1953 July 9

Joe McCarthy Aide Attacks “Reds in Our Churches”


J. B. Matthews, a former leftist who became an ardent anti-Communist, had been recently appointed an aide to Sen. Joe McCarthy (R–Wisconsin). His article, “Reds in Our Churches,” in the July 1953 issue of American Mercury, accused mainstream Protestant clergy of working to support Communism. The allegation provoked widespread outrage, and Matthews quickly resigned his position.

Matthews was one of many people who had been associated with the Communist Party in the 1930s or 1940s, and who then became prominent anti-Communists during the Cold War.

Track down the article: J. B. Matthews, “Reds and Our Churches,” American Mercury (July 1953): 3-13

Learn about Matthews’ strange career: J. B. Matthews, Odyssey of a Fellow Traveler (1938) 

Learn more about McCarthyism: http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/joseph-mccarthy

Learn more about the ACLU in the Cold War and other Times of National Crisis: https://www.aclu.org/aclu-history-rooting-out-subversives-paranoia-and-patriotism-mccarthy-era

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