The National Conference of Christians and Jews has promoted inter-religious brotherhood in the United States since 1928. Some 10,000 American communities now observe Roman Catholic-Protestant-Jewish “Brotherhood Week” every February. (Metropolitan church editors are more and more persuaded, however, that the categories of Protestant-Catholic-Jew are an oversimplification of American life. Non-religious humanists are a powerful minority, and Christian Scientists also; evangelical Protestants, moreover, claim to be poorly represented in the inter-religious “brotherhood.”) An international World Brotherhood in 1950 widened the movement’s horizons. In 1951 the Ford Fund gave the Conference a million dollars; in 1957 Mrs. Roger W. Straus added another million to promote national and world objectives.
Fuller understanding among adherents of the world religions is necessary to advance religious freedom and civic cooperation. Earnest conversation between leaders of theistic persuasion could forge a strategic link in the world conflict against atheistic communism and naturalism. Moslems might also be included in the world program with good reason. The spiritual dearth of our foreign policy (the majority of United States citizens are church members) is attested by the effective slander of Arab propagandists who speak disdainfully of America’s “materialistic atheism.”
The unity of mankind is fundamentally a spiritual conception; sooner or later “brethren” who gloss over spiritual ultimates in their togetherness will demean the dignity of human nature and will begin goosestepping to the siren call of false gods.
Among the great religious traditions none has the design and dynamic for materializing brotherhood more than the Hebrew-Christian ...1
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