"Am I an
In 1939, Father Couglin published "Am I an Anti-Semite?"9 Addresses on
Various 'ISMS' answering the Question.
of 9 radio speeches he broadcast from November 6, 1938 through January
1, 1939. The following Preface and excerpts from several of his
radio-sermons were chosen to express his relationship with his
audience, the nature of his radio sermons, and key ideas.
page numbers of the original text are indicated. The book was
published in Detroit by the Condon Printing Co. The asterisks (*
* * * *) indicate that text has been omitted.
contest in American is to preserve Americanism and Christianity.
These nine discourses were
delivered by Father
Coughlin over a private network of radio stations which he rents at
full commercial rates.
Social Justice Magazine, of
Coughlin is editorial director, supplements his radio discourses by
publishing every week 20 pages of editorial matter giving therein
information to a vast reading public--information not available
in the daily press.
You are earnestly solicited
to enroll as
subscriber as a token of appreciation for the receipt of this book.
Address your letter to Father
Royal Oak, Michigan.
The Background of
Christian Social Justice
November 6, 1938
Good Afternoon, My Friends:
My return to the air is made
through your gracious loyalty and support.
This is your broadcast, not
mine. Every Sunday
I will venture to speak to you as long as you bid me welcome in your
Properly, while I endeavor to
principles of Christian social justice, I shall also endeavor to show
you how these principles can be applied.
And just as properly, it will
be my hope to
bestir you to action–Christian action, American action—for faith
without good works dead.
Thus, at the outset, while I am deeply
grateful to everyone of you for the heroic sacrifices you have made,
and will make, to keep on the air over this independent chain of radio
stations, may I ask you for one more favor today—the favor of a
prayer to the Holy Ghost. I beseech all of you to ask the spirit of
understanding fill me with prudence ; and the spirit of fortitude to
strength and courage to carry on the battle against the hidden powers
of darkness—perhaps not quite so hidden today as yesterday.
May. I also suggest
that you will ask your
little children who are ignorant of the causes of poverty, wretchedness
and exploitation–may I suggest that you ask these innocent children to
whisper a prayer for one who fully recognizes how unworthy he is but
fully realizes what a golden opportunity God has given to him be an
instrument for good.
You are anxious to know what topics I shall
discuss during the coming year. Roundly speaking, it is my hope that
these addresses will be concerned chiefly with Christian social justice.
Fearlessly, Christian social
these several systems for the attention and the support, in this
instance, of the American
public a public composed of persons who, despite their many faults and
never surrender the heritage of Bethlehem, of Pilate's hall, of Calvary
Hill or of the Easter
morning sepulchre from whose empty depths there echo and re-echo the
immortal words, "I am
the Resurrection and the Life."
Fortified with these precious
heritages it is our
hope to carry on a campaign of instruction and inspiration even though
we find ourselves
opposed by the rugged individualists on the right and by the unchristly
radicals on the left. It is
our hope to convert a zealous band of followers into a group of active
who, by the sincerity of their lives and the logic of their doctrines
shall win millions of followers
who are convinced that there is no way other than Christ's way for
saving America and restoring
prosperity and peace for all.
My friends, at the outset,
permit me to clarify the
fundamental doctrine of Christian social justice the doctrine that
differentiates it from every
other plan of life proposed for man to follow. It is this : Christ came
on earth not only to redeem
and save individuals but also to establish an absolutely new social
order. Recognizing the chaotic
condition of society in His own time; aware of the universal slavery
practiced virtually by every
nation; and conscious of the spiritual darkness which had encompassed
every kingdom, empire,
republic and tribe, our Saviour well understood that man, left to his
natural abilities, was unable
to acquire peace and prosperity in this world and save his immortal
soul in the
the old social order produced decay of virtue and morals? Despite its
Socrates and Plato
and Aristotle, had it not spread physical disease and degeneration? Had
not a godless natural
social order succeeded in crumbling every organization that the hand of
man attempted to
construct? Had it not multiplied slavery and destroyed freedom? Had it
not warped the mental
vision of man to such a degree that he failed to glimpse the sunrise of
eternity beyond the grave?
All this—the result of man's trying operate the world and its
organization independent of
My friends, in your own minds
battle which Christ waged against the prince of mental, physical,
social and spiritual death, the
ruler of a godless social order. Visualize how He went about
supplanting the natural social order
with a supernatural order : For three years He was content to publicize
His policies and His
principles. Time after time He not only insisted upon a supernatural
life for man, contrary to that
practiced by the pagans; but He established the definite means by which
the supernatural life
could be obtained; definite means by which every individual, every
principality, every nation could look forward to better days and
prosperity here with happiness
As Pius XI beautifully
expresses it, "man was
raised by the power and the gift of God to the dignity of a son of God,
and incorporated into the
kingdom of God in the Mystical Body of Christ. In consequence, he has
been endowed by God
with many and varied prerogatives ; the right to life, to bodily
integrity, to the necessary means of
existence ; the right to tend towards his ultimate goal in the path
marked out for him by God; the
right of associations and the right to possess and use property."
That, my friends, was the
of the new social order established by Christ.
Though you oftentimes forget
it you are no
longer mere men and women, simple creatures left alone to battle
against a vicious nature with
its national storms and international tempests. You are members of the
Mystical Body of which
Christ is the head.
That is the new union, the
which Christ established to enable man to acquire peace and prosperity
in this world; and the
happiness of heaven hereafter.
This is not mere rhetoric.
This is reality.
* * * * *
My friends, I have touched but lightly upon the chief historical
movements which trace the rise of
Christ's new social ordler from the catacombs through Constantine to
the glories of 13th Century.
I have traced rapidly the decline not of principles of the
social order of Christ, but of the
human race, from the 14th through to the 20th Century. Those who
believed they had more
wisdom than the God Incarnate preferred to work out destiny of the
human race divorced from
Christ and wedded the disproves philosophy of naturalism—naturalism in
naturalism in business, naturalism in education.
It is understandable why Karl
Marx and his
Communism came into being—just as understandable as why the French
revolutionists chanted their
Marseillaise; for one error uncorrected
always begets a worse.
And it is understandable why Naziism, with its
complex for persecution and its deification of the state, is sweeping
Communism from the
confines of Europe because men will never rest in peace when they are
forced to live under an
unsound system either of government or of economy.
Yesterday Communism; today Naziism;
tomorrow—chaos—unless Christ is re-enthroned.
During these broadcasts I do not intend to
confine myself to such abstract and generic addresses as is this. It is
my intent to be concrete and
to apply, to the best of my ability, the social principles of Jesus
Christ to the social life of the
United States. This means that it is necessary for us to solidify and
strengthen a virile, closely
woven Christian Front. This means that we will be glad to be
intolerant—intolerant, not of men whom we wish to convert, but of error
and false principles
with which we refuse to consort.
Had we Christians one-tenth of the zeal that
burns in the hearts of the disciples of Karl Marx this would be a
different world today. Long ago
we would have carried our King. in triumph into the factory where
economic slavery reigns; into
the market place where dishonesty prospers; into the banking, house
where usury thrives and into
the classrooms of our schools and universities where error rides
rampant over the souls of our
The World War with its tragedy, its loss and its
destruction would not have been chronicled upon the pages of our
history. And this week we
would not be celebrating an Armistice that is not an armistice in the
sense that it is the
termination of wars.
What were the results of that last World War?
The world certainly was not made safe for democracy. It was made safe
for Communism. Even
America has been made the haven of radicals with their un-American,
Certainly, it was not a war to end wars. It was a war to end
Christianity. Certainly, it brought us
no economic security. It produced nothing but international disaster
and suffering at a cost of
more than $100-billion and 40-million human casualties not including
the broken hearts of
mothers and children, It has been estimated that if the cost of the
World War had been expended,
not upon destruction, but upon production, we Americans could build a
home costing $2,500 on
a five acre plot, of
and costing $100.00 an acre--a home
with a thousand dollars worth of furniture in it free from all
encumbrances for every residing not only in America, abut for every
family residing in Russia, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland,
Wales, Ireland England, Scotland, Australia and Canada as well as the
More than that, out of the cost that was used to destroy
40-million men and upset the world religiously, socially, and
economically, we could go into every community of 20,000 population or
more, throughout the world to build a $2-million dollar library, a
$3-million hospital and a $10-million university in every community.
And after doing that we would have had enough money left over so
that if we invested it wisely, according to the pattern of capitalism,
we would have enough returns to pay a salary of $1,000 each to
125,000 school teachers and 125,000 nurses for City of New York and a
proportionate number for every city in the United States.
And the irony of it all is that on the eve of the twentieth
anniversary of the armistice the merchandisers of murder and are
concocting plans to destroy another 40-million human s with the aid of
governments who are still subservient to
forces of naturalism.
In conclusion, my friends, let us be certain about this—at least
those of us who are devoted to re-establishing the social order of
Jesus Christ upon this earth : There can never be a lasting armistice,
never a lasting peace, never permanent security prosperity until the
social order of Jesus Christ is re-established upon the face of the
earth. Moreover, there can be no armistice between Christianity and
Communism or Communism's ultimate child, called Naziism.
Today you can choose your sides. Today you can be powerful
enough to overcome Communism by moral force. Tomorrow it may be
necessary to use physical force. But it is certain that there can be no
compromise, no fictitious hand-shaking, no friendship between the two
philosophies of Christliness on the one and christlessness on the other.
They of the next generation will be reading the history of our
success or of our failure as they celebrate not an armistice
anniversary but a victory either for Christ or for chaos.
"I am the Resurrection and the Life," said Christ.
Oh, how truthfully is He the Conqueror of death and of every vice and
disease attendant upon
How truthfully is He the Life
Eternal in heaven
and the Life of the social order here upon earth!
There can be no armistice between Christ, the
Life, and Antichrist, the death!