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Baptist Church Publication Attacks Anti-defamation League

February 17, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An attack has been launched on the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League by a Baptist church publication here because the Jewish group distributed in the public schools calendar books listing Jewish, Christian and national holidays.

Harking back to 1947 when the ADL and the Denver Council of Churches successfully opposed the distribution of the Gideon Bible, a Protestant version of the New Testament, in the public schools of this city, the Western Voice, publication of the First Baptist Church of Englewood, attacked the ADL in a half-page story headlined: “Anti-Defamation League Kept Gideon Bibles out of Denver Schools – Now Distributes Jew Propaganda Doctrine.”

The Western Voice’s story called the calendar book “a subtle means of proselytizing by giving a short phrase or a few words about Christian holy days and expanding at length on all Jew holidays and socializing, human relations and brotherhood days and weeks.”

In a comment on the Western Voice story, Michael Freed, regional ADL director, declared that it is “such a mish-mash of ignorance, half-truths, outright distortions and non sequiturs that I simply cannot regard this mumbo jumbo seriously.”

The Intermountain Jewish News of Denver asked Rev. Harvey Springer, publisher of the Western Voice, whether this attack signalized a campaign against the Jewish people. He said that he had been ill and had not seen the issue of his newspaper which attacked the ADL, and added:

“I am not anti-Semitic. I do not have a grain of anti-Semitism in me. I have nothing against the Jewish people, the I would like to see them accept the Christian doctrine. I have many good friends among the Jewish people. I spend thousands of dollars with them. I am not trying to hurt your people.

“I do not think the Jews are a threat to America. I visited Israel and spent five weeks there. I was amazed at the progress I saw there, the I did not like to see that many were atheistic. They treated my party very well there, gave us a car, and a guide. But an ADL man from Pittsburgh followed us wherever I went. I hope I can start a mission in Israel.”

Rev. Springer concluded his statement by assuring the Intermountain Jewish News that he and Rev. Ovid Helper, editor of the Western Voice, “have no plans to attack the Jewish people.” Nevertheless, the attack on the ADL was continued in the very next issue of the paper. This time it was directed against the B’nai B’rith and attorney Sam Menin of Denver, who had opposed the distribution of Gideon Bibles in 1947 in a move independent of the ADL.

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