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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Religion

100 years ago in Spokane: Religion was injected into politics on a county commissioner questionnaire, and one hopeful even alleged it was a KKK plot

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

A candidate for Spokane County commissioner said a citizens’ committee “came to me and wanted to know if I was 100 percent American and Protestant.”

The committee then asked whether he planned to appoint Catholics to office, if elected.

“I declined to line up with any faction and condemned the injection of religion into politics as a movement inspired by the Ku Klux Klan,” said the candidate, R.J. Fry, a teacher at Lewis and Clark High School.

The Spokesman-Review talked to the head of the committee, who confirmed that he and his committee were asking candidates if they were 100 percent American and Protestant. But he denied that his committee was connected to the Klan.

“I do not belong to the Klan, although from what I have heard, I believe it stands for some good things,” said C.M. Glasser, the committee’s head.

Fry said that if elected, he would represent “the whole people of Spokane, and not a clique or faction banded together by religious hatred and prejudices.”

From the movie beat: The Arcade Theater in Walla Walla canceled the showing of Charlie Chaplin’s newest movie after the town’s ministers objected.

The ministers said the movie made fun of the clergy.

“I have no desire to hurt the feeling of anyone in the city and this film will not be shown, despite the fact that I could have made a large sum from the showing,” said the manager of the Arcade.

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