By Gerald L. Sittser
In A wary Patriotism, Gerald Sittser examines the problems raised by way of global battle II in mild of the reactions they provoked between Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Unitarians, and contributors of different Christian denominations. As Sittser demonstrates, non secular issues performed an element within the debate over American access into the warfare and persisted to resurface over problems with mobilization, army chaplaincy, civil rights, the internment of jap americans, Jewish ache, the shedding of the atomic bomb, and postwar making plans. finally, Sittser says, the church buildings' habit in the course of international struggle II performed a key function within the resurgence they skilled within the wake of the battle.
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It told them of what in fact did happen when they sold their faith down the river of popularity and were swept away by the currents of war hysteria. Abrams did not hesitate to name names and quote sermons. Many leading Protestant clergy, such as Harry Emerson Fosdick, were pilloried before the public. They felt shame, but they also found courage. Abrams's book filled them with resolve. " became the battle cry. Postwar developments like the treaty of Versailles buttressed the clergy's determination to make sure it would not happen again.
Some churches provided support for orphaned missions, others for Jewish refugees, and still others for prisoners of war. The churches were not always of one mind during the war. There was no shortage of tension and competition. That there was a basic unity of concern, a similarity of patriotic posture, is the thesis of this book. The cautious patriotism of the churches is the story that must be told. Page 15 A number of subplots will surface throughout this study. These will be mentioned but not explored exhaustively.
Jesus said that his followers should love their enemies and return good for evil. He taught that love and war are irreconcilable. Did Christians, then, really have a choice? Surely nonresistancethe way of lovewas morally superior to violencethe way of hate. Assuming, as many did before World War II began, that war was ultimate evil, worse even than totalitarianism, Christians could have avowed that the Christian faith requires absolute repudiation of violence, nationalism, hate, revenge, retaliation, even defense against attack.