Spirit of Crusades Appears in Truman Speech
● On January 8, 1951, President Truman addressed a joint session of the United States Eighty-second Congress to present his State of the Union message. Outlining the need for continued American support to countries in the North Atlantic Treaty in the mounting world crisis with communism, Mr. Truman said: “The defense of Europe is the basis for the defense of the whole free world—ourselves included. Next to the United States, Europe is the largest workshop in the world. It is also a homeland of great religious beliefs shared by many of our citizens—beliefs which are now threatened by the tide of atheistic communism.” Such words may revive as well the suspicion that the religion which makes its home in Vatican City has for some time been anxious to stir up some form of crusade to save its doorstep from the threatening Red tide. Before jumping on crusade band wagons, however, thoughtful persons will reflect on the bloodshed and suffering caused by the useless medieval crusades.