On Bigotry

CC portrait by Underwood 001

“Our country has many elements in its population, many different modes of thinking and living, all of which are striving in their own way to be loyal to the high ideals worthy of the crown of American citizenship. It is fundamental of our institutions that they seek to guarantee to all our inhabitants the right to live their own lives under the protection of the public law. This does not include any license to injure others materially, physically, morally, to incite revolution, or to violate the established customs which have long had the sanction of enlightened society.

But it does mean the full right to liberty and equality before the law without distinction of race or creed. This condition can not be granted to others, or enjoyed by ourselves, except by the application of the principle of broadest tolerance. Bigotry is only another name for slavery. It reduces to serfdom not only those against whom it is directed, but also those who seek to apply it. An enlarged freedom can only be secured by the application of the golden rule. No other utterance ever presented such a practical rule of life” — President Calvin Coolidge, Third Annual Message, December 8, 1925 (Supplement to The Messages and Papers of the Presidents, p.9537).


News piece appearing in the Lynn Telegraph-News from the same year as Coolidge's words here.

News piece appearing in the Lynn Telegraph-News from the same year as Coolidge’s words above. Courtesy of the Catholic University of America.

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