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Brand War As Sin, Rabbi Urges Clergy at Williamstown Parley

September 3, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Rabbi Philip Bernstein of Rochester, speaking at a three faith forum on peace at the Williamstown Institute of Human Relations, urged today that leaders of all religions “announce publicly that they regard war as a sin and would not give their blessings to those who participate in it.”

The duty of the churches to world peace, Rabbi Bernstein said, is “to state publicly, clearly, courageously that they will have no more traffic with war.” He warned that another general war would deal a deathblow to religion.

Dorothy Day, editor of The Catholic Worker, speaking yesterday to an audience composed largely of young people, objected to the word “tolerance” as denoting condescension and urged the wiping out of anti-Semitism by “love and conversion.”

Some of the Catholics here oppose introduction of the issue of Charles E. Coughlin’s activities, on the grounds (1) that the problem is confined largely to the New York area and is relatively unimportant in other sections, (2) that the problem in New York can best be treated by ignoring the Coughlinites. At an informal discussion held on the lawn by several Catholic clergymen to correct certain impressions held by non-Catholics, one person raised the question of Coughlin and the cleric presiding said he did not wish to discuss it.

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