broadcast in the

                        WORLD OF RELIGION


                          June 25, 1933


                         Coast to Coast

                             by the

                  National Broadcasting Company

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                      A MESSAGE TO AMERICA

                    By Charles Francis Potter

                      Founder and Leader of

             The First Humanist Society of New York

     We people of America have passed through a period of great
stress. We need fresh courage and faith for the adventurous years
now looming before us. Although there are streaks of dawn on the
horizon, millions of our people are still unemployed and millions
more are still staggering from fhe blows dealt not only to our
pocketbooks, but also to our pride and self-respect and to our
feeling of confidence and security.

     Let us beware of placing all the responsibility for recovery
on any one man or any particular group of men. There are in
Washington and London men of the highest calibre and ability
laboring valiantly fo create order out of the world's economic

     But recovery is in the last analysis a thing that is up to us.
Upon the common man and the average citizen depends the stability
of the future. The real hope of a fairer world resides not on
Pennsylvania Avenue. not on Wall Street, but upon Main Streef.
Salvation will not come floating down from fhe skies on angels'
wings: it will come marching in on feet, -- your feet.

     And recovery is not primarily an economic matter. Gold
standard or not, tariff or nof, -- however important these economic
and political matters may be, the recovery of the morale of the
world is, after all, a psychological and spiritual matter. Recovery
from depression is really a matter of faith. In the broad sense, it
is a religious thing.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                      A MESSAGE TO AMERICA

     If every man and woman in the country should have money and
leisure in plenty beyond the fondest dreams of our Utopians, what
really matters is how he spends that money and how he uses that
leisure. "What doth if profit a man if he gains the whole world and
loses his own soul?"

     This old world is hungry for fresh faith. Our souls have been
made sick unfo death trying to exist on a liquid diet of
sentimentalify and wishful thinking. We turned from that to the dry
husks of mechanistic materialism. That was even worse. We need a
fresh supply of vitamins in our spiritual food. We need to tap new
sources of the stuff which makes character. We must build a new
house of faith on the rock-ribbed ledges of the eternal verities of
life, a house with its windows open wide to the sunrise of hope and
gladness and open to the fresh breezes which will blow away our
ancient fears and prejudices. The only way to overcome fear, our
present malady, is by faith.

     Believe me, friends, we need faith, fresh faith, a bigger
faith for a beffer world, a new deal in religion.

     Where shall we find this fresh faith? We shall find it where
man has always found new sfrengfh to meet the crises of life, --
within. The history of the progress of fhe human race has been the
record of fhe increasing development of previously unused and
frequently unsuspected resources and powers within man himself.

     The resources of human personality are still largely
undeveloped. Experts on brain andtomy tell us that our present
human brain with its countless quintillions of telephone lines is
in an intermediate stage between what we have been and what we may
become. It has grown as we have used it. Thinking is the way
evolution is going on through us. Let us not hender evolution.

     And let us frequenfly remind ourselves, especially in moments
of doubt, that there are more than enough spiritual reserves within
us to meet any emergency demand.

     If has been Said thdt South Americd is the continent of
opportunify. That is true, but there is a greater. The continent of
opportunity, as yet unexplored and undeveloped, is human
personality. We have only skirted the coast. A few brave explorers
have ventured a little way up the larger rivers and have glimpsed
the great mountain ranges of the interior, but the great riches of
the inrerior are still to be tapped.

     What we need to do right now is to quit our doubts and
hesitancies and despairs and dare to believe in ourselves. Faith in
man, -- faith in the supreme value of human personality, -- faith
in the self-improvabilify of man, -- this is the faith we need.

     With the poet we cry. --

               "O, doubters of democracy,
                Undo your mean contemptuous art!"

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                      A MESSAGE TO AMERICA

     The cures for the ills of democracy are in democracy itself,
but it musf be an alerf and intelligent democracy with faith in
itself and in all mankind.

     And you must begin at home, with faith in yourself,
personarly. Dare to rise from all despairs and impotencies, all
doubfs of your own possibilities, all fears of failure.

     Much of our sense of inadequacy is due to the failure to
recognize how much power and momentum we have. The whole dynamic of
evolution is behind us. If we harness and direct it. we can reshape
our world.

     Remember that in you is visible, in your very body and mind is
written with indelible characters the whole history of life itself.

     Your very consciousness, your ability to recognize yourself as
a separate self, testifies to your superiority to the animal and
the clod. if, as one has said, "Life was sleeping in matter,
dreaming in animals, and waked in man, then the awakened man,
conscious, alert, aware of his powers, is himself a culmination of
all that came before him in the evolutionary process.

     There is dawning on man the startling recognition that he
himself is the evolving cosmic energy in the very process of taking
on consciousness. The universe is becoming conscious in him!

     In proportion, then, as he becomes more conscious and self-
recognizing, he promotes the development of the life-force itself.
In him the struggle of life proceeds, reverting only too frequently
to animal and even vegetable stages, but ever reaching upward again
to higher and better states of consciousness. He is the crucial
point of the higher evolution, the topmost bud-tip of the tree of

     Man has become conscious enough to direct to some extent the
progress of the eternal energy within himself and outside himself.
He partakes in creative evolution. The energy which is outside
himself he must lay hold on and approprate for the betterment of
mankind. The transfer of energy to serve the ends of higher
personality is the greatest task of civilization.

     Humanistic religion deals with the relation of the individual
to this power or energy resident in himself and in the universe.
and concerns itself particularly with the growth of fhe higher
consciousness or personalify of man, socally and individually,
believing that man is potentially able by his own efforts to attain
to the complete and perfected personality to which all religion

     If anyone questions the ability of man to direct the cosmic
energy for the betterment of mankind, let him note that man has
already accomplished wonders beside which the alleged miracles of
the past seem simple things indeed. We can smile at Elijah and his
chariot of fire now that we can fly from one coast of this vast
continent to the other in the light of a single day. Man's hand,
which, not so long ago, held a smoking pine torch, now, by the mere
pressing of a button, floods a whole house or a whole city with
                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                      A MESSAGE TO AMERICA

     And man's mechanical progress has been paralleled by social
and economic, yes, even by spirifual progress. The Golden Age is
not in the past but in the future. Man has still a long way to go,
but he has also come a long way. He can look back with pride at his
progress, and therefore may look ahead with courage and equanimity.

     There are false prophets who glibly say that it is useless to
struggle, for human nature never changes. But, as Dr. Hocking of
Harvard said, the fact is that it is human nature to change.

     There is an eternal must in us, the product of the strivings
of the life force through endless ages of upthrust. We cannot
remain satisfied with our partial achievements. Our own
personalities demand their own self-improvement. Unless man stifles
the cosmic urge within him, his self-development proceeds
throughout his life. The scattered parts of his personality swing
into place and become integrated as he gradually subordinates the
lower to the higher within himself. Of such improved men are great
civilizations made, and some of us dare to believe that we are
witnessing the birth of a great new era.

     America is already great, but it will become greater in
proportion as we improve ourselves individually and socially. Let
us remember that "self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control:
these three alone lead life to sovereign power." If we "sit not
with folded hands calling on Hercules," but ever do our personal
and civic duty, calling on the reserves of our own personalities,
then perhaps our salvation will be nearer than we have believed.

     FAITH IN MAN, that is my creed, in three words. And that, my
friends, is the very core of the new religion called) Humanism.

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                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                      A MESSAGE TO AMERICA

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    Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship.

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   The Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful,
scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of
suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the
Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our
nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and
religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to
the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so
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   The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old,
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and information for today. If you have such books please contact
us, we need to give them back to America.

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                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201