Thursday, June 23, 2011
A Slanting Synopsis of J Frank Norris
"The Jury Has Spoken"
Go back with me to January 1927 in Austin, Texas. The setting takes place in the courtroom at the infamous trial of J. Frank Norris verses the State of Texas.
Imagine for a moment that the author of the latest account on the life of J. Frank Norris were present among the venire awaiting questioning by the defense attorneys. The author of the latest book, “The Shooting Salvationist,” has stated publicly he was brought up in the Temple Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan. (For the record, J. Frank Norris was pastor of this church from 1935 to June of 1950.) Mr. Stokes has also affirmed that during his upbringing years in this church he heard endless tales about this “wild preacher from Texas.” His (Stokes) curiosity for further inquiry has lead to the publication of his latest book.
Now, Mr. Stokes comes forward in 2011 trying to convince the gullible public that he has discovered inside information which up to this point has not become common knowledge. Mr. Stokes, of course, was not present in 1927 … since he was not born until the year 1955. But he is present now in 2011, attempting to act as an all-knowing 13th juror (as it were). Any attempt to render some kind of guilty verdict does not coincide with the real case in which Norris was fully exonerated.
Now back to the imaginary venire interrogation. Question number one to Mr. Stokes:
1. Mr. Stokes, you have stated that you heard all these weird stories while growing up in Detroit, Michigan. Would you tell us from whom you heard all these weird stories concerning J. Frank Norris. Now the person from whom you heard all these weird stories had to have had some connection with J. Frank Norris during the time of those events in the mid 1920s. Is it not strange, Mr. Stokes, that information which you have gleaned was not forthcoming until after 1950? After you had reached an age of awareness you then began your quest. (For information purposes, it is the job of defense attorneys to “strike” an unfriendly potential juror if a note of bias is detected).
Without belaboring the issue, Mr. Stokes would be asked if he understood the significance of events which happened in May of 1950 at the First Baptist Church. This would end the first round of questioning. (Parenthetically, I add, I, the maker of this video can relate in detail the significance of May 1950).
Question number two to Mr. Stokes:
2. Is it true Mr. Stokes, that in this same Temple Baptist Church where you attended as a youth that no blacks were permitted to enter the church and certainly not invited to become members. (According to Baptist Top 1000). In view of your flawed attempt to associate J. Frank Norris with the KKK, the segregation record of your church policy becomes a crucial factor in determining your qualification as a potential juror.
For these reasons, if answered truthfully, Mr. Stokes would be disqualified from serving on an imaginary jury. And when the weird stories are fully aired, “The Shooting Salvationist” will become the “The Slanting Synopsis”.
Conclusion: Mr. Bob Schieffer of CBS News, who penned the Forward: I say to you “Sir, you have been snookered as well as the book purchasers.”
I make no apology in defense of J. Frank Norris and in spite of his flaws (when viewed in context) all these pale insignificantly compared to his heroic defense of the faith.
By Roy Falls
My videos are produced by the J. Frank Norris Historical Society
A SIDE NOTE FROM MY DAUGHER:
"I was there" ... and let me tell you... J. Frank Norris was no "racist". He welcomed "all" into his church. And if any KKK were in attendance at the First Bapt. Church in Fort Worth under Norris' ministry, he welcomed them in along with others, including prostitutes & drunks, as he was concerned for "everyone's" soul. That does NOT make someone an "affiliate" just because one sits down upon the pew!
A pastor can’t have 20,000 church members and not have some undesirables walk thru the doors! Gail Hawkins (as was told to me by my father)