Linguistics is a fun topic. In the area where I live, some people, including members of my own family, have a speech characteristic wherein they are unable to properly pronounce the phonetic long “I” sound. It comes out as an “ah” or “o” sound. For example, take the sentence: “All that is bright took flight into the night.” In their parlance, it would come out as: “All that is braht took flaht into the not.” One might think this would be a real problem for a person, but it is not. Only rare people like me notice it, and it actually has an amazing utility. For example, the term “Religious Right” comes out as “Religious Rot,” which is a lot closer to reality than the word “Right.” And speaking of the Religious Rot, a great many people have no idea how this monster from Hell got its start in American society and culture. For those of you who have never heard the true story, Professor and Reverend Randall Balmer, who was raised as a Christian fundamentalist/conservative evangelical, tells the complete story of its true origins in this guest lecture he delivered in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Most Americans have never heard this story, including those who count themselves as part of the Religious Rot. The fun thing about this story is that it came straight from the mouth of the actual founder of the Religious Rot (Paul Weyrich), and Randy was actually present in the audience when Weyrich told this story. Why was Randy in the audience? A Religious Rot operative accidentally sent Randy a ticket to what was supposed to be a closed-door meeting of the Religious Rot faithful. Being an outsider, Randy thought it would be fun to show up with his ticket and see what goes on in such meetings. When Weyrich was finished with his presentation, Randy chased him down the hall in amazement and asked him if what he had just heard was really true. Weyrich reaffirmed it in no uncertain terms right there in front of Randy’s face. Here is the true story of how the Religious Rot and its war on abortion really originated here in the United States. This is nothing short of amazing: