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Letters to the Editor – The New York Times

Cynthia Ozick

To the Editor:

How perfectly appropriate for Cynthia Ozick, a master stylist and short story writer herself, to provide a review of William Trevor’s “Last Stories” (May 20). A virtuoso crafts a brilliant appraisal of another virtuoso.

MARY MOSKAL
ALBUQUERQUE

The Religious Right

To the Editor:

In his review of Jimmy Carter’s “Faith” (May 20), Garry Wills is correct in writing that “the religious right has long been not a religion but an ideology.” He could have made that clearer if he had not cited the Rev. Jerry Falwell as the founder of the Moral Majority, the earliest and for a long time the most important organization of the religious right.

In fact, the Moral Majority was created by three conservative political activists, two Roman Catholics and a Jew: Richard Viguerie, a direct-mail expert servicing conservative political causes; Paul Weyrich of the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress; and Howard Phillips of the Conservative Caucus. The organization was conceived as a way of weaning away from the Democrats the vote of the normally politically uninvolved fundamentalist and conservative evangelical Christians whom Carter, as a self-declared “born again” Christian, brought to political life during his campaign.

With assistance from politically involved evangelicals like Robert Billings, a leader in the Christian day school movement, Viguerie, Weyrich and Phillips not only found and chose Falwell to lead the Moral Majority but even gave the organization its name.

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