Regeneration, Not Morality, Our Only Hope

Moral Re-Armament emblem, as used as background decor for the MRA launch meeting in the US, on May 14th, 1939, in the Madison Square Garden theater - Wikipedia

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None of His Benefits:

By 1938 a storm was gathering over Europe as Adolf Hitler was annexing Austria, the Sudetenland, and threatening to invade Poland. It was also clear that he was rearming his nation militarily in direct opposition to the Treaty of Versailles. Frank Buchman, a Lutheran pastor and the driving force behind the Oxford Group, was convinced that military rearmament to stand against Hitler would not resolve the crisis. On May 29, 1938 at East Ham Town Hall, London, he launched a campaign for what he called “Moral Re-Armament.” Buchman said, “The crisis is fundamentally a moral one. The nations must re-arm morally. Moral recovery creates not crisis but confidence and unity in every phase of life.”

The phrase “moral re-armament” caught the mood of the time, and many public figures in Britain spoke and wrote in support of it. British tennis star H.W. Austin edited the book Moral Rearmament: The Battle for Peace which sold half a million copies. There was a similar response in the United States. The Mayor of New York City declared May 7-14, 1939 to be MRA Week and 14,000 people gathered in Madison Square Garden on May 14 for the public launch of moral rearmament in the U.S. This was less than five months before Nazi Germany invaded Poland and brought the beginning of World War II. On July 19, 1939 30,000 attended the launch of Moral Re-Armament in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl.

A few years ago in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, our Mayor unveiled the PEACE Campaign which was designed to counteract violent crime in our city. The campaign was a coordinated effort between city, community, and law enforcement to achieve change on multiple fronts. It included a #Increase Peace public service announcement with thirty second videos of mothers of gun violence victims telling their stories.[1] Some local civic and religious leaders, in connection with this initiative, went door to door in their communities, urging people to stop the killing. One day after the campaign started a young black man was gunned down in a drive by shooting. Nothing has changed. The murders in our urban community continue unabated.

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