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 by way of international battle II in gentle of the reactions they provoked between Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Unitarians, and participants of alternative Christian denominations. As Sittser demonstrates, spiritual matters performed a component within the debate over American access into the struggle and persisted to resurface over problems with mobilization, army chaplaincy, civil rights, the internment of eastern americans, Jewish affliction, the shedding of the atomic bomb, and postwar making plans. eventually, Sittser says, the church buildings' habit in the course of global conflict II performed a key function within the resurgence they skilled within the wake of the battle.

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Then came Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, Franco, and Hirohito. With them the real battle began. No one had anticipatedno one could have imagined the brutality and fanaticism of these totalitarian rulers. The invasion of Manchuria and Ethiopia, the civil war in Spain, the pogroms in Russia, and the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia were evidence enough to convince anyone that Western civilization was facing a new threat. Fascism exalted the state above the individual, Nazism one race above others.

Hard work, common sense, and fair play were apparently not enough to reverse the descent toward economic ruin. The repeal of Prohibition and the popularity of Hollywood, mass marketing, and consumerism only confirmed the impression that America was slowing slipping away from the influence of traditional values. By the middle of the decade the shadow of Nazism, Stalinism, and Fascism began to fall over Europe. Soon most of Europe was engaged in war. Eventually the greater part of it was absorbed or conquered by the Nazi war machine.

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. These terms will be used carefully and defined as precisely as possible, considering the context in which they appear. The nature of the topic has governed the use of sources. I limited my research to those sources that tell the story of the churches' public life during the war. Primary sources include religious magazines and journals representing the viewpoints of roughly forty different groups, minutes of denominational meetings, and important books published during the war.

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