John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State

American Minute with Bill Federer

Our institutions reflect the belief of our founders that all men were endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights…

They believed that human institutions ought primarily to help men develop their God-given possibilities,

stated Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who was born FEBRUARY 25, 1888, in the home of his Civil War general grandfather.

A Presbyterian pastor’s son, John Foster Dulles graduated from Princeton, studied law at George Washington University, was an Army Major in WWI and a U.S. Senator.

He was appointed by President Wilson as legal counsel to the U.S. delegation at the 1918 Versailles Peace Conference.

Dulles was adviser to New York Governor Thomas Dewey in his campaign for President in 1944, and took an active role in establishing the Republican plank calling for the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine.

When Dewey lost to Harry S Truman, Dulles became an adviser to President Truman, opposing the U.S. atomic attacks on Japan, stating:

“If we, as a professedly Christian nation, feel morally free to use atomic energy in that way, men elsewhere will accept that verdict. Atomic weapons will be looked upon as a normal part of the arsenal of war and the stage will be set for the sudden and final destruction of mankind.”

When the Soviets detonated an atomic bomb in 1949, Dulles became convinced that the U.S. needed a nuclear arsenal to deter Communist expansion.

Dulles negotiated the Peace Treaty with Japan; was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; and Secretary of State for President Eisenhower.

At the 1954 Geneva Conference, Dulles reportedly refused to shake hands with the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Enlai, as he had been instrumental in consolidating control under Mao Zedong’s Communist Party, a process which resulted in an estimated 80 million Chinese deaths.

In 1955, Dulles was named Man of the Year in Time Magazine; in 1959, he was awarded the Medal of Freedom; and Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., is named for him.

His son, John W.F. Dulles was a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin; his daughter, Lillias Hinshaw, was a Presbyterian minister; and another son, Avery Dulles, became the first American priest to be directly appointed a Cardinal.

Having referred to Communism as “Godless terrorism,” John Foster Dulles remarked at the Jesuit Alumni Dinner, April 11, 1955:

“Man, we read in the Holy Scriptures, was made a little lower than the angels.

Should man now be made little higher than domesticated animals which serve the purpose of their human masters?

So men face the great dilemma of whether to use force to resist aggression which imposes conditions which violate the moral law and the concept that man has his origins and his destiny in God.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.


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