The Hard Years: A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions

By Eugene J. McCarthy | Go to book overview

35
John Bennett

John Coleman Bennett is a minister, theologian, and teacher. He served as Dean of Faculty and later as President of Union Theological Seminary. Dr. Bennett has written many articles and books, including Christians and the State and Foreign Policy in Christian Perspective.

When one speaks or writes in tribute to someone like John Bennett, one ordinarily begins by saying, "I remember the first time I met him"or "the first time I read him."

I cannot recall when either of these things happened. There was no first time. Somehow it seems that John Bennett has always been there, giving guidance and sustaining me in judgments that I made or thought I might have to make.

This has been my experience through some thirty years of reading him, both in and out of Christianity and Crisis. Thirty years ago we looked for a religious judgment on political questions. That was the direction of John Bennett's thought, and on many critical issues the thrust of religious judgment had significant political effects.

It now seems that we have swung round and are more worried about the thrust of political judgment on our religious beliefs and on religious activity. John Bennett has been slow to join in that kind of judgment.

In every session of the Senate there is an amendment introduced to make the United States a religious country by constitutional decree -- and even a Christian country. Twenty years ago the Congress required by law that American money carry the inscription, "In God We Trust." (Approval of the legislation was partly a vote of lack of confidence in the Secretary of the Treasury, and some hoped it might be anti-inflationary.) John Bennett has not supported such proposals.

More recently there was the question of whether students in the

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The Hard Years: A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction by Tom Wicker vii
  • Preface xix
  • Part I - Institutions 1
  • 1 - Toward a More Responsible Presidency 3
  • 2 - The Vice President as Crown Prince 15
  • 3 - Changes in the Congress 19
  • 4 - The Courts, the Last Appeal 28
  • 5 - Court of Ideas 32
  • 6 - A Kind Word for the Bureaucrats 35
  • 7 - A Kind Word for the Military 45
  • 8 - A Warning About the Military Establishment 49
  • 9 - The Cia and the Inner Ring 58
  • 10 - The Corporations 61
  • 11 - The Universities 68
  • 12 - The Democratic and Republican Parties 75
  • 13 - Alternatives to the Major Parties 80
  • Part II - Operations 87
  • 14 - A Hard Look at the Primaries 89
  • 15 - Personality Cults 96
  • 16 - The Cult of the Expert 97
  • 17 - A Good and Becoming Exit 100
  • 18 - Listen to Mr. Parkinson 104
  • 19 - The Sst: Object Lesson in Dynamics of Opposition 106
  • 20 - The Lobbyists 109
  • 21 - Grant Park, Chicago 116
  • 22 - Marching on Washington 118
  • 23 - Changing America 122
  • Part III - Principles 125
  • 24 - Innocence in Politics 127
  • 25 - Language and Politics 130
  • 26 - Poetry and War 135
  • 27 - Ares 144
  • 28 - Intellectuals and Politics 148
  • 29 - Out of Phase 155
  • 30 - Trouble in the Economics Community 158
  • 31 - Constitutional Amendments 165
  • 32 - Five Systems of Justice 170
  • 33 - The Enemies List 173
  • 34 - Censorship 182
  • Part IV - A Good Person is Not So Hard to Find 185
  • 35 - John Bennett 187
  • 36 - Emerson Hynes 189
  • 37 - John Kennedy 190
  • 38 - Dan and Doris Kimball 193
  • 39 - Robert Lowell 196
  • 40 - Wayne Morse 197
  • 41 - Lewis Mumford 203
  • 42 - Eleanor Roosevelt 205
  • 43 - Frank Rosenblatt 207
  • 44 - Adlai Stevenson 208
  • Notes 215
  • Index 223
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