1rz5 .\\ \\ Bartlett Appears Exclusively in the Texas Observer , The Non-Catholic Issues THE BAPTIST ISSUE ‘Let’s Not Criticize Anything in Front of Him AUSTIN After giving the matter much thought, I have decided that I cannot vote for just any Southern Baptist for President this year. This is not to say, mind you, that I would not vote for any Southern Baptist simply because he is a Southern Baptist. It is to say, however, that I would not vote for just any Southern Baptist. There are many kinds of Southern Baptists, as we all know. There are excellent Southern Baptists and evil Southern Baptists, there are smart Southern Baptists and dumb Southern Baptists, there are rich Southern Baptists and there are poor Southern Baptists, there are evangelical Southern Baptists and there are calm Southern Baptists, and there are even some good Southern Baptists who are not good Southern Baptists. There are many fine Southern Baptists who read this newspaper and get their fine Southern Baptist friends to read it. All I am saying is that I simply cannot vote this year for just any Southern Baptist. I will admit that this is in part very emotional with me, although I have thought out my emotions. I come from a long line of Mississippi Methodists, and th e Southern Baptist Church has always struck me as a very strange business. The doctrine of total immersion is shocking to an old Mississippi Methodist. I have never like their favorite theme songs, preferring the Methodist ones. I have never enjoyed the sight of Southern Baptists getting out of church, either. They come out in numbers, and with such glints in their eyes, that I have always been frightened at the sight, and start thinking what they would do to us Mississippi Methodists if they ever got on top. I do not like the way many Southern Baptists are so sure they are right. They read the Bible in such a way they will not allow us Methodists to disagree with them about it. This upsets me greatly, because many A Teacher’s Instruction A legislator in the Texas House of Representatives has brought us this account from a high school English teacher in a small town in South Texas: A student from Iraq whom she knew at the University of Texas went to the town and took her to her school’s football game Saturday night. Sunday they drove around the countryside and took pictures. Tuesday morning, a fellow teacher told her, “It’s all over town that your date last weekend was a Mexican, and they say that, ‘If she is going to act like that, she won’t last long in this town.’ ” The young teacher says that then she understood why persons previously friendly had been acting chilly toward her. In her letter to us, the teacher continues : “I am sitting in my kitchen drinking coffee and listening to the song, “The House I Live In,” on the record player : ” ‘What is America to me? .. ./ The house I live in,/The goodness everywhere …/The house that we call freedom, /The home of liberty ;/ But especially the people,/That’s America to me.’ “It has a rather ironic sound in my ears,” she concludes. “The only line that I can hear without a sarcastic smile is the one that goes, And the tasks that still remain …’ ” people do not agree with the way they read it, since it was not entirely written and edited by Southern Baptists. Everyone has heard by now how the Southern Baptist take their vows as soon after immersing as possible to kill off Methodist babies, preachers, and journalists and to take over the country as soon as they can. I have seen copies of this oath, and although I do not believe it, and think it is terrible how many Methodists pass around this oath whenever a big Baptist runs for an office of public trust, still this document makes very interesting reading, and I hope everyone has seen it. BUT THE MAIN reason why I cannot vote for just any South ern Baptist this year, aside from my carefully-thought out emotional reason, is that I believe in the old American idea that separates the church from the state and vice-versa. It is well known that Southern Baptists do not believe in the separation of church and state, and I doubt if they ever will from the looks of it now. Their major leaders are always interfering in elections, and everyone knows that Southern Baptists Tollow their leaders. Baptist newspapers are always sticking their noses into elections also and saying how they found all their answers on how to vote in the Bible, and then saying if you disagree with them you disagree with the scriptures. I will tell you frankly that from what I have seen the Southern Baptist organization is very rich and powerful, and it is growing in numbers every day. Why, did you know the Southern Baptists outnumber the Northern Baptists six to one, and are in 50 states? And that there are Southern Baptists in Africa and Asia, and there were some in Red China? You can see why if Southern Baptist ever got elected President of the United States, he would be under so many pressures as a Southern Baptist he would just about be a nervous wreck every time the Southern Baptist convention ever met and talked. Many Southern Baptists are saying, what could just one Southern Baptist president do with a Congress and Supreme Court with so many Methodists, Catholics, Presbyterians, high-, low-, and in-between-Episcopalians, Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists, Church of Christ men, Unitarians, Church of God men, pantheists, agnostics, atheists, Mormons, transcendentalists, Hindu, and Northern Baptists? They are also always saying, don’t you trust ‘ the good Southern Baptists who have promised not to do anything to help the Southern Baptists too much? All I can stay is, to elect a Southern Baptist president of the United States would bring so much prestige to Southern Baptists, they would get so uppity you couldn’t talk or do business with them, and they would multiply all the more just through being so proud of themselves. I WILL CONCLUDE ,by saying that I am not in favor of not allowing so many millions of Southern Baptists their civil rights to be elected the way the Constitution says. They are Americans like us Methodists, they love their country and have fought and died for it, and some of them probably get fired-up when it gets into real trouble.. There are many other offices they can run for, and their children when the time comes. I do not want any emotionalism or unstraight thinking injected into this business, and I do not want it made the major issue when we make up our minds. But I can’t help it if I don’t know what these Southern Baptists are up to. W.M. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 September 23, 1960 AUSTIN Listening to Texas Democrats running the Kennedy campaign, one might conclude that the main reason for voting for Kennedy is the wickedness of voting against him because he is a Catholic. Texas conservatives, however formally they pledge to the Kennedy-Johnson ticket, are unable to specify the serious reasons for voting for Kennedy, since they don’t believe in them. There are such reasons the non-Catholic issueswhich are gradually convincing liberal Americans that Kennedy’s is a really important national cause. KENNEDY wrote for Life Magazine that Prosperity is not enough “when there is no equal opportunity to share in it ; when economic progress means overcrowded cities, abandoned farms, technological unemployment, polluted air and water, and littered parks and countrysides ; when those too young to learn are denied their chance to learn ; when those no longer earning live out their lives in lonely degradation.” “If a dark corner of Africa needs technicians,” he has said”if a troubled spot in Asia needs language specialists… if the space race requires better schools,” we must meet these needs. “We Americans must again commit ourselves to great ends. We must resume our searching, surging, questing.” Tuesday night he said that in the first 90 days of his Administration, he would try to launch three programs, one for military supremacy, a second one for regional development plans in underdeveloped nations to get them capital, surplus food, and technical aid \(he wants a world of to bring social justice closer to reality in this country. On this last point, he said, “We have the abundance to eventually eliminate poverty, if we will. But it will take effective policies of full employment, a higher minimum wage, better social security and jobless pay, more slum clearance, aid to depressed areas, more help to the marginal farmer, the share cropper and the migrant worker, a concentrated drive on illiteracy, improved distribution of surplus food, and a better economic break for minority groups.” He said in Charleston, W. Va., that he favors federal aid for teachers’ salaries as well as school construction, a richer diet for those dependent on federal surplus foods, and lower interest rates to release more of the energies of the economy. THERE ARE MANY di versions from these great issues. There is the great debate about Catholicism. There is Senator Johnson running off to Phoenix saying Kennedy is “conservative without being reactionary,” or so he was quoted. There is the wistful Texas situation, where the people who agree with Kennedy’s ideals are the least welcome workers in his campaign. But coolly the directions of history should be kept in view. We need no documentation of the plain fact that the national Republicans, states’ righting, niggardly about federal programs, hacking away .against “growthmanship,” represent business so militantly, few of them can even understand the great challenges of the world and time. Kennedy understands and has the courage. R.D. The Fool’s Corner AUSTIN Oh, we hear a few jokes. There’s the farmer who painted this slogan on his pickup : “Vote Democratic, The Farm You Save May Be Your Own.” There’s the tunnel Sen. Kennedy is going to have the U.S. dig to the Vatican, only he is refusing to let Brown and Root have the contract. There’s Texaco’s retaliation against Cuba for nationalizing their refineries: they took away Castro’s credit card.
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