December 26, 1954

With our daily headlines pinpointing problems in Europe, the near East, and elsewhere around the globe, it is easy for us to concentrate on these admittedly important problems, and forget a portion of our own population that is few in number but truly worthy of more attention than the casual and infrequent thought we give it. This is the American Indian, who has been very much in the news in recent months but rarely in the headlines.

An AP dispatch with a Miami, Florida, dateline calls our attention to what most of us would regard as a legitimate request of a portion of the Seminole Nation, namely, that they be given title to the lands they have occupied in Florida for generations.

The Seminoles were one of the five tribes which the federal government removed by force from the southeastern U.S and dumped them into what is now Oklahoma more than a century ago. This Florida band refused to surrender to white man’s force. They fled into the swampy Everglades, and there they have made their home ever since. Recently, members of the tribe met with the present Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and asked two things: 1. That they be given title to the lands they occupy (actually they have a very good claim to virtually the whole state of Florida); and 2. That the federal government recognize as legal their tribal government. The dispatch says merely that the commissioner, Glenn L. Emmons, “promised that the U.S does not intend to destroy the customs or traditions of the tribe.”

But unfortunately the American Indian has learned, often by sad experience, that the white man’s promises may well be double in meaning and not carried out in practice. Let us hope that Mr. Emmons means by his promise that justice in full measure will be done to these people who have all too long suffered injustice in the land which they occupied before the white man came.

I happen to know a little at first hand about a few of the Indian groups, having lived among the Dakota tribes for three or four years, and worked in the U.S Indian Service for eight or nine. At no time have I known the Indians to ask for more than elementary justice in the matter of their property, their governmental rights, and their civic capacities. They have volunteered for military service far beyond their proportion in the general population; the vast majority of them earn their own living and pay their debts; most of them affiliate with some branch of the Christian faith; and yet, while all Indians are citizens and have voting rights, they find themselves hedged in by special federal laws that apply only to Indians, not to the white man; their lands, funds, or other property is often subject to supervision and control by the Indian Service; and they are, in many cases, isolated on reservations that represent areas which the white man once considered undesirable for homesteading.

Unfortunately, the Indian has become something of a political football. Each changing administration feels that what its predecessor has done with the Indian is wrong, and it proceeds to encourage, sometimes indirectly to force, the Indian to go in another direction. Ofttimes, administrations, both Democrat and Republican, have pursued the courses they wished without regard to what the Indians themselves wished. Two extreme views are often crossing swords with each other over the Indian. One looks upon him as a picturesque, romantic figure, and would, figuratively at least, send him back to the blanket and keep him as nearly all Indian as possible. The other often uses the slogan, “Turn the Indian loose,” which, for many, would in effect, mean to put him at the mercy of unmerciful white men who would take what few remaining possessions the Red Man has. The answer is not so simple, but in varying degrees lies somewhere between these two extremes.

Certainly, a few things are clear with regard to the Indian. First, he is a citizen and has all the rights of citizenship. The Indian Service and the American people should never lose sight of this, and I suspect that constant vigilance on the part of the latter will do much to keep the former mindful of its obligations in this respect.

Second, the Indians have varying cultural backgrounds, and their customs, traditions, and desires should be respected insofar as such are compatible with national welfare, and I can personally think of none of these that are not so compatible. There is room in this country for cultural diversity and at the same time for the maintenance of national unity with such diversity. Only a minority of Americans, thank goodness, look with suspicion upon people who are different from themselves.

Third, the Indian deserves, and he should get, all the education he can profit by; education that will fit him to find occupational pursuits in whatever field he desires to enter. Federal schools have all too often looked upon the Indian child as a sort of guinea pig upon which to try out any crackpot theory of education that happened to be the fantasy of the service at the moment.

And last, like any other citizen, the Indian has a right to be respected and accepted for individual merit and personality traits, without regard to race. There is no such thing as a “typical” American Indian, any more than there is a “typical” American white man. Indians are individuals, just as you and I, and they have a right to be accepted or rejected as individuals, not as members of particular minority groups. Until and unless we have done these things, we will not have applied our principles of democratic society to our predecessors in migration – the American Indian.


Here is a roundup of the week’s religious news, by United Press Radio.

Bethlehem: The faithful flocked to the birthplace of Christ this weekend by plane, automobile, and on foot. An estimated six thousand are visiting Bethlehem during this Christmas season. And Arab Jordan has laid down the red carpet for the tourists visiting the holy shrines. Where they’ve only been tolerated in the past, they’re being given a friendly welcome today. Under a cloudless sky, Jordan’s Arab government greeted arrivals through the bullet-scarred Mandelbaum Gate with guides and tourist facilities. The Gate stands on the United Nations Truce Line dividing Israel and Arab Jordan.

The observance in Bethlehem is Roman Catholic, and the Christmas Mass has been celebrated by his beatitude, Alberto Gori, the Archbishop of the Holy Land. There are two Protestant services in Jerusalem, one at the YMCA and one at the American Church of the Holy City.


Vatican City: Ailing Pope Pius XII broadcast Christmas blessings to the peoples of the world (Friday). The 78-year-old Roman Catholic spiritual leader spoke for seven minutes in a Christmas Eve message recorded from his bedside in the Vatican. His voice was weak at first. It grew in strength and then showed signs of fatigue at the end of the 600-word message. In the message, the pope called on the rulers of the world to maintain peace and prayed for those who have been imprisoned because of their faith in God.


Concern of Americans today is with service men and women not at home for Christmas. But substitute family gatherings have been given to many. At homes near their stations in Britain, France, and West Germany and in other places in Western Europe, in Korea, North Africa and elsewhere, Americans away from home have not been forgotten. They are having Christmas services, Christmas trees, special dinners and programs.


Tokyo: Two top-ranking leaders of the Protestant and Roman Catholic faiths are visiting American troops in the Orient.… Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, President of the National Council of Church of Christ in the U.S.A, also has held Christmas services in Korea. Members of the U.S First Marine Division have been his congregation. Dr. Blake, who is the administrative head of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A, declared in a Christmas Eve message in Korea, “Our hope out here is illumined by this knowledge of God’s love which extends to all mankind with intimations of peace and good will [unreadable] despite…the world’s darkness and fear.”

Dr. Eugene Blake, President of the National Council of Churches, is visiting all major commands in Korea. He said he wants to convey the greetings of 30 million American Protestants to as many servicemen as possible during his visit. He toured United States bases in Hawaii, the Philippines, Okinawa, and Japan before going to Korea. He will wind up his 20-day tour and return to the United States Monday.


Francis Cardinal Spellman, the Catholic archbishop of New York, is spending his fourth consecutive Christmas with United States forces in the Far East. Today (Saturday), he has scheduled to say Christmas Mass for troops of the United States Seventh Division. Earlier, he made a round of calls on top United States military and diplomatic authorities in Tokyo, and visited patients at the Army hospital there.

Nor have the U.S soldiers forgot the children near their … stations. From their own pockets they have bought bags of toys and … [unreadable].

December 19, 1954

On this last broadcast before our observance of the birth of the Prince of Peace, it seems appropriate to take a sober look at our world of 1954 to see what some of the problems and prospects are with respect to achieving the “Peace on Earth” that is associated with Him whose birth we are about to observe.

The stubborn fact is that our world this Christmas is divided between that half which is doing its best to blot out any reference to or observance of Christianity and our own half that is, on the surface at least, trying to perpetuate and spread the principles for which the Christ child came.

The Communist world stands for materialism, regards all religion as the opiate of the people, and would crush out any regard for the rights and dignity of the individual as opposed to the prerogatives of the state, which means the small group of men who would impose their will upon the mass of the people. It knows what it wants, where it is going, and will use any means to achieve its end. Truth, human life, the common decencies of civilization – none of these have any meaning to our enemies except insofar as they can use them to confuse and delude us into complacency about the threat they pose for us.

Opposed to this world of dictatorship are the so-called free nations of which we are a part. We subscribe in general to principles that are in general in accord with Christian principles and democracy. But, we are not at all as certain about just what these principles are, about our objectives and ways and means of attaining them. We quibble among ourselves over minor points of policy while our enemies profit by our lack of harmony.

In such a world as this, two things at least are imperative if the free nations are to survive and to perpetuate principles of freedom of Christianity:

  1. Unity among us must be maintained regardless of circumstances or temporary national interest;
  2. A solid and permanent substitute for war must be forged by the free nations.

One of the most profitable techniques of the dictators of all times is that of the axiomatic “divide and conquer” practice. Every time we, the French, the English, or any other free nation let an incident or issue cause us to indulge in quarreling, only our enemies profit. This does not mean that there should not be the freest and fullest discussion of legitimately different points of view among us; it does mean that in such discussion we must never lose sight of the imperative need of reaching agreement without compromise of basic principles. Anything less will eventually weaken the already weak coalition of anti-communist nations and permit us one by one to be swallowed up by the Iron Curtain powers.

And we must not lose sight of the fact also that there are among our own people those individuals and forces who advocate courses that, consciously or unconsciously, would deliver us into the hands of our enemies. These are the super-patriots who regard any concession on our part as subversion or downright treason. Their language sounds brave and self-sacrificing. These are flag wavers, the arousers of emotion, the Joes who would “go it alone.” The truth is that most of us Americans wish that we could go it alone in our own way and not be bothered by unpleasant realities in the rest of the world; the sober truth is that we are and must remain an integral and active part of the world of today whether we wish it that way or not. The truth is that a threat to peace anywhere in our world is a threat to peace everywhere. The truth is that there is no longer a dividing line between the battlefront and the home front. The truth is that we are faced with the unpleasant alternatives of co-existence or co-extinction.

None of us wants it that way, but that is the way it is, and we must behave ourselves in accordance with existing realities. No nation can hope today to exist undisturbed and alone; unity among us is the only basis we have for hope of survival against a world that threatens everything for which the free world stands, and we must permit nothing to cause us to lose sight of that fact. Disunity and war not only can, but likely will, result in the destruction of civilization as we in the Western world know it.

But unity of purpose and action must be more than a temporary coalition; it must forge machinery that will be a permanent substitute for war, the scourge of humanity throughout our history. This substitute is very simple, though achieving it is not so simple. The substitute for war is law.

There was a time in man’s history when war between individuals was the natural order of the day. Two people disagreed, and they fought it out. Today, individuals take their differences to court instead of to the battlefield. Clans and tribes once fought at will, one overcoming the other and imposing its system of control, i.e., law, over its former enemy and over a wider area. Eventually, the concept of the national state came into existence, with the imposition of an orderly system of law throughout the whole nation. Today, internal riots and revolts against laws within the nation are almost unknown. We have through law brought peace and stability within nations, and in the free world we have done so with amazingly little violence to the rights of the individual. It is that area between nations where our danger of war lies today, and it is in that area our efforts to apply law must bear constructive fruit.

At the end of our Revolutionary War, we had 13 independent nations in this country, each trying to do as it pleased without regard to the will or aspirations of the other twelve. For eight years, from 1781 to 1789, these 13 nations or states gradually saw the futility, even the suicidal results of trying to go it alone. They saw that there were certain matters that could not safely be left for each state to determine for itself if all were to survive. And they did the sensible thing; they formed a union in which such matters were turned over to the federal government to be managed in the interests of all states alike.

Nations have today reached the place that our 13 states had reached in 1787. Nations today come much more frequently in contact with each other and their individual interests conflict with each other far more often than did those of our states 167 years ago, and it is out of those frequent contacts and conflicts of interest that the danger of war arises. We solved these problems in 1787 by applying law on a nation-wide basis, so that it would be impossible for one state to go to war with another. Today, whether we like it or not, we must apply something of the same remedy to international relationships.

This means, in effect, that we must create machinery for the enactment and enforcement of law that will apply to individuals and nations on an international scale. A gesture, but only a gesture, has been made toward this in the creation of the U.N., but this world organization has not been given law-making and law-enforcing authority. Until or unless it is, we shall have continuing anarchy and war between nations.

Now most of us do not like this idea, and I am among them. But the whole matter resolves itself into an “either/or” proposition. Either join together or eventually die separately. It is as crucial as that. One of the most telling cartoons circulated during the fight in 1788 for ratification of our own Constitution was that of a snake divided into 13 pieces, with the caption “Join or Die.” This cartoon was credited to Benjamin Franklin, and it portrayed a truth of the times that is equally true of our times.

There [are] those today who regard any such suggestions as the above as less than patriotic; who are unable to see that one could conceivably be loyal both to the laws of this nation and to those passed by an international body deriving its power form the democratic consent of the peoples to whom those law[s] apply. Yet, there is an inconsistency in their viewpoint. We Americans are loyal to our states and we are also loyal to our nation, and there is no conflict between the two. There is nothing inherently conflicting between a conceived loyalty to the laws of this nation and the laws of an international federation in whose composition we have a voice, and I am sure that those of us who would substitute law for the present warring lawlessness resent the idea that because we advocate federation of the free nations we are thereby less patriotic or loyal than those who oppose such an idea.

We, that is, the free nations, have made some halting steps toward such a free world union. In 1946 the U.S., through Bernard Baruch, proposed to the U.N. that atomic energy be brought under international control through a commission empowered to make inspections anywhere in the world to be sure that all nations were living up to their peaceful responsibilities. We have taken the lead in promoting federation of the nations of Western Europe, though many of us are skeptical that this would be a permanent solution, even if it were achieved. We are skeptical for the simple reason that while such a union would presumably be friendly to us at the moment, there is no guarantee that it would always be so or that we could get along with it should it decide to be unfriendly. While such efforts are commendable in the formation of regional arrangements, anything less than an indestructible union of indestructible nations, grounded in democratic principles, cannot guarantee that peace will be permanent.

Admittedly the creation of such a union will be a difficult task, calling for the best brains, the best intentions that the free world can mobilize. But it would be mobilization for constructive, not destructive, purposes. The discouraging factor is that those in high places appear more amenable to advice from vested interests than to the interest of the mass of peoples in the free world. It is significant to note that military men generally have been among the most prominent supporters of the “go it alone” policies, when they should know better than anyone else that this policy has led to nothing in the past but war. But war is their career. It is also significant that munitions makers, businesses with profitable government war contracts, and professional patrioteers were among the most active forces that succeeded in scuttling the League of Nations and in backing Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and company. It is up to us, the rank and file, the little people of the world, to make our collective influence felt in the halls of Congress and in the United Nations to the end that those representing us understand clearly that while we do not prefer peace at any price, we do realize that the scourge of war can and must be removed as a threat to humanity; that freedom under law is the most important objective for our world of today; that while we realize military security is a must in the light of present conditions, that most of us are hoping to be able to envision a time beyond which we can live secure in the knowledge that war and its tragic consequences will not again be visited on us or our children.


December 12, 1954

Last week the National Council of the Churches of Christ completed the work of its Third Assembly in Boston. The major achievements of this meeting may be summed up under three headings:

  1. It urged its member churches to make use of the council’s facilities to aid    laymen with their ethical problems;
  2. It encouraged churches to “adventure more courageously into racial and    cultural inclusion;”
  3. It repudiated all forms of racial discrimination.

Most of us would agree that these matters deserve the serious consideration of all individuals and groups interested in religion. The problem of ethics is a worldwide one, ranging from personal behavior to what, as a society, to do with the awful power we hold in the potentialities of nuclear fission. As for racial and cultural inclusion, we must accept the fact, whether we like it or not, that peoples of different races and cultures are thrown more often and more closely in contact with each other today than were neighbors of adjoining states a century ago. And with their emphasis upon the divinity of God and the brotherhood of man, it would be ironical, even hypocritical, if the churches were not to take the lead in the fight against discrimination. Hence the council is to be commended for its forthright and unequivocal declarations of position with respect to these pressing issues confronting us all in today’s world.


To all Catholics, and to many, many Protestants, this week has been one of happily decreasing concern over the physical condition of Pope Pius XII, and of increasing pleasure over the amazing progress he has made toward recovery. The 78-year-old pontiff has not only surprised his followers, he has amazed his doctors who, from the implications of their dispatches were reconciled to expecting the worst.


Mention was made a moment ago of repudiation by the National Council of Churches of all forms of racial discrimination. An AP dispatch with a Shellman, Georgia, dateline brings information that a young minister in that community has just been ousted from his pastorate because of a sermon he preached last June in which he praised as just the decision of the Supreme Court against racial segregation in the public schools. This minister and his wife have just moved out of the pastorium into an apartment. In his final sermon to the congregation he disagreed with the prejudices of the members of his church for the stand they had taken. He advised them to call themselves a community instead of a church, and to elect a president instead of a pastor. Indicative of their intolerance in this matter is the fact that most of his congregation left the church while the young man was speaking.

This reporter is deeply conscious of the long established customs and attitudes of Southern people with respect to racial problems. He is himself a Southerner who grew up with, and to some degree, shares these customs and attitudes. He also recognizes that these things cannot be changed overnight by an edict of a body of nine men, whatever their official position. But he also sees inconsistency between the spiritual concept of Christian brotherhood and discrimination between fellow Christians because of the accident of race. The problems involved in working out a policy of integration in the school, in the church, and in the community are difficult, and it appears that the churches can rightly be expected to take the lead in this matter, for to them, it is, or should be, not only a matter of law but a concept of the relation of individuals to each other and to the Creator of us all.


An interesting and significant statement was made by a great American layman this week, to the Chicago Sunday Evening Club. David E. Lilienthal was originally a Chicago lawyer. From 1941-1946, he was chairman of the TVA, and from 1946-1950, he was a chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He has recently been in the news because of his work, given free-of-charge, in helping the Republic of Columbia develop plans for a program similar to TVA – hence, having a knowledge of law, of at least the administrative aspects of scientific management, and of working with people. Coming from a man with this background, his views on moral and ethical matters are all the more interesting, and worth quoting. “The building of individual character,” he says, “is a greater shield against national adversity than any armament, however mighty.”

“This is not to underestimate the place of military strength under such conditions as now exist in international affairs,” he continues, but “the foundation of America’s greatness lies in the achievement of moral quality, of firm ethical and spiritual convictions, on the part of individual citizens.” This, he says, “is far more important than TVA or atomic energy, economics or government, because the way these matters will be put to work will be determined by ethical convictions and spiritual aspirations of individuals and not by impersonal calculations of science and engineering.”

Here, clearly and simply put, is a statement of a major dilemma of our generation. We have, through science and administrative management, of which Mr. Lilienthal is thoroughly familiar, developed the power to blow ourselves and our world to bits. But this, says the man who had a great deal to do with this development, is not the most important thing. The most important thing is the moral and spiritual values that people hold, for it is these that will determine whether we use this tremendous power to destroy mankind or to lift it onto a level of existence far higher than it has ever before known in this world. Power is important, but how we use it is more so, and how we use it will be decided by those values we consider important. This is not only a challenge to the intelligence and moral fiber of humanity; it is an ultimatum, for if we do not use it wisely we shall destroy ourselves through our failure to do so. This is an inevitable and uncomfortable choice that men of our generation must make, and are making daily, whether we realize it or not.

And these moral and spiritual values must be made to function not only in science, but also in economics and in government, through the choices we make in the type of men we choose and the type of service we demand of them as public servants. “The bullying type of public figure, by violent talk, may appear to succeed for a time, but sooner or later the responsible people show they have had enough. In the perspective of time the standards of character of the American people seem to have been moving steadily toward improving the lot of Man, and it must continue to be so, mainly through the efforts of people who believe in and practice high spiritual, and moral, religious values.


It is easy to get so wrapped up with our own problems at home that we sometimes forget that human problems around the world are often pretty much the same. At times in our history we have allowed ourselves the expensive luxury of bickering and quarreling among Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. Fortunately we have not permitted it to continue for any extended length of time or degree of severity. Something of the same struggle comes to us from Johannesburg, South Africa, where the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, speaking at an interracial conference of Protestant church leaders, warns his hearers that, in his words, “The church is confronted not so much by heathenism, as by a large growing and aggressive Moslem community.” He went on to express concern that the churches in the Commonwealth are mostly concerned about providing pastoral care for those already members of some Christian faith, and that they are little concerned in trying to spread belief in that faith among those who are at present non-Christians. One hopeful note was sounded in the plea made at the conference for all Christian faiths to explore the possibility of cooperation in spreading the Gospel as a means of both converting the heathen and of lessening denominational rivalry among the churches themselves.


A human problem of another kind, and one that is of concern both to individuals and the community is underscored by an article appearing this week in The Christian Science Monitor having to do with the barriers an ex-prisoner faces when he has paid his debt to society and is released from prison. A tape-recorded voice of an anonymous parolee in Boston described these barriers to the Massachusetts Conference of Social Work meeting in that city. From his own experience, this voice describes what happened. First, there is the legal bar, prohibiting him from employment in a variety of fields. Many employers will not hire him also because of their uneasiness about a man with a record. Then there is the bar of ignorance, the fact that the parolee simply lacks education or training for a trade. But, significantly enough, this ex-prisoner emphasizes that the most difficult bar of all is the one that persistently labels him with the stigma of being an ex-convict.

This voice made no plea for the former prisoner who is insincere about reformation. “It is,” he says, “up to the prisoner to prove his case.” But in a Christian community, he added, “forgiveness is our mode of life … to forgive is the challenge the community faces.” All of us can understand the attitude of the community on the one hand, and the need, often the desperate need, of the released prisoner on the other. To continue to discriminate against those who have committed crimes long after they have paid their penalty to society is going beyond both the letter and the spirit of the laws enacted by that society as punishment. This reporter has no answer to the problem, but he has a question: “What is your (own) answer to it?”


A spokesman for the YWCA has made an interesting report to that organization upon the increasingly important role that women the world over are playing in everyday affairs. Mrs. Elizabeth Luce Moore, chairman of the organization’s foreign division has just returned form a visit to such far-flung places as Japan, Philippines, Egypt, Italy, Thailand, Burma, Hong Kong, and others. On this trip, she consulted war widows, factory workers, and women leaders.

She calls it an exciting story, what these women are doing for themselves and for their community, as they emerge from colonialism, social as well as political. But, in these countries, she warns, communist propaganda is on every newsstand, and in it America is depicted as a nation of military aggressors. She calls what the communists are doing a program that “is insidiously and devilishly conceived, and we’ve got to find a program to counteract it.” She urged wider use of such films as “Atoms for Peace,” which she said had proved so informative to audiences, both male and female, in Italy. Japanese women, she says, are disturbed about the threat of the H-bomb, and need education as to what Americans can do and are trying to do to bring about a peaceful world. People in arid lands are eager to know how atomic power can get them water they need or get salt out of the water they have.

She emphasizes the important work colleges and universities are doing in these lands toward developing community leaders from among their own number, and she stresses the important role the United States can play in helping them provide the training they need for bringing improved methods of community living to backward places. Women in these countries, she is convinced, are eager to learn ways and means of making their newly found freedoms count most toward improving their levels of living. Some of their greatest needs are simple to us, but to them they mean the difference between well-being and want. Such things as getting a well dug, keeping children clean, persuading the elders of the village to cooperate in using the best of the new ways while retaining the valuable ones of the old. These, she concludes, “are worthwhile incentives the women are discovering.”

Several years ago, the U.S embarked on the so-called Point Four program of bringing our own technical knowledge to the aid of backward countries. This program, unfortunately, became embroiled in political partisanship, but there is considerable evidence to indicate that an American health expert, working in an advisory capacity, to help the people of an Indonesian community improve its water supply can bring us more good will than a million dollars of aid doled out for military preparations. This is a point we well might keep in mind as we are called upon as citizens to express our opinion, and vote, with reference to foreign aid.

December 5, 1954

This is “Religion in the News,” a program of non-sectarian comment on current items of religious significance.

It is the viewpoint of this program that the man of religion is rightly concerned about doctrines and creed. It is also recognized that these doctrines and creeds must be practiced in a secular world, a world in which many events and circumstances that are not within themselves primarily religious in nature, do have implications for the spiritual welfare of human beings, both as individuals and as groups practicing their religious beliefs. Hence, an effort is made to stress what appears to this reporter to be the meaning of the news in terms of its religious significance, and without regard to denomination or creed.

In line with this viewpoint, there is significance in an article appearing this week entitled “Christian Japan, Hope of Asia,” by Francis R. Sayre, American diplomat and former chairman of the U.N. Trusteeship Council, who has recently returned from Japan, and who knows the country well. He points out that while the totalitarian forces that drove Japan into becoming a military camp are beaten today, they could rise again. He is acutely conscious of the fact that Japan could succumb to communist propaganda daily poured into the islands from Russian broadcasting stations not far away.

Due to its strategic location and to its potential strength as an ally or as an enemy, Mr. Sayre stresses that Japan is one of the most critical spots in the world. Concepts of democracy and human freedom are knocking at Japan’s gates and demanding revolutionary changes in her thinking and ways of life as well as her international objectives, but he also reminds us that Christianity in Japan has had an unhappy past. For over 200 years the practice of Christianity there was a capital offense. Today only a small fringe of the Japanese are Christian, less than 400,000 out of some 87 million. He asks the provocative question, “Can the Japanese be brought before it is too late to understand and believe in the great teachings of Christ?” This, in his opinion, is the supreme question in the Asia of our generation.

One of the most effective ways to bring this about, he goes on, is to impart Christian concepts into the growing students. To aid in this task some years ago men of high visions founded in Japan the International Christian University, which now has some 350 students from Japan, China, India, Korea, Siam, and the United States. Unlike most other Japanese universities, it is building a dormitory system for both students and faculty, where the two can live and study and work together. Denominationalism and sectarianism have no place there on the campus. The curriculum is built on the humanities, and the objective is a search for truth, based upon the reality of human brotherhood. The particular aim is to prepare men and women for teaching, for government service, and for social work programs. All faculty members and students try to be faithful followers of Christ as each understands the meaning of Christianity.


On Thanksgiving Day, in Lakeville, Connecticut, American Protestantism lost one of its greatest leaders, with the death of Henry Sloane Coffin. Throughout his life of 77 years, Dr. Coffin sought the truth with all the fervor of his Presbyterian conviction. A graduate of Yale and Union Theological Seminary, he became president of the latter in 1926. From the pulpit, platform, or college presidency he preached his convictions with a brilliance and wit seldom matched by anyone.

He was a liberal in the broadest sense of the term, and to him, being a liberal meant championing the right of very man to think what he would, a right that unfortunately finds all too few champions in America today. Some of the causes he championed were looked upon in his day as revolutionary; some of them are so considered by men of small minds today. In his Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, he abolished the practice of rented pews and merged into one this church and a chapel nearby that was maintained for poor people who could not afford to pay rent for pews. He was instrumental in seeing that a Negro was elected to the Seminary’s governing board in 1942, the first major institution of its kind to do so; he tried to heal the breach between the northern and southern wings of his church; he advocated labor legislation to protect the worker; opposed prohibition, though personally he was a teetotaler; urged women entry into the ministry; advocated euthanasia; and was a pillar of support of the ecumenical movement toward world church cooperation; and he blasted the political tactics of Sen. McCarthy with characteristic vigor.

Perhaps the best summary of his philosophy and life work is summed up in his inaugural address at Union Theological Seminary in 1926 when he said “The minister who would make worship appealing and enlarging to others must be himself a man of prayer.… He must acquire the art … of expressing the longings and gratitudes and pertinences of a group of folk feeling after a wiser and a better than themselves, and the art of affirming and making real the self-sufficiency of God.” Those who knew him attest that he mastered that art in an amazing and brilliant degree.


This week, messages of sympathy and prayer poured into Vatican City from all over the world concerning the serious illness of Pope Pius XII. President Eisenhower and the National Council of Churches were among those sending messages. Prayers were offered in the Vatican and by Catholics around the world for the 78-year-old pontiff. The Council of Churches stood for a minute of silent prayer and unanimously approved a message that the organization “prays almighty God that his healing grace may sustain Pope Pius in his hour of suffering.”

[The prayers of millions of Roman Catholics around the world appear to have been answered tonight.… The Vatican reports that Pope Pius, their spiritual leader, apparently is out of the crisis of his illness. The Vatican’s latest bulletin says the 78-year-old pontiff no longer is in immediate danger and is beginning to regain his strength through intravenous feeding of proteins. The announcement says it is hoped that the pope’s rally from his near-fatal collapse will permit him to say a few words over the Vatican Radio Sunday with the St. Peter’s ceremony of the beatification of Italian Benedictine Father, Placido Riccardi.]


The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. held its meeting this past week in Boston, representing some 30 Protestant and Orthodox denominations. Dr. Eugene Carson Blake of Philadelphia has been named the third president of this organization, succeeding Methodist Bishop William Martin of Dallas. Dr. Blake is a Presbyterian.

The council ended its meeting with two spokesman emphasizing that Protestant churches are being challenged by dangerous moral conditions in society. This statement, issued jointly by the Reverends Roy Ross, general secretary, and Roswell Barnes, associate general secretary, both of New York, said, “Juvenile delinquency, racketeering and violence, alcoholism, narcotic addiction, and corruption in public affairs are all increasing and are widespread.”

A key report made to the assembly earlier in its conference meeting directed the assembly’s attention to ways and means of making its potentially huge power felt. This report pointed to the fact that while the institutional strength of the church has grown rapidly in recent years, it is doubtful if this growth in numbers has been accompanied by a comparable growth in spiritual influence. It went on to explore new means of reinforcing the fraternity of faith.

“When we consider how little it costs to be counted among the church members in our country, we are troubled,” the report said. “The average church member is not conspicuously different from the average nonmember. The average church is so much conformed to the world that people are surprised if it sharply challenges the prevailing behavior of the community,” the 6,500 word document on the state of the church continued.


Last week I reported on the growing friction between the Catholic Church and the government of Argentina. From Buenos Aires some news that another development has taken place this week in the conflict between the church and state there. The government has abolished the National Department of Religious Education, the Inspectorate General of Religious Education, and the National Committee of Culture. Their duties henceforth will be taken by the Ministry of Education.


Leaders of many denominations hailed this week the appearance of the fourth and final volume of a series, The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers, a monumental work of research involving twenty years of time and the history of divine prophecy. The originator and director of the work, Dr. Leroy Edwin from Washington, said its purpose is to discover the progressive development of prophetic exposition that constitutes the historic precedents for the Adventist belief in prophecy. This task began in 1933 and has cost more than $100,000 to complete. The first three volumes of this work have already become reference works in more than 1,000 libraries, including that of the Vatican in Rome.


In New York, a group of social scientists has been told that interest in the Jewish religion grows with the degree of Americanization. In addition, the Jewish religious ceremonies most strongly preserved are the joyous ones, which do not require a high degree of isolation from non-Jews. This statement was made at the Tercentenary Conference of American Jewish Sociology. At the same time the conference was meeting, the 300th anniversary of Jewish settlement in America was continuing in Philadelphia.


At a meeting with a group of publicity men in New York this week, a minister emphasized that religious faith is necessary to good public relations, but that it should not be confused with clever salesmanship. Dr. Ralph W. Sockman, of Christ Church Methodist on Park Avenue, told the Public Relations Society of America’s annual conference that people should stop talking about selling religion. “Religion,” he says, “is not a commodity to be sold but a faith to be shared.”

And to that, I am sure, most of us would add a fervent “Amen.” One of the apparent trends in some quarters in recent years (at least, it appears so often that it seems to be a trend with some people) is to assume that a religious cloak is indisputable proof of good standing as a citizen. Certainly it is not the wish nor the role of this reporter to doubt the sincerity of the faith of anyone. But to have men high in public life make statements that imply if they do not say that one can be a good citizen only if he is a good Christian is to confuse the things that belong to Caesar with those that belong to God. As observed in this program before, there are thousands of patriotic but unbelieving citizens, while it is not unheard of that many who do profess belief are found by the processes of the law not to be good citizens.

Religion as a philosophy and a way of life needs no clever salesmanship, nor should it be used as a cloak behind which to sell other goods having no relationship to religion.