Ten American vice-presidents have moved up to the White House, and November will probably see election of an eleventh. Political observers are all but convinced that the contest will be between Richard M. Nixon, who was vice-president from 1953 until 1961, and Hubert H. Humphrey, who has held the office since 1965.

Often overlooked in the cataclysmic events of the 1968 political campaign has been the phenomenal Nixon comeback. Six years ago he was politically dead. Now he seems to have the inside track for nomination by the Republican National Convention, which begins in Miami Beach August 5. And he probably has at least an even chance of being elected President.

Nixon has been considered a serious contender for only a few months. Even when he announced his candidacy at the end of January, few gave him much of a chance.

Nixon is not known to be particularly religious, but he has been a close friend of evangelist Billy Graham for two decades. It was Graham, apparently, who more than anyone else persuaded him to run this year, back when hopes were still very dim.

The crucial decision was made during the winter. Nixon was spending a few days alone in Florida and put in an urgent call to Graham to join him. The evangelist, though ill, obliged, and the two spent long hours reading the Bible together, praying, and discussing the future as they walked the sandy ocean beach. At that time Graham doubted that Nixon could win but urged him to run anyway.

When Nixon disclosed his decision, he wired Graham that the evangelist’s influence had been the deciding factor. Nixon has been publicly quoted as saying, “Billy Graham had a great deal to do with that decision.”

A sequel to the episode was the part Graham played in bringing together Nixon and U. S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon. Hatfield too is a friend of Graham, and he participated in the evangelist’s May crusade in Portland. But he has been a dove on Viet Nam, a position in which neither Graham nor Nixon finds much comfort. After talking with Nixon, however, Hatfield endorsed him, asserting that, given the political realities of the day, the options on Viet Nam would be wider with Nixon as President than with Humphrey. Graham claims Nixon and Hatfield are not nearly so far apart on Viet Nam as some think.

The most immediate effect of Hatfield’s endorsement of Nixon was to raise his own chances for the number-two spot on the Republican ticket. Hatfield, former governor of Oregon and an outspoken evangelical, is generally considered to have a bright political future. Other GOP vice-presidential possibilities are New York Mayor John Lindsay, an Episcopalian, and U. S. Senator Charles Percy of Illinois, a Christian Scientist.

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Graham’s role as adviser to national leaders is not confined to Republican ranks. He is one of the world’s most admired men, and his counsel is sought by many. He has known Hubert Humphrey since 1945 and has spent a number of evenings in the White House with President Johnson. On Sunday morning, June 9, the day after the Kennedy funeral, Graham held a private service for the first family in the White House.

New Supreme Court Lineup

With U. S. Senate confirmation, 58-year-old Abe Fortas will become the first Jewish Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. To fill Fortas’s seat as an associate justice, President Johnson is nominating Homer Thornberry, 59, a Methodist and former Texas congressman who is a U. S. circuit judge.

Retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren, 77, listed his religious affiliation as “Protestant,” and had been a Baptist.

The continuing associate justices are:

Hugo L. Black, 82, oldest and longest-serving member, a Baptist.

William O. Douglas and John Marshall Harlan, both 69-year-old Presbyterians.

William J. Brennan, Jr., 62, the high court’s only Roman Catholic.

Potter Stewart, 53, Byron R. White, 51, and Thurgood Marshall, 60, the three most recent appointees next to Fortas, all Episcopalians. Marshall is the first Negro to sit on the Supreme Court.

There has been considerable speculation this year that Graham would take a more active role in politics and perhaps even run himself. The evangelist has flatly denied any intention of doing so and says he will not endorse any candidate as such. He has reserved judgment for the time being, however, on whether to divulge his own personal voting choice.

In an article for Graham’s Decision magazine in November, 1962—the month he lost the election for governor of California—Nixon told of attending a Los Angeles meeting of evangelist Paul Rader during Nixon’s first year in high school. “We joined hundreds of others that night in making our personal commitments to Christ and Christian service,” he recalled.

Nixon told about his activities as a youth in a small congregation of the Society of Friends (Quakers). He attended local Whittier College, operated by the Quakers, but unlike most members of this denomination, he is not a conscientious objector. During his years in Washington, D. C., Nixon at first attended Westmoreland Congregational Church, but when he bought another house he switched to Metropolitan Memorial Methodist Church, the “national” church of Methodism.

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Of the candidates, Nixon has been the most outspoken in support of changing the First Amendment to allow religious exercises and non-sectarian prayer in public schools. He favors construction aid and tax credits in support of church-related colleges.

New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, Nixon’s main challenger, had been much more active in getting government aid for parochial schools. In 1965 he won a national award for these efforts from Citizens for Educational Freedom, a predominantly Roman Catholic school-aid lobby. Last year he endorsed elimination of the ban on chuch-school aid in a new state constitution, which lost at the polls.

An issue for many religiously sensitive voters is Rockefeller’s 1962 divorce after thirty-two years of marriage, and his remarriage the next year. The chairman of the “Rockefeller for President” committee is industrialist J. Irwin Miller, a former president of the National Council of Churches. The governor is a member of the Rockefeller family church Riverside Church in New York City, which is affiliated with the American Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ.

A Republican dark horse is California Governor Ronald Reagan, who belongs to the Hollywood—Beverly Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) but usually attends Bel Air Presbyterian Church and is close to its pastor, well-known evangelical Donn Moomaw. In a May interview for Christian Life, Reagan tells of seeking God’s will in his various political decisions. The article did not mention that, like Rockefeller, Reagan is a divorcee. His eight-year marriage to actress Jane Wyman ended in 1948; they had two children.

When the Democratic Party assembles in Chicago August 26, amid lingering threats of tie-ups by black militants, the choice will be between Minnesotans Hubert H. Humphrey and Eugene J. McCarthy.

Vice-President Humphrey, who has operated in the shadows of President Johnson’s Viet Nam policy, is opposed by the vocal group of anti-war clergymen, who look to Senator McCarthy. Humphrey’s own pastor, the Rev. Richard Griffis, 33, of First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Minneapolis, has been disturbed about U. S. war policy for several years and has discussed his views with the Vice-President.

In a May visit to Kent State University, Ohio, Humphrey was subjected to a walkout in protest against the war. When a Negro student who remained said he had lost faith in America, the Vice-President replied, “The only real reason I want to run for president is to erase from your spirit the feeling you have.… I do not generally parade my religious convictions, but the whole basic reason for democracy—the whole moral justification for democracy—is man and his relationship to his God.”

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Humphrey urged church social involvement in an address to the December, 1966, General Assembly of the National Council of Churches. Writing for an NCC publication three months ago, Humphrey said each church body should “take its stand” on the “battlefields of civic, state, nation, and international issues.” Although he said he respects those who think the churches are already overcommitted to material matters, he believes “living Christianity requires the Church to be in the vanguard for human progress.”

Humphrey’s concerns for church action generally parallel the liberal causes that have characterized his political career. Last year, he said at Southern Baptist Furman University that federal aid to Church colleges does not violate church-state separation. Americans United reports Humphrey has indicated he might appoint a Roman Catholic layman as ambassador to the Vatican—once a hot church-state issue but now rarely advocated.

With the murder of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Senator McCarthy is the only Roman Catholic in the presidential field. At one time McCarthy considered a career as a clergyman and spent almost a full year in a Benedictine monastery. But he went into college teaching instead, first at the Benedictines’ St. John’s University in Minnesota, then at the College of St. Thomas, operated by the Archdiocese of St. Paul.

Pollster Elmo Roper uses McCarthy’s performance in the Wisconsin primary to belittle the importance of the religious bloc vote. McCarthy got 57 per cent of the Democratic primary votes in the predominantly Protestant state. But in Milwaukee, which has a Catholic majority, he drew only 43 per cent.

McCarthy, like Humphrey, favors aid to church schools on the child-benefit theory, but also advocates judicial review to test constitutionality of the practice. Last year, McCarthy and Cardinal Spellman were the headliners at a Citizens for Educational Freedom rally in support of the proposed New York constitution, with its parochial-school aid provisions. In the U. S. Senate, McCarthy voted against the Dirksen school-prayer amendment.

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On birth control, McCarthy says “my religious beliefs would not affect my administration of such programs.” He favors government distribution of birth-control information and devices to needy mothers who request it.


Canadians have coined a word for it: Trudeaumania. New Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 48, has the same effect on followers as Frank Sinatra and the Beatles in their times of glory. The adoring crowds he attracts give the feeling they would tear him apart if they could.

The Liberals’ Trudeau is the exact opposite of the leader of the Progressive Conservatives, the losing party in last month’s national election. Robert Stanfield, 54, staid, plodding, slow speaking, represents the typical conservative image of Canadian politicians. He is a member of the Anglican Church, the nation’s long-established status denomination. His family fortune was made in underwear. He fought the campaign on issues in the old political style, while Trudeau promised nothing.

After winning a powerful majority. Trudeau expressed a desire to overhaul Parliament. But much more is expected of this dashing Roman Catholic bachelor who stands on his head, swims, dives, skis, Twists, drives fast sports cars for relaxation, and kisses pretty female strangers on the cheek.

While Minister of Justice, Trudeau proposed a bill to legalize homosexual relations, and abortion in some cases. Parliamentary opposition to these ideas will now be weaker.

A Quebec group, Pilgrims of Michael the Archangel, violently attacked Trudeau over this bill and identified him with Communism, anti-clericalism, perversion, and subversion.

The night before the election, Trudeau was on the reviewing stand for a St. John the Baptist Day parade in Montreal, a revelrous time for French Quebec. During the parade ugly demonstrations broke out and gasoline-filled bottles were tossed at Trudeau, who refused to leave the platform. Many police and rioters were injured and hundreds were arrested in one of the worst riots in Montreal history.

The instigators were Separatists, who want Quebec to be a separate nation and accuse Trudeau of selling out by becoming Anglicanized.

Another campaign issue was the revelation that progressive Cardinal Leger had once turned down Trudeau for a teaching post at the University of Montreal for “alleged pro-Communist opinions.” Former university Governor Donalien Marion, recalling the incident, said Trudeau “obviously was not a Communist. He was just a millionaire who felt that the interests of workers could be protected better.”

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Another attack on Trudeau was a twenty-four-page glossy pamphlet put out by the McIntire-aligned Canadian Council of Evangelical Protestant Churches. It carried sections on Communism in Canada, including its alleged inroads into Catholicism, and charged that Trudeau had once been refused entry to the United States and had led a Communist delegation to a Peking meeting.

Council President Harold Slade of Toronto’s Jarvis Street Baptist Church said the pamphlet was written by W. J. Ewin, who he thought was a Baptist minister, and was “a mere expression of our liberty for freedom of speech.”

But acting Justice Minister Donald S. Macdonald attacked the pamphlet and urged “all decent Canadians” to expose producers of hate literature: “The people behind this hate literature are diseased—mentally diseased—and the disease is as virulent as any physical sickness.…”

The Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec and the Canadian Council of Churches disclaimed any connection with the affair. The Rev. Leslie K. Tarr, administrator of Central Baptist Seminary, who has written for Slade’s church paper, wrote to Trudeau: “That such literature should claim the sanction of the Christian Gospel is abominable.”

After the election, preacher Tommy Douglas, New Democratic Party leader who lost his own seat, said Trudeau’s campaign was an appeal to mindlessness.

Little has been said of Trudeau’s religious views. He was once immensely impressed by a visit with the leader of the Parsi Zoroastrian sect in Bombay. He has said: “I don’t like religions which make people do things because the commandments say to do them.” He said that Christ’s basic precept was to love one another and that religion should be an inner thing commanding people to act.



Yale University Chaplain William Sloane Coffin, Jr., 43, may be forced to trade his campus office for a federal prison cell.

Judge Francis J. W. Ford was scheduled to impose the sentence, which could be as much as five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Coffin and three others, including baby doctor Benjamin Spock, were convicted in Boston last month of “conspiracy” to “counsel, aid, and abet” men to violate draft laws.

The four said they would appeal their case in their avowed efforts to test “the constitutionality of the draft law and the legality of the Viet Nam war.” Ford, insisting that the “conspiracy” indictment alone was “the crucial issue,” refused to admit these topics into the month-long trial.

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Yale President Kingman Brewster was not available for comment on what effect the outcome will have on Coffin’s job. The school recently reappointed the cleric on a wait-and-see basis, pending the court’s decision. Brewster, while “disagreeing” with his chaplain on the draft and even “deploring” his urging of Yale undergraduates to turn in their draft cards, has nevertheless been sitting in Coffin’s corner, but board members may have second thoughts.

In an open bid for arrest (in order to precipitate a “moral, legal confrontation” with the government), Coffin participated in numerous anti-draft protests, including one at Boston’s Arlington Street (Unitarian-Universalist) Church October 16. Following his impassioned plea there for a “reformation of the conscience,” sixty-seven college students burned their draft cards in the flame of an altar candle, and another 214 handed their cards to him for delivery to the Justice Department in Washington.


In their first statement after the May–June riots—and before President De Gaulle’s smashing election victory—the Roman Catholic hierarchy of France criticized “blind and brutal violence” and commended the ideals of the student and labor strikers. “From now on,” they said, “the exercise of authority requires more dialogue and access to more responsibility for all.” They asked “renunciation of excessive profits” and raising of low salaries.

In West Berlin, a special synod of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg upheld 41 to 32 their executives’ intervention in sympathy with recent student protests. Bishop Kurt Scharf said the Church should be “right in the center of distress and misery.” But Dean Heinrich Grüber said it is “impossible” to talk with the “intolerant and biased” student movement in Germany.


A unique Christian film. That’s Two A Penny, the latest and definitely the best release yet from the studios of Billy Graham’s World Wide Pictures. The film began a two-month exclusive engagement at London’s Prince Charles Cinema with a June 20 premiere. Britain-wide release is due this summer.

Unique. Because it portrays believable people searching for convincing answers to contemporary problems. And because at last we have a Christian film that is no anemic version of an evangelical fairy tale.

Unique too because the hero, Jamie Hopkins (played by Cliff Richard), is actually seen and heard relishing easy money, strong drink, stronger language, and miniskirted girls. And at the close of the ninety-eight-minute feature there is no overnight dramatic transformation of character; merely a sincere willingness on his part to admit that God might exist and might deserve his love and discipleship. “God, if you’re real,” he prays, “if you’re there at all, show me”—convincing (though some will say inadequate) spiritual progress from his defiant sentiments expressed a few days earlier: “If you want me, God, you’ve got to stand in line like everyone else.”

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Richard, one of Britain’s top pop singing stars, excels in the role of an art student and amateur drug-runner. Screen newcomer Ann Holloway, though very much second fiddle to Richard, manages to portray realistically the concern of Carol, a fresh convert, for her unsaved boyfriend. (Most Christian films would have had her break ties with Jamie on the night of conversion.)

Two A Penny is magnificent in photography, direction, camera effects, and music (Richard sings four songs—he wrote either words or music for three of them), all of which can stand judgment by top commercial standards.

At times the story line is thin, the dialogue a trifle stilted, but the hypnotic power of the visual presentation makes these failings hardly noticeable.

There are more noticeable faults: one very bad cut between scenes, an unlikely conversation between an enthusiastic vicar and the bewildered and recently converted Carol, and a grossly overacted scene on top of a bus. But these are small blemishes when set beside the overall beauty of the production.

A unique film. A welcome sign that at last evangelicals are becoming conscious of the world as it is and not merely of the world as they would like it to be. No clear-cut answers, no dogmatic preaching (even Billy Graham’s Earls Court sequence is exceptionally brief), and no converted-so-they-lived-happily-ever-after ending.

Undoubtedly, a triumph.


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