A Cautious Patriotism: The American Churches & the Second by Gerald L. Sittser

By Gerald L. Sittser

In A wary Patriotism, Gerald Sittser examines the problems raised via global battle II in gentle of the reactions they provoked between Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Unitarians, and participants of different Christian denominations. As Sittser demonstrates, spiritual issues performed a component within the debate over American access into the warfare and persisted to resurface over problems with mobilization, army chaplaincy, civil rights, the internment of eastern american citizens, Jewish ache, the losing of the atomic bomb, and postwar making plans. finally, Sittser says, the church buildings' habit in the course of global struggle II performed a key function within the resurgence they skilled within the wake of the struggle.

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Sample text

Finally, I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to the members of the religion and philosophy department at Whitworth College. This unusual collection of competent, kind, and loyal colleagues and friends shows me what the academy was meant to be. I dedicate this book to them with gratitude and respect. " Most people who lived through the Second World War drew a straight and clear line between the side that was right and the side that was wrong. Evidence was easy to come by. Germany and Japan were the guilty aggressors: totalitarian, expansionist, evil.

There were four possible answers to that question. First, they could conclude that totalitarianism had introduced a new element in the history of Western civilization and required a change of conviction. Second, they could reason that totalitarianism symbolized absolute evil and called for the declaration of a holy war. Third, they could identify the emergence of totalitarianism as the kind of apocalyptic event that made moral distinctions irrelevant. Fourth, they could believe that totalitarianism was the source of a new temptation that required Christians to remain strong, true, and unbending.

The Washington Conference was only one of several international meetings at which the issue of disarmaments was discussed. That the churches showed such strong interest revealed the general sentiment within the churches that, because war was considered morally reprehensible, the nations were obligated to rid themselves of the weapons of war. Many voices within the church urged drastic reduction of armaments and protested any political decision that betrayed a militarist mind-set. There were exceptions, of course, particularly in the South.

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