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Freedom for and freedom from: Baptists, religious liberty, and World War II.

On January 6, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt addressed both houses of the United States Congress in his state of the union speech.

Under normal circumstances, this would merely have been an annual ritual of American politics, but this year the speech was more than a perfunctory duty. An air of gravity and solemnity pervaded the president's remarks as a stunned nation listened by radio. Less than four weeks earlier, Roosevelt and Congress had declared war on the Axis powers following the surprise, early-morning attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese Imperial forces. As America measured carefully every word spoken by its commander-in-chief, he outlined four freedoms that were emblematic of the American spirit and for which the country was now fighting against totalitarian aggression. Along with their Allied companions, America was battling to preserve the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear.

This state of the union address captured the national imagination and has been canonized as a classic in the annals of American rhetoric and political discourse. "The Four Freedoms" speech focused the collective energies of citizens on the ordeal at hand and clarified the ideological reasons why war was necessary. Like a national mantra, the "Four Freedoms" entered common parlance functioning as a point of reference and reflection in public conversation. Norman Rockwell, the well-known illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post, even created four paintings representing the freedoms for which his country and the entire world were fighting.

Baptists in the United States latched on to Roosevelt's proclamation. For the duration of the war, Baptist commentators frequently referenced "The Four Freedoms" speech. Pastor and educator Edwin McNeill Poteat Jr. even published a book, Four Freedoms and God, that was a theological reflection and expansion on the president's address. (1) Baptists viewed the world war as a great effort to preserve basic democratic freedoms against the menace of totalitarian regimes. Prior to the declaration of war, both Northern and Southern Baptists condemned foreign aggression and endorsed the possibility of a defensive war only, but once the aggression directly threatened United States' interests, they advocated a war of intervention. (2) Like their brethren in other denominations, they saw the war as an engagement between two ways of life and a battle to preserve democracy and protect Christianity, the source and defender of liberty.

The war, however, held another, more urgent concern for Baptists. They feared that the global military crisis would precipitate other crises on a range of fronts, particularly in the preservation and spread of religious liberty. (3)

Religious Liberty: the Foundation of Democratic Freedom

The thesis of this article is that Baptists viewed World War II as a fight of freedom for democracy and from tyranny and that religious liberty was the source, stability, and foundation of democratic freedom. During the course of the conflict, Baptists addressed specific religious liberty issues precipitated by the emergency of war. They also reaffirmed their historic commitment to religious liberty as the bedrock of democratic freedom and the only sound basis for establishing a just and durable peace at the war's conclusion.

Baptists did not view World War II as a holy crusade fighting for the side of God, but they portrayed the struggle in strong religious overtones as a contest between two diametrically opposed ideologies. The Axis powers' politics of force subordinated individual freedoms to the supremacy of the state. Harry Emerson Fosdick warned that the supreme evil of war was its trust in a collective will that endangers the voluntary life that gives humans their dignity and distinctiveness. (4)

Others were not as restrained with their remarks. Preaching from the pulpit of the Marquette Road Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, George Manning Lewis declared, "This is a religious war! Believe it or not!" (5) He saw Christianity engaged in a death struggle with an evil state religion founded upon the diabolical trinity of "German blood, German soil, and German genius." (6)

L. R. Scarborough, president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1939, told messengers gathered in Oklahoma City that the battle for liberty of conscience was never more imperiled than in this day of totalitarian dictators. J. Howard Williams warned the Baptist General Convention of Texas that religious liberty faced its greatest threat in 150 years because of the rise of the totalitarian powers. (7)

Other prominent Baptist leaders echoed these sentiments: "Totalitarian statism asserts its ultimate authority over every individual.... The present war, led by a swaggering maniac in Central Europe is a determined attempt to sweep Christianity from the face of the earth;" (8) "Hitler and his henchmen have outlined an elaborate scheme for a state-controlled church." (9) Edward Hughes Pruden, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Washington, D. C., condemned the enemy for treating the individual as a cog in a wheel and observed that "as Baptists our doctrinal position is in line with the highest ideals for which the United Nations are struggling." (10)

Several Baptist bodies also recognized that the war was a threat to religious liberty. The Southern Baptist Convention censured dictators who denied religious liberty to any who opposed them, and Virginia Baptists affirmed a committee report denouncing the despots of Europe and Asia for leading their nations to violate every divine principle of religious liberty. (11)

The crisis of war exposed totalitarian ideology as a violation of the truth of Christianity. Baptists did not believe that Christianity and democracy were coterminous, and they rarely portrayed the fight for democracy as necessary for the survival of Christianity. Rather, they insisted that Christianity was necessary for the survival of democracy and specifically the Baptist expression of Christianity with its affirmation of religious liberty and the separation of church and state. (12)

Baptists believed they were guardians of religious liberty during World War II as they proudly recounted their historic contribution to the rise and development of democracy. (13) They felt obligated to wave the banner of religious liberty as the Allied troops marched toward victory. Preaching to the Southern Baptist Convention in 1944, John H. Buchanan of Birmingham reminded the audience of their historic duty:
 We owe it to the world about us to proclaim the absolute competency of
 the individual in the realm of religion. If this basic concept is ignored,
 the global struggle for human freedom will be in vain. From this truth...
 stems all the freedoms for which men fight today. (14)

If the war was a fight for freedom, religious freedom was the foundation upon which all other democratic freedoms rested.

The Dilemma of Conscientious Objectors

Not all of the challenges during the war came from abroad. Circumstances at home also tested Baptists' consistency on religious liberty. The question of conscientious objectors presented a dilemma for those who in principle honored the rights of individual conscience, yet in practice eagerly carried out their patriotic duties of supporting the war effort. Compared to other denominations, Baptist conscientious objectors were a relatively small number. (15) Still, conventions passed resolutions supporting their rights during the war. The Southern Baptist Convention in 1940 stated that its membership "ought to accord them the right of their convictions as it accords to others the right to differ from them, and ought to protect them in that right to the extent of its ability." (16) The convention also instructed the executive committee to provide facilities for their registration so that an accurate certification could be given the government if requested. (17) Northern Baptists passed a similar resolution over a divided vote at their annual meeting in 1940 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (18)

One specific case of conscientious objection among Baptists gained attention when David Morgan of North Carolina returned his Selective Service questionnaire unanswered with an enclosed statement of his opposition to the war. The Biblical Recorder came to his defense after he was sentenced to prison: "The easier way would have been to fall in with the war makers. But David Morgan had a conscience which directed him to the harder, more perilous way." (19)

Others grounded their defense of conscientious objectors in their understanding of the Baptist identity. T B. Maston, professor of Christian ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, conceded that conscientious objectors may be wrong, "but if we are consistent as Baptists we will come to their defense." (20)

As the fighting escalated in Europe and especially after the United States entered the war, Baptists waned in their sympathy and waxed in their criticism for conscientious objectors. Northern Baptists, who had been more active in the peace movements of 1920s and 1930s than their Southern counterparts, increasingly distanced themselves from the issue, fearing that an assertion of basic rights would be viewed as an endorsement of pacifism. (21) The Watchman-Examiner questioned the action taken by the Northern Baptist Convention in establishing a register for conscientious objectors and criticized objectors who refused to record their status with the government for elevating the individual conscience above the law of the state. (22) Some called for the imposition of stricter measures since conscientious objection could be a criminal act under certain circumstances. (23) Pat M. Neff, president of Baylor University and president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1942, declared: "No one should be so blindly conscientious or so spiritually top-heavy that he would not be willing to carry arms to repel an invading foe. At times we need to fight as well as pray." (24) M. E. Dodd derided conscientious objectors and bragged that Southern Baptists had fewer objectors proportionately than any other denomination. (25) In making its report to the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the Committee on Civic Righteousness, forerunner to the Texas Christian Life Commission, recognized the rights of conscientious objectors but also stated emphatically "that it is the sacred duty of every citizen to give complete loyalty to the state in time of crisis." (26) A layman from Tennessee, who served as an advisory member of his local draft board, undoubtedly expressed the feelings of many of his fellow Baptists when he proudly declared that he was a conscientious non-objector:
 We would not be a nation today if this country had been settled by people
 who were conscientious objectors against going to war for God-given rights.
 Show me in history where any people ever gained anything that was worth
 while without paying the price. (27)

When the bullets started to fly, official actions taken in support of conscientious objectors were increasingly interpreted as matters of expediency in making reports to the government rather than expressions of a commitment to religious liberty. In practice, conscientious objectors were more ostracized than supported by Baptists. Stanley Owen White in a study on Southern Baptist attitudes on war and peace observed, "This attitude, coming from a denomination which emphasizes the competency of the individual before God, seems to be a strange inconsistency." (28) John Lee Eighmy remarked that Baptists, on this matter, failed to give practical expression to their long-held belief in freedom of conscience. (29)

Writing with the benefit of hindsight after the war, J. M. Dawson reported that three times as many objectors were imprisoned during World War II as in the previous war and "on an even narrower basis of recognizing conscience." (30) He lamented that constitutional rights are sometimes ignored under the military juggernaut and militarized public opinion and insisted that the importance of the conscientious objector for democracy must not be underrated. (31)

But for rank-and-file Baptists who sacrificed fathers, sons, and brothers on distant beaches in the Pacific and the bloody battlefields of Europe, winning freedom against the menacing Axis powers outweighed any concerns for consistency of Baptist principles. The Baptist commitment to religious liberty during the war was to preserve the freedom upon which democracy depended, and those who refused to bear arms because of matters of conscience were viewed not as courageous witnesses for religious liberty but as threats to its preservation and progress.

Separation of Church and State

If Baptists wavered in their support of conscientious objectors, they were unequivocal about the separation of church and state. One issue, in particular, provoked a firestorm of Baptist protest. In December 1939, President Roosevelt, in an effort to pursue all necessary measures for peace before the military aggressions of Europe escalated into a world war, appointed Myron Taylor, an Episcopalian layman, as his envoy to the Vatican. Technically, since Taylor only represented the president in a personal capacity, the United States did not establish diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The Vatican enflamed the situation, however, when it recognized and received Taylor as an ambassador. Diplomatic ties with the Vatican had existed prior to the dissolution of the Papal States in 1870, and many supporters of church-state separation feared that official relations might resume when the tiny territory comprising Vatican City became a sovereign state in 1929. Baptists who saw Taylor's role as a semantic subterfuge viewed the arrangement as a clear violation of constitutional principles and a diabolical conspiracy by the Roman Catholic Church to dominate world affairs.

With renewed suspicion for their deeply rooted antipathy to Catholicism, Baptists minced no words about the Taylor appointment. The veteran journalist J. B. Cranfill catastrophized the event saying the Constitution "has been treated as a scrap of paper ... trampled upon and thrown into the ash can." (32) He lambasted Roosevelt for weakening democracy and summoned to arms all concerned Baptists to fight the same battle Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers waged. (33) After writing a letter of protest to Cardinal Francis Spellman regarding his remarks that the separation of church and state was nothing more than a "shibboleth," Louie D. Newton led his Atlanta congregation to pass a resolution against the appointment. (34) One Baptist pastor likened Catholics to modern-day Pharisees while many others beseeched Roosevelt to withdraw his appointment. (35)

Baptists heeded Cranfill's call to arms as conventions, agencies, and other organizations fought the Taylor selection. Both Northern and Southern Baptists in annual meetings passed resolutions calling for reconsideration at the earliest possible moment. (36) Rufus W. Weaver, representing the Baptist Joint Conference Committee, denounced the Taylor affair as preferential treatment of a religious group and protested personally in a meeting with the president. (37) Weaver even took his crusade to the airwaves in a nationwide radio address over the Columbia Broadcasting System. (38)

This tsunami of remonstrance yielded no change in the situation. Roosevelt sought to retain whatever political advantage possible in winning peace before the war in Europe spiraled into a global conflict, but Baptists refused to remain silent on the issue. They regrouped at the next line of defense by challenging any effort of the government to establish official diplomatic ties with the Vatican. Baptist papers throughout the nation kept the issue alive throughout the war, and national and state conventions urged the government not to establish as a permanent feature of U.S. diplomacy what should be considered only a temporary measure during a war emergency. (39) The Southern Baptist Press Association also passed a resolution decrying further diplomatic relations during a meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1945. (40) These complaints were not without success. Even though Taylor remained in his post for the duration of the war, Baptist protests, along with other Protestants' complaints, were sufficient to force President Truman to abandon his plans to elevate the post to ambassadorial status in 1949. (41)

Roosevelt's move, to Baptists, was a clear violation of religious liberty, but the voluminous amount of commentary on the situation also revealed anxieties about a resurgent Roman Catholicism dominating world affairs. (42) One scathing tirade framed the Vatican as:
 Enemy Number One to Evangelical Christianity.... Like a giant octopus,
 the Roman religion-political machine in America is reaching out its
 destructive arms in many directions to get a strangle hold on both civil
 and religious liberty. (43)

Anti-Catholic diatribes only intensified as the war drew to a close and Baptists resisted efforts to include the Vatican in brokering a peace treaty. Baptist papers warned their readers that plans were underway to destroy American institutions and impose the Roman Catholic hierarchy on the whole nation. Some editors even raised the ugly specter of collaboration between the Vatican and Nazi Germany. (44) L. L. Gwaltney, editor of the Alabama Baptist, writing at the end of the war, insisted that Baptists should be as alarmed by the "Revival of Romanism" as by the rise of the Soviet Union since the Catholics "have centered upon America as their greatest and most promising opportunity." (45) Baptists united in their opinion that Roman Catholicism was essentially undemocratic and un-American and that they must "arise in the strength of their unity to proclaim their message of religious liberty" in the face of this menacing confrontation. (46)

Other wartime issues concerned Baptists although not as seriously as Taylor's appointment. The "Victory Tax" as an amendment to the Social Security Act went into effect in 1943 largely to provide the government with an added source of revenue for national defense. The new law raised critical questions about certain stipulations that could, in effect, make churches tax collection agencies for the government in withholding funds from ministers' salaries. Baptists across the nation discussed the issue on principle but generally complied with the law out of the desire to do their part in supporting the war effort. (47)

Ministry of Chaplains

Baptist chaplains filled the ranks of the military during World War II, and Baptist publications regularly reported on ministry to the soldiers. In the minds of some, the military chaplaincy highlighted concerns about the subordination of the spiritual ministry to the control of the state. Baptists protested the discharge of Army Chaplain L. G. Gatlin because the government considered his zealous approach to evangelism "unadapted to the military service." Writing for the Western Recorder, an outraged John Huss asked: "Can a chaplain be over-zealous in evangelism? Dealing with men whose lives are in peril, is it not a travesty to dismiss a man because he ministers to a man's greatest necessity, namely: the want of his soul?" (48) Huss's objection revealed the tension between serving the needs of a nation at war while somehow transcending the war by not compromising theological convictions.

Calls for a Just and Durable Peace

What received the most attention from Baptists committed to religious liberty was the charter to establish a just and durable peace at the end of the war. As they weathered the inconveniences of rationing and accepted the tragic news of friends and family members lost in battle, Baptists gained confidence, with other Americans, that a new world order established in freedom could emerge out of the chaos and devastation of war. They joined the chorus calling for a just and durable peace, and the clear note they sounded again and again was religious liberty. Long before the formal surrender of Japan at the ceremony in Tokyo Bay, Baptists advocated a peace treaty that included assurances for religious liberty.

As early as 1942, Northern Baptists passed resolutions about postwar peace and then again in 1944 by noting that "there are grave indications that a military victory will not automatically bring religious freedom to the world." (49) Northern Baptists adopted the "Six Pillars of Peace" statement issued by the Federal Council of Churches. (50)

Southern Baptists, who doggedly resisted efforts at unionizing with other denominations in a national Christian organization, issued their own "Six Principles of Peace." One resolution came in response to a Foreign Mission Board request for a peace settlement "in which the work of world evangelization can best go forward." (51) It insisted, "... no peace terms will be adequate which either deny or obscure the principle of true religious liberty." (52) The convention also approved the creation of the World Peace Committee and charged it with the task of expressing the sentiments of Southern Baptists on behalf of those principles which make for a righteous and lasting peace. (53) Various Baptist state conventions followed suit by adopting resolutions favoring religious liberty as an indispensable aspect of world security, (54) Missouri Baptists even formed their own Special Committee on Plans for World Peace. (55)

Baptists' most active and effective organization for religious liberty during the war was the Joint Conference Committee on Public Relations. This group addressed the subject of religious liberty and world peace at almost every meeting until the war's end and stated that it "should concern itself primarily with the question of making effective the Baptist position on religious liberty in the peace settlement." (56)

The committee had drafted a statement on religious liberty in 1939 entitled "The American Baptist Bill of Rights" that was subsequently adopted by several Baptist conventions. In 1942, the committee proffered an amendment to this statement that more specifically addressed the threat to religious liberty posed by world war. (57)

During the war, the Joint Conference Committee engaged in lobbying, publication, and education, but it concentrated its best efforts on making religious liberty a priority issue in the postwar settlement by the United Nations. The platform for peace that the committee suggested was the proposal made by Woodrow Wilson to the League of Nations Peace Conference at Versailles in 1919. (58) Toward the end of the war, Chairman E. Hilton Jackson communicated regularly with the State Department arguing the case for religious liberty guarantees being incorporated into the United Nations Charter. (59) While the secretary of state did not advocate the views propounded by the committee, be did make facilities available during the Peace Conference so the committee could distribute material representing its views to the assembled delegates. (60)

Other Baptists used their influence in the quest for world peace. L. L. Gwaltney avowed that America must take the lead in the peace proceedings since total and absolute freedom of religion for all faiths is the only thing that satisfies the American conscience. He feared that if religious liberty were omitted from the deliberations, "the war will be lost and millions of men will have died and yet will have failed to attain and preserve the greatest of all freedoms." (61)

Senator Walter E George of Georgia delivered a radio address on the Baptist Hour in which he recounted the historic role of Baptists in the development of religious liberty and appealed to his audience to launch a petition campaign in advance of the World Organization meetings. (62) Following George's address, several state newspapers printed sample petitions with instructions to forward the information to the Southern Baptist Radio Committee which would then transmit the petitions to the proper authorities. (63)

The most visible and influential spokesman among Baptists during the peace proceedings was J. M. Dawson, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Waco, Texas. At its annual meeting in 1944, the SBC selected Dawson to chair the newly-created World Peace Committee. A few months later, he delivered an address at Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly in North Carolina that galvanized Baptists in their backing of religious liberty as a nonnegotiable component of a world peace platform.

In this speech that was widely distributed as a pamphlet and reprinted in Baptist newspapers and journals, Dawson maintained that the test for establishing a peace settlement was not-only to preserve complete religious liberty in America but also to sever the union of church and state in other lands. He saw religious liberty as the precondition for evangelism "within lands whose governments are seeking to topple God from his throne." (64) Observing that the last freedom to fall in Germany was religious freedom, Dawson identified religious liberty as essential both for world peace and the preservation of modern democracy: "Nowhere else in the wide world has any other force been identified with equal power to create a freedom for humanity." (65)

During annual meetings that autumn, several state conventions passed resolutions inspired by Dawson's Ridgecrest address. Dawson, along with other Baptist leaders, met with Secretary of State Cordell Hull and appealed to participants of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference on World Security meeting in Washington, D. C., to make religious liberty a priority on its agenda. (66)

In his capacity as an unofficial observer at the United Nations Conference on World Security in San Francisco from April through June of 1945, Dawson acted on behalf of not only Southern Baptists but also the Northern and Negro Baptist Conventions. (67) He delivered 100,000 petitions coming from 11 million Baptists asking for the establishment of a commission on human rights and a guarantee of religious liberty. (68) In one dispatch from the field, he rejoiced that Baptists were no longer conducting the fight alone but had been joined in their efforts by the Federal Council of Churches and the Inter-Faith Movement. "The whole world," he stated, "is coming around to the Baptist position on religious liberty." (69)

The final outcome of the peace conference was less than Baptists had initially hoped for, but the conference report included a statement on religious freedom not as a separate article but as a central focus of the work of the Commission on Human Rights. Dawson, unwavering in his optimism, declared that the issue of religious freedom within the sphere of the protection of human rights had been stronger than anticipated. He concluded his role at the conference with this brief assessment: "The provision appears repeatedly in the charter, much to our satisfaction." (70) After the conference, the World Peace Committee, of which Dawson was the chair, recommended that the U. S. Senate promptly ratify the United Nations Charter. (71)

Before the war wag over, the Joint Conference Committee set into motion the creation of a new organization for the purpose of advocating religious liberty on behalf of various Baptist conventions. (72) In 1946, the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs emerged as the educational and lobbying arm for Baptists in America on church-state issues. Because of his sterling role in representing Baptists on the matter of world peace, J. M. Dawson had secured his reputation as a respected leader and persuasive voice in the field of church-state studies. Soon after the formation of the newly created Joint Committee, he resigned his Texas pastorate to become the first full-time director of the organization. (73)

Postwar Activities

World War II came to a close as the nations of the world agreed to an armistice. Baptists in America celebrated with their countrymen the victory that won them freedom from a threatening tyranny and freedom for peace and security. They progressed into the postwar world with hope and confidence through various programs of ministry, evangelism, and denominational expansion.

Northern Baptists developed an eleven-point program for advancement and undertook efforts to raise $10 million to support it. Southern Baptists instituted their own Centennial Crusade hoping to win a million new souls to Christ. (74) Confident in the distinctiveness of their heritage and believing that their message offered the best and greatest hope for the world, Baptists nationwide redoubled their efforts to recruit and appoint new missionaries and to extend the Baptist witness into new fields of service. The religious liberty for which they fought and won opened endless possibilities for a flourishing ministry that was global in its scope and eternal in its consequences.


(1.) Edwin McNeill Poteat Jr., Four Freedoms and God (New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 1943).

(2.) Annual, Northern Baptist Convention, 1940, 353; 1941; 225-26; Annual, Southern Baptist Convention, 1940, 87, 96; 1941, 99, 167.

(3.) Rufus W. Weaver, "The World Crisis and Religious Liberty," Baptist and Reflector (October 19, 1939): 5.

(4.) Harry Emerson Fosdick, "The Free Spirit Confronts the World's Coercion," Living Under Tension: Sermons on Christianity Today (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1941), 132.

(5.) George Manning Lewis, "Germany's New Religion," in Render Unto Caesar: A Collection of Sermon Classics on All Phases of Religion in Wartime (New York: Lewis Publishing, Co., 1943), 158.

(6.) Ibid., 160.

(7.) L. R. Scarborough, "Vital Essentials Worth Preserving and Perpetuating," Baptist Standard (May 25, 1939): 2; J. Howard Williams, "President's Address, Baptist General Convention of Texas," Baptist Standard (December 12, 1940): 14.

(8.) J. M. Dawson, "Ultimatum to Christian Students," Baptist Standard (September 14, 1939): 2.

(9.) Julian Atwood, "Is Religious Liberty in Danger?" Baptist Standard (February 6, 1941): 1.

(10.) "Do You Know What You Believe?" Religious Herald (January 4, 1945): 5.

(11.) Annual, Southern Baptist Convention, 1941, 98-99; "World Conditions--Report of Committee to the General Association," Religious Herald (February 18, 1943): 4-5.

(12.) For a representative view of this opinion, see "Christianity and Democracy," Religious Herald (January 15, 1943): 5.

(13.) Scarborough, 2; George W. Truett, "The Baptist Message and Mission for the World Today," Baptist Standard (July 27, 1939): 1-12; George E. Stewart Jr., "Religious Liberty," Baptist Standard (February 3, 1944): 2; Wade E. Bryant, "Religious Freedom for the World," Baptist Standard (March 22, 1945): 1, 4; Annual, Southern Baptist Convention, 1944, 15; Annual, Mississippi Baptist Convention, 1943, 53; Rufus W. Weaver, et al., "The Road to the Freedom of Religion," Publication of the Baptist Joint Conference Committee on Public Relations, 1944; Minutes, Baptist Joint Conference Committee on Public Relations, September 30, 1943; W. O. Carver, "The Road to the Freedom of Religion," Religious Herald (April 27, 1943): 4-5.

(14.) "The Debt We Still Owe," Religious Herald (January 4, 1945): 5.

(15.) Two important studies on this subject are Richard C. Anderson, Peace Was in Their Hearts: Conscientious Objectors in World War II (Scottsdale, Penn.: Herald Press, 1994) and Jack B. McKinney, "When Is a Conscience a Conscience? A Baptist View of Selective Conscientious Objection" (Ph.D. diss., Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 1995). For a listing of the number of Baptist conscientious objectors, see Anderson, "Appendix A," 280-85. These figures do not account for the number of citizens who refused to register with the Selective Service during the war or the problem of inadequate and inaccurate records kept by local draft boards.

(16.) Annual, Southern Baptist Convention, 1940, 37.

(17.) Ibid., 96.

(18.) Annual, Northern Baptist Convention, 1940, 349-50.

(19.) John Calvin Slemp, "Editorial," Biblical Recorder (November 12, 1941): 3.

(20.) "Baptists and the Conscientious Objector," Baptist Standard (November 8, 1939): 8.

(21.) "Pacifists and the War Peril," Watchman-Examiner (September 19, 1940): 1000-01.

(22.) "The Conscientious Objector Pledge," Watchman-Examiner (October 17, 1940): 1096-97; "The State Versus Conscience," Watchman-Examiner (November 28, 1940): 1240-41.

(23.) John Bunyan Smith, "The Convention Should Not Support Conscientious Objectors," Watchman-Examiner (May 22, 1944): 552-53; F. M. McConnell, (n.t.), Baptist Standard (April 23, 1942): 4.

(24.) Pat M. Neff, "To the Members of the Southern Baptist Convention," Christian Index (October 8, 1942): 3.

(25.) M. E. Dodd, "The Flags," Baptist Standard (October 28, 1943): 1.

(26.) Annual, Baptist General Convention of Texas, 1942, 207. See also S. G. Posey, "Report of the Committee on Civic Righteousness," Baptist Standard (March 25, 1945): 5.

(27) Oley C. Kidd, "I Am a Conscientious Non-Objector," Western Recorder (June 18, 1942): 5.

(28.) Stanley Owen White, "Southern Baptist Attitudes on War and Peace, 1914-1964" (Ph.D. diss., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Forth Worth, Texas, 1965), 139.

(29.) John Lee Eighmy, Churches in Cultural Captivity: A History of Social Attitudes of Southern Baptists (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1972), 100.

(30.) J. M. Dawson, Separate Church and State Now (New York: Richard R. Smith, 1948), 143.

(31.) Ibid., 142.

(32.) J. B. Cranfill, "The President and the Pope," Western Recorder (January 25, 1940): 2.

(33.) Ibid.

(34.) "Letter to Cardinal Spellman," Baptist Standard (March 29, 1940): 3; ibid., (May 23, 1940): 18.

(35.) M. P. Hunt, "The Catholics' Position on Civil and Religious Liberty," Western Recorder (May 23, 1940): 3; Victor L. Masters, "The Need for Prompt Action: An Open Letter to Presidents of Baptist Conventions and All Baptist Leaders," Western Recorder (April 4, 1940): 346-47; J. Howard Williams, 14.

(36.) Annual, Northern Baptist Convention, 1940, 349; Annual, Southern Baptist Convention, 1940, 24.

(37.) Annual, Southern Baptist Convention, 1940, 120, 123; Eighmy, 149, n. 9.

(38.) Eighmy, 145.

(39.) Annual, Northern Baptist Convention, 1941, 219; Annual, Southern Baptist Convention, 1942, 86; Annual, Alabama Baptist Convention, 1942, 106; Annual, Baptist General Convention of Texas, 1944, 27-28.

(40.) "Editors Protest Diplomatic Relations with Vatican," Baptist Standard (March 1, 1945): 1.

(41.) Eighmy, 145, n. 10.

(42.) J. B. Roush, "The President's Papal Representative," Western Recorder (January 18, 1940): 10-11; Victor L. Masters, "Mr. Roosevelt Names an Ambassador to Vatican," Western Recorder (January 24, 1940): 10.

(43.) Edward Haun, "Arouse Thyself, O America!" Western Recorder (March 14, 1940): 4-5.

(44.) "Editors Protest Diplomatic Relations with Vatican," Baptist Standard (March 1, 1945): 1; "Can Catholicism Win America?" Baptist Standard (March 8, 1945): 3; "Keeping Catholicism from Winning America," Baptist Standard (March 22, 1945): 3; C. D. Graves, "Religious Liberty. At What Price?" Christian Index (April 12, 1945): 1.

(45.) Leslie Lee Gwaltney, The World's Greatest Decade: The Times and the Baptists (Birmingham: Baptist Book Store, 1947): 73-74.

(46.) Rueben Alley, "Resist Unto Freedom," Religious Herald (June 3, 1943): 11. See also J. Howard Williams, 14.

(47.) "Church Versus State," Religious Herald (April 29, 1943): 10; "The Victory Tax," Baptist Courier (January 7, 1943): 3.

(48.) John Huss, "Can a Chaplain Be Over-zealous in Evangelism?" Western Recorder (August 24, 1944): 5.

(49.) Annual, Northern Baptist Convention, 1942, 270; ibid, 1944, 282.

(50.) Annual Report, Federal Council of Churches, 1943, 62.

(51.) Annual, Southern Baptist Convention, 1944, 144.

(52.) Ibid., 150.

(53.) Ibid., 149.

(54.) Annual, Alabama Baptist Convention, 1943, 129; ibid, 1944, 108; Annual, Mississippi Baptist Convention, 1943, 53-54; Annual, North Carolina Baptist Convention, 1943, 78; Annual, Baptist General Convention of Texas, 1943, 22.

(55.) Annual, Missouri Baptist Convention, 944, 168.

(56.) Minutes, Baptist Joint Conference Committee on Public Relations, April 27, 1943.

(57.) Ibid., 13 February 1943; Annual, Southern Baptist Convention, 1944, 136-37.

(58.) Minutes, Baptist Joint Conference Committee on Public Relations, September 27, 1944.

(59.) Minutes, Baptist Joint Conference Committee on Public Relations, April 1944, 28.

(60.) Eighmy, 143.

(61.) Gwaltney, 9.

(62.) Walter F. George, "The Foundation of Freedom," Religious Herald (April 5, 1945): 5.

(63.) "Petitions Ask for Religious Liberty," Baptist Standard (March 22, 1945): 1-2.

(64.) J. M. Dawson, "Religious Liberty Restated" (n.p., n.d.): 4.

(65.) Ibid., 4.

(66.) "Baptist Leader Asks Dumbarton Oaks Conference to Consider Religious Liberty," Baptist Standard (September 7, 1944): 9.

(67.) "J. M. Dawson Is Observer at San Francisco Conference," Baptist Standard (April 26, 1945): 1; "Peace Conference Promises to Be Long Drawn Out," Baptist Standard (May 10, 1945): 4.

(68.) "Hopes for Peace," Christian Index (June 21, 1945): 3, 5.

(69.) "Religious Liberty May Win Favor in Conference," Baptist Standard (May 17, 1945): 4.

(70.) "Pastor Discusses Conference Problems," Baptist Standard (June 21, 1945): 4.

(71.) "Southern Baptist Committee on World Peace Approves San Francisco Charter," Christian Index (July 5, 1945): 9-10.

(72.) Minutes, September 1944, 28.

(73.) Stan Lee Hastey, "A History of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, 1946-1971" (Thesis, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, 1974).

(74.) Gerald L. Sittser, A Cautious Patriotism: The American Churches and the Second World War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997): 247-48; "Southern Baptists Unite in Greatest Soul-Winning Effort," Baptist Message (August 10, 1944): 1.

J. Bradley Creed is associate provost and professor of religion, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama.
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Author:Creed, J. Bradley
Publication:Baptist History and Heritage
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2001
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