WASHINGTON (Dec. 27)
Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, accepting a citation from the National Conference of Christians and Jews for his contribution toward the improvement of human relations, declared today that “rancor and bigotry racial animosities and intolerance,” were the “deadly enemies of true democracy.”
The Chief Justice spoke at a private ceremony at his residence. Present were Dr. Arthur H. Compton and Roger W. Straus, co-chairmen of the National Conference of Christians and Jews; Basil O’Connor, who represented Prof. Carlton J.H. Hayes, also a co-chairman; and Dr. Everett R. Clinchy, president of the National conference.
Expressing himself as “deeply grateful that I had the opportunity to join in this organized effort to promote a continuous and effective expression of the sentiment which vitalizes our democracy,” Justice Hughes said:
“Liberty cannot be conserved by majority rule unless the majority hold sacred basic individual rights regardless of race or creed so that along with our differences of view political and religious, we have a deep and abiding sense of human dignity and worth and hence of our capacity for friendly cooperation in pursuit of common ideals of justice.
“Rancor and bigotry, racial animosities and intolerance are wholly incompatible with that cooperation. They are the deadly enemies of true democracy, more deadly than any external force because they undermine the very foundation of democratic effort.”
Justice Hughes praised the work of the National Conference of Christians and Jews which he said, “is devoted to the promotion of national unity–the unity of a free people with that respect for individual rights which makes possible the attainment of our common ends.”
The citation described the Chief Justice as “eminent among those whose influence has encouraged Americans of all religious faiths not to hold aloof from one another but through conference and cooperation to sustain the spiritual and ethical standards of the nation.”