(Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on the Liberty Net website.)
Lambert Fairchild, Former New York City Alderman and Prominent Politician,
Writes Letter to New York Herald Tribune
Editorial Page, N. Y. Herald Tribune, Tuesday, June 27, 1939
FATHER DIVINE’S FLOCK
To the New York Herald Tribune:
Allen Raymond’s article in today’s issue dealing with Father Divine and his acquisition of upstate realty, is the first newspaper story I have seen which dealt fairly with both Divine and his flock. There are some things about this Movement of his that are not widely known, and I have talked with him and his people over a term of years with every opportunity for close observation.
This flock is clean, orderly and well behaved. Only once have I heard a harsh word uttered in one of their crowded meetings. Father Divine reads the Ten Commandments and adds after everyone, “I will not let you break this commandment.” And he doesn’t let them break those Ten Commandments. They keep them better than any other solid group of people of whom I have an equal knowledge. He preaches the Constitution of the United States and upholds it. He does not believe in home relief nor unemployment insurance, which he calls “the dole” as do our English cousins. His people are forbidden to apply for home relief. I have roughly estimated that he saves the City of New York about $2,000,000 annually on its home relief bill and an enormous amount in police administration. His slogan is “Peace.” His followers say that he is God. I say that he is a valuable citizen, whatever they say. I have never heard him assert any claim to Godship, but he has certainly led his followers into paths of peace, industry, integrity and order, heaven’s first law.
(Ed. Note: This rough estimate of the amount FATHER DIVINE was saving the City of New York annually was made in 1939. This does not include the previous years. The amount has increased yearly with FATHER DIVINE’S growing work and mission. Just consider the tremendous amount that has been saved since 1939 up to the present date in relief alone, to say nothing of the incalculable amount in crime prevention by making HIS Followers honest and law- abiding citizens.)