James Estes reminisces about the 60s when he
was a graduate student at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Remnants of
McCarthyism were still much in evidence at that time. The State Legislature had
an Un-American Activities Committee, and in the city, where the John Birch
Society was flourishing, there was wide-spread suspicion that the university
was a hotbed of left-wing subversion. In the autumn of 1961, The
Lantern, the daily student newspaper at OSU, published two letters to the
editor, signed only 'A Staff Member' and 'A Professor,' demanding action
against the 'comsymps' (Communist sympathizers) on the faculty. It was a
situation made for parody, and I could not resist writing a letter to the
Editor in turn:
I am sure it will be deeply shocking to all true lovers of their country to learn that the University Library is participating in a nation-wide Communist-led plot to undermine religion in America!
The comsymps who organized the Library of Congress cataloguing system have placed the Bible under the classification "BS"! Only an atheist could have perpetrated this insult on God's Holy Word, the foundation of America's evident superiority over the other nations of the world, all of which are either collectivized or well on the way. And, as we know, atheism is virtually synonymous with Communism.
What more proof do we need that atheistic Communism has penetrated even our great national library and the hundreds of libraries throughout the country that use its cataloguing system? Are the members of our library staff conscious agents of this conspiracy or only dupes? …
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