CBC Digital Archives

Ted Kennedy and the Moral Majority

It's a political gambit that is as shrewd as it is shocking. U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy has always been an easy target for Republicans and the religious right. Imagine his surprise when, in 1983, he accidentally receives an invitation to a Moral Majority fundraiser aimed at fighting "ultra-liberals such as Ted Kennedy." When the mix-up hits the media, Kennedy is invited to drop by Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty Baptist College - and the senator accepts. In this clip from the Sunday Morning feature Verbatim, Kennedy tells the assembled crowd that "people of conscience should be careful how they deal in the word of their lord."
• Liberty Baptist College (now Liberty University) was established in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1971 by pastor and televangelist Jerry Falwell. In 1979 Falwell helped found the Moral Majority, an evangelical Christian political lobbying group which lasted for 10 years.

• According to the Associated Press, when Falwell aide Cal Thomas told the religious leader that Kennedy had accepted the invitation to speak at Liberty Baptist College, Falwell "almost turned as white as a sheet." Kennedy had a "friendly" dinner at Falwell's home before delivering his speech.

Medium: Radio
Program: Sunday Morning
Broadcast Date: Oct. 9, 1983
Guest(s): Edward Kennedy
Host: Michael Enright, Beverley Reed
Duration: 3:35

Last updated: February 2, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

1990: Nelson Mandela addresses Canadian Parli...

After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela is set free and travels to Canada to address Parliame...

1961: John F. Kennedy and wife Jackie visit O...

A crowd of 50,000 welcome U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie to Canada's capit...

1977: Monsieur Lévesque goes to Wall Street

Quebec premier tells New York businessmen that separation is inevitable.

Presidential Inaugurations: Obama's new way f...

Barack Obama takes the oath and begins his presidency.

Presidential Inaugurations: George Walker Bus...

George W. Bush is sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States.

Clinton's full speech to Parliament in 1995 (...

President says U.S. and Canada share 'core values'.