At the beginning of World War II, it was often said in this country that the recurrence of a cosmic catastrophe of global dimensions had seriously shaken American belief in inevitable progress and that the days of naive optimism were gone for good. But since we of this nation had to bear far less of the brunt of the bloody holocaust than our European allies, we emerged from the terrible conflagration as the most prosperous of all peoples and experienced such an increase in political and military power that with the exception of Russia all the other nations have been reduced to second or third rank in international affairs. All these developments condition personal life in the States to such an extent that the horrors, losses, and privations of war have been almost forgotten.

The Mood Of Our Age

Our nation indulges in a mood of complacency and is obsessed by a passion to do things more quickly every day, to make them bigger every year, and to double one’s income every 10 years. Consequently, while belief in progress has subsided and people are rather skeptical about the perfectability of life in this world, we feel at least pretty secure in our position. We take for granted that in competition with Russia we will never lose our superiority; and in spite of what scientists say about the fatal consequences of the fall-out of atomic particles, we are certain that our country will escape any such serious harm should there be atomic war.

Sure enough, there is some discontent with our government as well as with some politicians, but such feeling is confined to relatively small areas of life. There is no general indignation—only griping and sniping. And the churches are in no way different. They, too, reflect the invigorating influence ...

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