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

By Gerald L. Sittser

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

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Extra resources for A Cautious Patriotism: The American Churches & the Second World War

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It has been customary, in other words, to study American religion in the 1940s and overlook the war, or to study the war and overlook religion. American Christianity, however, did play a role in the war. It was vital, complex, and creative. It contributed significantly to the war effort. The war also affected American Christianity, in some cases by sending it in new directions, in other cases by correcting the course it had already chosen for itself. Like rationing, religion's presence and influence was so diffused and universal that it was often taken for granted.

Though important subjects, they will not be central. I will limit my investigation to the public posture of church groups: what, for example, church leaders propounded in articles and books, what religious groups stated in their public resolutions, what churches and individual Christians actually did to fight the war abroad and the wars at home. Attention will be paid to the public conversation and action of the churches. Obviously the term ''the churches" cuts both a wide and a narrow path. "The churches" may not always apply to all churches in America, nor "Christians" to all Christians in America, nor "church leaders" to all religious leaders in America.

That the churches showed such strong interest revealed the general sentiment within the churches that, because war was considered morally reprehensible, the nations were obligated to rid themselves of the weapons of war. Many voices within the church urged drastic reduction of armaments and protested any political decision that betrayed a militarist mind-set. There were exceptions, of course, particularly in the South. The major current of the churches, however, moved in that direction. The churches reinforced these political positions with moral resolve.

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