Building the Jewish Theological Seminary

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series The Man Behind Scofield: A Look at Samuel Untermyer

For nearly a century, McGuffey’s Reader was the dominant textbook in American schools. More than 122 million copies were sold between 1836 and 1921. The religion of McGuffeyland was Puritanism. The Bible was not to be questioned. *1

McGuffey’s readers had exerpts from Walter Scott, Dryden, Samuel Johnson, Washington Irving and Shakespeare. It was a world where everything was black and white. Henry Ford was devoted to McGuffey and could quote long strings from the readers. *2 One of the stories in the readers was the story of the Merchant of Venice from Shakespeare. Several generations read the story of Shylock and the pound of flesh. *3

But, European immigration brought discord into this harmonious world. In the eleventh grade, Louis Marshall wrote an essay defending Shylock as “the only real and human character in the Merchant of Venice”.*4 By 1913, the story had been removed from the Readers as a result of pressure from the ADL. They argued that “the Merchant of Venice was an unhappy symbol of Jewish malice, vindictiveness and hatred.”*5

From his youth Marshall boldly defended all things Jewish. He would become an internationally known defender of Jewish rights. Further, he tirelessly attacked the religion of the dominant race of the country his family had so recently embraced. *6

Among other things, he maintained that the opening of deliberative assemblies and conventions with prayer was a “hollow mockery”. He ridiculed “the absurd phrase ‘In the name of God, Amen,'” as used in the beginning of wills. *7

He opposed Sunday observance legislation as being “the cloak of hypocrisy” and involved himself in other anti-Christian campaigns. He campaigned against the use of “Christological expressions” by Federal, State and municipal officers; all have resulted in alarming the native population and harming the very cause he so indiscreetly advocates. His propagandas occasioned great resentment in many sections of the United States. *8

Mr. Marshall, who is regarded by the Jews as their greatest “constitutional” lawyer, since the decline of Edward Lauterbach originated, in a series of legal arguments, the contention that “this is not a Christian country nor a Christian government.” This argument he has expounded in many writings. He has built up a large host of followers among contentious Jews, who have elaborated on this theme in a variety of ways. It is one of the main arguments of those who are endeavoring to build up a “United Israel” in the United States. *9

Louis Marshall became chairman of the board and of the executive committee of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1905. Samuel Untermeyer helped him build JTS and supported it financially. Its principal theologian, Mordecai M. Kaplan, was the leading exponent of an educational plan by which Judaism could be made to supercede Christianity in the United States.*10

Under cover of synagogal activities, which he knew that the well known tolerance of the American people will never suspect, Rabbi Kaplan thought out, systemized and launched a program to that end, certainly not without the approval of Mr. Marshall.*11

This sneak attack by the leaders of Judiasm in America upon the native religion of the majority has been devastating in its effect. Was the Scofield Bible project which was in progress when Marshall became chairman of the board of JTS part of the plan which Mr. Kaplan devised?

*1 Henry Ford and the Jews by Neil Baldwin, Public Affairs, New York, 2001;
page 4.
*2 Ibid, page 5-6.
*3 Ibid, page 2.
*4 Ibid, page 116.
*5 Ibid, page 7.
*6 The International Jew by Henry Ford, Books On-Line by Noontide Press,
America’s Jewish Enigma – Louis Marshall from the Dearborn Independent
Issue 26 November 1921.
*7 Ibid.
*8 Ibid.
*9 Ibid.
*10 Ibid.
*11 Ibid.

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