“A Letter to Presbyterians:” The PC(USA) 1953 General Council Challenge to McCarthyism (1953)

The 165th General Assembly made the following pronouncement for the guidance of Presbyterians: ‘All human life should be lived in accordance with the principles established by God for the life of men and of nations. This is a tenet of Biblical religion. It is also a basic emphasis in our Presbyterian heritage of faith. ‘As individuals and as a group, Christians are responsible for adjusting their thought and behavior to those everlasting principles of Scripture. It is no less their responsibility as citizens of their nation, to seek as far as their influence may extend, to bring national life and all the institutions of society into conformity with the moral government of God, and into harmony with the spirit of Jesus Christ.’ We suggest therefore, that all Presbyterians give earnest consideration to the following three basic principles and their implications for our thought and life. 1. The Christian Church has a prophetic function to fulfill in every society and in every age. 2. The majesty of truth must be preserved at all times and at all costs. 3. God’s sovereign rule is the controlling factor in history