Brooklyn College

  "Am I an Anti-Semite?"

In 1939, Father Couglin published "Am I an Anti-Semite?"9 Addresses on Various 'ISMS' answering the Question.   It consists 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.
      The 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.


            Our 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 which Father 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 a subscriber as a token of appreciation for the receipt of this book.
            Address your letter to Father Coughlin at Royal Oak, Michigan.
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The Background of Christian Social Justice
November 6, 1938

Good  Afternoon, My Friends:
            My return to the air is made possible only 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 homes
            Properly, while I endeavor to expound the 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 give me
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.
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            Fearlessly, Christian social justice challenges 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 shortcomings, will 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 Christians Christians 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 hereafter.
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           Had not 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 God.
           My friends, in your own minds dramatize the 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 organization, every principality, every nation could look forward to better days and prosperity here with happiness hereafter.
            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 fundamental principle 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 new organization 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.
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* * * * *
            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 government, 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
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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 characterized as 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 children.
            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, unchristian philosophy. 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
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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 United States.
            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.
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            "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 death!
            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!
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  September 29, 2007