Roosevelt Appeals for “cooperation Among Americans of Every Creed and Racial Origin”
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Roosevelt Appeals for “cooperation Among Americans of Every Creed and Racial Origin”

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Common determination among Americans of all faiths to perform the tasks which the war presents to the nation and to keep alive the concepts of democracy throughout the struggle, was emphasized throughout the U.S. today, in the observance of Brotherhood Week by Protestants, Catholics and Jews in some 2,000 communities.

Sponsored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the ninth annual observance of Brotherhood Week from Feb. 15 to 22, was endorsed by President Roosevelt as affirming “a principle essential to our national defense.”

In a letter to Dr. Everett R. Clinchy, president of the National Conference, the President said, “In this critical hour of our own and the world’s history, we, as Americans, need more than armaments and armies to make safe our democracy. We need a secure bond of understanding among all our citizens, and even more, the practice of brotherhood and willing cooperation among Americans of every creed and racial origin.” The President’s letter was read today in thousands of churches and synagogues across the country to signalize the opening of the Week.


A declaration of fundamental religious beliefs held in common by Protestants, Catholics and Jews, the first statement of its kind in the nation’s history, was made public today by Dr. Clinchy. The declaration, issued simultaneously today in hundreds of communities throughout the country by local leaders of the three faiths in connection with the opening of Brotherhood Week, expresses the loyalty of the signers to their respective religious convictions and recognizes “differences in many important beliefs.” But the religious and lay leaders emphasize “certain basic convictions” which they share. These common convictions are described as:

1. Belief in one God, creator and sustainer of the Universe.

2. Rejection of all attempts to explain man in “merely material terms.”

3. Belief that God’s “all-holy will” is the ultimate sanction of human morality, and rejection of all deterministic interpretations of man.

4. Belief that education or social theories which state man’s duties, standards and happiness without reference to God are “doomed to failure.”

5. Belief that “God’s fatherly providence” extends equally to every human being and rejection of theories of race which affirm the essential superiority of one racial strain over another.

6. Belief that the republican form of government is the “most desirable for our nation and for countries of similarly democratic traditions;” belief that political forms can bring liberty and happiness to a society “only when moral and religious principles are accepted and practiced.”

7. Belief that individual rights are an endowment from God and rejection of all denials of this principle as “certain to result in the enslavement of man.”

Among the Jewish leaders who signed the declaration are: Carl J. Austrian of the American Jewish Committee; Paul Baerwald; Mrs. Sidney C. Borg, president of the Jewish Big Sisters; Dr. Louis Finkelstein, president of the Jewish Theological Seminary; Dr. James Heller, Central Conference of American Rabbis; Rabbi Israel Goldstein, president of the Synagogue Council of America; Henry Monsky, president of the B’nai B’rith; Dr. Julian Morgenstern, president of the Hebrew Union College; Louis Moss, president of the United Synagogue of America; James N. Rosenberg, and a number of prominent rabbis from various parts of the country.

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