From 1967: Local ‘Christian Concern’ condemns wartime policy

By: 
Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

The Vietnam War was the most divisive period in the nation during the 20th Century.

To give the period some cultural context, the following account was pulled from the front page of the Allegan County News on Nov. 9, 1967, under the headline “Allegan County Ministerial Group takes stand on involvement in Vietnam.”

“Allegan County’s Ministerial Association took a firm stand on United States involvement in the Vietnam conflict this week with the passage of a resolution condemning present U.S. wartime policy.

“The resolution expressing “Christian Concern” over U.S. involvement was introduced by two Allegan ministers, First Presbyterian Church Pastor, the Rev. David Wright and the Rev. Gary Garnett of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.

“Calling for cessation of bombing in North Vietnam and for “greater reliance on the advice and resources of the United Nations,” the resolution expressed concern over the probability of nuclear war through a “direct confrontation between the U.S. and either the Soviet Union or Red China.”

The resolution is a follows:

“Whereas, there is a feeling among many that the United States erred in entering the Vietnamese struggle and has compounded this initial mistake by continual escalation of the war; and

“Whereas, the war is taking an enormous toll in the number of Americans and Vietnamese killed and suffering; the diversion of U.S. production from private consumption and pressing domestic problems; and

“Whereas, there is a growing risk of direct military confrontation between the U.S. and either the Soviet Union or China and the resulting probability of a nuclear holocaust;

“We call on our government and on all governments engaged in this war to cease from taking life and destroying property, and to devote themselves to restore, insofar as possible, the fortunes of those who have become destitute.

“We call for the cessation of bombing in North Vietnam because it increases the risk of spreading the conflict and hinders effective negotiations for peace .

“We recommend to our government greater reliance on the advice and resources of the United Nations and more serious consideration to its Secretary General’s proposal to achieve peace.

“We call on members of the Congress to support actively our President’s willingness to negotiate a peace and to recognize for a cease-fire in order to negotiate effectively.

“We also express our anxiety over the increasing dominance of the military over many areas of our domestic affairs.

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