said, “You know, the time has come when all the peoples of the earth who believe in God and in the Son of God must form a common defense against that atheistic, materialistic, Communistic conspiracy to destroy our civilization.”
And, gentlemen, let’s be fair: if it hadn’ t been for the Pope tonight Joe Stalin would be at the English Channel. He would have taken Italy and France. And watch out, the Pope is a very powerful man – never mind the religious side of it – I will make an alliance with the devil if he is going my way and when he gets through I will say, “This is as far as you and I go.” (Laughter)
Now coming back to what these Communist professors – they won’t show their colors. They are chameleon like. Now this missing link told about the capitalistic system – you know what the capitalistic system is? If a man has a garden or one acre or ten acres, and a Ford car and a dozen chickens and a rooster, he is a capitalist. He owns something.
Now these professors take our boys and girls that don’ t know how to answer them, and they are shrewd about it.
There are three things.
First, deny the Word of God. That is what the devil did in the beginning.
Second, they rule God out of the Universe. They believe in blind force. And then they plunge into the deepest depths of immorality. Ten homosexualists dismissed out here at State University – when was it, some four years ago? And that is what it plunges into. It is high time that the mothers of America – I was down here at Houston holding a meeting once – a fellow was advocating some things I wouldn’t even mention to a mixed audience. And the father of the daughter brought it to me. And I am glad to say there were enough real men in Houston that he had a free ticket to somewhere else before daylight.
WHAT COMMUNISTS MIGHT DO
They had an animal convention down here in the Delta of the Mississippi once, like the Baptists sometimes have, that I attend – sometimes. How many Baptists in this great crowd? I want to know. Hold up your hands if you are not ashamed of it. Look at them. There are fifty-seven varieties of Baptists. (Laughter)
They had an animal convention down here in the Delta. All the animals met. Brother Fox was presiding. After he got started, in walked one of the delegates, Brother Skunk. He ambled down to the front and took the front seat. As soon as he sat down every delegate in that convention got up and went out. Some through the windows. Some one way and some another. So they decided it wouldn’t be safe to hold a meeting in that place anymore. So they got another hall, and as soon as they proceeded with the business, in walked Brother Skunk.
And as soon as he came in they got up and went out through windows and doors. Only the presiding officer, Brother Fox, was left, and Brother Skunk said, “Brother Fox, I don’ t know what is the matter with this convention. I ain’t bothered nobody. I behaves myself. What they got against me?”
Brother Fox said, “Now, Brother Skunk, do you want, me to tell you the honest truth? It ain’t what you have done they are scared of; it is what you MIGHT do that they are afraid of.”
It is not what these Communist fellow travelers have done, but it is what they may do. (Applause)
You hear some, say, “Oh, there are just a few.”
Edgar Hoover is authority that says they have already tagged eight hundred and sixty thousand of them.
Now follow me in this: every country that has the Communists in their country, they say, “In case of war we will fight for Russia against our country.” They said it in France, said it in Italy, and said it all over Europe. And now in America they have come out and said the same thing. Now I make bold to say this? After they said that, then the President of the United States ought to take the last one of these Communists that said he will fight against the United States and send them back to Moscow, where they belong! (Applause)
They are traitors to our ideals! (Applause)
They are traitors to the Constitution! (Applause)
Take in Michigan. They polled a hundred thousand votes.
Take in California, they polled ninety thousand votes.
You know what they do in case of war – and you just as well get ready for it. You say you don’t know – and I have seen a few things, and Joe Stalin’s gangsters are lulling us into a sense of false security. They want us to spend every thing we can. Then they may subtly say, “Now we will have peace,” and mislead us. History is replete with examples like that. The cold war, Senator George says, has already cost us twenty-four billion dollars. Why? We are spending now fifteen billion dollars for new armaments. They are spending five billion dollars for charity in Europe. How long can we last at that rate?
Lenin, one of the smartest men of any age, said that General Poverty will win the war. Let the world be bankrupt and Communism will sweep around the world. That’s their scheme.
AMERICA WAS SOLD OUT
Now I am going to say something right here that some of you are not going to like, but let me get out of town before you say much about it. We were sold out at Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam.
General Eisenhower wanted to march on to Berlin. That’s a matter of record. He was told not to. If he had gone into Berlin the cold war would never have been on.
China was sold out to the Communists, and they have an army of one million well-equipped soldiers and using American made arms. There is a deep-down, underlying conspiracy in this thing, and gentlemen, it is high time we were waking up to it.
China is gone. And when the four hundred and fifty million Chinese – stolid, hard working – when they are under the lash of the hammer and sickle, look out. And Japan will not easily withstand it. Communism is sweeping into Japan.
India will not withstand it.
Neither will the Indonesian Republic.
We will have one billion human beings armed against us. What does it mean? “While the men slept the enemy sowed tares.”
I repeat, I am not afraid of the enemies on the outside, but I am tremendously concernedabout the enemies that are within our gates.
COMMUNISM A RELIGION
Communism is a religion. It is a negative religion. It is a religion of denying the truth and the Son of God. It denies the inmortality of the soul. It believes that man is just a beast and dies like a dog. There is no immortality of soul. There is no hereafter with, them.
And that’ s permeating our schools and in our midst. It is high time we are rising up and saying, “We will cut your water off. ” We can do it. We are not afraid. Why should we fear? (Applause)
“Should earth against my soul engage, And fiery darts been hurled,
I’ll smile at Satan’s rage, and face a frowning world.”
We need a little backbone right now in America, I am going to talk on the negro question – now we will get down to something sure enough. I am the best friend the negro has. I believe in social equality. I have three that work for me and they have social equality every day before a baseball game. They want a ticket. They know how to work it. And I like it. They have been with me for some time. One of them is in my home. I trust my wife and my home in his hands. He is a fine Christian.
Here is what you have got in America. There are four million negroes in the great centers of population, beginning with Boston, New York, Cleveland, Detroit, and so on. Four million. They have the balance of power at the Ballot box. And Communism is sweeping into their ranks. Here is the pith of the whole business with the negro up there. They want the negro race absorbed in the white race. That’s what they teach. Ten percent of the population of America is negro. They want the ninety per cent to absorb the ten per cent, so the whole race will be a mongrel race. That’s the issue we are facing, and that’s what Communism is advocating.
Our true, patriotic negroes don’t want any such folly. They want to develop their race in their own way. And we will help them do it.
But here is what I am getting at. The politicians, some of them, are so everlastingly cowardly that they want that little ten per cent vote until they are willing to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage. That is the issue we are facing. Now here is what is going on. In Detroit whenever the people find out that the negro element is for a fellow they defeat him every time. So we are making progress. That happened last mayor’s race in Detroit.
God Almighty knows what is going on. Let’s not lose faith in that. He knows what is going on in Paris and London Rome and in Moscow. He knows what’s going on in Washington. I don’ t know whether they do or not, but God Almighty knows what is going on. I talked to my friend Sam Rayburn, whom we honor, once Speaker of this House, and he is one of the truly outstanding men of the nation. Not long ago I had lunch with him and he said, “Frank, you know Washington is the biggest insane asylum in the world.”
I said, “Why do you say that, Sam?”
He said, “It is the only insane asylum on earth that is run by the inmates.” (Laughter )
Speaking of these professors, the last one of them, these evolutionists and Communists, two sides of the same question – they say we come from beasts and die like beasts. Now if that is true here is the moral effect of it. Now you men listen to this. You be most patient with your wife. If she is jumping on you with hatchet and tongs, don’t accuse her because it is the hyena in her that she has inherited from some animal ancestor. (Laughter)
And you women always asking your husband why he is late at night and he told you he had been to the lodge and he hadn’t been there for six months – don’t jump on him when he is running around, it is the bear cat in him that he has inherited from some of his remote ancestors. (Laughter)
I will give you one and if you will take it down you will never forget it.
It means that man somewhere, some time, somehow, comes from something, nobody knows when nor where nor how. Way back yonder a million years – make it a billion – one day something moved. Nobody knows what it was, when it was, but it moved. Then after another million years it moved again. Then after another million years it moved again. Then it became an elongated substance. And as it began to move some of them got in water, and it had fins, therefore we have the finny tribe. Some of them began to leap in the air and grow feathers, and therefore we have birds and fowls with feathers. Some of them grew two legs, some of them four legs. Some of them grew caudal appendages, and they got up in trees, and they ate each other for dinner, break fast and supper. And the small ones hid out from the large ones, then in caves. And they stayed in caves out of the sun and rain and there fore the hair came off, and that’s why we have so many bald-headed men. (Laughter)
Now, one day, one of these things, nobody knows how it was or when it was – they will tell you they don’t know – they “suppose.” One of them ran off and stole a suit of clothes from a second-hand Jew joint down here at Austin and ran out here and became a professor at the State University. That, ladies and gentlemen, is scientific – that definition (laughter and applause) as to where we came from.
Now, on the quest ion, as I said awhile ago, the clergymen, some of them – now I want to be fair with my fellow clergymen – they are sympathetic. Many of them have left off preaching the old time gospel of sin and repentance and hell and heaven. They are out to reform the world. They would send the Prodigal son a new suit of clothes and a ham sandwich and tell him to stay in the hog pen when he ought to come home and start a new life.
I have here a photostatic copy – if any of you want a copy I will give it to you – year before last the president of the Southern Baptist Convention – I can talk about us Baptists, it won’ t hurt them – he went to Moscow with some men and came back and made three statements, published in a magazine, Time and other magazines.
First, “They have religious freedom in Moscow.”
Second, “The Baptists stand for the same thing as the Russian government.” I deny it.
Imagine Roger Williams standing for what Moscow stands for.
Another statement, ‘Religiously, we should regard Russia as our great ally.”
Oh, a lot of people will say, “Well, it is good to send up Cardinal Mendszenty and these Roman Catholic prelates – send them to the penitentiary!” But the next week they sent fifteen Protestant ministers. Now put this down. Russia is out to terrorize and to destroy religion of all kinds. Somebody asked me if I were going to Russia. No, because I want to come back home. (Laughter) I am planning a trip now right soon and I said I don’t want to go through any country or near any country that Russia dominates. Now you put this down. They keep up with everybody. I will make this statement, ladies and gentlemen, if we who are Christians and who are patriots were as zealous for what we believe as these Communists are for what they believe we could take the world. I admire them for that. They don’ t mind getting in jail. Send one of them to the penitentiary a half dozen times and they have a postgraduate diploma. He is a man of honor among them. (Laughter)
It doesn’t matter how many times they get beat up. They are martyrs for something to destroy the world. It is high time we were waking up.
Now, I said a moment ago what we need is a little backbone, and a whole lot of it instead of a potato vine up our shirt. I read a story when I was a boy which always fascinated me, and when I had an opportunity I went to that place. It is hard to get to. It is about fifteen miles southwest of Jerusalem, at a valley called Elah. There is a dry brook there. Only when it rains is there water in it. Two undulating plains rise on either side of it, north and south. One day old man Jesse at Bethlehem called the shepherd lad and said, “David, go down and see how the battle goes and bring me word. I am greatly concerned. Take along some bread your mother cooked, ten cheeses and about a bushel of parched corn to your brothers.”
And the lad took it down and gave it to his oldest brother Eliab. And he heard the blistering oaths of that giant ten feet tall, six fingers on his hands and six toes, a coat of mail between his shoulder. His spear which weighed fifty pounds – and armor bearer in front of him – cursing defying the armies of the living God. The boy said, “What does this mean?”
Oh, his eldest brother said, “He is a terrible man. He has been doing that for forty days and nights.”
David asked, “Do you let him get away with it?”
“Nobody can do anything with him. And besides the king has said he would give his daughter in marriage to the man who will bring back his head.
David said, “I will bring it back.”
His brother said, “You are a boy, you have no business a round here.”
David said, “Looks to me like you need somebody around here. I will bring his head back. “
And they went and told old cowardly, cringing Saul. He said, “Give him my sword. Give him my armor. Give him my breastplate.”
David looked at it. That is what the denominational machines want to do with young preachers – put it on them. Tried to put one on me many years ago. He said, “Let me go in my own way.” He threw off his outer garment. Had on a little tunic. He had that little wallet and a staff and a sling.
Goliath looked at him and said, “Why you come to me like I was a dog. Where is your sword? Where is your spear?”
And as he went sweeping across that dry brook he picked up five stones – he didn’t need but one. That’s the way God does things – take more than you need. And when he came up Goliath cursed him and disdained him. He said, “I will feed you to the vultures.”
That boy said, “I will feed you and that whole host to the fowls of the air. For I come to you in the name of the God of Israel whom you have blasphemed, and this whole assembly shall know there is a God in Israel, for the battle is the Lord’s.”
About that time something happened and that giant was on his back. Oh, listen, my friends. Where is our courage? Whom should we fear? Whether it be the Communist professor, they will all go to hell where they ought to be!
I said that one night and a dear maiden lady – I know she was an old maid the way she wrote me a letter. Oh, she said, “I am ashamed of you, Sir, a Christian minister, saying such harsh things – she will get to heaven if she has never been saved. She wrote me a ten page lecture. I didn’t need her name. I got up and read it to the whole crowd.
Ladies and gentlemen, if there is not a hell there ought to be. “All the wicked nations shall be turned into hell.” I will tell you what we need right now. In this day of licentiousness we need to go to preaching the old time gospel of hell and sin and repentance, You must be born again.” (Voices: Amen)
That’s the way you are going to save this world. Some of them are going around and saying, “Well, you can’t have a great revival like you used to.” Some preachers are saying it. Pardon me, I am seeing it in my churches, and I am seeing it everywhere. I have seen men go down to the deepest depths of hell and they can be saved. I talked last night till midnight to a lawyer. I have known him. He has gone down in drink – brilliant fellow. He is coming to Fort Worth in a couple of weeks for me to baptize him. I don’t care, my friends, what be the issue, I challenge the world that the gospel will solve any question on earth.
I give one or two examples and I am through. I don’t apologize for telling any experience. The average preacher will say, “Now, my dear friends, you will pardon this personal allusion….” Pardon nothing, go on and tell it if there is any sense to it. (Laughter)
When I went to Detroit there was a great big square right in the middle of Detroit. I wanted it to put a tabernacle on and hold a meeting. It belonged to General Motors. They don’ t let their property out for anything. Had a lawsuit once on account of it. A friend said, 1f you can get to Mr. James McEvoy, the general counsel – if you can get to him, and if you make the right approach to him, you will get it.”
If I could get to him – if I can make the right impression. Well, I said I am from Texas where every man puts his breeches on one leg at a time, so I will go and see him. (Laughter)
You have to go through half a dozen people before you get to the main offices. She was a nice little girl. I said, “I want to see Mr. McEvoy. “
She said, “What do you want to see him about?”
I had to tell her. I said, “I want to get that square down yonder in the middle of the city to hold a meeting on.
“What kind of meeting?”
I said, “An old-fashioned, sin-conviction, Holy Ghost, Methodist revival like John Wesley held.”
She said, “I didn’t know they had any more of them”
I said, “Oh, yes.”
“Well,” she said, I will tell you – he has a meeting of the board of directors this morning and I will tell him you called and if he wants to see you I will call you.”
All right. The next morning at 9:30 she called me and said, “Mr. McEvoy will see you at ten o’ clock.”
I went in and he had eyebrows as big as John Lewis, just like my friend said, I went in and he said, “What can I do for you?”
Well, I didn’t run. I just looked at him. I said, “Mr. McEvoy, I want to get that lot, Cadillac Square.”
I said, “I want to hold a meeting on it.”
“What kind of meeting?”
I said, “And old fashioned, backwoods, calico, sin-convicting, mourner’s bench, shouting kind of religion.”
He said, “That’s the only kind I believe in.
I nearly passed out.. He said, “Sit down.”
He said, “Norris, I want to tell you of an experience I had in my religious life. Have you got time?”
I said, “Yes, sir.’
He said, “I was brought up by a Christian mother. I drove the little buggy and carried her to church on the mountain side. And she would tell me about God and heaven, and I believed every bit of it. I grew up and I went to school. I went to the University of Law. I was admitted to the bar. I became a member of this firm, and now I am head of it. There is nothing here that builds faith. I lost every bit of faith I had.
“Then my third experience. One night some three years a go I was sitting in my home and the telephone rang. My sister answered at the other end. She said, ‘Jimmie, if you expect to see Mother alive you will have to hurry.’
“I ordered my car and told my chauffeur to give it the limit. We got there about 2 o’clock in the morning. Went upstairs in the old home where I was born and grew up. There was the doctor and the nurse, dear old Dad and Sister. The light was tilted from her face. I lifted it just a little bit and she was breathing just perceptibly. They told me, ‘She won’t be here long.’ She opened her eyes and looked up and said.
“Jimmie, I am glad you came. I am so glad you have come. I am going to leave you. Jimmie, I am so glad you have come. Jimmie, you remember how you used to drive me in the little buggy up to the church on the mountain side over yonder? You remember how I told you about God and heaven? Jimmie, it is just like I told you. Jimmie, it is just like I told you. Jimmie, it is just like I told you.’
“The nurse reached down and took her pulse and said, ‘She is gone.’
“They slipped the pillow from under her head, and dear old Dad knelt beside her bed and called the family to kneel and said, ‘Here lies the greatest wife and mother that God ever gave a home.’ He lifted his face and praised God for giving him such a wife.
“We took her out and buried her. Two weeks afterwards I said, ‘I will go and spend Sunday with Dad. I know he is lonesome now that Mother is gone! I got over there about 11, at the old home where we grew up. And as he sat there alone I walked up and said, ‘Good morning, Dad.’ He said, ‘Good morning, Jimmie.” I said, ‘I thought I would come over and spend the day with you. You must be lonesome since Mother is gone.’
“Yes, Jimmie, I was sitting here thinking – I was just thinking. I am past eighty. It won’t be long until I will see her again. It is wonderful where she is in heaven. And Jimmie, she suffered so much.’
“I walked through the house,” he said. I walked down through the farm where I plowed when I was a boy. I came back. I went into the living room and I couldn’t stand it. I could see Dad on one side of the old fireplace and Mother on the other and the children between.
“As the day wore on I said to my chauffeur, “Drive me over to the cemetery.’ He and I went alone. I had some boxes of fresh flowers. I walked in, reached down and brushed off the withered flowers from her new made grave. I covered it. I stood there and I looked at the tombstones of friends I had known when I was a boy. The sun was sinking. The shadows were lengthening.”
He said, “Norris, believe me, as I stood there in silence by the best friend that I ever had she stood by my side and said, ‘Jimmie, it is just like I told you. Jimmie, it is just like I told you.'”
He said, “In one second’s time all the faith of my boyhood days came back to me and I still have it. “
Of course you know I got the lot.
Time marched on. Three or four years after that he lay dying.
I went out to the Ford hospital and they said, ‘No visitors received.”
I said, “It’s all right. I have this message to come.”
They said, “Who is it?”
I told them.
I went in. The old soldier was lying the re. I took hold of his hands. They were cold. I said, “Mr. McEvoy, I have thought a thousand times of your three religious experiences – ‘Jimmie, it’s just like I told you. Jimmie, it’s just like I told you.'”
He said, “Yes, yes, yes, I know it. “
Another and I am through. One day a group of industrialists – we are in a revolution in Detroit all the time. They got a group together for me to speak to them on how to have a revival, and I was the only Baptist in the. crowd. Catholics, Jews, Episcopalians and what-nots were there, I said:
“Now I am going to answer your question by telling you what happened in one of your factories. A fellow at the Dodge Motor Company, a fellow by the name of Fred Underwood. He drank himself out of a job. He drank himself down to the depths of hell. One day your superintendent called him and said, “Fred, I hate to do it, but I am firing you. Too much is in your hands. “
He walked out through the iron gate and started down the suicide pier. One of my young men happened along and said,
“Hello, Fred, where are you going?”
He said, “Don’t ask me.”
He said, “What’s the matter?”
He said, “Don’t ask me.”
“What’s the matter?”
He said, “I have just been fired from a top job. I have lost everything. I am going to end it all.”
“Here, get in the car. I want to take you over to see Dr. Norris.
He said, “Dr. who?”
He didn’t know but that I was one of these homeopaths or osteopaths that you have been talking about around here, or a horse doctor. He didn’t know. He said, “Who is he?” (Laughter)
He said, “Don’t ask any questions.”
He brought him in, I never shall forget the day he came in. He was a sandy haired Scotchman. This young man said, “I have brought my friend Fred over here and I told him you could do something for him.”
I said, “What’s the matter with you, Fred?”
He said, “Everything.”
I said, “I can’t do anything for you.”
He said, “Just like I thought.”
But I said, “I have a friend that can do something for you. I have a book here that can do some thing for you.”
He looked at me. I said, “Do you want it?”
He said, “I want to get out of this fix.”
“All right, ” I said. I opened my Bible and I said, “You read to where I tell you.”
I turned to the Gospel of John and said, “You count the verses until I tell you to stop in the first chapter.”
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven. “
I said, “Stop. Read it.”
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
I said, “Read it again.”
And when he came to that word “receive,” I said, “Stop, – what does it mean?”
He said, “Well, I know what it means everywhere else. What does it mean here?”
I said, “It means the same thing – take it.”
Now, I said, “You have heard God speak to you, now do you want to talk to Him?”
He said, “I will do anything in the world to get out of this fix.”
“All right, ” I said, “Get down on your knees.” And he did.
He said, “I never did pray in my life.”
I said, “Well, you begin right now if you want to get out of this fix.” I said, “Pray this prayer, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner’.” And he did.
He commenced and he said, “I don’t know how to pray.” He said finally, “Oh, God, I don’t know how to pray. You know what I need, and if you will give it to me I will be much obliged to you. ” (Laughter)
He got up and went out. I didn’t know what he did. He went to where his wife and children were, and when she came to the door she was scared. He said,
“Wait a minute; don’t be afraid. I have come to leave a message. I have come to tell you that God has given you a new husband. I will be back.”
He went to the superintendent and said, “I want you to give me a job. “
He said, “Listen, Fred, I can’ t do it. It will break down the morale of my whole force.”
He said, “I don’ t want my same job. Let me sweep the floor. Let me do something. I have started life again. I am going to come back. I have got religion.”
He said, “You have got what?”
He said, “I tell you what I am going to do. Go back to your old job and I am going to try you thirty days.” All right, he went back and the third day he called me up and I said, “Fred, you have made good.”
He said, “Sure. I can go by any saloon in Detroit.”
“And oh, God, forbid that we should ever license drinking on the premises of any of these places.”
I don’t think they will do it. Well, dismissing that – he said, “I have got a God that helps me.”
And that is the answer, ladies and gentlemen, to every problem on earth.
My mother taught me that. I grew up with that faith, and having preached now for fifty-two years, I give you this testimony.
I believe in God and in the Son of God, and in the Word of God that lives and abides forever.
To hell with Joe Stalin!
(The whole Legislature and audience were greatly moved)