My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—I am becoming somewhat worried by the way in which religion is being used to assure the virtue of certain people's point of view. I have, for instance, a postcard before me and I think I shall answer it point by point since, from my point of view, it expressed a most un-Christian attitude.

The card is headed "What Does Gerald L.K. Smith Stand For?" Then it says: "Because of the attempt being made by Communists, New Dealers, and Jewish Gestapo organizations to destroy the crusade led by Gerald L.K. Smith, many people are unaware of the high principles for which this crusader stands."

That first sentence reveals a dishonest effort to make it appear (1) that there are Jewish Gestapo organizations, which is, of course, untrue. The Jews were the victims of Hitler's Gestapo. They have no such organizations of their own. (2) By tying these three groups together, they try to make it appear that New Dealers and Jewish organizations are tantamount to Communists. This also is entirely untrue. Accomplishments made under the New Deal were not communistic. They met the needs of the people, which had been allowed to become desperate under the previous Administration. But they were not Communistic.

Why does Mr. Smith have to lead a crusade? He is called the National Director of the Christian Nationalist Crusade. Christianity cannot be nationalist. It belongs to no particular government. Anyone anywhere who believes in Christian principles can be a Christian.

And now let us come to the 10 principles of this crusade.

No. 1 says there is a campaign to substitute Jewish tradition for Christian tradition. Have we forgotten that Christ was a Jew? It is true He was not accepted by certain Jewish groups and these groups put Him to death. But He accepted that death for the sake of saving the Jews as well as the Christians, and certainly much in Christian religion must have some Jewish tradition back of it.

The next two points are funny: "We must expose, fight, and outlaw communism." We don't need a crusade for that. Everyone is doing that. Then we must "safeguard American Liberty against the menace of bureaucratic fascism." Isn't the mere fact of this crusade carried on by Mr. Smith, one of the types of fascistic activities we should safeguard ourselves against? I don't know of any other type of bureaucratic fascism in our government at present.

No. 4 says "we must abide by the rule of the majority in our government," which we have always believed in, and adds "without abusing any minority." The second section is arbitrary, however, for it attempts to say people shall not be free to marry as they choose since there must be no intermixture of black and white races. What about yellow and brown races?

There is no moral law which forbids intermarriage between different races. It is custom and habit, and where people wish to break these rules it is their right to do so, even though they may suffer as a result of the fact that many of us are governed by the customs and habits and conventionalities under which we live. To make it appear, however, that this is a moral code which should not be broken is, I think, un-Christian.

We will take up the other points in tomorrow's column.

E.R.

(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1953, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 7, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.
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