BIBLE AND RACE Leading Texas Baptist Refutes Reliance of Kilgore Racist on Scriptural Passages A New Forrnat AUSTIN ‘ This week the Observer adopts new new ‘One More Angle About that Geneva Conference .. \(After the Observer’s interview with Dr, B. E. Masters, the Kilgore racist, we wrote Dr. Foy Valentine, director, the Christian Life COmmission of the, Baptist General Convention of Texas, asking him to comment on Masters’s -theory that Negroes were. condemned to be a “backward race” in the Bible. This article, which he calls “‘The Curse of Ham,’ or Old Ruiners Never Die,” is Valen: DALLAS For almost a hundred years now various Christian periodicals haVe published from time to time clear statements concerning the so-called “curseof Hain.” Although it haS been pointed out time and again that there is no biblical basis for assigning to the Negro race or any other race a place of inferiority and subjection, there are still too many people who attempt to justify _their race prejudices by what they -vaguely refer to as “Bible teachings.” Many have supposed, and some haVe taught, that God placed a curse on the descendants of Ham _, turning them black and ordaining that ever after they should be “hewers of wood. and drawers of water.” That this is not the case can be readily determined by anybody who owns a Bible or has access to one. Even a casual reading of the, passage, the cursing after having awakened from tion of God’s having approved Noah’s act or of his having implemented it in any anybody’s having been turned any color different from what he already was. Furthermorei the reference to “hewers . of wood and drawers of water,” Joshua 9 is Joshua’s pronouncement upon the Gibeonites, the inhabitants of a city of Canaan, who had deceived Israel into making peace with them. The Gibeonites would have to be classified racially as Caucasians, like the Jews. So it can be readily seen that this often quoted pas-: sage does not justify :white exploitation of colored help nor prpvide a biblical basis for race prejudice. It is equally , improper to seek biblical authority lor race prejudice in Genesis 11:1-9, which records the , ‘incident of God’s confOunding the builders’ of the tower of .Babel. That God confused those mortals who sought to make a great name for themselves by building a tower reaching to heaven is quite clear. Not one word is said, however, about race. . Verse nine simply closes: and froin thence did the Lord ‘Scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” There is no place in. Christian life or in civilized life of any kind for farfetChed proof texts, men’s vain philosophies, groundless rumors, old wives’ tales,. :intentional misinterpretations of the’ Scriptures,, or even for , continued ignorance in this* matter of race relatiOns. It is mostunbecoming of any child of God to abandon the clear teaching of the Bible that every man has equal value in the sight of God, that every man’s redemption is in the plan of God, that el,. ery , man is included in the commission of , God, and that God Himself is no -respecter of persons. It is even more .un becoming when thiS teaching is abandoned in favor of the bloody and damnable Nazi myth of “Nordic” suprernaty. Thd Christian does far better to seek to know the whole truth regarding this complex problem of race, bearing , in mind that Jesus said, “Ye shall knoW the truth and the truth shall make you’free.” . format. In place -Of the five-column ruled page, the new Observer has four columns, each one-sixth wider than previously, with no column rules., The length and width of the page are practically the same. Essentially it is a change to a quieter format, ‘consonant with the trend toward the discursive which ‘many of the ,Observer’s stories have taken. The most obvious makenp change is in headlines. Lead-in : lines over the main headline are done.. away with, and “hanging indent” sub-heads are now used: No longer need a headline cover all of its type, like a. lid; the type is permitted to wrap. around one or both . sides. of the head. _ Style on by bylines, sub-headlines in a story, date and page number lines, and other minor matters. is also Modified., Since the first issue under new management Dec. 13, 1954 3 the Observer has been changing slowly from a “vertical” makeup w.i t h essentially reportorial treatment of subject matter to a “horizontal” makeup that correlates better with a mixed reportorial, and analytical treatment. CORSICANA’ . Since the advent of rural electric co, ops,_ the private utilities have been wooing the farmer like a hand-shaking politician, When farmers were crying for electricity 20 Years ago, the power companies turned a deaf ear: It took the REA, and the many farmer-owned co-operatives, to get the job done. But now; the story is different. The private ‘power cordpanies are beginninge, to see the light. They undoubtedly realize their mistakes in not invests ing in the farmer’s ,future .For example, electrical concerns today publish farm papers. They. employ agri , cultural “specialists,” farm and home service advisOrs who go into the rural:areas. And they are waging a terrific battle against the co-ops with such slogans as “creeping socialism.” This change in attitudethis sudden Interest in the farm folksis commendable. Some of the attacks on, co-ops, Perishables. The dictionary says “goods liable to speedy decay.” A dull way to describe the crispness of lettuce, turnip greens, or broccoli, the refreshing juiciness of a tomato or a watermelon, the reliable nutrition of a good old string bean. “Perishables”! That word was a fine word in 1952. It whispered to farmers “Go ahead and plant ’em! You like Ike, Ike likes perishables. There will be a program. Never you fear.” Probably the Republican campaign card catalog listed it like this: Perishables, program for. But it’s not listed anywhere in Benson’s Book. This is the third summer that the perishables have perished miserably without that “program fox” reaching a helping hand. Instead of a program the Secretary has substituted. a disgraced word, a sort of a serpent hissing word, “S-S-S-Surplus.” _ “Perishables, a program for.” They used the words to kindle afresh the imperishable hope that farmers prefer to nurture in their hearts instead of the Maverick oti Hart To the Editor: Your story on Judge . Jim Hart by Ronnie Dugger was most enjoyable and well written except for the sentence where lyIr. Dugger quoted Judge Hart as saying, “We’re gonna have to have more taxes.” Jim Hart has never used the wood “gonna,” I bet, in his’ life,. and Ronnie Dugger, another . intellectual, doesn’t know what it means. , But Jim Hart and Ronnie Dugger are both fine men and The Texas Observer is doing a great job and because of such men and an institution like The Texas Observer, we’re gonna have a better state. MAUR’t MAVERICK, JR. San Antonio \(The hell he didn’t; the hell I don’t; By Countryside and Town despair which might so easily beset them. So here we are in the summer of 1955 and the hope has gone like succulency from a dry and stunted cornstalk, rustling ‘in a hot dry wind. Here we are in the usual summer drouth which never quite yields to the winter rains. And here we are with the usual querulous scolding of farmers for their unpardonablle sin of trying to raise enough food to feed the people and so perhaps raise enough money to meet their “fixed charges.” Here we are with this gorgeous glorious plentyor is it this ddastrous surplus, we ask, as the sweat of toil runs, down our foreheads into our eyes. Or are those tear drops? And why do we weep? Was it because we heard the Secretary of Agriculture, whose official duty is to help us; muttering in .his beard the harsh verdict: “Too many farmers?’ M.F.C., It Tells Them About Things TO the Editor: This comes to say, your notices in hand, and I’ll do the best I can to help out. I am a very young lady, just 90 years old; but I want my paper =every week. I am not able to’ pay infull for it and I get no pension because I won’t sell ,my home to get old-age assistance, so I’ll try to get someone to take the_ paper. So I am sending you $2 to help yeu to keep the paper going becauseit is a fine paper. I’d rather have it than have the San Antonio Express, for it tells them about things. EMMA DIBRELL Seguin Their Own Evil Thoughts To the Editor: The report you gave in The Texas B. E. Masters makes my blood boil. I am of “Nordic” origin, being Scandinavian fail to see’ why Masters seems to think any one race is wholly superior to ‘another. To me I have only pity for him and any others who would follow his ideas and beliefs on race matters. I am told, on good authority, that the Black Code has its home in the United States” around ‘Charleston, South Carolina. The Democratic Party through the years has paid .homage to the theory that the black man has no soul and the Ku. Klux Klan helped to further that theorY. ,However, I -firmly , believe that the Democrats have now reformed and that such leaders asMrs, , R. D. Randolph are really conscientiously setting a fine ex ample The segregationists keep claiming they need time to adjust to the new order but they have had a hundred years in which to get tight …. I think it isonly in their demn themselves by their own evil thoughts. VERA CANODE SMITH Houston A Correction To the Editor: I am receiving many urgent protests regarding a mistake you have made in situation. Mrs. Devall is not the president of the United Church Women of Texas. Mrs. L. C: Curlin of Waxahachie holds this office …. I am confident that you will find_ the . Councils of United Church Women in Texas supporting the Supreme Court decision. MRS. JAMES S. CRATE Houston \(We were misinformed and are des lighted to carry the correction. Mrs. Des vall was president of the United Church FARMERS WOOED -which the farmers run themselves, are not, however. 4 Tekas Power and Light Co. is ‘rendering a wonderful service to agriculture in its 52-county area. The farm and home service specialists are down-to-earth farm folks interested in helping the farm family. Their work, to a great extent, resembles that of the Extension Service. In fact, the two ‘groups work closely to .gether in rural youth programs. This recognition of agriculture’s role in the nation’s economy is emphasized by John Young, vice president of T. P. & L. “We realize that everything is dependent upon agriculture,” he says. “Agriculture is the greatest industry.” All this seems to be positiVe proof of the value of co-ops and the farsightednes.s of certain national leaders nearly a quarter century ago. Otherwise, would there be such a wooing of the firmer today? CLYDE E., JOHNSON A FARMER’S LAMENT
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