Lift Up Your Voice like a Trumpet: White Clergy and the Civil Rights and Antiwar Movements, 1954-1973

By Michael B. Friedland | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . . a time to kill, and a time to heal . . . a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The fall of Saigon in April 1975 marked the end of the Vietnam War, but not the end of American peace activists' interest in that ravaged country. Pacifist groups sponsored a "War Is Over" festival in Central Park in May to honor the North Vietnamese triumph, leading critics to question the propriety of pacifists celebrating a military victory. When it became apparent that the victors in Vietnam were not the noble revolutionaries of leftist imaginations but practitioners of a brutal realpolitik who crushed dissent by imprisoning and torturing political prisoners and closing Buddhist pagodas, some of the most prominent antiwar activists began to reexamine their support of the North Vietnamese. Neuhaus, James Forest, and Thich Nhat Hanh drafted an "Appeal to the Government of Vietnam," asking officials in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) to answer the charges. When radicals in the peace movement charged the three with being agents of the Central Intelligence Agency, because they were raising such uncomfortable questions, Alfred Hassler, former executive secretary of FOR, came to their defense—if the claims of government repression were true, he asked, what good was the much vaunted Vietnamese revolution accomplishing? Daniel and Philip Berrigan asked themselves the same question after getting a noncommittal response to a letter they had sent to Hanoi asking for information on the torture of American prisoners of war. The peace movement's admiration of the North Vietnamese had developed into idolatry, they wrote, causing some activists to be blinded to the faults of the new regime. 1

Others were bothered about the increasingly radical stance taken by members of what had been moderate antiwar organizations. When a member of Clergy and Laity Concerned delivered a "strident, leftist cliché," as Neuhaus

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Lift Up Your Voice like a Trumpet: White Clergy and the Civil Rights and Antiwar Movements, 1954-1973
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter One 18
  • Chapter Two 49
  • Chapter Three 70
  • Chpter Four 93
  • Chapter Five 113
  • Chapter Six 140
  • Chapter Seven 164
  • Chapter Eight 189
  • Chapter Nine 213
  • Epilogue 237
  • Notes 253
  • I. Manuscript Collections 287
  • Index 305
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