MARCH 26, 1954
NEW YORK, Thursday—It is a heartening thing when the three great religions in the United States come together and make a joint appeal for the support of their widespread relief and reconstruction efforts in areas of distress overseas.
This Sunday, March 28th, there will be made the annual appeal from both Protestant and Roman Catholic churches and at the same time a similar appeal will be made in the Jewish synagogues. The National Council of Churches' Central Department of Church World service calls its effort "The United Appeal" and this is for support of cooperative and individual programs of 36 Protestant and Eastern Orthodox denominations. The Bishops' Fund for the Victims of War is sponsored by the administrative board of the Roman Catholic bishops of the U.S. The Passover Appeal of the United Jewish Appeal is sponsored by the Synagogue Council of America.
President Eisenhower in speaking of such programs said: "Such efforts as this by our people bulwark their government's basic desire for world understanding of true fellowship and for building lasting peace."
Millions of dollars and millions of pounds of relief material, food, clothing, medicine, emergency supplies are made possible by the contributions received for these various funds, and if we try to visualize what this means to people in different parts of the world, we can easily see that a small gift multiplied by vast numbers of people participating will actually mean life and hope to men and women and children in stricken areas of the world.
On Sunday many of our churches will join in "one great hour of sharing" and so I ask all of my readers to remember that their contributions on that day will have an added meaning.
The National Broadcasting Company has sent me an essay read over the air by an Akron, Ohio, high school junior, Elizabeth Ellen Evans. This essay was an answer to a request to girls for essays on democracy and there were more than 100,000 answers.
It is a fresh young voice and Miss Evans has said many of the fine things that we wish could be remembered every day. She begins: "I am an American. Listen to my words, Fascist, Communist. Listen well, for my country is a strong country, and my message is a strong message. I am an American and I speak for democracy...A million and more of my countrymen have died for freedom....This is my answer, Fascist, Communist! Show me a country greater than our country, show me a people more energetic, creative, progressive—bigger-hearted and happier than our people, not until then will I consider your way of life. For I am an American, and I speak for democracy."