What Was Back of Kennedy’s Murder?
after his assassination)
By Evangelist John R. Rice
1964, Sword of the Lord Publishers
1. Why Did God Allow the
2. Why Did Lee Harvey Oswald Do It?
3. Why Do Silly, Wicked Men Blame Loyal Americans, Fundamental Christians and Anti-Communists for It?
“The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have
built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor
of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from
heaven, saying, O kind Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is
departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall
be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and
seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in
the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”—Dan.
Shortly after noon November 22, 1963, as President John Fitzgerald Kennedy rode with Governor Connally through downtown Dallas in the triumphant procession and cheered by thousands, he was killed by an assassin’s bullet.
Harvey Oswald fired a high-powered rifle with telescopic sight from the sixth floor of a building overlooking the parade route. President Kennedy, shot though the head, was rushed to Parkland Hospital and if not dead on arrival, died in a few minutes. Governor John Connally of Texas was badly wounded.
That night Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, fifty-five years old, was sworn in as the 36th president in the presidential plane, and at once flew back to Washington along with the body of the dead President, the president’s wife and immediate party.
Oswald got away from the scene, but when police stopped to question him, he shot and killed Patrolman J.D. Tippit. He was then arrested in an Oak Cliff theater.
Oswald, twenty-four years old, openly professed to be a disciple of Karl Marx, went to Russia and in 1959 announced that he had applied to denounce his American citizenship and become a Russian. He married a Russian girl and came back to the United States. Two days after the President’s assassination Harvey Oswald, when being transferred from the city jail to the county jail, was shot and killed by Jack Ruby, operator of a strip-tease joint.
The murder of the energetic and popular young President shocked the whole world. Those who did not vote for him and did not believe in his political philosophy, yet respected him. Many Protestants, who did not vote for this Catholic man from honest conviction, yet respected him as their President and mourned over the crime and grieved for the widow and the fatherless children.
Dignitaries from big governments of the world came to Washington for the funeral and to pay respects to America and the memory of the late President. Republicans called for a month’s moratorium on political debate out of respect for the late Democratic President. Prominent American leaders who had been, we think properly, greatly concerned about the wasteful spending, the vastly increasing public debts, and the socialistic program of Mr. Kennedy’s New Frontier, felt that a period of mourning for all America was proper and thus called a truce for a few days to the fight on the things about the Kennedy administration which they felt honor-bound to oppose. So it was with Senator Goldwater, with Dr. Carl McIntyre, and others.
President Lyndon B. Johnson soon got a solid hold on American affairs and proved himself an efficient and powerful President. Proper respect was done to Kennedy’s memory. Now it is right for Christian leaders to speak out on the moral and spiritual issues in the assassination of President Kennedy.
The senseless and wicked murder of President Kennedy was an unspeakable tragedy. We believe he was an honest and gifted American. He served in World War II with honor. Although he was a Catholic, we believe he honestly supported the separation of church and state and tried not to be partial to Catholics. We did not vote for him and would not have voted for him again, but we were shocked at his tragic death and feel that the murderer should have been tried by a court of law and should have been given the death penalty. We do not regret that the murderer, Lee Harvey Oswald, died; we only regret that he died illegally.
But now there are serious spiritual questions about President Kennedy’s tragic assassination.
1. Why did God allow it?
2. And why did Oswald commit the crime?
3. Why the silly and wicked charges blaming loyal, anti-communist Americans for the President’s death?
We prayerfully suggest the truth as we see it.
I. WHY DID GOD ALLOW THE ASSASSINATION?
Why did God allow the man chosen by American people as President to be
slain before his first term was finished? Why the shock to millions who loved
him? Why was Jacqueline Kennedy suddenly made a widow and the two children left
fatherless? Why did God allow a wicked man to commit a wicked crime to bring
pain and hurt to multitudes?
These are good questions. We do not know all the answers; perhaps we can answer some of them.
1. For Good Reasons God Allowed the Assassination of President Kennedy
Many Scriptures show that God has His hands on the affairs of men. The
affairs of history do not take God by surprise, do not defeat His purposes. If I
had known about it and could have done so, I would have prevented his murder.
God did know about it and He could have prevented it but did not.
God send a warning dream to proud Nebuchadnezzar, builder of the first world empire at Babylon. But because he did not humble himself, God said:
“…they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”—Dan. 4:25.
And then we are told that it happened just as God had promised. Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind, lived like a wild beast for seven years, then was restored that he might “know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”
We may be sure, then, that presidents and kings do not take office without His permission and that they are not cut down contrary to God’s plans.
But one may ask, Was wicked Lee Harvey Oswald a fit instrument of God’s will? The answer is that “surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain” (Ps. 76:10).
God again and again punished Israel by the hand of heathen people about them, as we read in the book of Judges. Israel was carried into captivity by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The kings of Judah and Israel—Azariah and Jehoram—were slain by Jehu. Even Judas, who betrayed the Lord Jesus with a traitor’s kiss for money; and the time-serving governor Pilate, who consented to His death; and the wicked Jewish Sanhedrin which clamored for the crucifixion of the Son of God—these were used to bring about the will of God and the death of His Son to pay for the sins of the whole world. Yes, God does use wicked men to bring about His will.
Many Scriptures also teach that what we regard as “acts of God” in law are really just that. when lightning kills a man, or when a tree falls upon him, or when an automobile accident takes his life, it is in some sense really “an act of God.”
In Luke 13:1–5 Jesus takes the responsibility for God, for the death of the Galileans whom Pilate killed for their sins; and again, “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall likewise perish.” The tower of Siloam falling on eighteen people was the will of God.
So in some very real sense the assassin’s bullet which cut down President Kennedy did the will of God. God knew about the impending tragedy; He could have prevented it but did not. He is not powerless; it was a matter of His choice. He had reasons for permitting the tragedy and He will bring good out of it for the people who love and trust Him. Romans 8:28 gives the solemn and eternal promise, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
We must honestly face it, that as God allowed Satan to bring trouble on Job; as He allowed John the Baptist to be beheaded; as He allowed Paul to spend years in prison and then die; so he allows trouble to come to good people. And as God brought Pharaoh to doom in the Red Sea; as He put proud Nebuchadnezzar off his throne for seven years; as God used heathen nations to chastise Israel; so God took President Kennedy, although He used the bullet of a wicked man to do it. Either God has all power and controls this universe, or He does not: and if He controls the universe, then He allowed and had reasons for the death of President Kennedy.
2. We Believe Kennedy Had Upon Him the Curse of a Liquor-Selling Father
Now we must say a thing which grieves us to say, as it will grieve others
to read. To interpret the dealings of God, we must go to the Bible. There,
certainly, we find the divine law of sowing and reaping. We believe that
President Kennedy suffered from the curse which God Himself pronounces in
“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to his, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!”
The father of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is Joseph P. Kennedy. After the appeal of the Eighteenth Amendment (the prohibition amendment) in 1933, Kennedy got a favored position with the government, was issued a license to import Scotch whiskey, and thus when saloons and bars were opened again without American-made whiskey to fill the demand, Kennedy made his millions. Then multimillionaire Kennedy was favored of the New Deal administration, and in 1938 was sent to England as Ambassador.
So it was largely whiskey money that paid the tremendous expense of campaigning, which made John Fitzgerald Kennedy able to be elected President. It was largely whiskey money from which the elder Kennedy gave a million dollars to each of his children, including John Kennedy.
Now we believe the curse of God rests on anybody who sells and serves liquor and thus has part in the making of drunkards, paupers, and harlots and in filling jails and premature graves, in breaking happy homes, and multiplying the inhabitants of Hell. God says, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink.” That is a part of the divine law.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption….”—Gal. 6:7,8.
The Bible pronounces a woe on those who drink liquor. “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim….” (Isa. 28:1). And again,
“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babblings? who hath wounds without a cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine….At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.”—Prov. 23:29,30;32.
Does anybody doubt that there is a curse on the drinking of liquor? Does anybody doubt the pain, the poverty, the broken homes, the crime, the slavery of the drink habit? Well, that curse is pronounced in the Bible. And a similar curse is pronounced on those who give a neighbor drink, those who sell and those who serve liquor!
In a tabernacle revival campaign at Petersburg, Illinois, I preached on “The Double Cross of Booze.” I challenged people to follow carefully what happened to the families and homes of bartenders and liquor sellers. I stated my conviction, that in every case the curse of God would in some way be manifested on those who are under this woe pronounced in the Bible.
A liquor dealer was enraged at my sermon and cursed and blasphemed up and down the streets saying that his business was legitimate, he was licensed to sell liquor, that if people drank too much and were cursed by booze, it was not his fault.
I closed the revival and returned home. I think in two weeks a pastor wrote me that the same liquor dealer went down to his bar one morning and as he put his key in the lock to open the door he fell over dead. Trouble followed his children, too.
I am saying there is a woe, a curse, pronounced by God on those who sell liquor. “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also…” (Hab. 2:15).
Now with compassion of heart and with sincere sympathy for those who suffered, let us note the sad story of disaster that has followed the Kennedy family.
1. The multimillionaire Joseph Kennedy, Sr., suffered a paralytic stroke, is incurable and probably mentally affected by the stroke.
2. One daughter, Rosemary Kennedy, is mentally retarded, has spent many years in a home for the mentally defective.
3. Joe Kennedy, Jr., was killed as a bomber pilot in World War II, in 1944.
4. Kathleen Kennedy married, then her husband died in the war. In 1948 she died tragically in an air crash.
5. John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline have lost two babies, one stillborn and never named, the other born after the Kennedys came into the White House. Both bodies have been moved now to lie beside the President in Arlington Cemetery.
6. Last of all, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, inheritor of whiskey money, elected to the presidency largely with whiskey money, was shot down by the assassin’s bullet, and America mourned.
The Associated Press noted this woe on the Kennedy family and after the President’s death published the following:
KENNEDYS WALK WITH VIOLENCE
Washington (AP)—Violent death is no stranger to the family of Joseph P. Kennedy. Along with great wealth and political triumph many tragedies have come to the Irish-American clan from Boston.
Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., elder brother of the assassinated President, was lost in action in World War II. A Navy pilot, Kennedy vanished on an air mission from England to occupied France in 1944. This was the son who originally had borne the political hopes of the family but who did not live to enter this field.
Only a month later, a son-in-law, the Marques of Hartington, was killed in action in France. And in 1948, Lady Harrington, the former Kathleen Kennedy, perished with three others in a plane crash in France.
For many years, another sister, Mary, has been in an institution for the mentally retarded. It was this misfortune that spurred the family’s interest in programs for the prevention and treatment of mental retardation.
* * * *
I do not rejoice in these judgments of God; I simply repeat that there is
a divine law of sowing and reaping which no man, whether President or common
laborer, can evade. There is a woe, a curse, on all who sell, distribute and
serve intoxicating liquor as well as on those who drink it. As certain as the
Bible is true, this curse is part of God’s reason for allowing the
assassination of President Kennedy.
I do not think this is the end of the curse, but it is the great public climax of it, evidently.
But one may properly ask, Would this curse of a father descend to the children? Yes, that is the clear teaching of Scripture.
Exodus 20, verses 5 and 6, say,
“…For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
Note here that the words “love” and “hate” refer to either keeping God’s commandments or not keeping them. God shows “mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” But God is a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children of the third and fourth generation of those that do not keep His commandments and, in that practical sense, are against God.
And a jealous God visits the iniquity of the father “upon the children unto the third and fourth generation,” says the Scripture!
Is God thus unjust? No, for in truth the father makes the child. If the father drinks, then the son usually drinks. Both President Kennedy and Jacqueline used liquor, served it in the White House and lived in luxury on liquor money inherited from the elder whiskey importer Kennedy.
David’s children suffered from their father’s sin. First, the baby, born of his sin with Bathsheba, died. Then his beautiful daughter Tamar was raped by his son Amnon. Than Amnon was killed by an avenging brother, Absalom. Then Absalom stole the kingdom, would have killed his father David and was himself killed in the war.
Children do reap their father’s sowing. Children do suffer for their father’s sins. The curse, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him,” may descend from father to son, even to the third and fourth generation, according to the Scriptures.
What else did God have in mind in permitting the death of President Kennedy? It may well be He wanted to save America from wasteful bankruptcy. We may be sure that this is part of the “all things” which Romans 8:28 promises work together for good to them that love the Lord. God still makes the wrath of men to praise Him. He still brings right out of wrong.
II. WHY DID OSWALD KILL THE PRESIDENT?
I think the facts are so well-established that we may say Oswald killed President Kennedy because he was a criminal-minded Marxist, a man of socialist-communist principles and moral standards. Several facts show that he was a Marxist.
1. Oswald as a Socialist-Communist
Consider the following facts about Oswald. The Associated Press says:
He says he became interested in Marxism at the age of fifteen when a communist pamphlet fell into his hands. Later he discovered Marx’s Das Kapital, the Bible of communism.
After Oswald was released from the army he was in Moscow, Russia, and on
October 30, 1959, he appeared at the American embassy, “where he announced his
decision to renounce his American citizenship. He told officials: ‘I am a
Marxist.’ Again he said, ‘Capitalism has passed its peak. I would like to
spend the rest of my life here.’”
According to the American State department, on November 2, 1959, Oswald turned in his American passport in Moscow and in an affidavit declared, “I affirm that my allegiance is to the Soviet Socialistic Republic.”
Oswald married a Russian girl, Marina Nicholaevna.
He did not obtain Soviet citizenship, so returned to America. In New Orleans appearing on a radio program “he described himself as a Marxist but not a communist.”
The House Committee on Un-American Activities lists Oswald in its records as secretary of the New Orleans chapter of a group called “Fair Play for Cuba.”
This it is an established fact that Oswald was a disciple of Karl Marx, that he was for Russian communism, that he was for Fidel Castro in Cuba. Naturally he did not like the strict government supervision in Russia as he did not like to obey the laws in America, but he did take up the principles of Karl Marx as a socialist and communist.
2. But Oswald Murdered the President Because He Was a Criminal, With Criminal Moral Standards
Why should Lee Oswald want to kill President Kennedy? Not, we suppose,
for political reasons. Nothing he ever said indicated that he was against the
program of the Democratic party nor against President Kennedy’s political
program. He did not do it as an agent of Russia. He did not kill President
Kennedy, as far as anybody can learn after the strongest possible investigation,
as a part of his communist conspiracy. Communism helped to make Lee Oswald what
he was, and then murder grew out of what he was.
There is some indication that he had planned spectacular crimes in order to get notoriety. But much more evidence was that he was a rebel against society, that he hated government and discipline. A Fort Worth policeman said that he knew Oswald from the fifth grade until his entry into Arlington Heights High School in Forth Worth and said:
He was always opposed to any kind of discipline. He seemed to hold it against people up there—any authority. In an altercation with the coach of the school B football team, the policeman recalled Oswald shouting” “It’s supposed to be a free country, a man’s supposed to be able to do what he wants.”
In the marines “his military career was not a success. Twice he faced
court martial for infractions of regulations.” He never rose above the rank of
private first class.
It is quite possible that primarily Oswald intended to kill Governor John Connally of Texas, who was wounded at the same time. From the Associated Press we read:
CONNALLY POSSIBLE PRINCIPAL TARGET
Washington (AP)—A 1961 letter found in the Pentagon’s personnel files raises a question whether Governor John Connally of Texas rather than President Kennedy was the primary target of an assassin’s bullets in Dallas, Texas, Friday.
The letter was addressed to Connally, the Secretary of the Navy, asking a reversal of Oswald’s undesirable discharge from the Marine Corps.
Did Oswald seek vengeance because of his undesirable discharge from the
marines, and because Connally did not reverse the discharge and make it an
It is clear he was a rebel against discipline, against law, whether in the schoolroom, in the marines, or from the government.
It is only fair to say that this kind of character is developed by Marxist principles and teaching. Karl Marx himself was lazy and immoral. He would not work and he lived off the help of Engels and his other friends while he criticized society, the Bible, Christianity and governments.
Sometimes the wicked and criminal-minded turn to communism because they already hold the immoral standards and godless attitude of the communists. In other cases communism makes immoral standards and lowers men’s consciences and principles to the murder, dictatorship, the bloody revolutions, and the crimes which are openly advocated by communists to reach their aims.
Either communism made Lee Harvey Oswald, or he, a rebel against society and God, found a kinship among communists. Most likely it was a combination of the two that made him the criminal, rebel, the godless murderer that he was.
Oswald felt perfectly free to advocate the overthrow of the American government, and then to appeal to Senator John Tower of Texas to have the government bring him home from Russia. So he was advanced a loan of $435 to come back to the states. It is not know whether this was ever repaid.
In New Orleans his landlady told how he and his wife slipped away at night from their rented apartment without paying the overdue rent.
Oswald had accepted the principles of Karl Marx, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” which sounds fine, but really means that the man who doesn’t earn a living should be supported by the man who does, that the lazy should be supported by the men of character and energy.
If you hear this teaching by a modernistic preacher or in Sunday school quarterlies of modernistic denominations, you will know they got it from Karl Marx. It is socialism and that is the foundation of communism. If a Democratic platform advocates that you should “redistribute the wealth,” as President Roosevelt expressed it, by taxing the workers to support the nonworkers, soaking the rich to support the poor and gain their votes, then you will know that is a part of Karl Marx’s recipe for socialism.
Lee Harvey Oswald made no claim to being a Christian, and as a communist he openly disavowed the plain Bible teaching that one should reap according to his sowing, should be paid according to his earning (Gal. 6:7,8), and the teaching that “if any would not work, neither should he eat” (II Thess. 3:10). This lawless, criminal attitude made Lee Harvey Oswald a murderer.
III. LOYAL AMERICANS, FUNDAMENTAL CHRISTIANS AND ANTI-COMMUNISTS WERE FALSELY BLAMED FOR THE PRESIDENT’S DEATH
It is a shocking aftermath of the President’s death that the radicals,
the socialists, the communists in America and abroad, joined in blaming the
murder of the President on the so-called “radical right.” They said that the
murder was a product of hatemongering by all who opposed the left-wing
activities of the “New Frontier.” They accused all who opposed what they
regarded as giving away American independence to the United Nations, all who
opposed what many of us honestly see as the waste and wild spending and billions
of increased debts of the Kennedy administration.
It was already well-proved that Lee Harvey Oswald was himself a socialist, a pro-communist, and that the assassination had no connection whatever with and no encouragement from the loyal Americans, the fundamental Christians, the old-line Republicans, the anti-communists.
In fact, Dallas authorities are now convinced that it was this same communist—Lee Harvey Oswald—who shot at and nearly killed General Edwin Walker, the ardent foe of communism, some time before the President’s death. He would kill Walker for being against left-wing socialism and communism. He would kill the President because he was a rebel.
I. Communists Lead in Accusing Loyal Americans
But from Moscow the official communist paper blamed the death of the
President to “gangsters whose connections often lead to very high-placed
extreme right-wing quarters and their patrons.”
The Associated Press dispatch from Moscow is as follows:
PRAVDA BLASTS U.S. RIGHTISTS
Moscow (AP)—Pravda charged yesterday that American right-wingers are trying to use the assassination of President Kennedy to stir up anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban hysteria.
The organ of the Communist party said Dallas police ‘for provocative purposes’ were trying to pin it on U.S. Communists.
Pravda was skeptical about the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald and said “the more details are reported, the darker and more suspicious all this story becomes.”
The newspaper was echoing charges first made last night by Radio Moscow.
It continued to paint Kennedy as the victim of opponents of efforts to improve East-West relations.
“Definite quarters,” Pravda said, “are now striving to cover up the traces of the bloody crime and use the tragic death of the president for stirring up anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban hysteria.
“The murder of the U.S. president is a monstrous crime which has shocked all the world and the indignation of the Americans is perfectly understandable. But the very method of this terroristic act is not new for the United States. It is reminiscent of other much smaller acts of gangsters whose connections often lead to very high-placed extreme right-wing quarters and their patrons.”
Pravda went on:
“All America knows that the most reactionary, the wildest elements—the Birchists, the followers of Senator Goldwater, and the notorious rebel general and fascist Walker have built their nests precisely in Texas.
“U.S. Reds Denies Oswald a member.”
* * * *
From communist China, from Cuba, and from the Daily Worker, the
official communist paper of America, came like charges. All joined in saying
that Kennedy was killed as a result of a campaign of hate by
“right-wingers,” by which is meant those who oppose communism and socialism
and who would keep a free, independent and solvent America, particularly
opponents of communism.
The notorious columnist Drew Pearson joined in with communists and their slanderous charges. He said that Dallas, Texas, was “the most violent and crime-ridden city in America.” He said that Dr. Carl McIntyre, in opposing the modernism and political activities of the National Council of Churches, was “a hate monger” and that people like him made the climate that caused the President’s murder.
Socialist-minded Democratic leaders hastened to try to cover up the fact that it was a socialist, a Marxist, far to the left politically, who killed him and to charge that to what they called “the extreme right.” (President Kennedy and the New Frontier were also considerably “Left of Center” too, as President Roosevelt plainly stated his own position to be.)
Radical columnists joined in to say all who ever criticized the wasteful extravagance of the New Frontier, with its billions of dollars deficit in the high days of prosperity, were “hate mongers.”
All who were against sending billions of aid to communist Yugoslavia and Poland, or to wasteful black countries in Africa, or to riot-ridden dictatorships in South America, or to “neutralist” but pro-communist countries in Southeast Asia—all who complained of this waste were accused of guilt in the President’s murder!
If one spoke up for states’ rights and for obeying the laws of the states, he was a “hate monger.” Anybody who voted against President Kennedy because he was a Catholic was a “hate monger.” Anybody who opposed overrunning Southern cities by marshal law was a “hate monger.” Any fundamental Christian who opposed the National Council of Churches or opposed modernism in principal denominations was a “hate monger”! Active friends of Senator Goldwater were put under suspicion. The House Committee on Un-American Activities was slandered.
All of this was false. Most was deliberate slander. Most was for an evil motive. Many took advantage of the situation to campaign politically for the Democratic party. Now anyone who was against waste in government was disloyal to President Kennedy! Anybody who opposed the United Nations was an enemy of peace. Anyone who did not want to sell wheat to Soviet Russia; anyone who did not want to vote that the government should take on the socialist medical care of the aged; anyone who spoke up for Free Enterprise in private business in matters of hiring workers or serving customers—all were subject to slander.
2. To the Everlasting Credit of America and the Fundamental Americans and Fundamental Christians, the Silly Charges Are False
Let me quote here from the Wall Street Journal.
Here is most of the article:
NO TIME FOR COLLECTIVE GUILT
In the shock of these past few days it is understandable that Americans should find their grief mingled with some shame that these events should happen in their country. We all stand a little less tall than we did last Friday morning.
Yet, for our own part, we find past understanding the remarks of some otherwise thoughtful men who, in their moment of shock, would indict a whole nation with a collective guilt. It seems to us that they themselves have yielded to the hysteria they would charge to others, and in so doing show that their own country is past their understanding.
Anyone who has been reading the newspapers, listening to the radio or watching television has heard these men; they include public commentators, members of our Congress and men of God. And the substance of what they charge is that the whole of the American people—and by inclusion, the ways of the American society—are wrapped in a collective guilt for the murder of a President and the murder of a murderer.
A Senator said that the responsibility lay on “the people of Dallas” because this is where the events took place. A spokesman for one group of our people said the nation was “reaping the whirlwind of hatred.” One of our highest judges said the President’s murder was stimulated by the “hatred and malevolence” that are “eating their way into the bloodstream of American life.” A newspaper of great renown passed judgment that “none of us can escape a share of the fault for the spiral of violence.” And these were but a few among the many.
SUCH STATEMENTS can only come from men who have not been abroad in the land, neither paused to reflect how the events came about nor observed in what manner the whole American people have responded to a tragedy.
A President lies dead because he moved freely among the people. He did so because he was beloved by many people, respected by all, and because everywhere people turned out in great numbers to pay him honor. In a society of tyranny the heads of state move in constant fear of murder, cordoned behind an army of policemen. It is the fundamental orderliness of the American society that leads Presidents to move exposed to all the people, making possible the act of a madman.
* * * *
In sum, there is in all of this—let there be no mistake—much to grieve, to regret, to blame. We can’t escape remorse that there are madmen in our midst, that a President is dead, that we have been denied the right to show in open court the virtue of a free society. Now we pay the price of all sorts of negligence.
But this is something different from the charge in the indictment. It is more than nonsense to say that the good people of Dallas, crowding the streets to honor a President, share a murderous guilt; or that the tragic acts of madmen cast a shadow on the whole of America. Such an indictment is vicious.
Of reason for shame we have enough this day without adding to them a shameful injustice to a mourning people.
* * * *
It would not have been altogether surprising if someone who had suffered
grievous wrong at the hands of the administration, mostly conservatives, of
course, had hated the President, but it was none of those who wished the
President harm, who broke the law, who murdered him.
General Edwin Walker, because he was an officer in charge of American troops in Germany and indoctrinated his troops about the dangers of communism, was removed from his command. Socialists in government wanted no fight on communism, no warning of soldiers of left-wing tendencies in America. So General Walker was humiliated and brought home. He resigned from the army so he would be free to speak. He gave up all the insurance and retirement pay to which he was entitled after a lifetime of distinguished service to America, so he might freely speak as an American citizen against communism and socialism.
General Edwin Walker was for states’ rights. He thought it was wrong for the Federal government to intervene in Oxford, Mississippi, to override the laws of Mississippi, to insult the governor elected by the people who was trying to enforce the laws of his state as he was sworn to do. General Walker said so, so he was arrested, was railroaded to an insane asylum without trial, although he was obviously sane. One hundred thousand dollars bail was demanded to have him released from prison.
That was a blot on all America. It smelled like a dictatorship. The Kennedy administration was showing its teeth through the program by which it would gain the black vote all over America by slandering and abusing white Southerners by overriding the rights given to the states by the Federal Constitution.
General Walker or one of his sons or close friends might have had bitterness in his heart. It would not have been surprising to many if one so grievously wronged should have hated the President. But the man who was standing up for America against communism was not the murderer, the criminal. Real Americanism does not make murderers. It was the pro-communist and socialist young criminal Lee Harvey Oswald who killed the President!
Two white men were killed when the Kennedy administration spent four million dollars to compel the University of Mississippi to take as a student a black selected by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. They were not rioting; no charges were brought against them. The matter has never been explained but hushed up.
It would be understandable if some of the loved ones of those murdered men, blamed on the unwise zeal of Bobby Kennedy and the administration’s effort to garner black votes, should hold hate toward the administration. Granted the Kennedys thought they were right in the matter, and granted that the motives were probably good.
But before President Kennedy died he saw, and the Democratic leaders saw, they were unwise. They overran the rights of many common people; they flaunted the laws of certain Southern states; they had not taken time and Christian charity to work out details with good people on the race question. So they changed their tactics somewhat and removed some of the pressure on the race issue.
But if it is now wrong, it was wrong them. And no matter—right or wrong—the murdered men left families who loved them. It would not be surprising if some such person had hated the President.
But it was none of these fighting for the laws of the states and for the Federal government to respect good people everywhere, who murdered the President. It was a pro-communist outlaw, a left-wing criminal, Lee Harvey Oswald.
It was not one of the steel executives, though some of the steel companies lost multiplied thousands of dollars because of the radical attack by Federal forces on the steel industry when they raised prices. Thus the administration usurped dictatorial power when they curbed free enterprise, the free American way.
These businessmen, shamed, defrauded of their rights, did not attack President Kennedy. No, those on “the right,” those for Americanism, are not the ones who kill presidents. It was left-winger Lee Harvey Oswald.
Modernists who spit on the blood of Jesus and who mock at the authority of the Bible may turn out to be lawless, because they are against the Bible and its moral authority. Bible-believing fundamentalism does not make for lawlessness. Those who join in with communists, who break down American traditions and try to take over America for communism, are against God and the Bible, morality and law. But old-time fundamental Americans, those who are called “the extreme right,” are not usually lawless. They are human and, like all humans, they do wrong. But fundamental Americanism does not make criminals. Left-wing socialism and communism and left-wing religion do.
Oh, there must be a guilty conscience among all the left-wingers who tried so hard to cover up the fact that it was Oswald, an avowed communist, who had been to Russia, married a Russian girl, learned the Russian language, read the writings of Karl Marx, wanted to renounce his American citizenship, took the part of Fidel Castro—that such a man killed the President.
IV. SOME LESSONS FOR AMERICA TO REMEMBER
The tragic death of President Kennedy and the period of mourning, the readjustment and the new President, all left us with certain important lessons which we need to take to heart and remember.
1. Dangerous to Christianity and America’s Welfare to Have a Catholic President
In running for office, President Kennedy said that he would put the
welfare of America first and should there be a conflict between what the pope at
Rome and the Catholic church required and what he felt was best for America, he
would still do what was best for America.
I think he meant it, that he honestly tried to live up to that promise. I believe that he honestly accepted the American position of the separation of church and state. I think that President Kennedy was a dedicated American. He served his county in World War II. He did not die for his country but Policeman Tippit in Dallas did, I believe. President Kennedy was in Texas running for re-election, trying to carry the state in the next campaign. So he was not a martyr.
But by American standards and disregarding spiritual questions for the moment, he was a good American and in many respects a good President. I mean no reflection on President Kennedy as a loyal Catholic when I say that I am still opposed to a Catholic’s being President of the United States.
Again, let me say very plainly that multitudes of Catholics are good American citizens. They have the same right to vote, the same right to run for office as Protestants or infidels, and we all want them to have that right. Those who want to vote for a Catholic for President have that right.
But I have an equal right to vote against a Catholic for President if I feel I should. And I do feel that, other things being equal, it is best not to have a Catholic President. Although the mighty power of the Roman hierarchy did not openly control President Kennedy—and I think he would never intentionally consent to that control—still that power is dangerous. It has been used in nearly every nation in the world, including America, and I do not want America endangered by a secret, nationwide, worldwide machine loyal to a foreign potentate and bringing pressure on American policies.
I believe that good Catholics, like other good Americans, would try to vote right, would try to pass good laws, would try to keep their oaths of office. But I think that a Catholic President has been harmful for America, and here are some of the reasons why.
The death of the President brought into strong focus the fact that the Catholic church has a plan of salvation utterly foreign to the Bible, a salvation that depends on the Catholic church and the rites of the church, a plan of salvation where “good” people, church people like Kennedy, go to purgatory and are prayed out or paid out by having masses said in churches.
In the Nashville Tennessean for Sunday, November 24, the religious news editor said:
In all Episcopal churches in Tennessee, prayers were offered yesterday for the repose of the soul of the late President.
The same article tells us:
At Catholic Church of the Holy Name, a chain of prayers began at Kennedy’s death and continued until the special mass at 8 a.m. yesterday. Various parish organizations were in charge of the all-night vigil.
Many of those at the vigil said this prayer:
“Incline thine ear, O Lord, to our prayers, with which we supplicate thy mercy that thou set the soul of thy servant, John, which thou hast commanded to pass from this world, into a region of peace and light, and order that it be at the fellowship of the saints….”
That is not Christianity. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates
that one may be saved after death, or that there is a purgatory from which one
could be released, or that offering of masses for the dead or for anybody else,
is ever effective. That is not Bible Christianity. It is not the religion of
Jesus Christ. It does violence to the blood atonement and to the Gospel of
Christ. There is nothing in all the Bible like that.
I grant you that Catholics have a right to their religion, but for it to be paraded on TV and radio and in the newspapers all over America for fifteen or eighteen hours a day, day after day, as if it were Christianity, does great harm to America. From Saturday through Monday, TV programs over the nation were occupied with a portrayal of Catholic “requiem masses for the soul of the President.”
I do not mind a Catholic President having a Catholic funeral. Even though it became a national ceremony, he was a Catholic, his family were Catholics, and he had a right to a Catholic funeral. I do not think that all that unscriptural ritual, all the form and ceremony, with nothing about the blood of Christ or salvation by faith in Christ, or the new birth, properly represents America religiously.
But my concern is that now millions of Americans, impressionable people, people who loved President Kennedy, have been taught that salvation is by the church, through rites and ceremonies, through masses, through prayers for the dead, etc.; and that is a great danger to America.
All over America, now, for one to expose the false doctrine of Romanism means that he is branded as a “hate monger.” Did we not have a Catholic President? Then that must be true Christianity!
Yesterday came a letter from a woman angry because THE SWORD OF THE LORD took sides against false doctrine. Thousands of Bible-believing preachers and churches have had their work made much more difficult by the Roman Catholic influence on radio and TV and in the newspapers during those last three and a half years. And millions of Americans are now less open to the Gospel and more turned toward formalism in religion and toward an idea of salvation by the church and by repeating prayers and by masses for the dead instead of personally coming to trust Christ as Savior. To make the Roman plan of salvation popular instead of the Bible plan of conversion is bad for America.
Remember, I insist every Catholic has a right to run for office and to vote for anyone he chooses. I have exactly the same right to vote for those I feel would be better for America. Every Catholic has a right if he wishes to try to teach people that a Catholic President would be better for America than a Protestant. I have exactly the same right to insist that a Catholic President will give great popularity to false doctrine and a false religion which leads people away from the Bible and away from Christ, to a form and ceremony that cannot save.
I think that economically, socially, politically, there are great dangers for America in a Catholic President, too, though they are not immediately apparent. In every nation where Roman Catholics have had the pervading and controlling influence, there has been a lessening of the liberty, the welfare of the people.
Has Catholicism in its very center in Italy made Italy great as the United States is great? Has Catholicism in Latin-American countries made them great as Canada and the United States settled about the same time, but without Catholic control?
2. Still a Free Country, and American Citizens Have the Right of Free Speech, Free Assembly, Free Vote
There are those in America who would count it a crime to criticize the
party and the administration in power. That is the way it was in General
Franco’s dictatorship in Spain. That is the way it was under Hitler in
Germany. That is the way it was under Khrushchev in Russia.
Thank God, it is not yet true in America! A man has a right to vote for the man he thinks he should vote for, and he has a right to criticize the man in office whom he thinks does not adequately fulfill his duties. America is still a country of free speech. It is not a crime to speak out against the United Nations, to speak out against the overwhelming public debt, to speak out against the foreign aid program. Honest people have honest convictions, and it is not only an American right, but the American duty for people to express themselves and their convictions on such matters.
If you believe the Federal government should arrogantly override the state governments in speeding desegregation, you have the right to say so. If, like thousands, you oppose that and feel patience and charity will do it better, this is a free country: say so!
Newspaper columnists made much of the fact that Adlai Stevenson, the United States delegate to the United Nations, was slapped with a cardboard placard by a woman in Dallas! They would be much more justified in objecting to the murder and the beatings of the labor unions in the thirteen-year plumbing strike in Milwaukee when the hoodlums themselves and labor union criminals were backed up by the Federal government.
No one is less a good American citizen because he thinks we should not give up our rights to the United Nations. On the other hand, no one is necessarily a poor citizen who is in favor of using the United Nations as a method for communication between nations, and to try to maintain peace. America is still a country of free opinion, free speech and free assemblage.
If Senator Goldwater thought that the Tennessee Valley Authority was socialistic, as I do, where the few are benefited at the cost of the many, he had a right to say so. The safety of America and of our liberty will be better furthered by free speech than by a gag rule on private opinion.
No one has to agree with all the policies of the Democratic administration—whether President Kennedy or President Lyndon B. Johnson—in order to be a good American. In exactly the same way, no one has to agree with Senator Barry Goldwater in order to be a good American. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and free speech is part of that vigilance.
3. America Still a Stable Country, Ruled by Law
We thank God that the transition from the presidency of the slain
President to the administration of Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was a smooth
and orderly transition. America is made that way. We are a country of
well-established government, a good Constitution.
When presidents have died in office in America, it has never been because of an insurrection, never a coup by political rivals. In many countries a president or dictator may be overthrown, armed men storm the place, throw out the legislative body, and take over the government. That is never true in America. Thank God, America is the best established, most solid government of the people in the world, as far as we know.
President Lyndon B. Johnson was immediately the acting President when it became known that President Kennedy was dead. A few minutes later he was the sworn President and had assumed the office officially, with its responsibilities, duties and privileges.
In Chicago the TV cameras presented many people on the streets who expressed their sorrow and grief at the death of President Kennedy. That was proper. One greatly distressed black man said, “I hope that the United States government will survive.” He did not know, but I hope he has since learned, that America is not John Fitzgerald Kennedy, it is not Lyndon B. Johnson, it is no man or any small group of men. America is the whole population represented by a Constitution, by-laws and institutions which are stable, unshaken, self-perpetuating.
We can thank God that although there was great mourning, the business of government went on as usual, and the transfer of the presidency from the man slain to his successor was a matter of minutes and without a political ripple.
4. America Has a Great President in Lyndon B. Johnson: We Should Pray for Him
America seems unusually fortunate in that the presidency in a tragic hour
fell to a man well-equipped for the job, possibly the best-equipped man to come
to the presidency in many decades. He has spent many, many years in Washington.
He was for many years a leader in the Senate, the most powerful man in getting
legislation through the Senate. He is a politician in the good sense of knowing
how to work with other people to bring things to agreement.
We trust that Lyndon B. Johnson is a Christian man. He is a member of a Christian church. He said in his inauguration, “I need your help and God’s.”
And I think it is fair to say that Lyndon B. Johnson is far nearer to the common people of America, coming from a ranch in West Texas, than John Kennedy, coming from a rich Catholic family and from Massachusetts. Lyndon B. Johnson is fairly well-to-do, but he grew up in a modest home and earned his own way. To come to the presidency with a million dollars of inherited wealth which he did not earn, tended in the case of Franklin D. Roosevelt and in the case of John Kennedy to profligate spending of other people’s money. In the case of Lyndon B. Johnson, we hope that he will more nearly represent the heartbeat of poor and common, hard-working people. We do not hold it against a man that he has earned money. But for a man to spend lavishly money that he never earned, ill equips him for handling other people’s money.
President Lyndon B. Johnson was elected on the same platform with President Kennedy. He has espoused the same general principles. He seems to have made some earnest effort to reduce expenses. We think that is not nearly enough, but at least that was greatly needed and will be to the advantage of America. We do not expect to vote for Mr. Johnson, if some capable man of more conservative standards and less socialistic and left-wing leanings is available. But we believe he is a good man, will make a good President, and we pray God to bless him and to bless the great nation of which he is the President.
5. There Are Some Great Spiritual Principles Which Ought to Be Called to Our Mind as We Remember the Death of President Kennedy
First, remember that God puts up kings and takes them down, that God
exalts whom He will. Those in places of leadership should remember that they
hold their leadership at the pleasure of a God who rules all things.
Second, I must point out to every reader that sin must be punished, that one must reap what he sows, that a jealous God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children. And particularly in the liquor business we should remind every reader of God’s Word, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him…” (Hab. 2:15). Liquor is a curse to everyone who drinks it and a curse to every person who serves it, a curse to every bartender who sells it, to every newspaper that advertises it, a curse to every citizen who votes for it. It has brought endless woe to America. Preachers had better preach this truth—that men must reap what they sow. God is not mocked.
Third, death is only a breath away. No one knows when he must die. Everyone should prepare to meet God.
And fourth, let me remind every reader that the only salvation for any of us is by coming to Christ personally, trusting Him. No one is saved because he is a Protestant or Catholic. No one is saved because he goes to church, or because he says prayers, or because there are masses for him in church. One is saved only if he comes personally to trust in Jesus Christ and receives a new heart, relying on the atoning work of Jesus to pay for our sins.
Oh, make sure that you have trusted Him as Savior.
Comments by Dr. Rice Abut Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s Death
(Printed June 28, 1968)
1. Heed God’s Warning, Sin Cannot
Escape Punishment. Liquor Money is Accursed
2. America Is Reaping the Lawlessness We Encourage in the Civil Rights, to Students, in Labor Circles.
This Wednesday morning, June 5, the morning Memphis Commercial Appeal
paper was brought to my bed in the hospital at 7:00 o’clock and then we heard
the report on television that Senator Robert Kennedy who campaigned in
California for the Democratic nomination for president had been shot at a
victory meeting. It was a shocking thing. This afternoon at 4:30 his condition
was still regarded as “extremely critical,” and it seems doubtful if he will
live. Or if he lives he might sustain brain damage that would incapacitate him
for public office. (Later: Senator Kennedy died the following morning.)
The assassination was wicked and inexcusable. It is a sad commentary on a lawless America growing a new generation with no respect for law and authority.
But God allowed it. Why?
An Amazing and Heartbreaking Record of Tragedy
We ask why particularly because it is not one isolated and ordinary case. It is the last of a dreadful series of tragedies that has befallen the Kennedy family. Does not God know all things? Yes. We believe that He controls men and events, and that, yes, even wicked men He uses to work His plan. He used heathen nations to punish Israel and carry them into captivity and war again and again. He used Judas and Pilate and the Jewish Sanhedrin to crucify the Savior although Jesus was foreordained of God to die. We must remember that there are no accidents from God’s viewpoint. “He maketh even the wrath of men to praise him.” Of the sins of Joseph’s brethren, he said, “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.” We are told that “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord” (Prov. 21:1). The tragedy of Senator Robert Kennedy’s being shot down in public cannot be disassociated from the series of tragedies that preceded it in the Kennedy family.
God’s Curse on the Liquor Business and Liquor Money
There is a scripture which I sincerely believe gives the key to God’s
thought in allowing this series of tragedies. In Habakkuk 2:15 God says, “Woe
unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him….”
The elder Kennedy, a special friend of President Roosevelt, was tipped off ahead of time, we understand, that President Roosevelt would get the Eighteenth Amendment (the prohibition amendment) repealed. And Kennedy then got an inside track on shiploads of whiskey to be brought from Scotland and thus he made millions of dollars out of the whiskey business.
And it is said that money resulted in a million dollar gift to each of his children and it was largely through Kennedy money that John F. Kennedy was elected to the presidency and it is largely the same whiskey money on which Senator Robert Kennedy was running for the presidency. But God pronounced a woe, a curse, on those who give their neighbor drink, put the bottle to others. Thus there is a curse on the Kennedy family.
I do not rejoice at it. I simply tell it. I did not do it and I would not have done it. God seems to have allowed it for His own reasons. And everybody should remember that you cannot get by with sin. There is a curse on the liquor traffic, on those who drink it: “Woe to the…drunkards of Ephraim…” (Isa. 28:1). And a curse on the seller and the server: “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him….”
We called attention to this truth when President John Kennedy was assassinated. Later there followed the sad event of an airplane wreck, Edward Kennedy’s broken back and six months in the hospital. Now there comes this other tragedy in the series.
There is a curse on the Kennedy money because it is liquor money. According to the Bible, there is a curse on everybody who sells liquor, every hostess who serves it, every man who buys it for others, every man who drinks it. Cities, states, and governments that license liquor sales for the tax money will answer to God. Payday is coming for all who deal in this business of making drunkards, paupers, harlots, and criminals by the liquor traffic, so God’s Word declares.
It is now announced that the alleged gunman who shot Senator Kennedy is an Arab, born in Jerusalem. Whatever motive he had, it was a wicked crime. We feel the law must take its course and if he is proven guilty, he should suffer for it.
But for America There Is Another Lesson!
The lesson America had better learn and learn quickly is that if we
condone lawlessness on the one hand, we breed it on the other. If it is all
right for Martin Luther King to break the law in his “non-violent” crime,
then who shall say that someone else may not think his reason is as good as
Martin Luther King’s? If it is all right for blacks to loot and burn and kill,
why would it not be all right for an Arab to avenge some imagined wrong?
Actually Arabs have suffered far more in the last 25 years than blacks.
Is it really any worse for an Arab to shoot at Senator Kennedy, than for a black in Chicago to shoot at a policeman? If it is all right for students to break the law in Columbia University and in Berkeley, California, and in other great centers of learning, then why is it not all right for some other minority person, an ill-educated and un-Americanized Arab, to take the law in his hands, too?
The socialist crowd, the welfare-state crowd, the political liberals, the “Great Society” crowd have wept crocodile tears and tried to justify the looters and rioters and criminals because of some past inequalities which black people have suffered. But it is not poverty that makes criminals. It is lack of discipline and character in the home, lack of law enforcement in society, lack of earnest, godly rebuke of sin in the pulpits, lack of forthright honesty in the news writers and commentators that makes criminals. We are growing a crop.
Every great promise some politician made in order to get votes, promises he could not fulfill, has helped foment this lawlessness. People have been taught that they deserve all the comforts other people have whether they work for them or not. They have been taught that a dropout from school who wouldn’t study is supposed to get just as good salary as the man who worked his way through and made good. They have been taught that all they need the government ought to supply, and that it is wicked discrimination if every man doesn’t have as much as his more godly and more hard-working neighbor!
In America we must either come back to the old-fashioned American virtues of discipline in the home, complete and quick enforcement of the laws, patriotism taught in the schools, and statesmen in the government who will not rush America into an abyss of debts and insolvency to gain the favor of the voters and of the rest of the world with other people’s money.
Any man who is willing to try, willing to be faithful, willing to learn, can get a job in America. I know. I worked for as little as a dollar a day. I worked my way through college, often on as little as 14¢ an hour and never more than 30¢ an hour. I remember when eight of us lived in a four-room house, no running water, no plumbing, no icebox, and, of course, no electricity. Our principal articles of diet were cornbread or biscuits (homemade), salt pork, blackeyed peas or dried beans, and molasses.
We did not live in any ghetto, we did not regard ourselves as underprivileged. We were first-class citizens because we were hard-working, God-fearing, respectable and self-respecting and everybody around us knew we were first-class citizens. Poverty does not make criminals. It is a result of lack of discipline, lack of law-enforcement, foolish encouragements of the criminals.
Now a Just Tribute to the Late Senator
Senator Robert Kennedy was a dedicated, compassionate man, loved by many.
He was, I suppose, a devout Catholic. Perhaps he had no conscience about his
liquor drinking and serving and his liquor fortune. I believe he loved America.
He worked hard to stop racketeering in the Teamster’s Union and elsewhere. I
admired him greatly, admired his family, but I feared him because of his
socialism, his left-wing tendencies.
Now he is gone. May God some way teach the grieving family to turn away from masses, from prayers to Mary, from confessions to a priest, to come to know and trust Christ as personal Savior.
But let us not forget the lesson: lawlessness allowed in some brings anarchy and murder.
Political and Unconverted Preachers Have Encouraged “Revolution” and Lawbreaking in the Civil Rights Movement
There is no use of us getting excited about the murder of Senator Kennedy
unless we get excited about lawbreaking in general. As long as people are
encouraged to break any law that they do not believe is right or that they do
not like, then the result will be an increase in crime just as it has been in
America. Oh, America, with crime in our streets, with racial strife stirred up
deliberately to get black votes, with foolish promises made that cannot be
fulfilled, how America needs to turn back to God and have that unity and peace
in America for which the nation was founded!
At Washington, D.C., April 15, before the Daughters of the American Revolution, International Defense Luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel, Mr. Thurman Sensing, executive vice-president of Southern States Industrial Council, spoke with great concern on “A Call to Law and Order.” He said the following:
The second cause of riots is the false compassion that has been spewed out by our leaders in government, by some of the clergy, and others in position of responsibility during the past few years.
It was no less than President Johnson who used the civil rights marchers’ phrase, “We shall overcome,” several times in one of his speeches, and lent them his encouragement. Didn’t he know that this was the title of a song written for the civil rights marches by Pete Seeger, a person who had been identified under oath as a Communist? When Seeger wrote “We shall overcome,” it is not hard to imagine that what he meant was “We, the Communists, shall overcome.”
It was no less than President Johnson who greeted an audience of students in the summer of 1965 as “fellow revolutionaries. We want change…I hope you will go out into the hinterland and arouse the masses, and blow the bugles, and tell them the hour has arrived, and their day is here.” Well, the bugles have sounded all right—in Newark, in Cambridge, Maryland, in East Harlem, in Detroit, in Milwaukee, and dozens of other cities—and the day is here.
And speaking of encouragement, I wonder if Vice President Humphrey cares to recall his remarks in New Orleans in the summer of 1966 when he said that if he had to live in the slums “I think you’d have more trouble than you’ve had already, because I’ve got enough spark left in me to lead a mighty good revolt.” Well, Mr. Humphrey’s services were not needed—there were plenty of other volunteers.
And let me insert right here that it is not buildings that make slums, it is people who make slums. You can take the same people out of the slums and put them in well-built high-rise apartments and these apartments will soon become more filthy and more dangerous than the slums they left. That has been well demonstrated in New York City.
And how about the…Senator from New York—Senator Robert F. Kennedy—when he said in the summer of 1965: “There is no point in telling Negroes to obey the law. To many Negroes the law is the enemy.”
And back to President Johnson when he said in 1964: “We are going to try and take all of the money that we think is being unnecessarily spent and take it from the ‘haves’ and give it to the ‘have nots’ that need it so much.” What kind of expectations did he think that was arousing? He can look about him and find the answer.
Behind the criminal insurrection in Detroit and elsewhere are liberal counsels of appalling irresponsibility. The rioters, looters and arsonists have been encouraged in recent years to believe that they were above the law.
America Has Still the Best Opportunity for Poor People, for White and Negro, for Jobs, Education, for High Standard of Living
We have foolishly left the impression that the blacks and poor whites and other minority groups in America are so mistreated, that they have little opportunities. That simply is not so. Black people in America, for example, have more cars than everybody in the Soviet Union together! The silly talk about a million people going to bed hungry at night is simply not so. The idea that there has been under cover a burning ferment of unrest and poverty and hopelessness—again that simply is not true. There is an unrest, but it is a carefully developed and fomented unrest, not brought about by misfortune or poverty but brought about by deliberate incitement, false propaganda, communist influence and the infidel preachers and socialistic politicians who look for votes.
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