A “special long-range project on rapid economic change in the U.S.A.,” sponsored by the National Council of Churches’ Department of the Church and Economic Life, purposes to involve clergy and lay leaders at the national level and church members at the local level in economic trends.
The three-phase program is to overlap with President Kennedy’s four-year term of office. It is to include proposals of “changes required in the American economy for the United States to discharge its responsibilities to (a) the underdeveloped countries, (b) the NATO Powers, and (c) the Soviet-Sino economic challenge.” Preparatory commissions are meeting this month to plan a national conference in Pittsburgh, November 8–11, 1962, when co-ordinated emphases are to be disclosed. One proposal calls for an early meeting with inter-faith leaders.
The department chairman, Attorney Charles P. Taft, is an outspoken opponent of voluntary unionism, and has been criticized for “the National Council’s vigorous promotion of forced union membership” by proponents of right-to-work laws. Reed Larson of the National Right to Work Committee contends that “the NCC has probably damaged the cause of voluntary unionism to a greater extent than any other single group outside the union hierarchy itself.”
On NBC’s “The Nation’s Future,” William Buckley, publisher of National Review, scored some telling criticisms January 28 in a nationally-televised debate with Mr. Taft. Granting Taft’s insistence that the Church bears a social responsibility, Buckley protested the tendency of liberal churchmen (who have surrendered supernatural Christianity) to “gospelize” the welfare state, and to turn the Protestant pulpit into a political instrument. He deplored political and economic ...1
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