In 1956 - in the middle of a Cold War, some thought Americans just weren't taking Easter, or Church  seriously anymore.
In 1956 – in the middle of a Cold War, some thought Americans just weren’t taking Easter, or Church seriously anymore.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC Radio – New World – Easter: 1956 – April 4, 1956 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

In 1956,the Cold War Public Relations campaign was in full blossom. Differences between “The Free World” and the Communist Dominated East was particularly acute around Holiday time. With Easter probably the biggest display of East-versus-West ideologies.

And so the concern over just how religiously observant most people in America actually were was the big question. The prevailing opinion was that most people went to the Church of their choice only during the holidays; and even at that, attendance was flagging. The fear among clergy was that the Church was rapidly becoming a thing of the past, particularly among Youth. And that something needed to be done to get attendance back up because, as we all knew, the Commies were godless and, as many were convinced, Rock n’ Roll and Civil Rights were a Communist plots.

So, to address the issues of Easter, religion, America and sinking numbers of The Faithful, many radio talk shows at the time were devoting hours to the subject and making the case for regular attendance.

This episode of NBC Radio‘s New World was originally broadcast on Easter Day, April 4, 1956 and features a discussion between Rev. Jerald C. Brauwer and Rev. Barnett W. Blakemore of the University of Chicago.

Interesting discussion – and 59 years ago it was a considerably different world. Or maybe not so much. Just different in other ways.

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