In this year of 1958, when the world is so rent by divisive forces, America stands in great need of spiritual guidance. The country as a whole must draw from its great heritage of religious freedom, justice and liberty to meet the challenge of the future. Ministers of America are truly on the front lines of the battle for freedom. On their shoulders, in large measure, depends the future of our nation.
The Crime Wave
The threat of crime still looms heavily. After World War II there were hopes—now dispelled—that crime rates would subside. Many people thought: “Just wait until normal conditions return and then we’ll see life settling back in the good old ways.” This has not happened. In 1957, for example, major crimes jumped 9.1 per cent over the comparable figures for 1956! This is an extremely high increase and merits the careful attention of every individual interested in a better society. In 1957, over 2,700,000 major crimes were committed, representing a 23.9 per cent increase over the average for the previous five years.
The great tragedy, moreover, is the evil effect of crime on young people. Persons under the age of 18, for example, in 1957 represented 53.1 per cent of all arrests reported for robbery, auto theft, burglary and larceny. Here lies a most potent danger to law and order. The adult criminal is the product of the juvenile offender. The criminal habits which create the hardened, veteran criminal are formed very frequently in the years of youth.
Guidance Of Youth
That is one of our great challenges today—to make American youth into productive citizens of tomorrow. Young people are full of energy, initiative and talent. They are looking for something to do. They need guidance. The key lies here. If that guidance ...1
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