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Monday, March 29, 2010

Chapter Twenty Continued: Father Charles Coughlin

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

After selecting his cabinet, William Aberhart went on a bit of a victory tour, securing loans in Ottawa and meeting people who either supported the cause or were interested in finding out more.

One of those he met while on the U.S. leg of the tour was Father Charles Coughlin. Like Aberhart, Coughlin was a radio preacher with a keen interest in politics. They met in private for about an hour and Aberhart would say of him "He has a keen intellect and is absolutely fearless. He has a correct appraisal of world conditions." (1)

So Who was Father Coughlin?

Charles Edward Coughlin, was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1891, and became an ordained priest in 1916. Eventually assigned to the Shrine of the Little Flower Church in Royal Oak, Michigan, he would almost immediately begin a weekly broadcast over the local radio station.

Like William Aberhart, Coughlin's broadcasts were political as much as religious, and with more than forty million listeners, he was able to keep his fans spellbound with a gospel of monetary reform.

But his broadcasts also became increasingly anti-Semitic, as he blamed the Jews for everything from communism to the depression. He would later publish his own paper, Social Justice, where he printed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, along with other anti-Semitic material.

When William Aberhart created his paper, the Social Credit Chronicle, Father Coughlin contributed three articles, lending his name to what he deemed a worthwhile cause: control of the message. (2)

Coughlin was also a strong supporter of Adolph Hitler and often applauded him on his show. He would even use the Nazi salute against people who angered him, and in the above video, he seems to have also adopted some of his mannerisms.

In 1934, the Protocols of Zion were put on trial, and proven to be fraudulent, but the good priest refused to believe it.

... in the past two months Rev. Charles Edward Coughlin, rabble-rousing radio priest, has published the Protocols in his weekly Social Justice. Brushing aside the matter of their authenticity, Father Coughlin repeatedly stressed their "factuality," quoted Henry Ford ... "They fit in with what is going on." Father Coughlin's point, buttered with many a some-of-my-best- friends-are-Jews disclaimer of antiSemitism, has been that Jews are to blame for Communism, that the aims of the Protocols closely resemble those of Communism—and of the New Deal [Roosevelt's] ...(3)

Things really do come full circle, as many of the free marketeers that Stephen Harper follows, also speak out against Roosevelt's New deal. Some things never change.

Chapter Twenty Continued: Henry Ford


1. Bible Bill: A Biography of William Aberhart, By: David R. Elliot and Iris Miller, Edmonton: Reidmore Books, 1987, Pg. 213

2. The Social Credit Movement in Alberta, By: John A. Irving, University of Toronto Press, 1959, Pg. 102

3. Religion: Egregious Protocols, Time Magazine, November 14, 1938

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