This is an excerpt from an article written about Jehovah's Witnesses in the Saturday Evening Post in 1940, less than one year before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Read the entire article and other articles about Jehovah's Witnesses from 1940 by downloding the PDF at the bottom of this entry.
For conscientious cussedness on the grand scale, no other aggregation of Americans is a match for Jehovah's Witnesses. Defiance of what others cherish and revere is their daily meat. They hate all religions and say so from the house top. They hate all governments with an enthusiasm that is equally unconcealed. On phonograph records, sound trucks, and the radio and in a Noah’s flood of literature, they admit, without conscious blasphemy, that they hold a prior lien on the Almighty. On the rest of us the Great Unwashed they look down their spiritual noses. We, they say, have got "it" coming to us, and "it," – as they can triumphantly prove by the Scriptures – is due almost any time now.
For being generally offensive, they have been getting their heads cracked, their meetings broken up, and their meetinghouses pillaged and themselves thrown into jail. Six thousand of them are in German conentration camps. In Canada, to be one of them is a prison offense. In Australia, a demand for their suppression is growing. Their lawyers' briefs for their run-ins with mobs or the law in the United States during the single month from June fourteenth to July fourteenth cover thirty-nine cases in twenty states. Those are only samples. The grand total would be several times that.
Before this rising wave of ill will they never retreat. On the contrary – fortified again by the Scriptures – they welcome it. Their chief regret seems to be that their martyrdoms, to date, have been only minor ones. The times, they confidently predict, will yet require some major martyring.
Jehovah's Witnesses look like average Americans as, in fact, they are. Twenty-five thousand of them came to Detroit in mid-July after Columbus, Ohio, had banned them. At the same time there were similar, though somewhat smaller, meetings in nineteen other cities, East, South and West.
Those in Detroit came on foot, by bus and train, in first-rate automobiles and in jalopies, the like and number of which the motor city had never seen before. Their assorted vehicles, from most of the states in the Union, jammed Detroit’s parking lots. The city's third, fourth and fifth rate hotels and rooming houses did a business better than any that had come their way in ten years...
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