South Carolina's Jordan Resumes Religious Crusade

Church & State, November 1997 | Go to article overview

South Carolina's Jordan Resumes Religious Crusade


Controversial South Carolina School Board member Dr. Henry S. Jordan has struck again.

Jordan first attracted attention last May when he proposed displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools. After another board member suggested this might offend non-Christians such as Buddhists and Muslims, Jordan snapped, "Screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims - and put that in the minutes !" The bigoted and intemperate remark sparked calls for Jordan's resignation from Americans United and Muslim groups.

Following that incident, David J. Sanders, a Muslim living in Rock Hill, sent Jordan a letter urging him to resign. On Sept. 2, Jordan replied. "If you are not smart enough to read through the news and see what really transpired from this news event, it is no wonder that you think salvation can be obtained by good works and having faith in Allah," wrote Jordan. "Such a position ignores all Biblical prophecy that is currently unfolding before our very eyes."

Jordan went on to write, "I would encourage you to study some of the prophecy books that are out, such as Hal Lindsey's The Rapture, and ask the God of the Bible, Jehovah, not Allah, and God, the Son, Jesus, to remove the veil from your eyes and heart and reveal the truth to you before it is too late."

Sanders, noting that Jordan had apologized after his original insensitive comments, told the Associated Press that in light of Jordan's Sept. 2 letter, the apology rings hollow. "Everyone thought he was sorry for what he said," Sanders told the AP. "When I received the letter it seemed that he apparently had not changed his views and has no remorse for what he said."

Release of the Jordan letter prompted Americans United to once again call for his resignation. In a letter to South Carolina Gov. David M. Beasley, AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn noted, "This new letter appears to reflect the true feelings of a hateful man who believes that it is perfectly acceptable to show ignorance and bigotry toward minority faiths of which he disapproves. In light of this more recent letter, Dr. Jordan's original apology appears hollow and meaningless."

Continued Lynn, "These comments sound more like an evangelist trying to convert than a public official trying to represent. I'm sure you agree that this is a slap in the face to Muslims and people of faith everywhere and simply asking for another apology will not be sufficient. …

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