A warm plea for religious toleration couched in language which plainly indicated that it was in the opinion of speakers provoked by incidents here and abroad not conducive to either “peace on earth” or “good will to men”, was sounded by religious, civic and political leaders at a meeting of the Bronx Forum held Wednesday night in Temple Adath Israel, Grand Concourse and 169th Street.
Bishop Manning, principal speaker, decried the violation of “this civilized principle” of good will and toleration, voicing bitter condemnation of the Nazi persecutions in Germany and warning that “we must not hesitate to speak out against wrongdoing that is destroying the foundations of peace and good-will.”
“We must speak out and ### our witness against any manifestations of race prejudice or race discrimination, or racial or religious discrimination, whether it be in Germany or in Russia or wherever it be in the world.
“For such acts as those which have already taken place in Germany we can hardly find words adequate. There is no place in the world for such acts as those among decent or civilized men.”
Bishop Manning said that the spirit of religion, “if it is real”, must “draw all of us together.” He insisted that the great source of peace is religion.
He mentioned the Menorah Lights which burn in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a gift of Adolph Ochs, as evidence of good will. Rabbi Henry A. Schorr, minister of Temple Adath Israel, who presided, said that the flag in the Temple was given by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Bainbridge Colby, former Secretary of State, referred to political affairs in Germany as an “unbelievable aberration.” He said that “we have little ground for indulging in self-congratulation on the state of the world” and in no less ironic language launched into a tirade of criticism against the German persecutions of Jewish and political non-conformists.
He scored the “inadequate” machinery of peace set up by international bodies and said that the greater portion of responsibility for world peace rests upon the individual.
Nathan Straus, Jr., former State Senator and an outstanding leader in Jewish affairs and philanthropist, made a plea for “study of the other man’s viewpoint”, adding that an understanding of other cultures and other beliefs leads to tolerance.
Byrnes MacDonald, son of the Papal Marquis, declared that the per-