God’s Kentucky: What Happens When ‘Religious Sanctions” Go Wrong

Bill Sr., THE CHURCHMAN, May 28, 1932

You know a good bit about the Kentucky coal fields, I presume.  Most everybody does.  First a cry of misery from starving miners and their families.  Later we were told of the bitter struggle between the operators and the miners’ unions,with injunctions, riots, innumerable killings, and more recently the driving out of the state of groups who went there to find out for themselves what it was all about.  Gradually starvation was crowded into the background and civil liberties became the issue.  These charges of violations of law, particularly the kidnapping and beating of visitors, prompted a group of New York clergymen to appeal to the United States Senate to investigate ‘in order to throw light upon a confused situation’.


A few days after the appeal appeared in the papers a telegram was received  by Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, chairman of the clergyman’s group, inviting the parsons to come to Kentucky to do their own investigating.  It was signed by Mr. Walter B. Smith, county attorney in Bell County, and Mr. Cleon Calvert, chairman of the citizens’ committee in Continue reading “God’s Kentucky: What Happens When ‘Religious Sanctions” Go Wrong”