Charles Coughlin

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Charles Edward Coughlin (25 October 1891 – 27 October 1979), often just Father Coughlin, was a Canadian-American Roman Catholic priest who became influential in the United States due to his radio broadcasting (starting in 1930), the Social Justice magazine, and books. He supported Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 election but later became critical. Coughlin was critical of both capitalism and communism.

He founded the National Union for Social Justice organization in 1934. Membership was open to all Americans regardless of race, economic background or religious faith. In 1936, it was one part of the short-lived Union Party, formed to challenge Roosevelt in the election of 1936.

Coughlin was influenced by Catholic views on social justice, which also influenced ideologies such as corporatism, and expressed some support for aspects of fascism, such as anti-Communism, causing some sources to label him a fascist.

However, he may be most known for claimed anti-Semitic views. In 1942, his magazine was censored and the higher Catholic hierarchy ordered him to stop broadcasting. Coughlin himself rejected the accusation, apparently arguing that he was criticizing some, but not all Jews.

The "Christian Front" was a 1938 to 1940 organization founded in response to the prompting of Coughlin, who had called for "crusade against the anti-Christian forces of the Red Revolution". Individual members were stated to sometimes do anti-Semitic actions, including assaults on Jews, but this was not an official policy of the organization. At the urging of the U.S. attorney for New York, the U.S. Department of Justice decided to target the organization. Coughlin responded to arrests of members with a statement of support, calling the Front "pro-American, pro-Christian, anti-Communist and anti-Nazi". The charges did not mention anti-Semitism or Coughlin. The jurors proved sympathetic to the defendants and returned no verdict.

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