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Reverend Aaron Allen Heist Papers, 1910-1964
MSS 088  
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A small, but rich collection of correspondence, articles, clippings and sermon notes of Reverend Aaron Allen Heist, a Methodist minister driven by his Christian faith to lead a life of activism for social justice in the mid twentieth century.
Reverend Aaron Allen Heist was an activist Methodist minister whose devout Christian faith demanded he live a life dedicated to causes of social justice. Heist's study of the teachings of Jesus led him to believe that Christian ethics were directly opposed to capitalist business practices and that a Christian society required economic democracy assured to all individuals. For Heist, Christian faith had to be lived and acted upon, not just professed within the church. In accordance with Methodist church doctrine of the time, Heist advocated the idea that each individual is entitled to economic security. He thought that such security could only be obtained when workers owned the businesses in which they worked. His embrace of church doctrine led Heist to defend workers' rights to organize, and to select the representation of their choice. Throughout the depression, Heist worked on behalf of the unemployed and underpaid, championing worker owned businesses as the solution to the economic hardships created by capitalist business practices. Christian morality and a belief in simple justice moved Heist to campaign for the guarantee of Constitutional rights to all citizens, including denouncing the internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry and the segregation of the military. Heist was a man of seemingly boundless energy when it came to fighting for human rights. He was unusual in that his motivations were never political, but came from a profound faith and practice of Christian teachings.
1 legal half box and one clam shell box, ½ cubic foot
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