Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to the Clergy of America.

September 23, 1935

Your high calling brings you intimate daily contact not only with your own parishioners, but with people generally in your community. I am sure you see the problems of your people with wise and sympathetic understanding.

Because of the grave responsibilities of my office, I am turning to representative clergymen for counsel and advice, feeling confident that no group can give more accurate or unbiased views.

I am particularly anxious that the new social security legislation just enacted, for which we have worked so long, providing for old-age pensions, aid for crippled children and unemployment insurance, shall be carried out in keeping with the high purposes with which this law was enacted. It is also vitally important that the works program shall be administered to provide employment at useful work, and that our unemployed as well as the Nation as a whole may derive the greatest possible benefits.

I shall deem it a favor if you will write me about conditions in your community. Tell me where you feel our Government can better serve our people. We can solve our many problems, but no one man or single group can do it. We shall have to work together for the common end of better spiritual and material conditions for the American people.

May I have your counsel and your help? I am leaving on a short vacation, but will be back in Washington in a few weeks and I will deeply appreciate your writing to me.

Very sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to the Clergy of America. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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