Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Few More Updates to the Bill Moyers Wattage Inquiry

First, Loren emails to say that he has written to Austin Miles, the earliest published source of Watt's alleged "last tree" quote, and Miles told Loren that he personally remembered Watt making the statement on a PTL broadcast. (Miles was unable to remember the date of the broadcast). I'm still sceptical, but it's hard to prove or disprove without Watt, Bakker or someone else coming forward.

Second, in related Watt news, Brian Carnell has written two posts on this same issue, coming to the same conclusion I did, but with better writing and formatting.

Third, I should say there is contemporaneous historical evidence for plenty of other religious Watt quotes. In particular, according to the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal quoted Watt as saying "My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns." (James Watt & the Puritan Ethic, Washington Post, May 24, 1981, at L5). I can't give the context, because I can't get the WSJ search engine to search for articles prior to 1996, so I can't say whether Watt meant that the coming end times gave him the right to despoil the land or not. (Certainly, his wife is convinced that Watt believed exactly the opposite, as I wrote the other day).