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

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By Gerald L. Sittser

In A wary Patriotism, Gerald Sittser examines the problems raised by way of international conflict II in mild of the reactions they provoked between Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Unitarians, and contributors of alternative Christian denominations. As Sittser demonstrates, non secular issues performed a component within the debate over American access into the struggle and endured to resurface over problems with mobilization, army chaplaincy, civil rights, the internment of jap american citizens, Jewish pain, the shedding of the atomic bomb, and postwar making plans. eventually, 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 conflict.

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18 The war was not ultimately a military conflict to be won by superior military power, nor was it a political conflict to be won by a superior system of government. It was a spiritual conflict that called for a resurgence of religion. The war was the church's opportunity to increase its influence in world affairs. Church leaders were confident that the church would rise to the occasion. "19 How the churches expressed this cautious patriotism varied from issue to issue and from event to event.

Though the Senate was reluctant to ratify it, the Protestant churches were not reluctant to urge its ratification. Again, church bodies endorsed the idea of a World Court, and religious organizations like the Church Peace Union and the World Alliance for International Friendship conducted a campaign to arouse popular interest. The churches appeared to give their most enthusiastic approval to the Pact of Paris, which was signed by fifty-nine nations, including the United States, on August 27, 1928 and approved by the Senate on January 15, 1929.

With olive branch in hand and dove on shoulder, they marched into the 1930s with an antiwar conviction as strong as they assumed their "holy crusade" during World War I had been wrong. They were ready for anything. Then came Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, Franco, and Hirohito. With them the real battle began. No one had anticipatedno one could have imagined the brutality and fanaticism of these totalitarian rulers. The invasion of Manchuria and Ethiopia, the civil war in Spain, the pogroms in Russia, and the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia were evidence enough to convince anyone that Western civilization was facing a new threat.

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