Readers Continue Some Controversies A Liberal Is .. . Sir: The recent articles by Charles Ramsdell and Hart Stilwell reveal to us that once again we find the paradox facing us when we begin to try and label people. A liberal is an elusive person to catch and label. Mr. Ramsdell would surely agree that the sons of many liberals turn to rigid conservatism. Mr. Stilwell would also agree that many of the great liberals of the ages have been people Imho were not adjusted to their society. Samuel Adams of revolutionary fame was certainly a misfit in his society. The Rev. Martin Luther King of our day is a square peg in a round hole as far as adjusting to the demands of the society of Alabama. The Rev. Das Kelley Barnett of your own city has not adjusted to the mores of Austin in his stand on the race issue. A recent issue of Progressive Magazine brings this paradox closer home to us. An article reveals that a certain governor could be labeled a liberal except for one issue. The governor, Orval Eugene Faubus. No person that knows the Progressive would accuse them of approving Gov. Faubus or trying to whitewash him. The recent rumblings of President Truman toward our present President’s attitude in showing. a willingness to negotiate with the Russians are not the rumblings of a liberal person of 1959. The same issue of the Progressive also shows that the Grand Old Lady of Liberalism has dealt with Senator John Kennedy in a fashion other than liberalism. She based an accusation against him on hearsay only. A liberal then is not someone who is free from prejudices. I for one would classify your paper as liberal, but I think your recent rambling remarks about the Christian Faith and Life Cornmunity in Austin are the remarks of a person of some prejudices toward the Christian faith. A personal acceptance or rejection of the Christian faith does not concern me, only let’s deal honest with it. If we attempt to judge its message let’s make an effort to understand what it is saying. Saying the message of the Cornmunity does not propose a great deal more than Norman Vincent ‘ Peale is the remark of a person who has failed to understand what this message is. If I said Ronnie Dugger proposes nothing more than Freedom in Action I would be as far wrong as your statement. Paul Tillich’s “concern” is an effort by the most penetrating mind of our day to. give some meaning to the meaningless life we live. Certainly the Community is saying face life and go on, but it is also saying that in facing life you must make a decision to face this life realistically and not escape from the demands of life by any form of activitye.g., the meaningless activity of our churches or the hurrying to and fro in liberal politics. The Community would say, I believe, that we do go on in faith, but would also say that only a fool or madman can claim faith for certain. I write from a prejudiced viewpoint, as is apparent; colored by an attachment from afar to the Community in Austin; colored by a great admiration for Paul Tillich and what he is trying to say; and probably blinded by an attachment to the Christian Faith. Also I would say that I wear the same colored political glasses of those who look upon your paper as an oasis in a journalistic desert. Knowing the above to be true I’m still called upon to make a deci: sion to life, a decision colored by all my prejudices, but a decision that must have some responsibility in it, and if you please a decision of “concern.” What is a liberal? I would like to say a liberal is one who is lovingly called a liberal by a liberal. Carl Murphy, Box 97, Nederland, Texas. LBJ and Adlai Sir: In the Stump department of the Observer an issue or two ago I noticed a letter to the ediit was suggested that Lyndon was lukewarm or worse in his support of Adlai and it was charged that Lyndon got out of Texas in order to keep from campaigning for him. In the interest of helping the Observer to live up to the slogan on its masthead I offer the following as an eyeball witness: In 1952, Lyndon met Adlai’s plane in Fort Worth, where Adlai first landed in his campaign across Texas. Lyndon introduced Adlai there, and he introduced him in Dallas. Lyndon accompanied him to San Antonio and to Uvalde, where we passengers on the Stevenson train had breakfast with Mr. Garner, Speaker Rayburn, Adlai and Lyndon. During this trip Adlai spoke on the Fairgrounds in Dallas on October 17th, just a couple of weeks before the election. Earlier than that, on August 27, I think it was, Lyndon celebrated his birthday by announcing from his Pedernales Ranch his unqualified support of Adlai. He was joined in the statement by Sam Rayburn and Wright Patman. In 1956 Lyndon made a lot of speeches for Adlai in Texas, including personal appearances, radio and TV talks. As an original Adlai supporter, I kept in close touch with both campaigns. I think that in the interest of accuracy, Lyndon’s part in the Texas effort should be recalled to the attention of the readers of the Observer. cial Bldg., 1104 Main St., Dallas 2. Only Two Areas Sir: I write in protest to the nonsense which appeared in the Observer Dec. 4. In the letter by Don Hammill we see a typical example of misrepresentation and lack of information being applied to the bogus issue of church and state in this country. This is similar to the debate on birth-control created to throw confusion into the 1960 presidential campaign. When the charge that Catholics believe in a state religion is leveled, it implies that they are not loyal to the United States. The United States Constitution, first amendment, forbids the Congress to pass any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This I believe is good and proper, and I am a Catholic. Is Mr. Hammill saying that American Catholics are in favor of a state church? We are not. Is he charging that the Catholic Bishops are lying when they say that the Church does not wish to have a state church in this country? They do not lie, they merely state a fact. Mr. Hammill asks: “Sir, do I merely imagine that there are anti-birth control laws in New England . . .?” I might ask if the Baptists are, or were, suggesting a state church in their rather frenzied advocacy of prohibition? Both implications are silly. A group in our society may support any proposal they wish, if within the law, whether it pertains to politics, morals, economics, prohibition, or birth control. That is their right. Hammill makes reference to nuns teaching in public schools. Could they do so without the invitation of the local school boards? Hardly. It is a fact that these nuns are asked to help in a struggle to find teachers for the students in the public schools. These nuns are paid, as they should be, and the money goes to their order, as it should. Would Mr. Hammill close these schools for lack of teachers? Catholics owe no allegiance outside of the United States, if we are speaking of man and his laws. I doubt that this differs from the Protestant position. Catholic faith and morals, the only area in which the Church asks Conformity, have no bearing upon anything in this fake issue. If Mr. Hammill is so interested in what we Catholics think of a state religion why doesn’t he ask us instead of rattling on about nuns and mayors, Der Fuehrer and Mussolini, encyclopedia and Romans, most of the latter being dead for a few years already. Evidently Mr. Hammill does not think it right that the peoples of other states \(meaning nations or their own business in their own way. If most of the states of the world wish to send diploinatic representatives to the Vatican I should think that would be their business. No one has denied that the Vatican is, within certain limitations, a political unit, very comparable to others in the family of nations. So is Great Britain, where Queen Elizabeth III is the head of the Anglican Church. Does Mr. Hammill suggest that we break diplomatic relations with Britain until the poor, ignorant people of that island do away with this intolerable situation? He may. When will these people understand that adherence in one area of thought does not necessarily mean adherence in other areas? Mr. Hammill speaks of “Catholic parties” in France and Germany. He obviously does not know that these are not “Catholic parties.” The political organizations to which he refers are the MRP of France and the CDU of Germany. Each has many leaders within its ranks not Catholic. Even if they were “Catholic parties,” what of it? The existence of the British Labor Party does not mean that the people of Britain want a union of state and labor. , I ask Mr. Hammill if he really thinks that the policies of Franco in Spain are the result of pressure from the Catholic Church or measures intended to aid in the control of that dictatorship? If they be Church policy why does this happen in Spain and not in France and . Italy? I get a particular thrill out of Mr. Hammill’s claim that American Catholics talk separation of church and state because the “patriotic” Protestants force them to. I believe he assumes a great deal of influence which does not exist. This compulsion is in the name of “this heritage” in America. Now the preservation of “heritage” is equated with loyalty to the United States. Now American Catholics really want to change the customs and traditions of the United States to conform with demands of some ‘foreign potentate.” This is the party line of the “Know Nothings.” It is symptomatic of the popular opinion that anything foreign is automatically dangerous to this country. American Catholics believe, as does Mr. Hammill, that we have a great nation and people; that our customs and traditions are ours and are deSirable; that we must have fought, bled, and died for something. But, American Catholics, as a group, do not believe in the use of suspicion and unfounded attacks upon our fellow citizens, former Senator McCarthy notwithstanding. … We do not believe in using religious arguments to further political aims. I certainly speak for no Catholic except myself, but I have seen in Texas that the educational institutions which were years ahead of the 1954 Supreme Court desegregation decision were Catholic. I know that among educational institutions, those supported by Catholics are usually the most liberal in thought, word, and deed. This is especially true when the issue is one of civil rights or academic freedom. I know that the vicious persecutions of the KKK, the Native American Party, and the White Citizens’ Councils were not Catholic in origin. I do not wish this to sound as if all these things constituted some great exception. These are the things supported by any person who believes in liberty, who believes in humanity for the sake of humanity, and who has any high regard for personal dignity. It is time we cast our thoughts away from the carping pip-squeek who is “hell-bent,” to use Mr. Hammill’s words, on finding something indecent or disloyal about religious, racial, or political groups whose views do not agree with their own. Kenneth J. Carey, Department of Government, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio. Carpets of Asphalt Sir: I recently read an article in your newspaper about the present status of the Pan American Highway, which I thought was neeedlessly gloomy. … Last June I decided to drive my car into Guatamala and decided not to resort to putting it onto a flatcar to get there. I read certain biased reports of the progress of the highway in Guatamala, most of them from Mexican sources, and needless to say, the Mexicans never have had much good to say about the Guatamalans. I was confronted with reports that the connecting link south of the Mexican Guatalaman border was so beset with landslides that it was rendered practically useless as a highway…. I know I hurt the pride of the Guatamalans when I asked about the condition of the road ahead, but they politely informed me that the road was open and that I could easily reach Huehuetenango, 80 miles further on, in 3 and a half hours and that I would find the confortable Hotel Zacalue waiting for me at 7,000 feet elevation in the Highlands of Guatamala. Frankly, the trip over the “difficult” section respectively known as “El Tapon” \(Spanish disappointment. Actually, as I proceeded through the black night of the Cuchumatanes Mountains and the Selegua River Canyon, I never was aware of any difficult roadway. I was so pleased with MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 having negotiated “El Tapon” that when I reached Huehuetenango on schedule, I had a good meal there and continued on over the fabulous road to Quetzeltenango, Guatamala’s second largest city. The next morning I was attending a market at Totonicapan seeing Indians in costumes that have changed little in the last 1,000 years. I drove along leisurely so spellbound by the exotic scenery that I had no desire to rest. I arrived at the indescribably beautiful Lake Atitlan early in the afternoon. … The next day I drove back to the actual InterAmerican Highway and then onto a spur road to Santo Tomas de Chichicastenango to witness the kaleidoscopic spectacle of the Sunday market there. … That afternoon I drove down the InterAmerican Highway and onto a carpet of asphalt to Chimaltenango and on to the old, old earthquake ruined city of Antigua, which was a bustling, cultured city when our Pilgrim forefathers were chopping down pine trees near Plymouth Rock. I went on down to Esquintla on the Pacific coast in the lowlands “where there’s coffee and bananas and the temperature’s hot.” Then I went over Guatamala’s wonderful paved RUME \(Ruta Militar de back up into the Highlands again and through a very good highway tunnel and back to Quetzaltenango. I could have driven hundreds of miles south, to . San Jose, Costa Rica, if I had liked…. There is very little publicity or interest in the present continuous road to San Jose, Costa Rica, and most of what little information that does creep out comes from people who have never ventured beyond Mexico City. The Pan American Union in Washington even sends out bulletins that are several years old…. The time is here for looking toward travelling to Central America by personal car. The Hotel Tzanjuju at Lake Atlitan is ready and waiting, the Hotel Antigua with a glassed-in wall framing the volcano Agua is ready. There is even bus service all the way from Laredo to San Jose, Costa Rica, via “El Tapon,” and the trip could be made for less than $100 for all expenses. Chester G. Buchanan, 840 Daffodil Dr., Mesquite. LBJ and Nixon Sir: To paraphrase an old saydeep” when it says Johnson vs.
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