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Letters From the Nation's Clergy

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    Sir:

  1. I am glad to make such answer as I can to your request of September 24th. Along with a good many other ministers, I have been especially interested in certain parts of your program. The news of your inauguration came to me when I was in Berlin at the time that Herr Hitler was securing his complete control over Germany. My own personal reactions to conditions there made me all the more sympathetic with what I felt to be your attempts at stabilization and reform along lines agreeable to our national history and tradition.

  2. In order to evaluate any statement that I make it is necessary to know that my parish of some 2,300 people is made up largely of business and professional people, a good many of whom are executives in this city.

  3. It is my impression that a good many who are not themselves sure of the wisdom of Social Security Legislation believe that it is inevitable. There is constant fear not only on the taxation necessary but that they legislation may insure security to others than those who have earned it by productive labor. There is a strong feeling of the necessity of removing as quickly as possible as many as possible from the relief rolls. But the Works Program has not progressed sufficiently for the public to feel sure that this program will bring the necessary relief.

  4. One sentiment seems to be common to almost all business men with whom I come in contact. This is, that there is urgent need for the country to have some assurance as to the line along which the Administration will move in net year. Unquestionable, there is an increase of confidence; but there remains the nervousness of people who have just come out of a severe wreck and who are yet jumpy.

  5. I am quite sure that the average business man of my acquaintance has had his social outlook considerably broadened in these last few years; but the same man is still distrustful of going too far into a planned economy.

  6. There is one other thing which in all frankness ought to be mentioned. Men who are the heartiest supporters of your Administration, or some of them, are deploring the measure to which governmental agencies have been organized along strict political lines. This criticism may be just or unjust, but the fact remains that men who are otherwise friendly fear that even the Civil Service may become subordinated to political interests.

  7. May I assure you, Mr. President, that whatever differences there may be in political outlook and in social theory, the churches which I know join most heartily in praying for "the President of these United States and all others in authority."

    Respectfully yours,

    Umphrey Lee
    Highland Park Methodist Church
    Dallas, TX
    October 16, 1935