The Ethical Movement, from its founding in 1876, has dedicated itself, in religious commitment to participation in the creation of the good society and in the upholding of the dignity and worth of man. We have recognized that political democracy without economic democracy cannot endure. We have historically acted out of a deep sense of social concern and of social responsibility.
Our nation, divided into three classes of the rich, the middle class, and the poor, the starvation class, is facing a deepening crisis -- the crisis of millions of our citizens, black and white, existing in stark poverty in the midst of national affluence.
President Johnson, in his State of the Union Message to Congress on January 18th, 1968 asked Congress to broaden and implement existing social programs, such as manpower training, model cities, low income and middle income housing, and the anti-poverty program. As it listened, Congress responded in lukewarm fashion to this request for its help in the war on poverty, but responded with tumultuous applause to the President's call for greater police forces and law enforcement equipment and activity in curbing lawlessness in the streets and in a war on crime. We add our voice to those who hold that unless war on poverty is seriously and adequately pursued, the war on crime and lawlessness will fall.
The American Ethical Union, out of its concern for the health, welfare and dignity of the people of this nation, expresses its abhorrence of that form of violence to human. rights which is endured invisibly, often silently and hopelessly, by the millions of people in this country denied good housing, schools, jobs and medical care.
Dr. Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, in bringing thousands of the poor to the nation's capital for peaceful and continuing demonstrations, seek to make visible to Congress and to the nation just some of the millions of the victims of this violence, and to wake up the conscience of our government and of our people. We support this nonviolent demonstration, and deplore the inequities and injustices which have made the demonstation [sic] necessary.
We reaffirm our commitment to the immediate passage, and full implementation of legislation guaranteeing and protecting the exercise of civil rights, and the full funding of existing and additional legislation and programs for jobs, income, housing, schooling and medical care to meet the basic needs of all citizens and of their children.
Source: Where We Stand ... 1969
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