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  FATHER COUGHLIN, HUEY LONG, & UPTON SINCLAIR; VOICES FOR THE DISAFFECTED IN 1930s AMERICA

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FATHER COUGHLIN

However, continued poverty and joblessness, and the New Deal's haphazard record of helpful assistance, led Father Coughlin to renounce his support for FDR and the New Deal QuickTimeAudio . On Sunday, November 11, 1934, Father Coughlin finalized his renouncing of the New Deal when he introduced his National Union for Social Justice to his captive audience of radio listeners: "It is for the youth of the nation. It is for the brains of the nation. It is for the farmers of the nation. It is for everyone in the nation." Believing that "wicked men" had "concentrated wealth into the hands of the few," Coughlin, with homage to Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XI, told his listeners that these wealthy men "dominated states, and finally commenced to pit state against state in the frightful catastrophes of commercial warfare." As an answer to the failures of capitalism and the New Deal dole, Coughlin urged his listeners to join the National Union for Social Justice, and to follow its sixteen tenants:

 1. I believe in the right of liberty of conscience and liberty of education, not permitting the state to dictate either my worship to my God or my chosen avocation in life.

2.1 believe that every citizen willing to work and capable of working shall receive a just and living annual wage which will enable him to maintain and educate his family according to the standards of American decency.

3. I believe in nationalizing those public necessities which by their very nature are too important to be held in the control of private individuals. By these I mean banking, credit and currency, power, light, oil and natural gas and our God-given natural resources.

4. I believe in private ownership of all other property.

5. I believe in upholding the right to private property yet in controlling it for the public good.

6. I believe in the abolition of the privately owned Federal Reserve Banking system and in the establishment of a Government owned Central Bank.


Coughlin denounces bankersCoughlin denounces bankers


7. I believe in rescuing from the hands of private owners the right to coin and regulate the value of money, which right must be restored to Congress where it belongs.

8. I believe that one of the chief duties of this Government owned Central Bank is to maintain the cost of living on an even keel and the repayment of dollar debts with equal value dollars.

9. I believe in the cost of production plus a fair profit for the farmer.

10. I believe not only in the right of the laboring man to organize in unions but also in the duty of the Government which that laboring man supports to facilitate and to protect these organizations against the vested interests of wealth and of intellect.

11. I believe in the recall of all non-productive bonds and thereby in the alleviation of taxation.

12. I believe in the abolition of tax-exempt bonds.

13. I believe in the broadening of the base of taxation founded upon the ownership of wealth and the capacity to pay.

14. I believe in the simplification of government, and the further lifting of crushing taxation from the slender revenues of the laboring class.

15. I believe that in the event of a war for the defense of our nation and its liberties, there shall be a conscription of wealth as well as a conscription of men.

16. I believe in preferring the sanctity of human rights to the sanctity of property rights. I believe that the chief concern of government shall be for the poor because, as it is witnessed, the rich have ample means of their own to care for themselves.

These are my beliefs. These are the fundamentals of the organization which I present to you under the name of the NATIONAL UNION FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE. It is your privilege to reject or accept my beliefs; to follow me or repudiate me.

(Series 17-18)

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