Matthew Avery Sutton, a history professor at Washington State University, is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism. In his recent op-ed for the Seattle Times, Sutton examines the views of many evangelical Americans who see Donald Trump’s candidacy as a harbinger of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
If the name John Birch sounds familiar, it’s probably because of the John Birch Society, a far-right group founded more than a decade after his death in 1945. Less has been written about the man himself: a missionary-turned-spy who built a formidable intelligence network in China during World War II.
“He actually flew with the bombers so he could visually point out where to drop the bombs,” said Matthew Sutton, a history professor at Washington State University. “He hated the Japanese. They had destroyed the churches he had built. They were punishing the Chinese Christians. So he was doing everything he could to support the war.”
According to Sutton, Birch was one in “a small army” of Christian missionaries who were aggressively recruited to conduct clandestine operations during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency. This little-known practice, Sutton said, “made Americans aware of the importance of religion” in gathering intelligence.
The professor recently won a $50,000 federal grant to research and write a book on the topic, tentatively titled “(Un)Holy Spies: Religion and Espionage in World War II.”
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A new book, tentatively titled “(Un)Holy Spies: Religion and Espionage in World War II” by Washington State University (WSU) history professor Matthew Sutton, will uncover the role of religious figures and clergy in secret U.S. government operations during the time of President Franklin Roosevelt. It will be published in 2019.
The book has been granted a $50,000 Public Scholar Program grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities, part of the $79 million the agency granted for 290 humanities projects and programmes in the U.S.
Sutton has discovered never-before-seen archival materials that detail a “secret army” whose activities “laid the foundation for the development of the CIA and continue to influence U.S. policy today,” he said. The NEH grant will allow him to continue “doing cutting-edge research and making it accessible to the broader public,” he said.
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Japanese Emperor Akihito addressed the nation on Monday, releasing a rare video message to the public in which the 82-year-old strongly suggested that he wished to abdicate but avoided using that word directly.
The emperor’s suggestion that Japanese politicians need to revise the Imperial Household Law may also be his way of slowing down a push to revise Japan’s pacifist postwar constitution, said WSU professor of history Noriko Kawamura, author of “Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War.” » More …
For the fourth year, the Daylight Creek Gathering near Virginia City, Mont., welcomed the Shoshone-Bannock people back to their ancestral homelands. Coordinator Leo Ariwite said, “Being up here we can see everything. These are the same mountains that our ancestors saw.”
Ariwite has been collaborating with Washington State University Professor of History Orlan Svingen to gather historical evidence and documentation of areas inhabited by the tribal people before white settlement. Their research uncovered a land cession document signed in 1870 which allowed Chief Tendoy’s people a land claim that the U.S. government never honored. Since the finding, Svingen and Ariwite have been trying to bring the truth to light.
With cooperation from the townsfolk of Virginia City, last year Tendoy Park, an eight-acre area was dedicated to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. This year proposed plans for a future Interpretive Park were presented by WSU students Alicia Woodard and Allison Bremmeyer, who were a part of a group of nine students who brainstormed ideas from the John and Janet Creighton Public History Field School. The discussion was meant as a public consultation with the tribal people and to gather their input.