Axis Powers

An Ecumenical Consensus: A Moral Calling for International Engagement
An Ecumenical Consensus

In this article, originally published on July 26, 1943, in Christianity and Crisis, John C. Bennett praises the document “The Church and International Reconstruction” issued by the World Council of Churches. He notes that it unequivocally supports public engagement by the Church, organized worldwide political interaction, and consistent condemnation of national shortcomings for all countries, not merely those most culpable.

Some Soils and Seeds of Isolationism
Some Soils and Seeds of Isolationism

Isolation may be impractical, but its appeal is very understandable. In this article, originally published on June 14, 1943, in Christianity and Crisis, Charles Gilkey presents six influences upon this school of thought, and emphasizes the importance of giving primacy to the opinion of returning veterans in defining future U.S. foreign policy.

American Power and World Responsibility
American Power and World Responsibility

The United States’ involvement in two world wars indicates clearly that American isolationism is at a practical end, Reinhold Niebuhr asserts in this article, originally published on April 5, 1943 in Christianity and Crisis. Working toward international integration is a national responsibility – morally and in the interests of security. Alliances depend on the will of their members; it is no different for the United States. Niebuhr also warns of a new danger: a unilateral “imperialist” American military establishment, simultaneously preoccupied with hegemony and unconcerned with the rest of the world.

Manger, Cross and Resurrection: The Habit of Repentance
The Manger, The Cross and The Resurrection: A Christian Interpretation of Our Time

Ironically, it is possible to boast of one’s humility. In this article, originally published in Christianity and Crisis on April 19, 1943, Paul Ramsey aims to explain why. While Ramsey advocates constant repentance as a logical consequence of a Christian self-evaluation and imperfect humanity, he portrays such repentance as moral hygiene rather than attitude. He avoids the divestment camp, which prioritizes a clear conscience over achieving moral good at the cost of personal iniquity. In its most essential form, this is repentance for our assumption of righteousness. 

Mutual Security Comes First
Mutual Security Comes First

In seeking the ultimate aim of World War II, William Adams Brown candidly reiterates in this article, originally published on March 22, 1943, in Christianity and Crisis, the enduring broadly applicable political truth that security is a precondition for democracy. Brown adds that while democracy is the superior form of government, it is best promoted by first reinforcing an inter-state international order. The mutual trust formed by open discourse is the basis of democracy; excluding illiberal forces from that discourse actively hampers the goal of spreading democracy.

Battle Hymn of Responsibility
Battle Hymn of Responsibility

Christian clergymen of today typically prefer to disparage power and prestige as demonic ensnarements that Jesus shunned when offered. But Jesus exemplifies not the rejection of power per se but rather a godly deployment of it.

Christian Contrition and Action: Society and the Keys to Peace
Christian Contrition and Action: Society and the Keys to Peace

In this article, originally published in Christianity and Crisis on April 19, 1943, F. Ernest Johnson illuminates the twin wartime concerns of brutality and cynicism. Johnson illustrates the importance of maintaining public morality; losing compassion for the enemy will scuttle the peace and instigate the next war, while ignoring social influence in determining personal ethics invariably corrodes society on a more insidious level. To paraphrase John 17: 14-19, we must be in the world, but not of it.

The Home Front: Losing the Peace Through Revenge
The Home Front: Losing the Peace Through Revenge

The Treaty of Versailles did not cause World War II, but it hardly aimed to prevent it. In this article, originally published in Christianity and Crisis on April 5, 1943, D. Elton Trueblood warns against a vindictive peace driven by revenge – a fertile breeding ground for the next war. Trueblood deplores missing a chance at reversing centuries of intra-European carnage and preventing Asia from suffering a modern incarnation, all for the sake of revenge.

No Peace With Hitler's Generals: Conquer the Military Caste
No Peace With Hitler’s Generals: Conquer the Military Caste

Almost all nations field armies; fewer, even in 1943, retained a warrior caste who dominated nearly every facet of political and cultural life. In this incisive article, originally published in Christianity and Crisis on March 8, 1943, Robert E. Fitch argues that winning the War and achieving peace stems from breaking the feudal martial classes of Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Tojo’s Imperial Japan.