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my name is that chance event of an imf loan with your co chairman of energy and concern that originally been concerned about vietnam and i welcome you in behalf of articulation very good to come to this press conference rabbi farber who is the director of the commission an interfaith activities of the union of american hebrew congregations his organization virgin land concerned about vietnam's are not about two years ago an interfaith agency to express the convictions of the leaders of the church and a synagogue in regard to the war in vietnam his organization became most visible last january one or two thousand clergy members in washington too dramatizes their opposition to the war
this press conference was called to give you a chance to ask questions both of the kickoff and decaying we have to subjects which are closely related and one the king will deal with later that is he will be it will give you call two way a new mobilization in washington for clergy and laymen on the fifth and six a farmer but they're probably in substance are our major concern has to do with the dress and our organization for june layman concerned and very much involved because we are so aware of the conflict of conscience between so large a part of our younger generation than expected in the fighting and the policy or government i think in two ways we're involved the first place everything that we have said as individuals and as an organization about the war insofar as it had any influence at all would encourage young
people to feel this conflict their conscience so that when they when they express this by resisting the draft we are already involved but secondly as for gm and we have a special concern to encourage people to be true to the dictates of their conscience and so in that way in another it within a certain intensity were involved in this problem now i'm going to have introduced you cough and the chaplain of yale university who has as you know in many ways embodied for many of us this of this problem of coffee with a director dad opened my present before
you know as the chop one actually i spend the bulk of my time with university students and i can report out among the intellectually serious and more leakage there is an increasing number are increasingly convinced that the war in vietnam was just all of this means it this war stops or foreign or use the polls today this i believe that's precisely the point to which we've come unfortunately again and again turns the used the colorado and life ideas presents it is very unfortunate that calls students who turned in their black cards they're afterthoughts they're turning in the very dots was the draft system itself provides them as doomed so i'm turning into turning in the frontlines on the case of the man's or exempted from getting them combat turning in their exams they
involve often encounter these men on by margaret and leave always things final are highly conscientious educate a young man because he is an end of the time and there are of course professors in a deliberate effort that violates our laws which we fear violate the right across north we'll share the convention that these young men thought because at least have succeeded we've been indicted and all of us walk this opportunity to confront the government and the united states courts in the traditional american flags cause we're prepared to go to jeff went through all the early ages moments of that that runs the war made their leader of the
kansas city florida state ruggiero is obviously a small thing but we're also prepared to fight for them i believe that what america is presently about is not what america is all about i believe that a lago the last man to abate duties without at the same time running than their rights i believe is on alert thousands of black americans in mississippi are being ordered into the army and not one black man sits on an incredible i believe in an america where the liberty forces prevailed or arbitrary forces in the government i believe in an america that americans should be watered with it without congress have even declared a state of emergency level will i believe in an america where the bill of rights says that eminem and consonants there that are higher than was that
i believe it is the thousands of young men are having their rights of conscience violated by a draft law which recognizes the rights of constant reminder of the human as a lot of these so called selective conscientious objector in short we broke that has the validity of the loss because it is all believe it is our belief in america we have our side not only consonants but also the constitution and it would be a terrible thing to go to jail without on behalf of all for martin's fighting will wright's gravitas by the constitution that is the last word about the indictment itself the government could have confronted us with a nice neat clean indictment because advice is to me personally coffin you receive drop gotten your hands of the justice department you have a little while a section twelve the national selective service will inspire the government has ruled resorted to the
broadest possible indictment is sweeping charge of conspiracy that was a gathering represents a time the clouds rosalyn klein five years there was absolutely no staff kyle and anything at least that i did everything was there was this for until we get justice publicly is off by a commonsensical eyes sparkle motion what constitutes a conspiracy indictment then recovered addicts and we have an obligation i think to fight the indictment we would i because of a faulty indictment provided then what happens to the rights of the scent of alma one saturday then the wrong the opposition of the war what happens the rise of times it's a sweeping indictment of conspiracy is a lot i think that should prevail government
will succeeded in scaring people either to inaction want to while eating case would be as costas asks so in some way i hope this problem are somewhat likely intensify the activity of a certain segment of the piece mormon so what has brought me hall opposition to the war a funk or soul come to the conclusion that what we're going to vietnam with a deeply weaken the thing hugh martin luther king and fifth graders remember prince charles former careers and mount career you know we were in the war in vietnam on their own or are most sensitive citizens must be sent to jail
we can no longer pretend that the war is simply a messy event and for southeast asia it is a war upon us two full persons in the religious community of this nation respect for the rights of conscience is of particular concern our allegiance to our nation is held under the height of allegiance to the god who is sovereign over all nations and that is a conflict between those allegiances that aren't as clear today we find our allegiance to our nation's policy impossible to reconcile with all allegiance to go we know that millions of americans share the anguish we express that they have been silent heretofore we meet with them to speak up now
earlier weekly live them to speak again so together we can strengthen the public outcry that will force a reappraisal of a new direction in our policy in south east asia we're made stronger by the courage of our brother joe and paul's and margaret phelan the spot and they'll those indicted with them and show them always so they'll blow to us support them and their lovers during those are when not vague what our country is on trial this next year and a day until november fifth may well be the most faithful one that we show have to face for the rest of his generation during this year it will be the law that will decide whether our culture every games its balance in world politics and it's in an
obscenity and one turns to more bombs aboard and more arrests to our nation's leaders week leaves of the law in vietnam now before it is too late we believe that these are times when a man of conscience can ill afford to relax and the luxury of verbal pronouncements where pope always say you know old worn never again in a law firm belief that every priest minister and rabbis as well virgil appears on a nation vowels in this exhibit themselves to the position we have regarding the sanctity of conscience and mann's ultimate loyalty to garner both volz of part animation and the government was years to
prosecute consistently it must incarcerate thousands of americans who are devoted to that country ronald b and furnished the conscience as a result of this our national committee of clergymen name is calling on clergy and women from every section of the country to join us in washington dc on february fifth and six poupon commercial laundry and all we need to make clear in this political year congressman on all sides of the hour and to the president of the united states that we will no longer tolerate we will no longer thoughtful man who continue to see the killing a vietnamese americans as the best way of advancing their goals
of freedom and self determination and sounds the southeast asia it is imperative that church and synagogue leaders clergy come to washington and us persons and the federal government thinks that man of conscience and be cowed into silence and biden responsible people of conscience to call upon america for attacking two shoreham on peaceful distance we cannot remain silent as our nation engages in one of history's most common sensors will during these days of whom for veiled we must encourage an active lives so called creative dissenters we need them because the founder of the fearless forces would be the
owners' sound of strong growth and the blasts of bombs and the clamor war history the rule change the situation in vietnam war situation well i think in the major roar of the church to try to help the government and the people to change their minds about the war i think that the basic thing is not alive for the church to say exactly what policies should be followed detail about two to change the the presuppositions of our active out on the basis of what were acting but also make people smarter or well my the consequences were doing i don't think people realize what we're going to do a small nation india and intimidation we are overwhelming power and i guess the big love issuing the use of our power in a kind of thoughtless way not with evil intention
at the expense of the vietnamese people both years of unique position of having an overview of what's going on in terms of what churches are doing and what you think has been done so for me and how specifically getting churches should act to bring the question home to think the the pressure should be at the end of the different level from the very specific matters of policy that said to make people realize that as the present that those who make policy must rethink their presuppositions and must recognize what they're doing really this is not really recognize them but you think that the you know the churches have been outspoken not enough you know i think some of the some of the air of the councils of the national council of a very good in and all of this done and i think they did and leadership of protestantism on the whole has been very good on this i've been disappointed in the that the catholic bishops have not followed the pope's more intimate than my great disappointments do you feel that
any real effect in the hat by having this demonstration in washington well i think it has a part of the total process yes i don't think that and i think of the fact that it will be very much of a peaceful demonstration about any pressure from people who have no work no food no interference anybody else's behavior tall in a demonstration that's thing i think tank think self defeating and demonstration interfere with the freedom of other people i use some counseling young men to resist the draft no not such a but what if you put together what i say about the war many of whistle with my their counseling people to follow their own conscience they might give draw the inference but i wouldn't put myself in the position of bringing in a cab more pressure than anybody to to take a particular action to get a coffee what more can you do you could have been the most outspoken critics of the government's position and you tell some young man
to follow their conscience is to do what the law says and i don't have a march and from maury and when if this doesn't work if the government doesn't change its position one more can you possibly do you know of a lot of the affiliate actually undefeated because it on trying i mean in that time we were here for hope here of a brighter view the future that forces you to take them into the present and then you're always analysts call the present your oyster and toward the future and i'm not one to give up hope i have a great deal of faith at anti american people once it finally sees the issues about really the issues really are american people they call for and the man seems so low level i moved here so it were only undefeated because beyond drawing and i think that we're going to see african success yielding many students have in the past month taken some strong actions on their own
and the role they play when they become ministers should be interesting to see what you think of the role that the misses or church leaders today have been playing in major churches in the united states in and war ii sanford most churches are hopeless and a sense that they don't really have hope they don't strangle of the future they don't carry out a lover's quarrel with a puzzle or write because when you don't have hope i knew someone that the status quo is settled other things as they are under some very large but fortunately there are a few catholic priests and laymen protestants and jews oh really immersing the religious community by taking a much more truly thwarted huxtables the tenth after all governmental of the forum out of jail with the bottom of three bodies with what michael mandelbaum talking about what would you like to see a more outspoken yes that was a lot of this is an injustice that it's supposed to declare injustice
was in can you describe your position about the war in vietnam in a major policy speech given the riverside church in nineteen sixty seven how the opinions changed since the word and change that all much more in terms of financial and they're not warriors continued to escalate and casualties continued to mount and the national spirit continues to be generating as a result of those are more intense and emotional moment i was an intensely opposed to live what you think is the most important moral problem in united states today and the most important moral problem and the united states today is engulfed the tulane
our so called professional malpractice the gulf between them means about which we live in the hands for which we know this is an all this great gap continues to keep those following their own courses of action we fight racism still existing militarism and economic exploitation and what you think of the world the churches have played so far in this question and that they will play well only church of numbers good as we fail if you believe we have seen too much silence i'm on the basic issues confronting us we're same fall too much in the ocean on the question a warm human on the question of race and solve the churches will become much more relevant and raise their of what their voices and then gates in action against
Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam
Producing Organization
WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
The Riverside Church (New York, New York)
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Program Description
A press conference of religious leaders commenting about their opposition to the Vietnam War.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Town Hall Meeting
Military Forces and Armaments
War and Conflict
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Media type
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Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
Publisher: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Speaker: Kaufman, Henry
Speaker: Bennet, John C.
Speaker: King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Riverside Church
Identifier: cpb-aacip-7e4b2b79037 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Generation: Master
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Chicago: “Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam,” 1968-01-12, The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 29, 2022,
MLA: “Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam.” 1968-01-12. The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 29, 2022. <>.
APA: Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. Boston, MA: The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from