This is not an editorial comment on the selection by President-elect Obama of Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, to deliver the invocation at next month’s Inaugural. It is just a trivia note.
Journalist Christopher Hitchens — among many expressing outrage at the choice — notes, “Rick Warren proclaims as his original mentor a man named Wallie Amos Criswell, who was the inspirational figure in the rightward move of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1960s.”
W.A. Criswell was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, of which the Von Erich pro wrestling family were members, and was credited with catalyzing Jack “Fritz Von Erich” Adkisson’s born-again experience in the 1970s. This is discussed in passing in my 1988 Penthouse magazine article, “Born-Again Bashing,” which is reprinted in my 2007 book, Wrestling Babylon.