Father Charles Coughlin And Edward Lodge Curran - From The Land Of Murky Motives - 1939

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(Father Charles Coughlin - one of the originators of "you're either for us or against us")

When I first began Newstalgia, I ran an entry called "Father Coughlin - the Grandfather of Hate Radio". At the time, I was only able to run a 10 minute clip from one of his talks. It gave a glimpse, but not a complete idea of just what all the controversy surrounding Father Coughlin was all about.

Charles Coughlin was no doubt the first, at least on a national scale, to use radio as an instrument of extremist ideology. Much of what is going on now in reference to the current state of Hate Radio can be attributed almost directly to the weekly tirades and rants of Father Coughlin over 70 years ago.

But in readying this entry, and playing back this broadcast of August 27, 1939, I noticed Coughlin wasn't alone in his shrillness - he had a warm up act.

Dr. Edward Lodge Curran - or Father Curran often used the first half hour of the one hour broadcast to showcase his particular rants, as is evidenced by this harangue of the Cincinnati School Board.

Father Curran: “Every effort was made by the leftist forces, who claimed the right to Freedom of Speech for themselves, but who deny it to others. Seventy-two hours before the meeting, all the efforts of the splendid Cincinnati committee and sponsors had almost dwindled to idle gestures. A Mr. Von Schlichten, a teacher in one of the Cincinnati schools had accepted the invitation to act as Chairman. Mr. Henry Siegal, editor of The American Israelite, promptly complained to the school board. The school board held a secret meeting. And at that meeting, the pedagogical wisdom of withdrawing as Chairman was impressed quite contritely upon Mr. Von Schlichten. And Mr. Von Schlichten, in free, democratic 20th Century America, was forced to withdraw. This is the same Cincinnati School Board, which has permitted the Communists to make use of Woodward High School. This is the same Cincinnati School Board which has never presumed to reprimand any of its other employees who have participated in the activities of the Communistically mind and Communistically controlled American League For Peace and Democracy.”

Curran, it should be noted, ran somewhat afoul of the America First Committee and appears to have dropped out of the history books of extremism. He does, however pop up as the author of "Great Moments Of Catholic History". The wonders never cease.

As for Coughlin - well, his rants are legendary.

Father Coughlin: “I believe that I am on safe ground in affirming that the World War was fought for commercial domination and not for the preservation of Democracy. I believe that I am on the side of truth when I say that the Peace Treaty of Versailles was nothing more than a document of hatred. Defies in a mad attempt to resolve the evils of International Capitalism. And I believe that, although Communism of Russia was in part a rebellion against the system of International Capitalism. Nevertheless it was an insane rebellion, because it fought not only the persecutors of the poor, but the principles of right-reason and the outraged Christ who loves the poor.”

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