CHICAGO (Jul. 5)
Morris B. Abram, President of the American Jewish Committee and the first Jew ever to address the annual meeting of a major American Protestant denomination, called today for more effective dialogues among the faiths that “deal with one another in honesty and with mutual respect.”
Mr. Abram, U.S. Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, spoke today on the moral issues posed by the means of communication in American culture. He was the main speaker at the day’s session of the biennial General Synod of the United Church of Christ, meeting at the Palmer House in Chicago.
“I am weary with dialogues which communicate only platitudes, with Jewish meetings which exhibit a Christian of goodwill, and with Christian meetings at which a special Jew is presented,” Mr. Abram said. “What a useful discussion we might have if we let down the barriers and dealt with one another in honesty and with mutual respect!
“Discussions which evade the heart of what each regards as important are evasions rather than courtesies, “he continued. “Such evasions indicate not respect but contempt for the other man’s views. The evasion may be a way of saying: ‘Your views are not worthy of honest discussion. Or it may reflect a fear that one’s own beliefs cannot stand examination. I plead for a dialogue between the religions in which each in candor evaluates its own successes and failures, admits its past errors and resolves to work cooperatively for a better society.”