Religion: The Methodists Join the War

Two years and 150 days after Pearl Harbor, the Methodist Church endorsed the war. The Church told its 8,000,000 members that their prayers for the 1,000,000 Methodist servicemen and women, the 1,300 Methodist chaplains, were now authorized. Methodists may now also pray for victory. But it took a whole day's tense debate on the floor of the Church's quadrennial General Conference,* which met (for ten days) in Kansas City's municipal auditorium, to make Methodism reverse its antiwar stand.

The decision made this General Conference one of the most momentous in Methodist history. Long has the Methodist Church been a stronghold of pacifism.

Methodist...