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by ZweiBieren   pens in a mug

My dad, the preacher, spoke out against the bullies of his time and got cited in the local editorial column.

Editorial Page Bernard F. Lancaster, Director Friday, November 27, 1953

Rev. Wilfred Hansen
Rev. Wilfred Hansen in his pulpit
Headlines and Congressmen

The Reverend Wilfred Hansen, pastor of Trinity Methodist Church, delivered a timely and interesting sermon Sunday when he discussed with his congregation the implications of congressional investigations and Politicians who seek headlines without due regard for facts. There was much in what Mr. Hansen had to say that commends itself to all of our readers since the current investigatory trends concern all Americans.

It is immaterial whether we agree or disagree with the Trinity Church Pastor. To us the important point is that a minister of the gospel, right here in New Britain. feels free to discuss and criticize the actions and procedures of senators and representatives who are looking into the possible infiltration of Communists in our churches. our schoois, our universities and our government itself.

America has waxed strong spiritually and morally because our ministers and priests and rabbis have maintained their right to speak their minds on current subjects all through our history. They have spearheaded the drive for human rights, for justice for all peoples regardless of race, creed or color and they have never been silent when evil has reared its head anywhere the nation over.

We could perhaps defend the newspapers‘ right to use headlines as dictated by circumstances since it is the duty of the press to disseminate information for our readers. We might point out that any paper takes national and international news from wire services which are supposed to present it fairly, accurately and impartially. Unlike local stories we can't check and doublecheck as much as we might like at times.

There can be little dispute that congressmen, of both parties, are acutely aware of publicity and headlines which can be gained from investigations. It is possible that spme injustices result from such probes and that there are thosi who care little for orderly procedure and resort to the use of rumors just so that they do get on the front pages of our newspapers.

To us, however, the really important thing is not the publicity seekers and their methods but the fact that men such as Mr. Hansen will stand up in their pulpits and defend their own point of view. If and when the day comes that the voice of opposition is stifled in the churches, the college and the press we'll be, as a nation, on the road to the totalitarian state. As it is we have faith that voices such a that of the Methodist pastor and newspaper columns such as those of the Herald will continue to be heard in defense of our democratic way of life and its institutions.

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