Record #1229

Record Type:
Letters, statement
Rev Charles Stelzle
Carl E. Milliken
Reel 8
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Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America (FCCCA)

Rev. Stelzle and his relationship to the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America (FCCCA), including an exchange of letters between Stelzle and Milliken; meeting of Federal Council on influence of motion pictures in foreign lands


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Jan 15, 1930, Stelzle to Milliken: "It probably is wise not to attempt to force the acceptance of articles on editors of religious newspapers, but I think it highly important that we set these men right because however inconsequential their papers may be what they print is often given wide publicity through the daily press. This we have observed in the case of the Churchman, for example." Among other activities, he is writing to Fred Eastman, "urging him to get from you your side of the case so that it will not be necessary for him to apologize for some things which he may mistakenly say about the industry. ... I am mindful of what you said regarding the study which is to be made by the FCCCA and the desirability of holding off until such should have been completed. But I am sure that before the material is ready we would have abundant opportunity to prosecute our campaign with good effect, even among the editors. No matter that the report of the Federal Council Committee will be, and you know about what it is going to be, it would still be necessary to have the same kind of articles which we had originally planned for, although this controversy will give them decidedly more point. Would it not be a good idea to have these articles shaped up and ready to fire when the occasion requires their use? "... As I intimated to you, my interest in this whole business goes beyond the religious press. I am primarily concerned about the development of the best kind of motion picture for the working people in this country, particularly in industrial centers. There is no doubt that the promotion of this idea would meet with a strong response from social organizations, labor men, progressive ministers, and of others who are interested in finding a substitute for the old saloon, and nothing has been so effective in this direction as the motion picture house. You know that the motion picture house was most heartily condemned by the liquor men while the fight for prohibition was on because the influence of these houses was thrown so largely in favor of the abolition of the saloon and its evils. I have made many a speech on this phase of the subject and I think the subject is still a good one. "I regret very much that the members of the MPPDA should have gotten their impressions regarding the value of the church from the diatribes of professional reformers, editors of religious papers, a few theological professors, and others who never get within a thousand miles of the people. I have a strong impression that the producers of this country as a whole would be with us in a campaign that might promote in favor of the motion picture industry, and I am sure that I could be of service to you in this direction because I am known to these men, they believe in me, and I know how to talk to them and, furthermore, I would do so with the utmost sincerity and depth of conviction. "If I were to be given an opportunity to actually study the industry as I have not yet been able to I could prepare a series of addresses that would do real business. Suppose you were to let me try this out. You see I am so thoroughly committed to the motion picture and its uses and also to your organization that I want to make a thorough-going job of it and I am confident that I could demonstrate my value to you in this field if we could work out a definite campaign."Obviously, he's anxious to retain a relationship with the MPPDA, but it's one that has probably now become counter-productive for them, once his dual position has been revealed.

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