Tag: Robert Lovett

Churchill on Trial: Washington, 1953

Churchill on Trial: Washington, 1953

Churchill and Tru­man, Ful­ton, 1946. (AP)

In ear­ly 1953, Win­ston Churchill was placed on tri­al by his peers, with Pres­i­dent Tru­man the pre­sid­ing judge, for com­plic­i­ty in the use of atom­ic bombs. To any­one who may write to say that he and Tru­man were mak­ing light of events caus­ing thou­sands of deaths, the answer is twofold: 1) How do you know they were mak­ing light?; and 2) This is in answer to a his­tor­i­cal query. Sources: Clark Clif­ford, rec­ol­lec­tion, to Richard Lang­worth, 1988. Mar­garet Tru­man, “After the Pres­i­den­cy,” in Life, 1 Decem­ber 1972, 69-70. Also record­ed in her book, Har­ry S.

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Churchill’s Religion: “Optimistic Agnostic”

Churchill’s Religion: “Optimistic Agnostic”

Although he had some very reli­gious friends, like Lord Hugh Cecil, Win­ston Churchill was not a reli­gious man. Intro­duced to reli­gious diver­si­ty ear­ly, he was brought up “High Church,” but had a nan­ny “who enjoyed a very Low Church form of piety.” When in rebel­lious mood he would tell Nan­ny Ever­est “the worst thing that he could think of…that he would go out and ‘wor­ship idols.’”

After his self-edu­ca­tion as a young offi­cer in India, when he read all the pop­u­lar chal­lenges to ortho­dox reli­gion, like Charles Darwin’s The Ori­gin of Species and William Win­wood Reade’s The Mar­tyr­dom of Man, Churchill evolved into what we might term an “opti­mistic agnos­tic.” He spoke joc­u­lar­ly of the Almighty, sug­gest­ing that as a boy,

I accumulated…so fine a sur­plus in the Bank of Obser­vance that I have been draw­ing con­fi­dent­ly upon it ever since.…

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