1920 January 28

Five Episcopal Bishops Denounce Repressive “Red Scare” Measures


Five Episcopal Bishops and 16 other Protestant ministers issued a statement on this day denouncing politically repressive measures in the post-World War I “Red Scare.” Specifically, they criticized deportations without trial; a sedition bill and other measures pending in Congress; and the expulsion of duly elected Socialist members of the New York legislature. The clergymen met at a meeting that was called by the Federal Council of Churches, an organization of the major Protestant denominations, which today is known as the National Council of Churches.

For the notorious Palmer Raids, in which thousands of allegedly radical working people were rounded up and detained without due process of law, and which represented the worst of the Red Scare, go to November 7, 1919 and January 2, 1920.

Read: Christopher M. Finan, From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America (2007)

Learn more about the Red Scare: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/SaccoV/redscare.html

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