Paul R Dienstberger
Retired School Teacher
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Ashland, Oh 44805
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Nation of Christians

by Paul R Dienstberger
Copyright 2000 Paul R. Dienstberger


Table of Contents Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Chapter 9 The Search for Renewal

  • I. The Roaring Twenties
  • II. The Postwar Church & The Twenties
  • III. Education and The Scopes Monkey Trial
  • IV. The Modernist-Fundamentalist Debate
  • V. A Wealth of Ideas
  • VI. The Mass Media & the Radio Preachers
  • VII The American Catholic Church
  • VIII The Great Depression
  • IX. New Old Time Religion
  • X. World War Two
  • I. The Roaring Twenties:

    After The Great War America made a dramatic departure from her historical code of conduct. World War One left the nation disillusioned about world responsibility and making it safe for democracy. The war destroyed the optimistic adage that mankind was getting better and that good was triumphing over evil. Many Americans preferred to look inward and away from Europe, and they liked the sound of returning to normalcy. The biggest change was the new morality as seen in the "Jazz Age" or "Roaring Twenties." Frederick Lewis Allen in Only Yesterday called it "The Revolution in Manners and Morals."

    The doughboys experienced the European morality, and they liked Freud's theories on inhibitions and sexual repressions. The new freedoms or rather temptations on sex enticed many American males. Cigarette smoking was considered "sheik." When the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act were passed, prohibition was looked at with disdain and was deliberately disobeyed. Men flaunted the new freedoms by carrying gin-filled flasks on their hip.

    Even more drastic was the behavior of women. The flapper became the model for womanhood. She bobbed her hair, raised her skirtline above the knee, painted her lips, rouged her cheeks, smoked, and drank. She even visited the speakeasies without a male escort. One-piece bathing suits, low cut dresses, and semi-nudity appeared. As modesty and "ladylike behavior" decreased, "petting parties" became the rage among high school and college age students. When it spread to the adults, marriage and fidelity came under attack. The divorce rate increased five-fold over the 60 years since the Civil War. The rate doubled during the 1920's to the second highest in the world and the majority of divorces were initiated by women.

    Both sexes were wooed by the pleasure seeking lifestyle of the era. The music and dancing changed, too. The syncopated rhythms of jazz and the lively dances like the Charleston fastened on the zesty theme "forget about tomorrow and live for the moment." Edna St. Vincent Millay conveyed the attitude best, "My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends- It gives a lovely light."

    Corresponding to that sensual lifestyle was the soaring scope of materialism. Consumerism, advertising, and affluence all appealed to the emotion that things might produce happiness. Speculation on the Stock Market and Florida real estate were the most prominent of the many get-rich-quick schemes of the times, and doing it without working. Easy credit fed the greed that everyone should enjoy the fruits of prosperity - a car, a radio, a refrigerator, and anything electrical. The old values of saving and frugality were abandoned, too.

    The revolution in morals, also, saw an increase in corruption. In government the Harding administration was exposed for several scandals. The most notable was the Teapot Dome, and for the first time a cabinet official Albert B. Fall was jailed. In baseball the infamous Black Sox scandal almost ruined the national pastime. The illegal liquor business and the gangland murders like the St. Valentine's Day Massacre were brazen examples of the growth in crime during the misnomer the Dry Decade. Gangsters like Al Capone even bragged that they bribed judges, the police, and public officials. By 1930 there were over 200,000 illegal speakeasies in the nation.

    Traditional ways were disappearing. The auto provided a new freedom of travel. The population was moving to the cities, and the prosperity was causing a distinct upward mobility to the middle and upper classes. "Keeping up with the Jones" was the popular social goal in many neighborhoods. Also, the idealized people of the past: thinkers, inventors, politicians, ministers, and the like were being replaced by new heroes from the movies and sports. Tom Mix was better known than the President, and Babe Ruth had a higher salary than the Chief Executive. Charles Lindbergh became the most famous hero of the decade. The public was so fascinated by the famous that tabloid magazines became a booming source of gossip about these stars. Hollywood, sex, and sports became obsessions in this decade.

    Even far more reaching was the position that modern man regarded himself in the light of science. Paul Johnson explained that after Einstein's theories on relativity were publicized, "At the beginning of the 1920's the belief began to circulate, for the first time at a popular level, that there were no longer any absolutes; of time and space, of good and evil, of knowledge, above all of value." In Johnson's Modern Times he judged that "the public response to relativity was one of the principal formative influences on the course of twentieth-century history. It formed a knife, inadvertently wielded by its author, to help cut society adrift from its traditional moorings in the faith and morals of Judeo-Christian culture." The new world of Darwin, Marx, Freud, and Einstein produced a "moral anarchy" where "all measurements of value were relative."

    Francis Schaeffer in his brilliant analysis of Western thought How Then Shall We Live explained the 20th Century dilemma of modern man without a personal God. He theorized that with Darwinism "all things, including man, are merely the product of chance." Consequently a breakdown occurs when the concept is accepted, and man becomes the starting point. Then, "Truth is in one's own head." The "fragmentation" results in "no more definitive answers" and "no way to distinguish between right and wrong." He concluded that Biblical Christianity was losing its consensus in Western Europe particularly Germany after World War One, and the trend was moving toward America throughout the 20th Century.

    II. The Postwar Church and The Twenties:

    When the Armistice stopped the fighting, the American churches pursued the peace as fervently as they had supported the war. American clergymen endorsed the League of Nations by an estimated twenty to one ratio. In 1921 more than 20,000 clergymen petitioned President Harding to call for an international conference on disarmament. Before the nine nations met in Washington American churches set November 6th as a day of prayer for the delegates. When naval limitations were actually negotiated, many were convinced that the churches had prayed, preached, and lobbied until the Senate ratification was completed. Most denominations rejoiced over the Kellogg-Briand pact, which renounced war as "an instrument of national policy." The pacifist sentiments grew within the Protestant churches and not just from the Quakers and the peace churches.

    The first great peacetime endeavor was the Interchurch World Movement. John R. Mott called for "the Largest Voluntary Offering in History." The grand plan would unite all the benevolent and missionary agencies of American Protestantism into a single campaign for money, men, and spiritual revival. The goal was first 300 million dollars, then 500 million, and finally a billion dollars. William Adams Brown, a professor at Union Theological Seminary, called it "the religious counterpart to the League of Nations."

    However, the IWM fell apart when denominational cooperation collapsed. The Northern Baptists and Northern Presbyterians withdrew their support. Others feared a predominance of the Social Gospel priorities. As idealism waned, the de-emphasis on social issues and the institutional church undercut the movement. The IWM failed to meet even 15 percent of their expenses. Ahlstrom suggested that the hard sell and wartime crusade took a toll on their dream and the peacetime churches.

    The church was considered old fashion and restrictive. The Puritan Sabbath was coming to an end. It appeared that a spiritual vitality was missing, and the church was just maintaining its position in America. Even more unsettling was the loss in prestige of revival religion which in the past had been the celebrity of American Christianity.

    By the Twenties professional evangelism was under attack from within and outside the church. Bishop Joseph F. Berry of the Methodist-Episcopal Church (North) gave this critique in 1916. In his article "Criticisms of Present Day Evangelism" he listed six common objections: (1) the "two weeks of vitriolic attack upon ministers and church members" by the evangelist at the start of almost all such campaigns; (2) the exaltation of the role of the revivalist and the recognition given to supporting pastors; (3) "the present 'shake-my-hand' method" of dealing with inquirers which was "superficial and perilous"; (4) the overemphasis upon statistics and their misleading character; (5) the "vulgar display" of gifts presented to the revivalists by visiting delegations at each service; (6) the high pressure methods used to obtain a large free-will offering for the revivalist at the conclusion of the meetings.

    Most of the evangelists seemed guilty on certain points of the analysis. Billy Sunday was the most obvious culprit, since it was widely known that his free-will offerings in 1918 had totaled over a million dollars. Although the Midwest and the South continued the traditions of revivalism, the visitations were obviously losing ground. McLoughlin even said that revivalism became a "laughing stock." The loss of respect was particularly true among the intellectuals outside the church.

    Perhaps this shift transcended everything else for the church in the decade. For the first time in the history of American Christianity the intellectual and literary community held the church in contempt. Writers ridiculed and belittled religious people as hypocrites, yokels, Babbitts, and boobs. H.L. Mencken of the Baltimore Sun and the American Mercury was the most influential journalist of the decade. He criticized the Methodists and Baptists, the Rotarians and reformers, and marriage and patriotism. He claimed, "Protestantism is down with a wasting disease." His dislike for religion was so great that one biographer reported Mencken removed 58 Gideon Bibles from hotel rooms in 1922.

    Other sages on modern life rejected the Victorian and Christian ways of the past. Disillusioned by war the "Lost Generation" depicted the futility of life like the Hemingway "noda" approach. Sinclair Lewis's interpretation attacked the hypocrisies of the felonious clergyman Elmer Gantry and the inadequacies of the common life in Main Street. In 1922 the U.S. Post Office destroyed 500 copies of James Joyce's Ulysses because of obscenities. Their version of mankind promoted a Bohemian lifestyle like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Margaret Sanger, and it accepted a mind set of skepticism, cynicism, and pessimism.

    Frederick Lewis Allen is his informal history of the 1920's said, "The prestige of science was colossal." and "Of all the sciences it was the youngest and least scientific which most captivated the general public and had the most disintegrating effect upon religious faith. Psychology was had only to read the newspapers to be told with complete assurance that psychology held the key to the problems of waywardness, divorce, and crime."

    He, also, pointed out that we are taught, "our behavior depends largely upon chromosomes and ductless glands...that sex is the most important thing in life, that inhibitions are not to be tolerated, that sin is an out-of-date term, that most untoward behavior is the result of some complexes acquired at an early age, and that men and women are mere bundles of behavior-patterns, anyhow."

    Once again prophets foresaw the decline Christianity. This time it was pitted against science, intellectualism, and the flow of culture. Nevertheless, church statistics showed that church membership and church wealth were just keeping pace with the population growth. Although there were no reliable figures on church attendance, it was widely accepted that the nominal members found other things to do on Sunday with the automobile and amusements. Regular attenders were on the decline, and churches, especially Protestant, were closing.

    The First World War and its consequences hindered world missions for years afterward. The worldwide epidemic of Spanish Flu resulted in a mistrust of immigrants throughout the globe. Nations began restricting immigration like the Quota System in the US. While Wilson's Fourteen Points called for self determination of nations, colonialism still continued. An even greater fear came from the Bolshevik goal of world communism. The Red Scare in the US heightened the xenophobia of the Twenties. To further complicate matters the violence of the mail bombings, the Palmer raids, the radicals in the IWW, and the Sacco-Vanzetti case added to the hysteria over foreigners and aliens.

    Although the United States had over a hundred ethnic groups and had historically boasted of being the great melting pot, race prejudice increased with the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1915 Colonel William J. Simmons, a camp meeting convert and sometimes preacher, restored the white supremacy, anti-Negro aim and added to their intolerance cause the Catholics, Jews, radicals, and foreigners. Unfortunately many of the almost five million members came from the Protestant churches and some of the pastors joined the cause. The Klan's political power was evidenced by their intimidation at the 1924 Democratic Convention and their 1925 march in Washington DC in full regalia down Pennsylvania Avenue. The most disheartening impact of the Klan's resurgence was the hundreds of lynching and racial incidents, however the KKK declined when the Grand Dragon was convicted of murder in 1925.

    During this time there was a disturbing loss of interest in foreign missions among students. Those, who expressed an intention toward foreign missions service, declined from 2,700 in 1920 to a mere 252 in 1928. Kenneth Latourette pointed out, "A generation ago ..foreign missions was considered the best way of expressing the fullest commitment to the Christian life." However, the prewar idealism of foreign missions was disappearing and, "Now goes into the cause of world peace or social and economic reorganization."

    Mission's boards, also, reported a downward trend in offerings for missions. Latourette reasoned that one factor for the lost in contributions was rise in new taxes. He said that the expansion of federal tax revenues was "making it increasingly difficult for the budgets of philanthropic and religious organizations." Another factor was new buildings.

    The easy money of the twenties made possible the tremendous building programs which William Sweet called "the most beautiful and costly churches at any time in our history." The value of these buildings doubled between 1916 and 1926 to a worth of $1,676,600,582. Gothic was the most popular style of architecture, and it was used in the great chapels at Princeton, the University of Chicago, and Duke University. As a result, church budgets faced higher mortgage and interest payments, and additional staff and maintenance costs, and new promotional "drives" to fund missions and local programs.

    The stately new edifices made a direct impact on the conduct of the worship. A more formal service occurred complete with pastors in pulpit gowns and choirs in befitting robes, while the processional and recessional returned to the modern Protestant ceremony. Some of the past music like the hymns, responses, and canticles were restored to make the services more worshipful. The atmosphere in the sanctuary kindled the urge for the congregation to dress up for the service. The Protestant church was inspired to recover the traditional art and the ancient symbols of past generations. Another change was the increase use of religious drama which had a growing appeal with young people and the American public. American Christianity was enhanced by these developments.

    III. Education and The Scopes Monkey Trial:

    The American education system in the early part of the 20th Century faced a prodigious increase in students. New pupils came from the families of immigrants and from the labor force. When child labor laws, in effect, mandated universal compulsory schooling through the elementary grades, kids were in classrooms rather than laboring in the mines and the sweatshops of earlier times. Plus the parental hope was for a brighter future for their children than they had. Thus the schools and the classrooms swelled.

    The scope of education dramatically expanded with the advent of psychology. New theories on the mind and how learning takes place introduced new teaching methods and testing procedures. John Dewey's progressive education was the most drastic change in pedagogy. His theory centered on the child's needs and potentials rather than the authoritarian classroom with a curriculum that met the needs of society and the precepts of the church.

    Dewey's philosophy dominated education by the 1920s. Dewey called for a practical system that would stimulate the thinking process and prepare the student for life in a democratic society. His critics perceived different results. His experimental philosophy was ever changing and never arriving at any truths. Any recent fad or new found theory was given a trial. Consequently, education was bombarded with every new idea. It was what Dave Breese called a struggle for "whatever the world thinks" recently or the "battle for the mind."

    The single idea that posed the first great battleground was the teaching of evolution. The issue was a double-edged controversy between science and religion and between the Modernists and the Fundamentalists. This generation was the first one to embrace science, evolution, and Darwin as superior to the Bible and the Genesis account of creation. To stem the tide 20 state legislatures introduced anti-evolutionary measures, but in only Southern five states did approval win. The most famous the Butler Act was passed in Tennessee in January of 1925. It made it illegal "to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man descended from a lower order of animals."

    At Robinson's drugstore in Dayton, Tennessee over lemon phosphates John T. Scopes, a 24-year biology teacher in his first year at Central High School, was persuaded by George Rappelyea, a mining engineer, to take part in a test case for the Butler Law. Little did they realize the publicity that would be drawn to the sleepy mountain town of 2,000. The 700-seat courtroom at the Rhea County courthouse became the site of a media circus

    It was dubbed the "Monkey Trial." It was the first American trial to be nationally broadcast on radio. Over 100 reporters sent two million words through the Western Union office that had to hire twenty-two operators for the event. H.L. Mencken, the sardonic journalist for the Baltimore Sun, was the most famous. To describe the region he coined the term the "Bible Belt." From the outset the press slanted its reports against religion and particularly the "narrow-minded" Fundamentalist position.

    The famous lawyers in the Scopes Trial attracted world-wide attention. For the defense the ACLU retained Clarence Darrow, an outspoken agnostic, who had just defended Leopold and Loeb. The Prosecutor was William Jennings Bryan, who was a candidate for the US Presidency three times. He was a well known Presbyterian and the author of a syndicated weekly column on the Bible. Both men were in their sixties and in the twilight of their careers.

    The immediate issue of the trial was whether Mr. Scopes violated the Butler Act by teaching evolution. He never denied it and 14-year old Howard Morgan testified that Scopes did teach Darwin's theory. For the Prosecutor Bryan he came to defend the Bible which was the theological fortress of the faith. He said, "My only purpose in coming to Dayton is to protect the word of God against the greatest atheist and agnostic in the United States."

    However, Darrow and the defense team argued for intellectual freedom. They saw no conflict "between evolution and Christianity." They approached evolution as scientifically valid, and appealed for tolerance, open-mindedness, and a frank, erudite discussion. The press hailed them as the heroes, and portrayed the Christians particularly the Fundamentalists as ignorant, narrow-minded, and intolerant. This biased view was especially fostered by the movie version of the trial Inherit The Wind which starred Spencer Tracy as Darrow.

    The most significant confrontation during the trial was when William Jennings Bryan took the stand for two-hours on the fifth day. Darrow questioned him on the literal interpretations of Jonah, Joshua, Eve, and Cain's wife. He, also, asked Bryan about the dates of the Flood, creation, and other religions. The cross-examination ended with the time issue of the 24-hour days of creation when sun wasn't created until the 4th day. Bryan was humiliated with his clumsy answers, and both men mocked each other's academic position. In the eyes of the American public the fundamentalist cause lost, and their image seemed that of intolerant bigots. They were disparagingly defined as "little fun, much damn, and absolutely no mentalism."

    In the end the jury deliberated for eight minutes and found Scopes guilty of a misdemeanor. He was fined $100. The Tennessee State Supreme Court eventually reversed the decision on a technicality, but the Butler Act remained on the books until 1967. Five years later while working as a geologist in Venezuela, John T. Scopes submitted to a Roman Catholic baptism and married a Catholic girl.

    In a post-trial discussion in the presence of the press Bryan asked Darrow, "If he believed in the immortality of the soul?" Darrow replied, " I have been searching for proof of this all my life...and I have never found any evidence of it." Five days after the trial was over William Jennings Bryan died in his sleep in Dayton, Tennessee.

    IV. Modernist-Fundamentalist Debate:

    The Scopes Trial was also seen as the showdown between the Fundamentalists and the Modernists. The debate over "inerrancy" had unsettled many of the Protestant General Conferences after 1910 when the Fundamentalist's papers were printed. It was estimated that five of every eight Protestant church members belonged to one of the two camps. For both sides they saw the other as "the enemy" within the camp or that is the church. When the Monkey trial was over, the Modernists relished the Fundamentalists demise at Dayton, but the whole affair did little good for either side.

    Edwin Gaustad made a friendly characterization of each side by writing that fundamentalism was an honorable defense of Christian revelation, the supernatural realm, and the faith "once delivered unto the saints," while modernism was an honorable offense relating Christianity to the newest discoveries of science and the newest needs of society

    The Modernists, also, suffered through the unwanted publicity of the trial of Harry Emerson Fosdick. When he was called to the First Presbyterian Church of New York City, he remained a Baptist, and, he, also, stayed at Union Theological Seminary. After his 1922 sermon "Shall The Fundamentalists Win?" the Philadelphia Presbytery attempted to bring him up for heresy. Rather than remaining a Presbyterian Dr. Fosdick accepted the call of the Riverside Baptist Church of New York. When Fosdick's most famous laymen John D. Rockefeller built a new church at Morningside Heights, the Cross was noticeably absent in the structure. Dr. Fosdick remained the most influential Protestant preacher and spokesman for the Modernists in his generation.

    The infallibility controversy was the central agenda at the Baptist and Presbyterian conventions between 1916 to the mid-20s. The Baptists lacked the policies for heresy trials so the extreme Fundamentalist position was usually defeated. One Baptist Shailer Mathews wrote The Faith of Modernism in 1924, which was the most widely distributed book promoting modernism. But, another Baptist John Roach Straton defended fundamentalism in a series of debates in 1923-24. Straton was the pastor at NYC's Calvary Baptist Church until his death in 1929. He was known for his fight for the social reforms of the urban problems like prohibition, prostitution, and poverty. Straton voiced his protests over the radio, in the newspaper, and even on the streets from an automobile.

    Meanwhile, the articulate Presbyterian leader John Gresham Machen of Princeton Theological Seminary was the most notable defender of the church's historical conservative theology. He argued that liberalism was a different religion and that modernists should be forced out of the churches. He left Princeton with fifty students in 1929 and founded Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. After he objected to the foreign missions policies that emphasized medical and social work rather than saving souls, he was suspended from the Presbyterian ministry in 1935. He then founded the Presbyterian Church of America a year before he died in 1937. As the modernist-fundamentalist battle swirled around the issues of scholarship, science, and social needs, the struggle collided at other centers of learning, too. Unfortunately, many seminaries from the old line denominations: Congregational, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Disciples, Episcopal - succumbed to the religious liberalism of the day. The Fundamentalists responded by founding alternative Bible institutes and schools.

    President James M. Gray of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago regularly invited fundamentalists to speak at his school. He trained his students with a steady diet of arguments against the liberal theology. He was one of the first conservatives to respond to Dr. Fosdick's 1922 sermon. Gray's dispensational approach emphasized the times before the Second Coming of Christ. Gray died in 1935 after serving the Chicago school for 31 years.

    Meanwhile, the Methodists and Southern Baptists were not caught up in the debate. They each had men who defended their traditional faith. John Alfred Faulker was schooled in Germany by the modern theologians, but he returned the influence of his Wesleyan roots because of his personal experiences and personal Bible studies. Edgar Youngs Mullins, President of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, wrote Christianity at the Crossroads in 1924. He, too, argued that personal experience was a valid witness to faith and to God's grace in an individual's Christian life.

    As the defenders of traditional Christianity answered the challenges to scripture and faith, they abandoned the term fundamentalists and referred to themselves as "Evangelicals." They still held to scriptural infallibility, but improved in their apologetics. They placed an increased emphasis on the need for a conversion experience, but they maintained the importance of the blood payment on the Cross for redemption. Also, their compassion increased for those with social needs.

    Eventually the term modernism gave way to "Liberalism." They continued to stress the importance of modern science and human reason. They, also, labored to improve society and to make contemporary life compatible with Christianity. Their message increasingly emphasized the love of God and the goodness of man. But, H. Richard Niebuhr defined their version of Christianity by saying, "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministration of Christ without a cross."

    The polarization between the two thoughts modernism and fundamentalism, also, widen over the issue of social concerns. The liberal lineage placed an increasing emphasis on the Social Gospel and saving society with good moral ethics. Their opinion on poverty was that it was a failure of society and not a personal downfall from the individual. On the other hand the fundamentalists or conservative line began to withdraw from activism in social concerns. Their pietistic and holiness persuasion called for a separation from evil. So consequently they avoided social concerns unless it meant the saving of souls which would result in changing society. Evangelical historian Timothy Smith called the switch "The Great Reversal." Sydney Ahlstrom called the tension, "the most fundamental controversy to wrack the churches since the time of the Reformation."

    V. A Wealth of Ideas:

    The Twenties had a plethora of ideas especially when the preface used terms like modern, scientific, psychological, inhibition, freedom, culture, the arts, and business. Their hyperbole was described by such designations as a fad, the craze, ballyhoo, and the like. Frederick Allen assessed the overstatements by writing, there was a "contagious excitement...and ..emotional interest upon tremendous trifles."

    In 1923 Frenchman Emile Cour drew nationwide attention on his tour for positive thinking. His audiences were assured of better mental health by repeating daily the phrase "Day by day in every way I am getting better and better."

    Frederick Allen pointed out that "the association of business with religion was one of the most significant phenomena of the day." National conventions of businessmen scheduled times for prayer at prominent churches. Spiritual principles and Bible stories were woven in their methods and their advertisements. The Metropolitan Insurance Company circulated a pamphlet on Moses, Persuader of Men. It declared that "Moses was one of the greatest salesmen and real-estate promoters that ever lived."

    While it is the opinion of some historians that the material success creates an indifference to spiritual life, business and the Bible were so compatible that the most popular book of the decade was The Man Nobody Knows. Bruce Barton, an advertising executive, portrayed Jesus as the a superior businessman and salesman. He wrote that Jesus "picked up twelve men from the bottom ranks of business and forged them into an organization that conquered the world." He called Jesus "the founder of modern business." In 1925-26 Barton's book was the best selling non-fiction book in the country.

    In 1925 Dr. Russell H. Conwell died after giving his sermon "Acres of Diamonds" over six thousand times. Millions had heard his philosophy that "being rich and being good" were synonymous. His theme was clear that people had a moral responsibility to become rich, and that people were poor because of their own shortcomings and sins.

    In previous generations philanthropy was the exclusive status of the rich. However, the prosperity of the 20s enabled the middle-class to use their time and money for the good of mankind. Every city and town witnessed a tremendous increase in booster clubs and service organizations. The Rotary was the most famous, and it served in 44 countries by 1930. The Kiwanis club grew from 205 in 1920 to 1,800 clubs by 1929. The Lions club reached 1200 by the end of the decade. At their weekly meetings business and professional people spoke on building, dreaming, and doing great things to serve humanity.

    Henry Ford, whose company produced half of the cars in the world, pursued a different approach. He promoted his ideas in the Dearborn Independent, a paper which was distributed to every Ford dealer in the nation. His anti-Semitic attacks accused the Jews of plotting to control the world, and he blamed them for almost every American affliction, including low farm prices, high rents, jazz, gambling, drunkenness, loose morals, and even short skirts. Prejudice against the Jews spread across the country in a series of anti-Semitic incidents. In Germany Hitler was photographed displaying reprints of the Independent.

    In a decade of ballyhoo the biggest hullabaloo was the lone New York-to-Paris flyer Charles A. Lindbergh. The entire nation knew he was over the Atlantic and they were united in their hope for his success. Perhaps nothing demonstrated the emotions in America more than Yankee Stadium on the night of May 20th. Forty thousand hardy spectators at a boxing match were asked to stand, bow their heads, and pray for Lindbergh over the Atlantic. It was said that the silence was "impressive." Even Lindbergh petitioned the divine the next night with his landing prayer at Le Bourget field, when he cried out, "Oh God, help me!"

    VI. The Mass Media and The Radio Preachers:

    The mass media increased in immense influence and authority during the 20s. The newspapers centralized more power and standardized more news. The chains had a central office in New York that supplied syndicated columns and featured articles on every topic for a national audience. The Hearst and Scripps-Howard system alone controlled 230 daily papers with a circulation of thirteen million. In other areas of publishing Readers Digest appeared in 1922, Time magazine began in 1923, and Book-of-the-Month Club was founded in 1926.

    The motion picture industry passed through the golden age of silent pictures. The release of the Biblical classics The Ten Commandments (1923) and The King of Kings (1927) won approval from church groups. However, the sensational use of sex led to widespread criticism of the moral themes from the films and Hollywood. The film producers hired Will H. Hays to satisfy the demand for censorship. When the Catholic League of Decency began to condemn films in 1934, public pressure increased to restrict the sex and violence in films as "objectionable" categories.

    The technology that made the biggest change in American's daily habits was radio broadcasting. The first broadcast was the Presidential election returns in November, 1920 from KDKA in Pittsburgh. The radio became a national craze by 1922. Within five years there were 600 stations in the nation and by the end of the decade every third home in America had a radio. Programs included the news, music, sports, church services, dramatic serials, and the most popular was the soap-opera for housewives.

    Immediately the churches saw the power of the new medium for influencing and shaping public opinion. Within a month Calvary Episcopal Church broadcast their worship service over KDKA. The Federal Council of Churches of Christ which represented 25 denominations urged the local churches to cooperate in interdenominational broadcasts. By 1923 Frank C. Goodman developed three weekly religious programs for the New York City area. The next year the FCCC began "The National Radio Pulpit" with Dr. S. Parkes Cadman preaching over station WEAF from New York City. In 1926 the station became NBC and the program became the first network Protestant program. Harry E. Fosdick, Ralph Sockman, and David H.C. Read, also, preached from "The Pulpit." The sermon was the overwhelming format for most religious programs until 1950.

    The first successful radio preacher from a denomination was Dr. Walter A. Maier for the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. He began preaching from his attic in St. Louis in 1924. In 1930 his program went on CBS and became known as "The Lutheran Hour." He was coached by Brace Beemer, the radio voice of the Lone Ranger. He proclaimed the strictness of God's law and the tenderness of His grace. Eventually Dr. Maier preached over 1,200 stations to 20 million people in 36 languages. When he died in 1950, it was said, "more people had heard him preach than any other person in history."

    Perhaps, the most memorable of all the media preachers was Bishop Fulton John Sheen. From 1930 to 1952 Bishop Sheen was on radio with the "Catholic Hour." During the same period he preached at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. His television program "Life is Worth Living" was seen by an estimated 30 million people weekly from 1951 to 1957. He wrote over 70 books and numerous newspaper columns. His style was lecturing without notes, but with tremendous self-confidence. He was a worldwide hero. His popularity was considered the equal of Edward R. Murrow on radio and Ed Sullivan on television.

    The radio evangelist, who had the most fame and awe of the 1920s, was Aimee Semple McPherson. Her Pentecostal ministry proclaimed many spectacular "acts of God" including conversions, healings, and other miracles. Her preaching was referred to as "living sermons" because she expected souls to be saved and bodies to be healed.

    She born in Canada and converted under ministry of Robert Semple, whom she married in 1908. They went to Hong Kong as missionaries where he died of malaria in 1910. She returned to the US and married Harold McPherson in 1912. She left him and devoted her life to preaching and faith healing at camp meetings up and down the eastern seaboard. In every community she rented the largest hall and filled it every night. After the Denver campaign with nightly crowds of 12,000, she moved to California.

    In Los Angeles her fame and her wealth increased, and she built the $1.5 Angelus Temple in 1923. It was the largest unsupported dome in the US and seated 5,300. Aimee preached every night and three times on Sunday. The attendance reached 50,000 per week and offerings averaged $10,000 per service. Within a year she was broadcasting nationwide from the twin 250-foot towers that symbolized hands outstretched toward God. In 1925 she entered a float of the Angelus Temple in the Rose Bowl Parade. The crowds were thrilled as the gospel message was broadcast from the float. The float even won the Sweepstakes Trophy.

    For over twenty years her radio messages soothed the listeners with the splashing waters of the newly baptized, and the joyful cries of the miraculously healed. Aimee coaxed the radio listeners to kneel at home before the Cross and trust Jesus for their sins. She preached that the gospel was Christ's four-fold ministry as Savior, Baptizer, Healer, and Coming King, consequently, it was called "foursquare." In 1927 she founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

    She was not without controversy. In 1921 she divorced McPherson, and married her third husband David Hutton in 1931. In 1926 she was presumed dead by drowning at a bathing beach, but five weeks later she reappeared with a story of kidnapping and ransom. A charge of perjury resulted in a trial, however, she was acquitted. Nevertheless, her reputation survived the storms, and the crowds never ceased. It was said that only World War Two took her off the front page. Aimee Semple Pherson died in 1944 and her writings were published posthumously in 1951.

    A Washington syndicated newspaper columnist said, "In a day of war..crime..greed ..violence, it is restful to hear an old-fashioned preacher preach old-time religion in the good old-fashioned way." He was talking about Charles E. Fuller of the "The Old Fashioned Revival Hour" which aired every Sunday night on the Mutual Broadcasting System until 1937 when it switched to CBS.

    Charles Fuller was a graduate of BIOLA and a Baptist preacher when he began a modest radio career. In 1928 he started the first of two broadcasts "The Pilgrim Hour" and "Heart to Heart Talks." In 1933 the "Old Fashioned Revival Hour" was born. His first broadcast came from Hollywood, California. Fuller's down-home, folksy style was very pleasing to conservative church people and the common man. He was the antithesis of Hollywood, and his theme song was "Jesus Saves." His wife Grace introduced the innovation of reading excerpts from listeners' letters on the air. By the 1940's the "Revival Hour" had a worldwide audience.

    Overall, the purpose of the radio preachers was to reach the shut-ins, the isolated, and the unchurched, but their main audience came from the church people. A partial indicator of their success was the number of letters received from a broadcast. Their main request was always for prayer support, but financial contributions became a necessity. In 1926 NBC connected their stations coast-to-coast, and religious programs were given free public service time. However, as other broadcasting companies came into existence and as some denominations requested equal time, broadcasters were forced to purchase air time. The "Revival Hour" handled their budget requirements by broadcasting Pastor Fuller's Sunday evening sermon live before several thousand worshippers with their church choir at the Municipal Auditorium in Long Beach.

    VII. American Catholic Church:

    From their earliest days the Catholics from Europe like the Protestants saw America as a land of opportunity and liberty. In Maryland they found a haven from religious persecution. In other colonies they found the chance for work and for land. In the new land the Catholics like the Protestants experienced a search and a struggle to find their identity as Americans, too.

    However, the Catholics regardless of their European roots, faced an immediate prejudice from the days of the Reformations, the monarchies, and the revolutions. The mainstream of America was Anglo-Saxon and Protestant. While anti-Catholicism was America's oldest prejudice, the memories of the Puritans, the Huguenots, the Quakers, and the Anabaptists could easily be jogged by Foxe's Book of Martyr's. But, the biggest threat in the Protestant mind was the Pope, who ruled Catholics everywhere. Was this "foreign prince" going to tell Protestant, democratic Americans what to do, too?

    In the first census of 1790 only one-percent of the four million Americans were Catholics. Only one Catholic had signed the Declaration of Independence Charles Carroll, the richest man in the colonies. The church had only one Catholic bishop John Carroll, and Georgetown, the first Catholic university, would be founded the next year in 1791.

    By 1815 there were 100 parishes with priests in America, but they existed primarily with European assistance. While many of the churches lacked a resident priest, their services and properties were controlled by lay trustees. The circumstance created the conclusion that the lay trustees had the power to appoint and even remove priests. A nationalistic controversy ensued particularly when French priests were appointed in German or Irish parishes. Stormy ecclesiastic-trustee struggles occurred in Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, and Charlestown. When the First Provincial Council met in Baltimore, in 1829, the hierarchy began to develop uniform procedures and policies of cooperation to solve their common problems. The bishops met seven times in Baltimore, America's oldest See, between 1829 to 1849, and they made some wise plans. Great leaders, also, helped the Catholic church adapt to the American society. One of the most outstanding was Bishop John England of Charleston, who articulated a balance of the Catholic way of government and the American democracy. He started the first Catholic newspaper in 1822, and was the editor until he died twenty years later. Elizabeth Seton, the first America-born canonized saint, founded a school for girls at Emmitsburg, Maryland. Roger B. Taney, a Supreme Court Chief Justice and a Catholic layman, attended the 1829 Baltimore meeting. He, also, served the church as a attorney. When the 1848 European revolutions for democracy and the potato famine in Ireland occurred, millions of Catholic immigrants flocked to America and swelled their population to over 3 million by 1860. Anti-Catholicism increased, too. The native-born Americans resisted with the "Know Nothings" and the signs "No Irish Need Apply." However, the new Americans, especially the Irish, took the lowest and the most dangerous jobs building canals, railroads, clearing swamps, and digging the mines.

    These sojourners in a strange land moved near their own nationality or even those from the same village. Many of the first generation had just a subsistent existence. For all Catholics the parish church was the center of the community. The Mass and Vespers were neighborhood gatherings. The Priest was an encourager and, in some cases, the enforcer of proper behavior. The immigrant was told to be a respectable citizen which meant work hard, care for their family, and give to the church. The local pub or grog shop was another popular meeting place.

    In 1852 over eighty Catholic prelates met in Baltimore for the First Plenary Council. Although the Catholic population was mostly Irish and German, the session was attended by only eight Irish-born and two German delegates. Over 50 delegates were of French-Belgium ancestry. They were striving for uniformity and unity. The bishops gave these directions to the American Catholics, "Obey the public authorities...Show your attachment to the institutions of our beloved country."

    One of the chief spokesman for American Catholicism was the Irish-born Archbishop John Hughes. He served New York City as the first Archbishop (1850-64) and started the construction of St. Patrick's Cathedral (1858-79). He was so widely respected that President Polk asked him to go on a diplomatic mission to Mexico during the war in 1847. He declined. When President Lincoln asked him to go to France as a diplomat during the Civil War, he accepted and urged France, Ireland, and Italy to remain neutral. He, also, helped quell the New York City draft riots in 1863. The Lincoln government in an unprecedented petition implored Pope Pius IX to make the Archbishop the first American Cardinal. Rome did not consider it the proper time to for such an appointment. Archbishop Hughes lived a life of love for his country and love of his faith until he died in 1864.

    Meanwhile a misunderstanding developed between the Roman Catholic Church and the American Catholic Church. Pope Pius IX, the longest reigning Pontiff (1846-78), twice experienced revolutions, which disrupted his papal power. From first hand encounters he developed his 1864 "Syllabus of Errors." It condemned modern life and political liberalism. He concluded that "democracy and Catholicism could not be reconciled."

    In the US several responses occurred. The term "Americanism" blossomed to define the pride that Catholics felt for their new homeland and their culture rather than the traditions of the old country in Europe. However, the American Protestants did not welcome their "brothers in Christ." The rift between the two churches was not only stretched, but it was ruptured further because the doctrine of a sinless Mary was issued (1854), and the infallibility of the Pope was decreed (1870). The Calvinists wagged their heads.

    Two converts to Catholicism Orestes Brownson and Isaac Hecker expressed how they rectified the Church and the American culture. Brownson professed Transcendentalism, Unitarianism, and a god of nature before his spiritual journey came to faith in Christ and the Catholic Church. He was an out-spoken defender of religion and politics. He wrote over twenty volumes on Catholic apologetics even defending Papal Infallibility.

    Isaac Hecker was their leading spokesman for Americanism. The Pope and some French priests wanted US parochial schools to preserve the native language and the culture of the immigrants. "Heckerism" proclaimed that Catholicism and the democratic ideals of personal liberty were compatible. He defended the Bill of Rights and the issue of separation of church and state, as an ideal environment for the growth of American Catholicism. He, also, founded the Paulist Fathers and established social services for the German speaking immigrants.

    The Vatican did reward the American Catholic Church in 1875 by appointing the well-liked, Archbishop of New York John McCloskey as the first American Cardinal. But for the immigrant and the second generation Irishman or German, Rome's chief expectation for an ordinary Catholic was an unquestioning faith and obedience to the church. The training of the young was left up to the parish priest because the parents were very busy earning a living in the new country.

    In 1884 the Vatican called the American hierarchy to the Third Plenary Council in Baltimore. Father McAvoy called it the "watershed or dividing line in the history of the Church in the United States." Archbishop James Gibbons, one of the most dramatic personalities in US Catholic history, presided over 12 committees and around 220 delegates. They represented the nearly eight million US Catholics, and they worked to write a uniform decree for all US Catholic Churches. The final document had 310 paragraphs.

    A great impetus was given to American religious education. The 6th Committee (Education) required every church to establish an elementary school within two years and all parents would be required to send their kids to the parochial school. If any church failed to comply, the pastor would be removed and the Bishop would reprimand the parish.

    Since so many priests were foreign-born and foreign-educated, a high priority was placed on a Catholic University for a graduate education. Bishops John L. Spalding of Baltimore and Bernard McQuaid of Rochester pleaded with the Council to start an American "University Education." In 1888 the cornerstone was laid for the Catholic University in Washington, DC.

    The Council, also, heard a memorable and patriotic sermon by Bishop John Ireland from St. Paul on liberty and a "just government." He was a naturalized US citizen, and he said, "I speak less as an American citizen than as a Catholic Bishop." He continued, "America is my country..I could not utter one syllable that would belie, however remotely, either Church or republic." He, also, said, "Republic of America, receive from me the tribute of my love and my loyalty...Thou bearest in thy hands the hopes of the human race, thy mission from God is to show to nations that men are capable of highest civil and political liberty." Eventually, he repeated the contents of the sermon in France and Rome.

    The optimism at the Council in Baltimore in 1884 continued as the Catholic Church and the immigrants assimilated into the US society and government. In 1886 James Gibbons, American-born and American-educated, became the second America Cardinal. When Leo XIII received a delegation of Gibbons, Spalding, Ireland, and Bishop John Keane from Richmond, he was persuaded to approved a Catholic University for the US. Bishop Keane was made the first rector. And finally, when the 1890 US census was taken, the Catholic Church had 6,231,417 members, which now was the largest in America and surpassed the Methodists for the first time.

    Although Rome had differences with America, the America Catholic Church continued to work out their own unique problems. In their parochial schools the Germans fought to keep their native language, while the Irish used English. The two, also, differed on the temperance controversy. The Germans opposed temperance, while the Irish saw drinking as a problem and they favored prohibition. Secret societies had historically been another problem. While the Masons had been anti-Catholic, the Church, also, had problems with their laity in the Molly Maguires, the violent, secret Irish labor group. In 1875 the Church threatened excommunication if any Catholic joined the notorious group. They wrote that the Mollies were "a disgrace to our religion, our country, and to Christ." In the growth of American labor unions the Irish Catholics played a major role and made up the largest portion of their membership. Terrance Powderly, a Catholic layman, was head of the Knights of Labor (1879-93). When President Teddy Roosevelt used arbitration to settle the 1902 Anthracite Coal Strike, he selected Bishop Spalding as a member of the negotiating commission. Nonetheless, the reputation for violence during the strikes plagued the unions and the Church laity during the 19th Century.

    The Catholic hierarchy in America welcomed the opportunity to participate in US events. Bishop Keane spoke to the National Education Association in 1889, and he was invited to lecture at Harvard the next year. Both were milestone for respect and ecumenism. The 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage presented a notable opportunity.

    At the Chicago World's Fair a Parliament of Religions was held in 1893, and Bishop Keane and Cardinal Gibbons were leaders. The Cardinal opened the session with a recitation of The Lord's Prayer in the Protestant version. Bishop Keane organized the Catholic Bishops, priests, professors, and laymen to speak during the Colombian Exposition (Sept. 11-18). Some leaders in the Church criticized them because Asian religions had been invited to participate at the Parliament, but the Catholic delegation was well received.

    A series of final events between 1893 and 1908 closed the tension between Rome and the United States over the issue of "Americanism." After Isaac Hecker's death in 1888, Father Walter Elliott wrote a much praised biography of the spiritual leader for the Americanists. Father Hecker was unique in that he was a convert to Catholicism, he had a vision to make America Catholic. He was, also, a social activist group, and his Paulists tried to carry it out. While most American Catholics came to the Church as immigrants, or by birth, and a few by marriage, Father Hecker hoped to persuade people about the attractions of Catholicism through the ideals of the American democracy. When his biography was translated into French, Father Hecker became internationally known, and a group of bishops including John Ireland made an appeal for "sainthood," but it failed.

    When Pope Leo XIII sent an Apostolic Delegate (Satolli) to the World's Fair, he was seen in the company with the Americanist's leaders Cardinal Gibbons, Bishops Ireland and Keane. When he spoke in the main hall, the delegate held the Book of Christian Truth in one hand and the US Constitution in the other, and he said, "Go forward." It appeared that the Vatican favored the American Catholic Church.

    In 1895 Pope Leo published the first and long awaited letter to the American Church. The encyclical, "Longinqua Oceani" praised the American bishops and the American Church. However, he warned that "it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for the State and the Church to be, as in America." However, later that year Monsignor Denis O'Connell, the Americanist's voice in Rome, was removed from his post at the American College in Rome. Then in 1896 Bishop Keane was replaced as rector of Catholic University.

    The issue was muted when the Maine was blown up in Havana harbor in 1898. Archbishop Ireland conferred with President McKinley, and urged the Pope to persuade Spain to accept an armistice. But the Spanish delayed and the US Congress declared war. Ireland's intervention was unsuccessful, and in the "Splendid Little War" the US quickly defeated Catholic Spain. Then in 1899, The Pope wrote another encyclical condemning the Americanists and labeling them as "modernists," who would have the Church join the ideals and morality of the contemporary society.

    The Americanist leaders continued to influence the conservative wing of the American Catholic Church for another two decades until their deaths between 1916-1927. Later in the 20th Century, Bishop John L. Spalding (1846-1916), Bishop of St. Paul John Ireland (1838-1918), Bishop of Richmond and rector of Catholic University John Keane (1839-1918), Cardinal James Gibbons (1834-1921), Bishop of Pittsburgh Michael O'Connell (1849-1927), and of course Isaac Hecker would be praised for their foresight and contributions to the Americanist movement.

    Probably, the biggest bearing on the American Catholic Church over these two decades was the demographic change made by the immigrants from Eastern Europe. In the 1890's the Irish had the most power, and the large German contingency wanted to be heard. But, the large influx of Italians, Hungarians, and Poles changed the makeup and the diversity of the Church. The only lasting schism in the American Catholic Church happened in 1907, when the Polish National Catholic Church was organized. It is estimated that of the 12,041,000 American Catholics at the turn of the Century a large percentage of them were first generation Americans.

    Finally, in 1908 Pope Pius X ended the mission status of the American Church. The American Catholic Church, which had shown little interest in preaching the Gospel in foreign lands, held their First Missionary Congress that year. Three years later they set up their headquarters in Maryknoll, NY. After W.W.I the National Catholic War Conference became the National Catholic Welfare Council. The NCWC led the social policies and the progressive ideas for the Catholic Bishops. The director was Father John A. Ryan, a professor at Catholic University. It was organized into five departments: Education, Lay activities, the Press, Social Action, and Missions. Eventually, some of Father Ryan's ideas were adopted in FDR's New Deal.

    The story of the Catholic assimilation into the American society must, also, include the rise of the layman in politics. Their experiences in the labor unions and the tenement districts created a natural affinity for social justice within the democratic system. By the second generation the Irish and the German descendants held positions in the unions and the local governments.

    However, they, also, ran into opposition. In the election of 1884 the Irish Democrat voters in New York were berated in the "rum, Romanism, and rebellion" speech. In 1887 the American Protective Association grew out the rivalry between rural Protestants and urban Catholics. The antagonism increased with Democratic victories of Grover Cleveland in the elections of 1884 and 1892. The A.P.A. grew into a grassroots anti-Catholic movement. They even hatched a "bogus Popish plot" with a fraudulent letter, when the Apostolic Delegate went to the Chicago World's Fair.

    Some Catholic politicians lost respect in the eastern big cities because of the corruption of the political machines like Tammany Hall in New York City. Others had become mayors in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago by the 1920's. However, the pinnacle was achieved by the much respected Alfred Emmanuel Smith, who was selected as the Democratic candidate for President in the 1928 election.

    Although he was opposed by the KKK and some anti-Catholic sentiment, the issue many Protestants wanted Al Smith to address was the Catholic subservience to that "foreign potentate." He summarized his creed in the Atlantic Monthly, "I believe and worship God according to the faith and practice of the Roman Catholic Church. I recognize no power in the institution of my Church to interfere with the operations of the Constitution of the United States or the enforcement of the law of the land. I believe in the absolute freedom of conscience for all men and in equality of all churches...I believe in the absolute separation of Church and State."

    The Happy Warrior lost the election, and he didn't even carry his own state, New York. Some say he lost because of his stand against prohibition and his ties with the eastern, urban political machine, Tammany Hall. Other say he lost to bigotry because he was a Catholic. More than anything else he clearly lost to the era of prosperity while the Republicans had the Presidency.

    When the stock market crashed and the Great Depression occurred, the prejudice against Catholics declined. The Catholics were glad that the depression hadn't happen under a Catholic President, but unemployment, economic problems, and misery seemed equal for all groups. The interest of the Church and the laity in solving their social problems was only intensified by the great economic crisis. It was now apparent that the American Catholic Church was a part of the mainstream of American society.

    VIII. The Great Depression

    The Wall Street Stock Market crash of October 1929 initiated the worst economic decline in American history. An avalanche of selling ended the speculation with margin buying and call loans, but, it also began a shift from the gaudy attitude of the twenties to the despair of the thirties. The "emergency" also substantiated the growing opinion that laissez-faire capitalism should be replaced by government action to accomplish a recovery.

    Meanwhile, the Hoover administration argued that "people will work harder and live a more moral life." The Republicans contended that relief should happen at the local level and that prosperity was "just around the corner." But, the "Crisis" worsened. The breadlines grew. The shantytowns or "Hoovervilles" expanded. As unemployment increased, the homeless, the drifters, the jobless sat on the street corners and park benches or they hitch-hiked or rode the rails; and they were unduly dubbed "bums" and "hoboes" Even the veteran's Bonus Army was herded out of Anacosta Flats for walking on the grass by MacArthur's US Army cavalry. By 1932 unemployment reached 25 percent and five thousand banks had failed. It was the "rock bottom" of the Depression.

    While some sang "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," others sang "Happy Days Are Here Again," when a Democrat FDR was elected the 32nd President. He pledged a "New Deal." He pushed through an unprecedented number of government programs. His informal, weekly radio reports called "fireside chats" instilled a new hope and optimism. Nevertheless, critics said that he was ending self-reliance and creating a dependence on the government. In the end they would denounce the deficit spending and discredit the progress, since full employment would not be achieved until World War Two.

    Mark Beliles and Stephen McDowell in their America's Providencial History saw another change in the flow of history that was made by FDR's election in 1932. They felt in the midst of the Great Depression...with the propagation of socialism "people were ready for the "New Deal" of Franklin Roosevelt. Programs such as Social Security, and other welfare agencies, set up the State as the provider rather than God."

    Perhaps the most discernible result of the 1932 election for the church was the repeal of prohibition. While the church had successfully led the crusade, the practical application of the 18th Amendment had resulted in scorn, rebellion, racketeering, and non-enforcement. Sydney Ahlstrom called The Repeal, "the greatest blow to their pride and self-confidence that the Protestants as a collective body had ever experienced."

    Be that as it may, fault and blame for the Depression were lodged from every corner. Immediately the finger was pointed at President Hoover. The banks, the corporations, and the rich were named as culprits, too. The economists blamed low wages, over production, interest rates, installment buying, and other economic factors. Of course every historian castigated the Smoot-Hawley tariff for slowing the world market, but the church thought a higher power was behind the events.

    Churchmen and scholars hinted that the greed and avarice, morality and mores, and the controversies and contempt of the twenties may have resulted in the misfortunes of the thirties. More than one clergyman felt that the cause of America's economic disaster was "Sin" by the members within the church and the "evil and unrepentant" mainstream of the society. They, also, expected some kind of revival like the panics in the 1720's and 1857.

    Billy Sunday flat out believed that the economic depression was ordained by God to shake America out of its doldrums. In the March 2, 1931 Boston Herald he said, "Sometimes I'm glad God knocked over the heavens to put America on her knees before she became too chesty ...Our great depression is not economic, it is spiritual and there won't be a particle of change in the economic depression until there is a wholesale revival of the old-time religion."

    As the Depression deepened church attendance declined, offerings fell, mission budgets were cut, and churches closed their doors. Frederick Allen in Since Yesterday said, "One might have such a crisis..people would have turned to the consolations and inspirations of religion. Yet this did not happen."

    Even the Lynd's on their return to "Middletown" in 1935 observed, "scattered through the pews..the same serious and numerically sparse Gideon's band - two-thirds or more women and few under thirty - with the same stark ring of empty pews "down front." They did conceded that it was June, a bad time for church attendance. The congregation seemed older. A college boy gave this opinion on Christianity, "I believe these things but they don't take a large place in my life." It seemed to be representative of young people's opinions.

    The Lynd's, also, wrote, "the secularization of the Sabbath continues." They noted that the new municipal swimming pool was open on Sunday, and horseback riding and golf were more popular than in 1925. They said, "The automobile continues to lead among the secularization factors...with 10,000 leaving every Sunday for resorts and other towns." They saw a decline in religious programs on the local radio station, and the largest church in town had abandoned their Sunday-evening service. They concluded that "the Depression has brought a resurgence of religious fundamentalism among the weak working-class sects...but the uptown churches have seen little similar revival of interest."

    In 1936 the Federal Council of Churches sponsored the National Preaching Mission. It failed miserably. Samuel C. Kinchloe of Chicago Theological Seminary reported the results in his Research on Religion in the Depression. He said, "secularization was so far advanced in America that no pervasive revival of religious interest was possible. Instead of turning to God for help, even churchgoing people turned to the New Deal "brain trust" in Washington."

    Willard L. Sperry, dean of Harvard's Divinity School, wrote to a British audience, "We are tired of religious revivals as we have known them in the last half century." He called Billy Sunday, the last of that tradition, which he (Billy Sunday) discredited.

    William G. McLoughlin wrote, "What Kinchloe missed, as Sperry did, was the fact that there was a revival of religion." McLoughlin pointed out that in the mid-1930's America had two religions: Liberal Protestantism and a second wing which was a blend of fundamentalism, pietist, conservative, evangelical, holiness, and Pentecostal. These emotional and "ecstatic" types were referred to as "Holy Rollers" by the older denominations.

    Dr. A. T. Boisen studied the Pentecostal and Holiness sects, and he showed their surge in his Religion and Hard Times. The Assemblies of God, formed in 1914, had 48,000 members in 1926, and they reported 3,470 churches with 175,000 members in 1937. The Church of God grew from 23,000 members to 80,000 during the same time. The Church of the Nazarene grew 100 percent since 1926 to 127,647 members. A large increase, also, occurred among the Negro churches of Pentecostal, premillennial, and holiness emphasis. The Christian and Missionary Alliance, whose founder A.B. Simpson rejected the tongues-only as evidence of spirit baptism, attracted many followers of the fundamentalist persuasion.

    On the opposite side of the economic coin a movement that touched college students, intellectuals, and the prosperous was founded by Frank Buchman, a Lutheran minister from Philadelphia. He reached people through lavish "houseparties" on the premise that "good food and good Christianity go together." His meetings took place in hotels, college campuses, private homes, and on ships, but never during the church hours. He was popular in eastern universities, Great Britain, and China. He was criticized for the sentimentality and an overemphasis on sex. However, his program of the "Five C's" (confidence, conviction, confession, conversion, continuance) produced "changed lives" among the successful "up and outers." By 1938 his program became known as "Moral Rearmament." Buchanism declined when W.W.II began and their headquarters moved to Switzerland.

    Nevertheless, the Great Depression was unrelenting on the "forgotten man" and on those just above him. Some families survived by "doubling up." Neighbors shared the produce of their gardens and fruit from their backyard trees. Farmers, who lost their homes, became tenants. In other generations the frontier provided an escape, but the depression was everywhere. While the railroads put on extra "vagabond" cars, the ones without jobs were still called a tramp, a hobo, a bum.

    The National Debt was moving into the mindboggling category of 30 Billion Dollars, but there were still over ten million unemployed workers. The government destroyed livestock and plowed under corn, while people were still hungry. Even the New Deal jobs were called "boondoggles." Agencies were given disparaging cliques such as the WPA: "We Poke Around," and the NRA: the "National Run Around." If the social and economic calamity wasn't enough, weather disasters compounded the problems.

    On Armistice Day, 1933 the "Black Blizzards" darkened the skies over Chicago. For the next two years top soil from a severe drought on the Great Plains blew eastward. The disaster that became known as the "Dust Bowl." The conservationists blamed the homesteaders for years of plowing and exposing the land to wind erosion. In John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath the elderly farm woman said, "the Lord taken a hand."

    Frederick Allen made this assumption in Since Yesterday, "To many others it must have seemed as if the Lord had taken a hand in bringing the dust storms; as if, not content with visiting upon the country a man-made crisis - a Depression caused by men's inability to manage their economic affairs farsightedly - an omnipotent power had followed it with a visitation of nature: the very land itself had risen in revolt. To some other people, the omnipotent may have seemed to be enjoying a sardonic joke at the expense of the New Deal's Agricultural Adjustment program: "So it's crop-reduction you want, is it? Well, I'll show you."

    Hardly had the Black Blizzards ended when the eastern rivers went on a rampage because of an unseasonably warm and rainy January of 1937. The Merrimac, Connecticut, Hudson, Delaware, Susquehanna, Potomac, Allegheny, and Ohio all went wild. Floods left hundreds of thousands without homes. Hundreds of people were drown. Cities were left without food, power, and electricity. Mud ruined business districts. Along the Ohio River Valley it was called the worst flood in American history.

    In the fall of 1938 another quirk of nature occurred in New England. Far from the usual path of hurricanes one sweep through this "diverse" area swamping towns, ripping up trees, and taking almost seven hundred lives. Frederick Allen felt, "the Lord drove the lesson home" because of the "human misuse of land."

    Weather was not the only opposition to FDR's recovery. A number of people and ideas professed to have the "social salvation" for the Depression. Huey Long's "Share Our Wealth" gained the most fame. Francis Townsend (Our Age Pension), Upton Sinclair (EPIC), Howard Scott (Technocracy), and Charles Coughlin were all social activists, whose efforts bordered on demagoguery. Father Coughlin "the Radio Priest" of Royal Oak, Michigan had 10 million listeners every Sunday afternoon, and he had contributions of $500,000 annually. His attacks were aimed at the bankers, the Jews, the unions, and the Communists. His popularity declined after he opposed Roosevelt's re-election in 1936. He was criticized by leaders inside the Catholic Church for his anti-Semitism and his theories on money.

    Even though the public-opinion polls of the Literary Digest predicted a Landon, Republican victory in the election of 1936, President Roosevelt still won every state except Maine and Vermont. With a new confidence FDR attempted to pack the Supreme Court, since they had struck down his New Deal measures of NRA and AAA. However, when the Roosevelt "depression" followed, the one-third "ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished" still remained. Domestic affairs took a back seat to foreign policy, when the totalitarian governments in Japan and Europe threatened world peace.

    IX. New Old-Time Religion:

    After the apparent Fundamentalist's defeat by science in the twenties and the obvious failure of the Protestant work ethic and capitalism to produce a materialistic haven from want during the Depression of the thirties, American Christianity looked elsewhere for renewal. As in other times, the influence of Europe beguiled the American churches. Many of the theologians, professors, and ministers with advanced degrees had received their training in Germany because of the high prestige given to their scholarship. Consequently some trusted the Continental philosophers and secular prophet's view of man, God, and the Scriptures.

    As the European intellectuals sought to grasp the meaning of life, they adopted the humanistic position which began with man. They, also, followed the existentialist rationale that man was totally free and totally responsible for his acts. However, they found no final way to say what was right and what was wrong, and they were at a loss to explain why evil exists. Furthermore as they tried to make humanistic man self-sufficient, they reached the philosophic position that he was only a machine.

    When theologians adopted the concept of man beginning with himself, they implemented the 19th Century liberal view of Biblical criticism, too. They had been particularly embarrassed by science to explain the supernatural events in the Bible. So they denied the miracles and the claims of inspiration and revelation in the Scriptures. They said that the stories were myths and legends to teach ethical lessons and values. They looked for what Albert Schweitzer called the historical Jesus.

    The liberal version of the history in the Bible separated the Old Testament into a record of the Jews and the New Testament as the life and religion of Jesus. They surmised that the human authors developed the creeds and dogmas through an evolutionary process. Of course the writer's highest ideals and hopes led them to the divinity of their Messiah Jesus. However, the liberal's explanations had great difficulty with the post-resurrection church in Acts and the detailed instructions in the Apostle Paul letters.

    While no single group agreed with all these points of view about the Scriptures, many thinkers used parts of these principles for their convictions. The groups, that included these notions, were called New Theology, Progressive Orthodoxy, Modernism, Liberalism, and Neo-Orthodoxy.

    Neo-Orthodoxy was the intellectual phenomenon of the 1930s. It rose out of European Liberalism and Existentialism. Neo-Orthodoxy is usually associated with the teachings of Karl Barth, a little known, country parson in Switzerland. While only a few American ministers understood the logic, Emil Brunner of Zurich became the mediator of Barth's view. A third name linked with Neo-Orthodoxy to America was Paul Tillich of Harvard Divinity School.

    Barth and Brunner agreed with the liberal theologians that the Bible had errors. The neo-orthodox theologians did not see the Bible as giving truth or having have moral absolutes either. Thus they did not accept God's revelation in the book. To them the Bible could only be a human witness to God's revelation when the Holy Spirit reveals God to the human heart in a moment of crisis. So it follows that Neo-Orthodoxy was known as the theology of crisis.

    In 1919 Karl Barth unloaded a blockbuster on liberalism and the 19th Century idealism of man's religious independent apart from God, when he wrote his Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Barth analyzed man's sin as man's continual attempt to twist truth in religion to suit his own private ends. Albert Schweitzer in his The Quest for the Historical Jesus had come to the conclusion that his generation looked for a man of the 19th Century, and instead of finding Jesus it found its own image. Barth challenged Protestant theology that it confused man with God. He demanded that, "God be allowed to be God, and man learn again to be man."

    Barth became one of the giant theologians of the 20th Century with his perspective that returned God to His divine pedestal. To him God was holy, sovereign, eternal, and absolute, and that sinful man was unable to help himself in the matter of salvation. Therefore salvation could only come through the miraculous piercing of history by God Himself in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, the Word of God. It is in the crucified and resurrected Christ alone that man can find salvation. Grace mediated by the Holy Spirit through the Word can relate man to God. Only when the soul is confronted by God in Christ can there be salvation from the world. Barth's theology became known as a theology of the Word.

    Barth's contrasts between a Holy God and sinful man, the Creator and the creature, grace and judgment attempted to prod the humanism out of Christianity. He insisted that it was not important what man thought of God, but what God thinks about man. His theology grew in stature and understanding in America, and became more prominent in the 1950s and 60s as evangelical Christianity bloomed.

    Karl Barth, also, gained admiration in 1934 while teaching in Germany. When he took a public stand against Hitler and Nazism, he was forced to leave for refusing to take an oath demanded by Hitler. He taught in Basel, Switzerland the rest of his life. Another theologian blacklisted by Hitler was Paul Tillich, who took refuge in the United States in 1934. His American friend Reinhold Niebuhr persuaded him to become an American citizen, and he accepted a professorship at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

    Paul Tillich, who already had an illustrious career at respected German universities, was lauded for his ability to mingle modern philosophy and theology. He coined new religious terms to answer the existentialist's meaninglessness of modern life. Tillich called God the "Ground of Being" and Jesus Christ the "New Being." In the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross he became transparent to the "Ground of Being." Tillich called man's faith or understanding of God the "ultimate concern." Tillich became a leading advocate of symbols and myths as man's way of grasping the reality of God. However, his critics said that he psychologized the meaning of God, and his idealism was only a form of pantheism. Nevertheless, he was a prominent writer for the neo-orthodox theologians, and a notable communicator with the secular philosophers.

    According to Sydney Ahlstrom American Neo-Orthodoxy was best revealed in the lives and works of Reinhold Niebuhr and H. Richard Niebuhr, a pair of Missouri-born brothers. Both were Evangelical pastors, who were learned historians. They were concerned with Western thought about the direction of man's morality and the social accommodations of the church. Both were seminary professors for over thirty year Reinhold at Union Theological Seminary and Richard at Yale University Divinity School. A whole generation was influenced by their Christian views on the dilemmas of their times.

    Reinhold examined the social ethics of mankind and the nation. He probed the question "how shall man think of himself?" Above all, he sought to make men fully aware of the depths of human sinfulness. He attacked the idea of man's progress, but he saw man as "at once saint and sinner." He, also, tenderly saw man as "not damned nor perfectible." He wrote seventeen major books and hundreds of articles for magazines and journals. His most famous book was Moral Man and Immoral Society which was published in 1932.

    Reinhold was not just a scholar or a theorists, but he got involved in practical solutions to the problems of the church and the nation. He was credited with transforming and renewing the old Social Gospel dream. He even ran for Congress as a Socialist during the New Deal era. He was involved in the pacifist movement until Pearl Harbor. Then he founded "Christianity and Crisis" to bring realism to American Christianity's view of world ills. He was an active leader in the formation of the National Council of Churches, New York's Liberal Party, and Americans for Democratic Action, an anti-Communist organization. He called for a theology that accepted God sovereignty, but encouraged men to reform their institutions. He was a major figure in evangelical, Protestant Christianity like his more scholarly younger brother Helmut Richard.

    H. Richard Niebuhr, who was called a theologian's theologian, examined the traditional theological matters in the light of sociology, history, and psychology. His first major work Social Sources of Denominationalism (1929) used the insights of Marx, Weber, and Troeltsch to show how class, race, nationality, and economic factors had divided the churches. He, also, pointed out how deeply middle-class presuppositions were a part of mainstream American Christianity.

    In 1935 he co-authored with Wilhelm Pauck and Francis P. Miller The Church Against the World. It was considered the Neo-orthodox manifesto to the churches. He called the churches not to march out to battle, but to withdraw from the world's embrace, to rediscover the Gospel, and to fulfill its mission as a confessing community.

    In 1937 his classic The Kingdom of God in America was a call for the restoration of Reformation roots in American Christianity. He traced the men and the movements from Puritanism and Jonathan Edwards to the Liberalism and Evangelicalism of his day. He refuted the Liberalism that had ensnared him in his younger days. He showed how movements were institutionalized and secularized, then they declined and gave birth to new movements.

    Neo-orthodoxy was mainly an intellectual movement involving the academic community. It did refresh the ideals of the supernatural and the sovereignty of God's intervention in human affairs. Social issues gained a new urgency, but their hope did not rest ultimately on human arrangements. They succeeded in attracting disenchanted liberals and modernists. However, the conservative followers were never satisfied with the issue of Biblical inerrancy or the exact nature of salvation, but they did favor the attacks on liberalism. The new theology did restore credibility to Protestant scholarship, insight, and modern thought.

    X. World War Two:

    After the First World War many religious leaders vowed never would they have any part in any war again. Harry Fosdick in his great sermon "My Account with the Unknown Soldier" expressed the pacifist conviction of countless Protestant preachers like Ernest Tittle and Ralph Sockman. The religious pacifists allied themselves with political isolationists, who hoped for a return to the days of the Monroe Doctrine in dealing with Europe

    Gradually, the revisionists saw the Versailles reparations as unfair, the munitions makers as merchants of death, and especially the British colonial empire as the condemnation for the world's problems. The American pacifists whitewashed Germany and made Britain the scapegoat. A major sounding board for the pacifists was the Christian Century, a socially oriented journal founded in 1908 by Charles Clayton Morrison, and a chief organ of interdenominational liberalism. Contemporaries wondered if the secular Chicago Tribune and the Christian Century had the same editors because of their similar positions on the threat of war. Eventually the premise, that wars were preventable if leaders made the proper decisions, became widespread in the American churches and universities. However, the retreat from intervention and even opposition for Congress' Neutrality Acts continued in the 1930's.

    Throughout the decade as the totalitarian dictators marched into Manchuria, China, Ethiopia, the Rhineland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia, there was a rise in demagogues. Gerald Winrod, William Dudley Pelley, Guy and Edna Ballard, and Father Charles Coughlin were among those referred to as the "apostles of discord." They were strongly anti-Semitic and fervently opposed to FDR and the New Deal, but they did favor involvement against the aggressor nations.

    When Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, a wide divergence of opinions splintered the religious community. The debate ranged from pacifism, neutrality, and nonbelligerency to earmarked aid and even open combat. However, it was becoming increasingly clear that a world run by the Axis powers would make it impossible to achieve any Christian advancements. When President Roosevelt spoke to Congress (Jan, 1941), he called for "a world founded on four essential freedoms." They were: freedom of speech, worship of God, from want, and from fear. It was, also, becoming clear that Allied goals and American hopes for the future were similar. When Winston Churchill and FDR signed The Atlantic Charter in August, 1941, the US moved a step closer to war.

    Probably no single day in United States history dramatically crystallized the American people as Sunday December 7th, 1941. The "sneak" attack on Pearl Harbor ended the dissension about war. As Ray Abrams expressed it, "this "treachery" united the people of this country as probably nothing else could have done." After the "day of infamy" President Roosevelt promised that "the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory so help us God."

    The historians continue to review the "how's" and "ifs" of the surprise attack that took 33 ships 13 days to travel 3150 nautical miles unnoticed through the "vacant" sea. Gordon Prange called his great book At Dawn We Slept. The revisionists have claimed that FDR lured the Japanese into attacking the US Pacific Navy. The John Birch Society alleged that Communist agents maneuvered Japan into a war with the US. Goldstein and Dillon flat out credit the Japanese with a brilliant, daring, successful plan. Everyone finds diplomatic blunders, mistakes with messages, bizarre weather patterns, and pure luck.

    Nevertheless the most famous Japanese code words of the attack were exclaimed by Mitsuo Fuchida, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" He would eventually survive the war, and as Prange said, "he (Fuchida) had enough adventures for ten men." He missed Midway because of acute appendicitis and providentially left Hiroshima the day before the Atomic Bomb, but he returned the day after with a 13 member inspection team. Shortly the other 12 died of strange symptoms and only Mutsuo survived. After the war he made the front page of the Tokyo Times when he converted to Christianity. For the next 30 years Mitsuo Fuchida was a Christian evangelist, who befriended Billy Graham and even spoke in churches along the US Pacific coast. His posters proclaimed "I led the attack on Pearl Harbor," then he proclaimed the Gospel.

    When the two-hour attack on Pearl Harbor ended, over two thousand servicemen were dead, a total of 3581 Americans were casualties, Battleship Row was an inferno of fire and smoke, and crewmen were trapped inside the Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma. In all nineteen vessels were either damaged, capsized, or sunk. One hundred and eighty-eight airplanes were destroyed. However, the aircraft carriers Saratoga, Enterprize, and Lexington were safely at sea, and the Japanese did not return to attack the fuel storage. Tales of heroism abounded on every ship and around the naval base. Within the month Admiral Kimmel and Lt. General Short would be investigated by the Roberts Commission.

    While the naval attack on December 7th brought the US and others into a global war, a second worldwide impact came from a group known as The Navigators. In 1933 Dawson Trotman started one of the most successful discipleship programs in the history of the Christian Church. He used Bible studies and Scripture memory as a follow up for new converts. He began with five sailors on the USS West Virginia. Daws began his famous one-on-one discipleship challenge, "Where is your man?" Afterwards four of the original five ended up as foreign missionaries. Dawson said, "We started on the battleships of the United States Navy, getting men to spend time in the Bible. By the time the war was over, we had fellows on a thousand ships and on scores of bases throughout the world, faithfully serving and witnessing for the Lord."

    The wartime clearly stimulated a renewal of interest in religion. Again, as in the First World War, the government showed no proclivity toward the separation of church and state. Congress had announcement in 1940 as a part of the Selective Service Act that a requirement of one chaplain for every twelve hundred men would be carried out. The office of Chief of Chaplains was established, and the Most Reverend William R. Arnold, a widely respected Roman Catholic, was selected to handle all chaplain's affairs through his office. While each denomination set their requirements for chaplains, all had to conform to the Chief of Chaplain's office. Eventually eight thousand chaplains served throughout the war.

    The government, also, barred all groups and agencies from using their funds to erect special buildings for their spiritual work. Instead Congress appropriated $12,816,880 in the spring of 1941 to build 604 chapels on Army posts, camps, and bases for American troops. Each chapel was to cost $21,220 and to seat 400 worshippers for all faiths. No one objected to spending government funds on these buildings.

    In other wars the government assigned different volunteer groups to oversee the welfare and activities of the servicemen. However in World War Two, the United Service Organization better know as the USO was suggested by President Roosevelt. A Board of Directors was made up of six representatives from the Salvation Army, the YMCA, the YWCA, the Jewish Welfare Board, the National Catholic Community Service, and the National Travelers Aid Societies. The government provided a budget of $12,000,000 in 1942. By 1944 3,000 centers were the GI's "home away from home." Over 1.5 million volunteers staffed the centers. Everything went on there like the American way of life from dances, movies, a place to talk, coffee and donuts, and even church services by the chaplains. The clubs were open to all regardless of their race, color, or creed.

    The Army and Navy provided the servicemen with Bibles, hymnbooks, and aids to worship. The Chaplains' Association published A Song and Service Book, Army and Navy for Field and Ship. The book contained hymns, selections of Scripture, and prayers, in three sections, for Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. The American Bible Society was the most active agency for providing Bibles and Testaments. A pocket testament had the following Foreword by President Roosevelt: "As Commander-in-Chief, I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel, and inspiration."

    Rabbis, ministers, and priests served as chaplains during the war. They lived in foxholes, pup tents, open fields, and Quonset huts. They prayed, heard confessions, gave sermons, and served communion and last rites. Sometimes they just listened. On too many occasions they read scriptures over unmarked and even watery graves that, as it written at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, were "Known only to God." Their trust, comfort, encouragement, and service was beyond measure, but it was not forgotten by God or man.

    The first famous chaplain of the war was Howell Forgy in the US Navy at Pearl Harbor. He wrote the words and Frank Loesser of Broadway fame wrote the music to the song Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition. Within a month it was a popular song around the nation.

    The most famous incident of the war involved the four chaplains on the USS Dorchester. Shortly after midnight of February 3,1943 while 902 GI's were being transported to Greenland, a torpedo from a German U-boat blew up the Dorchester's engine room. The explosion killed some outright, others were trapped below deck, and bedlam reigned on the ship's deck. Some over-crowded lifeboats capsized, while others floated away nearly empty. The ship was prohibited from firing distress flares because of security, so the Dorchester unbeknown to their escorts began sinking alone in the dark, foggy, snowy night.

    On the deck the four chaplains of the ship aided the frantic escape to safety. They were: George L. Fox and Clark V. Poling, both Protestants; Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; and John P. Washington, Roman Catholic. When they were out of lifeboats, lifejackets, and flotation devices, the four chaplains removed their own life jackets and forced them on four terrified servicemen. The four chaplain linked their arms together and bowed their heads in prayer as the ship sank into the Atlantic.

    Only 230 men survived, while 672 died in the third greatest ship disaster of the war. Some of the survivors viewed the unselfish act of the four chaplains. One eyewitness John Ladd said, "It was the finest thing I have ever seen or hope to see this side of heaven." The altruistic episode was painted by Dudley Summers with the four chaplains and the Dorchester being drawn into the raging ocean. Portraits of the four chaplains frame the four corners.

    The event is remembered annually by the "Four Chaplain's Sunday" in February. In 1951 the "Chapel of the Four Chaplains" was dedicated, and President Harry Truman spoke these words, "That day they preached the most powerful sermon of their lives." In 1960 Congress commemorated their heroism with a "Medal of Valor." National Chaplain of the American Legion Rev. Henry E. Eisenhart said, "The saga of the Four Chaplains testifies to the bright side of the human spirit."

    Nazi Germany set the tone for World War II with the saying "Today Germany, Tomorrow the World." The war was global in commitment and fighting. A total of six-one nations were drawn into the conflict, and it involved three-fourths of the world's population. An estimated 110 million people were mobilized and about 15 percent actually faced the enemy in combat. For America over 15 million men volunteered or were drafted and over 200,000 women entered the Army and Navy services. It was the most devastating war in human history, and it would cost over a trillion dollars and a guesstimated fifty-five million lives.

    Historians have referred to it as the "People's War." It was waged by citizens against the citizens. For possibly the first time in history more civilians died than soldiers. Thirty million civilians died while twenty-five million military personal died. But for those who survived and those who lived through it, the war changed their lives completely.

    For those who served in the armed services their lives were disrupted forever. Most had never been very far from home. The three months basic training meant regimentation and physical exhaustion. They became known as GI's slang for "government issue." At the front the fighting cause not only fear and dread, but they were exposed to sights that they did not want to talk about for the rest of their lives. So many left home joyful, carefree kids only to return as hushed, reticent veterans.

    Their tour distanced them from home and family. They did not receive a furlough for the birth of their children or a funeral of a parent. They anguished over the dreaded "Dear John" letters. They hoped the songs were true like "Don't Sit under the Apple Tree with anyone else, but me" and "You'll Never Know (how much I love you)." Even the great postwar movie The Best Years of Our Lives could only simulate the turmoil etched on their hearts

    However, the war did have a spiritual impact at home and at the front. Sydney Ahlstrom wrote this excellent appraisal, "the anxieties of scattered families and the social disruption of the "war effort" did stimulate an unmistakable rise of interest in religion. "There are no atheists in the foxholes," was the word from the theater of military action. In millions of blue-star and gold-star households and in thousands of home churches the same could be said. In this sense, the "postwar revival" began long before the fighting ceased."

    One of the truly great stories of intercessory prayer took place in Seadrift, Texas. The members of the First Assembly of God Church made a collage of their fifty-two servicemen, who were serving in World War Two. The church faithfully prayed for these men throughout the war. When the war ended, all 52 returned alive from the war.

    On the other hand, the greatest single blow to one family that shocked the nation was to the Sullivans of Waterloo, Iowa. On Friday the 13th of November, 1942 during the battle for Guadalcanal a Japanese torpedo sunk the USS Juneau, a light cruiser with 500 men on broad. Only ten men survived, but the nation was grieved for the five Sullivan brothers, who were lost.

    The family of Thomas and Aleta Sullivan on Adams Street was known for their patriotic and religious fervor. These first generation Irish-Americans had five boys George, Francis, Eugene, Madison, and Alberta, who enlisted because a friend was killed at Pearl Harbor. The five ranged in ages from 20 to 29 and only the youngest Albert was married. They pressed the armed services for the chance to serve in the same branch with the same assignment. They have been remembered by the motto "We Stick Together."

    They were glorified in the 1944 movie "The Fighting Sullivans" and memorialized by two US Navy ships (1943 & 1995) bearing their name. Waterloo, Iowa has celebrates their memory with Sullivan Park, a convention center, and the annual ceremony at the St. Patrick's Day Mass in Sullivan Park.

    Regardless, World War Two was different from other wars in it's brutality and respect for human life. Early reports on the Axis treatment of their enemies and their own people alarmed the Allies. In the pre-war days German immigrant carried stories about the Nazi violence toward the Jews. In 1942 the New York Times wrote that one million Polish Jews had been exterminated mainly by electrocution. From the first days of the fighting the fanatical effort by the Japanese soldiers made it clear that they would died for their Emperor and their country.

    As the hatred grew during the war, both sides were accused of shooting at soldiers with white flags and committing heartless acts against POW's. Short of death, being a prisoner was considered the worst fate of the war. The rumor around the homefront was that the treatment worse by the Japanese than the Germans.

    America's first experience with what was considered war crimes was the Bataan Death March. Thousands died in the six-day march and accounts were told that the Japanese denied water, food, and medicine to the POW's. Hundreds died daily in their camps because of starvation, disease, and brutality. The full story was not revealed until after the war was over.

    The most enduring POW story was that of Louis Zamperini. He became famous in the 1936 Berlin Olympics for pulling down a flag bearing the Nazi swastika at the Reichstag, while he was a member of the US track team. During the Second World War he was shot down in the Pacific and floated on a life-raft for forty-seven days. Although he was strafed by Japanese pilots, he survived only to spend the next two years in a Japanese POW camp.

    Although Louie Zamperini was an Olympic star and a war hero, his return to civilian life was difficult and he turned to drinking. In 1949 at the Billy Graham's Los Angeles tent meetings, Louie responded to the alter call and gave his life to Christ. On the final day of the crusade at the breakfast for pastors and workers, Louie Zamperini was one of the four transformed lives to give their testimony. He went into full-time Christian work as director of a Christian camp for boys.

    He spent the next four decades serving The Lord and leading a quiet life. On the final night of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Jim Nantz of CBS Sports devoted the first hour rehearsing Louie Zamperini's life story. The consuming issue was: would Louie meet with his brutal prison guards, particularly the notorious Matsushiro Watanabe - code name "The Bird", and would he try to win them to Christianity?

    The shocking aspect of WW Two for 20th Century people was the level of evil that existed in "modern" human beings. Allied leaders were appalled at the Axis mindset of world conquest without regard for the cost in lives. Their early successes and their apparent godless attitude led Winston Churchill to say, "Upon this battle (for Britain) depends the survival of Christian civilization..(or)..the whole world, including the United States...will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Ages."

    While it is easier for historians to leave "the acts of God" unsaid or treat the coincidences as "luck," some surmised that God was not in control or that He even had anything to do with the events of World War Two. However, one postwar writer postulated that there were a number of events with a "definite divine partiality" toward the Allies. Others have simply ascribed the term "miracle" to Allied successes. Mostly it is easier to give the esteem to the people involved in the action.

    The first major "miracle" of the war was the evacuation at Dunkirk. The rescue across the English Channel clearly deserves a tremendous praise for the "Mosquito Armada" that used every kind of naval vessel to ferry the troops to Britain. However, almost forgotten is the extremely calm waters that enabled "Operation Dynamo" to take place. Also, while the RAF deserves credit for the victory against Goering's airmen, little is mentioned about the protective cloud cover that aided the deliverance.

    In the Pacific Japanese leaders proclaimed that their successful surprise at Pearl Harbor was a divine blessing from the gods. Vice Admiral Kusaka, a devout Zen Buddhist, said about the fine weather and sea conditions, "Truly, it is with God's help." His Commander-in-Chief Nagumo agreed. Rear Admiral Tomioka recalled, "I prayed fervently to our ancestral gods that all would go well."

    Only four months after Pearl Harbor the United States retaliated by bombing Tokyo, and the Americans experienced some similar strokes of fate. Colonel Jimmy Doolittle's raid was planned for after dark on April 19, 1942. However, they crossed the International Date Line and they had made a 24-hour error. (Japan, also, expected the attack the next day). When it seemed that the Task Force's position had been discovered by a Japanese patrol, Admiral Bull Halsey ordered Doolittle to launch his sixteen B-25's early from the ACC Hornet.

    In March the Japanese government had announced plans for the first ever air-raid drill in Tokyo, while they assured their people that they had a safe homeland. The three-hour alert was complete with military planes forming a protective umbrella over the city. It was scheduled to last from 9 AM until noon on April 18th.

    While Tokyo was practicing their air-raid, a strong tail wind was speeding Doolittle's raiders toward the city. Doolittle's plane dropped the first bombs at 12:15 PM as the mock exercise was ending. The Japanese military assumed that the raiders were a part of the friendly air show. In an amazing coincidence the alert and the attack had over lapped each other.

    A second happenstance on Doolittle's bombing run involved Hirohito's Imperial Palace. As Doolittle was closing in on the Emperor's home, a Japanese antiaircraft battery fired on his B-25, and he was distracted from the target. The Palace remained unharmed and no one else fired on Doolittle's plane.

    Altogether the sixteen planes survived the bombing run and 75 of the eighty air men made it through. Sergeant David J. Thatcher, a gunner on Plane No. 7, was asked in Chungking to account for the success, and he said, "It was only by the hand of God that any of us came out alive.

    The raid shocked the Japanese people, and it caused the government to draw back Zeros and AA batteries from the war offensive to protect the homeland. The raid, also, had a huge psychological effect on American morale. It was the one bright light while the Japanese seized an empire in the Western Pacific during the first six months of the war.

    The battle of Midway is called the greatest American naval victory in history and the turning point of the Pacific war. Gordon Prange said of his title, "Miracle at Midway is not so much alliterative as exactly fact." A number of "providential pairs" convinces one of America's destiny throughout the two days (June 4-5, 1942) of intense fighting.

    While the US command debated whether Japan would attack Pearl or Midway, Yamamoto devised a dual ruse to attack Midway and the Aleutian Islands in hopes of dividing the US forces. However, the US cryptographers led by Joseph Rochefort and Thomas Dyer had broken the Japanese naval code. Hypo (Rochefort) knew that the main Japanese attack on "AF" was Midway. Nevertheless, the Americans were overwhelming underdogs. Nagumo's armada of 88 surface warships would be opposed by 28 US vessels. Another handicap occurred when America's best-known carrier admiral William "Bull" Halsey was hospitalized with a skin disorder. Even Admiral Chester Nimitz confessed their hope was either "by luck or God's mercy."

    Admiral Nimitz deployed his fleet into two groups: Force 16 under Ray Spruance (the carriers: Hornet and Enterprize, 6 cruisers, and 9 destroyers) and Force 17 under Jack Fletcher (the carrier Yorktown, 2 cruisers, and 5 destroyers). The Yorktown was the miracle salvage ship from the battle of Coral Sea, and the surprise American carrier to the Japanese at the battle of Midway. They erroneously anticipated two carriers in the South Pacific, and they believed that the Yorktown was too damaged to fight at Midway. Appropriately, Admiral Nimitz named the rendezvous of Forces 16 and 17 "Point Luck."

    In the meantime another double destiny favored the US. Two key Japanese pilots, heroes of Pearl Harbor, Fuchida and Genda could not participate at Midway. Mitsuo Fuchida was recovering from appendicitis, and Minoru Genda was suffering from pneumonia. Both were in hospital beds abroad the Akagi.

    A second break came during the reconnaissance flights on the morning of June 4th. While the Japanese main goal was to bomb and invade Midway Island, the American objective was to attack the four Japanese aircraft carriers. By 0530 American scout pilot Howard Ady had sighted the first wave of bombers heading for Midway and part of Nagumo's Force. However, if one Jap scout pilot had flown on his search route a little longer, he would have discovered the US fleet. Another Japanese scout from the Soryu, who found the Yorktown, was unable to send a message because his radio transmitter was broken. His radio was only able to receive messages. Consequently, during the entire morning of the battle neither the Japanese command center or their scout pilots ever clearly understood the American deployment. However, the US had not located the four Jap carriers either.

    By 0700 the Japanese had completed their first assault on Midway. They made plans to recover, refuel, and rearm all aircraft by 1030 for a second attack on Midway or on any US carrier that had been located. In the meantime, American fighters, torpedo planes, and dive bombers attacked the Kaga and the Akagi. (They had not located the Sorya or the Hiryu). During the three-hour assault over 100 US planes failed to make a single hit on the enemy carriers. Of the forty-one torpedo planes in the offensive 35 were shot down by the faster Zeros and anti-aircraft fire. All or most of some squadrons were wiped out. However, the Japanese still did not know the location or the number of US carriers.

    At 1022 the miracle happened at Midway. A pair of venturesome pilots guessed at the location of the Jap carriers. Clarence Wade McClusky with 33 Dauntless dive bombers from the Enterprise, and Max Leslie with 17 Dauntlesses from the Yorktown discovered three enemy flattops at just right moment in time. The Kaga, Akagi, and Soryu had planes fueled, armed, and ready for takeoff on the decks. Also, the nominal Japanese air cover was concerned with the low flying torpedo planes not the dive bombers. In an uncoordinated attack McClusky's squadron divided to dive on the Akaga and the Soryu, and Leslie's planes attacked the Kaga. In three minutes the three carriers were ablaze with fires and suffering explosions from their bombs and their gasoline. The deck of the Kaga blew up and fire and smoke shot 1000 feet into the air. In less than 24 hours all three carriers were at the bottom of the Pacific.

    In the afternoon of June 4th Admiral Fletcher ordered 24 Dauntlesses from the Enterprise and the Hornet to bomb the fourth carrier, the Hiryu. As luck would have it, the Hiryu took a course directly at the attack force. Also, a junior officer named Shumway made a quick thinking decision follow up the first bombing run on the Hiryu and four bombs were dropped on the deck. The Japanese had now lost four carriers and three-fourths of their best pilots.

    Misfortune continued when Yamamoto canceled the invasion of Midway. Two cruisers ran into each other at three o'clock in the morning, when Capt. Akira Soji of the Mogami failed to make an emergency turn. The tide in the Pacific had clearly swung to the Americans.

    It was the first Japanese naval defeat in 350 years. Japanese naval officers Kusaka and Miwa said that it was, "God's punishment for this sin of hubris (pride, arrogance)." Fuchida said the root cause was "victory disease."

    For Americans the victory at Midway was a combination of factors. Every observer agrees that it was in part luck, fortunate fate, or some divine providence. The miracle was, also, clearly due to some bold command decisions by Nimitz, Spruance, and Fletcher. Their gambles paid off at the right time. Credit, also, goes to pilots like McClusky and Leslie, who were accused of sometimes flying by the seat of their pants. Their hunches put them at the right place. In the final analysis it was that dual factor part God and part man.

    D-Day June 6th, 1944 was the greatest amphibious invasion in history. It required the most detailed and complicated plan ever made for a single event in a war. Operation Overlord would be launched at five beaches over 60 miles of the Normandy shoreline. The preparation involved over a million troops, 10,000 planes, 5,000 naval vessels, and dozens of airfields and ports. The elaborate strategy included a dummy army assembled for an assault on the narrowest crossing of the Channel at Calais, the massive buildup for the beachhead on Normandy, a breakout to Cherbourg, and finally, the logistics for thirty-seven divisions that would storm Fortress Europe.

    The invasion was set for Monday June 5th because of the low tides and the moonlit conditions. However, after all the diligent plans and for every contingency the one uncontrollable factor that was the crux of their success was the weather. Over the weekend postponement seemed inevitable because of a series of low-pressure areas in the North Atlantic that would bring highs winds, rough seas, and low clouds to the English Channel. With the gloomy forecast Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower deferred to Tuesday. It proved to be a wise decision. The weather over the Channel was called the worst in twenty years. An invasion on Monday would have been a disaster.

    Nevertheless, on Monday the weathermen were surprised when the stationary high-pressure area near Spain began moving northeastward. It could possibly result in clearing skies and moderating winds over the Channel for Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the German meteorologists predicted continued foul weather which convinced Field Marshall Erwin Rommel to leave on June 4th spend a few days' leave at home for his wife's birthday. Besides the German staff expected the later date for an invasion which would coincide with a Russian spring offensive from the East, and the next favorable tidal conditions on June 19th.

    The final decision needed to be made an once and by General Eisenhower alone. The over 200,000 troops had been bottled up onboard for almost two weeks, and the ships would need to be refueled. Although the window of weather was small, Eisenhower said, "I am quite positive we must give the order...I don't like it...I don't see how we can do anything else." The Supreme Commander concluded, "We'll go!"

    On The Longest Day as Cornelius Ryan called it, the Allies caught several breaks. First, there had been a disagreement on how to defense an invasion. Von Rundstedt's strategy was to counterattack with reserves after the Allies landed on the beaches. However, Rommel felt that the key was to stopped them on the beaches. He said, "The first twenty-hours of the invasion will be decisive." Hitler allowed him to employ that defense on Omaha beach. Fortunately, The Fuehrer preferred Von Rundstedt's tactics.

    The second stroke of luck occurred on the westernmost beach, Utah. The landing force accidentally landed a mile south of the site aimed for - a site that was later learned had strong German defenses. Consequently, the US soldiers and paratroopers ended up on the easiest and least costly of the five beaches.

    Perhaps the best break was the decision on when to call up of the reserves. Von Rundstedt had to wait for Hitler's orders. The German staff left Hitler and Von Rundstedt sleep until late morning which was a common practice for both men. When Hitler was told, he did not believe it was the invasion. Precious hours were wasted waiting for Hitler's permission to use the reserves. By the afternoon the Allies were moving inland on all five beaches. Also, Rommel was unable to make it back to his headquarters in Rheims until six that evening.

    By nightfall Allied troops had penetrated four to six miles on four of the five beaches. Only on "Bloody Omaha" was the beachhead a precarious mile to a mile and a half deep. The Allies had placed 156,000 men on eighty square miles of Normandy, and the losses were estimated at 10,000 casualties. What had started with the 82d paratroopers at St.-Mere-Eglise at 12:15 AM was now beginning of the end.

    Over the next eleven months to VE Day the war was a continuous story of liberation. By the end of August Paris was liberated and Charles de Gaulle led a parade to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. In September Antwerp, Belgium, Luxembourg, Rheims, and most of France had been freed by Allied armies. In November Patch's American Army was at the Rhine. Then came Hitler's last desperate offensive in the West - The Battle of the Bulge and the Malmedy massacre of 80 American captives.

    While the Ardennes counterattack disrupted any Holiday liberation on the Western Front, the Allied defense of key roads through St. Vith and Bastogne stalled the surprise German offensive. On Christmas Eve a German U-boat sank the transport Leopoldville killing 802 GI's, who were re-enforcement's for the Battle of the Bulge. At the Flossenburg POW camp SS guards held a sadistic Christmas party by hanging 15 recaptured US paratroopers, while their fellow inmates were forced to stand in ranks and watch. And on Christmas Day the Germans launched an all-out attack on Bastogne, however the gallant 101st and the now famous Anthony McAuliffe clung to the transportation hub. By then Patton's relief force was a day away and the skies were clear for the Allied air attacks. Hitler's surprise maneuver had failed. Consequently, Stephen Ambrose called the Christmas of 1944 "a Christmas best forgotten."

    By March the Allied armies were on the borders of Germany the Russians from the East and the Americans and British from the West. German soldiers were rushing with white flags to the Western Front. An estimated six million Germans, including the famous rocket expert Wehner Von Braun, fled westward to avoid the "rape and pillage" of the Red Army. However, the worst disclosure was yet to come as the Allies marched through Germany in April, and they came to Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Ravensbruck, Auschwitz, Treblinka, and the other camps.

    The reports and rumors of atrocities had not prepared the world for what the eyewitnesses and the lens of the cameras and the newsreels viewed in the concentration camps. The world was aghast at what Hitler called his "Final Solution." The human misery from brutality, cruelty, and neglect could not be told by the hollow eyes, bony faces, and shriveled skeletons of the prisoners. Even the ovens, the piles of bones in mass graves, and the stench of death could not tell the story as the witnesses both military and civilian were shocked. The liberators responded with tears, and screams, and even vomiting.

    History refers to it as "The Holocaust." Six million Jews "vanished," and totally around ten million were exterminated by Hitler's racial cleansing plan. A stunned world wondered where is God and what is He doing. In retrospect the Catholic Church was asked, "Why didn't you excommunicate Hitler, a baptized member, and why was Pope Pius XII silent?"

    Some are remembered for their stand. A Catholic Colonel Klaus von Stauffenberg planted the bomb to assassinate Hitler in 1944. The leader of the "Confessing Church" Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran clergyman, was hanged by the Nazis on April 9, 1945. Raoul Wallenberg, Oskar Shindler, and numerous "righteous ones" in Holland, Denmark, and Norway helped Jews to escape.

    Nevertheless, the era will always be remembered as The Nightmare (William Shirer) or The Night (Elie Wiesel). The death camps exposed the total depravity of what human beings are capable of. Still, the prevailing philosophy about human beings was ironically expressed by Anne Frank in her Dairy, "In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart." The reality and the truth about mankind changed as Nazi Germany came to an end with V-E Day on May 8, 1945.

    In the Pacific the United States ran an island hopping campaign toward the Japanese mainland. General Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines along the southern route, and Admiral Chester Nimitz moved through the Central Pacific toward Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Japanese proved to be a tenacious enemy fighting stubbornly, refusing to surrender, and even committing suicide rather than being taken captive. The nadir of their horrible madness was the suicide squadrons of kamikazes referred to as "divine wind."

    Okinawa, the last invasion of the Pacific war, was the bloodiest battle because of the kamikazes. Hundred of pilots, who dressed in hara-kiri robes and were sworn to death, killed 12,000 seaman and Marines in the final battle of the war. Estimates for the defense of the mainland ran as high as 5,000 kamikazes were willing to die to defend against an invasion.

    However, President Harry Truman was given an alternative choice. In December of 1944 Leslie R. Groves, the overseer of the Manhattan Project, announced that they could have an Atomic Bomb ready by August 1st. The United States had spent two billion dollars on the secret enterprise. J. Robert Oppenheimer was the scientific director, and 539,000 people worked on this new "ultimate" weapon. The first atomic bomb was exploded near Los Alamos, New Mexico on July 16, 1945.

    There were several factors surrounding the decision to use the bomb. First, it would avoid an invasion which would cost an estimated million American lives. Secondly, the war would end sooner. It was General MacArthur's opinion that the ground war would last until the end of 1947. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it would result in an unconditional surrender and prevent Stalin from sharing in the postwar occupation of Japan.

    Another consideration was the general attitude that the Japs were savages, ruthless, merciless, and fanatics, who never surrendered. They had used treachery in bombing Pearl Harbor. They had bombed Manila when it was surrendered as an open city. They had committed atrocities at Palawan, Bataan, and other POW camps. Perhaps no clearer picture was in the minds of Americans than the one carried in most May newspapers. It was a photograph of an American flyer, who was on his knees with his hands tied behind his back, blindfolded, and about to be beheaded by a Jap officer with a sword.

    President Truman, who had been in combat in W.W.I, said, "think of the kids who won't be killed. That's the important thing." He further concluded, "If we can save even a handful of American lives, then let us use this weapon - now!" The President's only reservations where to not bomb the old Capitol at Kyoto or the new Capital at Tokyo with the Imperial Palace of the Emperor Hirohito.

    President Truman was at the Potsdam Conference when the test bomb Trinity was exploded. He shared the results with Churchill and later Stalin. He issued the Potsdam Ultimatum to Japan for an unconditional surrender or "the alternative is prompt and utter destruction." Also, he gave approval to drop the bomb, if Japan did not respond to the ultimatum. The list of possible military sites to bomb included Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki.

    In the meantime on July 29th the USS Indianapolis, the cruiser that had delivered the core for the Atomic bomb at Tinian, was torpedoed a thousand miles from its base at Leyte. The star-crossed mission was unable to send an SOS because their electrical system was damaged in the explosion. About 700 men in life jackets floated in the midst of sharks for 82 hours because the mission was secret and no one checked on them. Only 316 of the 1196 men survived the disaster.

    On August 6th 1945 when the 9,000 pound uranium bomb "Little Boy" was detonated on Hiroshima, a new age was inaugurated. The mushroom shaped cloud called to mind the horrors of destruction in The Bible. Armageddon and the description in the book of Revelation (6:14) "the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together" was now a reality. Also, when the victims were seen at Hiroshima, it looked like the plague of Zechariah: "their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume in their mouth." (Zech. 14:12)

    On August 9th the plutonium bomb known as "Fat Man" was dropped on the second choice city Nagasaki. Kokura was the target city, however it was socked in with bad weather. Paul Harvey gave his famous commentary on the "God sent Cloud." Several thousand Allied POW's, who had been delivered that morning, survived because clouds covered Kokura during the three bombing runs. Other things went wrong on the ill-fated mission under Charles Sweeney. The bomb exploded three miles off the target, and finally when the plane landed it ran out of gas at the end of the runway.

    The death tolls were around 70,000 plus at Hiroshima and over 40,000 at Nagasaki. The devastation was shocking - one plane, one bomb, one city. Emperor Hirohito said, "I cannot bear to see my innocent people suffer any longer." Japan agreed to the Potsdam terms and requested that the Emperor be retained.

    For years critics have voiced their opinions over the use of the Atomic Bomb on Japan. Some have felt that it should have been dropped in an open field away from populated areas as a demonstration its power. Others have said that one bomb was enough, and that the second bomb was "barbaric." A larger body of speculators say that it was totally unnecessary to drop the bombs at all.

    The revisionists argue that Japan was already defeated, and they were on the verge of collapse. They say that the naval blockade had a stranglehold because ninety percent of Japan's shipping was destroyed. Japan could have been starved into surrender. They, also, maintain that the Allies had complete air superiority. The B-29 Superfortresses were untouchable, and the Air Force could have bombed Japan into submission. Besides Japan was alone and a declaration of war by the Soviet Union would have made them surrender before any possible November Kyushu invasion. Finally, it is pointed out that the Japanese were sending out secret peace feelers via Switzerland and Sweden.

    Gar Alperovitz alleges a "near cover-up" of information to President Truman by James Byrnes, Secretary of State; Henry Stimson, Secretary of War; and Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project. In his 1995 book he says that secrecy, silence, and censorship created a myth about the need to drop the bomb. He declares that the military leaders Admiral William D. Leahy, Bull Halsey, Hap Arnold, and General Eisenhower were opposed to dropping the bomb.

    Notwithstanding, the other side has defended its use, and contended that the action has been a deterrent to the future use of the Bomb. They feel that the arms race, the brinkmanship, and the limited regional wars over the past fifty years have all been tempered because of the fears from destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Regardless of their speculations World War Two ended on the battleship USS Missouri September 2, 1945. The surrender document was signed six years and one day after the invasion of Poland. General MacArthur, who ran the ceremonies, closed with these words, "Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed."

    The veterans returned to a nation with full employment, money in the bank, and savings bonds in their lock boxes. They were welcomed home with parades, cheers, and a promise called the "G.I. Bill of Rights." A college education and a loan for a home or a business seemed to offer a bright future and a fair deal.

    Be that as it may, civilian life did not bring the best years of their lives. Industry could not produce enough homes, or cars, or appliances. The demands on the economy only resulted in inflation. The government controls still remained after the war. In the meantime the brides from the war produced a baby boom of 30 million kids. But, the pursuit of prosperity and the flight to the suburbs could not satisfy the demands of the American dream.

    No one anticipated a future with the unprecedented affluence that blessed the American Republic. Few wanted the continual threat to peace that the Cold War brought to everyone's attention. While some hoped for a spiritual renewal, many were pleased with the latest awakening, even though it happened outside the church. For the rest of the century American Christianity would strive to bring unity to the body of Christ both outside and inside the Church.

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