Charge H. M. Kallen with Blasphemy Under Ancient Blue Law of Massachusetts

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Charged with blasphemy, Dr. Horace M. Kallen, well known educator, former lecturer at Harvard and now of the faculty of the New School of Social Research in New York, is being sought on a warrant issued on the basis of an ancient blue law never repealed in Massachusetts.

The charge is based on statements made by Dr. Kallen in an address at a Sacco-Vanvetti memorial meeting last Thursday.

The police quote Dr. Kallen as saying that if “Sacco and Vanzetti were Anarchists, so were Jesus Christ, Socrates” and several others. It is substantially on this sentence that the charge is based under an ancient blue law of Massachusetts, never repealed, which in 1640 carried the penalty of death. The penalty has long since been modified. The ancient statute was resurrected in February, 1926, for the arrest and trial of Anthony Bimba, labor leader, in a shoe strike in Brockton.

Dr. Kallen was at one time connected with Harvard University as a lecturer in philosophy and won distinction as the star pupil and literary executor of William James, noted philosopher. Among his best known works are “William James and Henri Bergson,” “Creative Intelligence” (with John Dewey and others). “The Book of Job as a’ Greek Tragedy,” “Zionism and World Politics,” and others.

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