Mauldin in Post-Dispatch “Here’s another style that seems to be coming back.” .* ‘Brave and Truthful’ Kennedy’s Answers THIS MAN COLLINS TULIA Carr P. Collins is a name not unknown to Texans who can remember when it was the popular thing to have a “Democrat for Hoover” sticker on your windshield and a few years later when W. Lee O’Daniel was pulling the wool over the eyes of the old people with fiddle playing and pious mouthings. Collins is always billed as .a “prominent Baptist layman.” He is a Baylor trustee. The multi-millionaire has used the Bible twice to hoodwink the people of Texas. It has made millions for Collins, but it made Texas eat cornbread for breakfast for several years, according to Editor Penn Jones Jr. of the Midlothian Mirror. Jones reminds us that it was Collins who led the people of Texas into the Republican fold in 1928 on the religious issue. Texas went for Hoover and lived to regret it as its citizens struggled for survival in torn overalls while Carr P. Collins went on to amass more and more wealth even during the depression. Carr P. Collins took Bible in hand to help convince Texas that Wilbert Christian” man. There have been few men in Austin more wicked than Pappy O’Daniel turned out to be. Now Carr P. Collins, the multimillionaire, is again whipping up the religious issue and pointing to the wealth of the Kennedy family in an attempt to herd Texas again into the Republican camp. He is spending $1,000 a day for radio time so he can mouth his lies and bigotry to all Texans. And, as might be expected of such a bigot, he again refuses to align himself with bona fide Republicans. He heads a group called “Texans for Nixon.” We heard him the other evening accusing Kennedy of being the choice of the Communists. \(As if a Communist would ever prefer a CathThen he appealed to “the common women” who did not get an invitation to the teas given for Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Johnson. “This won’t be the last time you common women will be high-hatted,” he told the common women. Of course, the teas were public and open to everyone. Texas voted for Ike twice and has watched the nation lose friends and prestige around the world while interest rates at home climbed to all COMMON SENSE From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Basically, the answer to prejudice is common sense. Laying sectarian and doctrinal disputes aside, the simple political reality in the United . States is that no President could permit Vatican interference in American civil affairs without sacrificing his leadership of the whole people ; and no President, a Catholic least of all, is going to .do that. The founders of our Government were enormously wise when, in addition to barring any religious establishment, they wrote into the Constitution the principle that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Centuries of religious conflict and war had taught them that quarrels between sects and religions cannot be settled by political means, and that a free people must insist on total separation of the two realms. Today the principle needs to flourish just as vigorouslynot because of any effect on the fortunes of a particular candidate, but because of the effect, on the social health of the American community. The principle will live only as it is conscientiously applied by all of us. And this means, quite. simply, that it is part of the American political faith that we do not measure a presidential candidate by what church he attendsor by whether he attends any church at all. time highs and the budget was still unbalanced. “These are indeed serious times,” observes Editor Jones. “If you love America, we suggest you look into the motives of Carr P. Collins before you follow him to total disaster for your country and yourselves.” WHAT WE ORIGINALLY believed to be honest inquirieS by Protestants have lost the element of honesty. By their refusal to accept the straightforward answers and pledges of Kennedy, these Protestants have in effect called him a liar and quite obviously are not asking questions in good faith. Their minds are closed and there is nothing on earth that Kennedy or anyone else could say that would change them. As someone commented on NBC, the only thing that would change the minds of Kennedy’s Protestant critics would be for him to renounce the Catholic , faith and join the Baptist church or Church of Christ. And even then, they’d probably find some other reason to justify their support of Republicanism. To the honest, impartial observer sitting on the sidelines, it is quite obvious where right lies in this unfortunate controversy. It is obvious who is displaying a Christian spirit, who is trying to be fair, to be honest and sincere. It is just as obvious who is exemplifying the spirit of bigotry, hatred, prejudice, and intolerance. 0 UR PERSONAL BELIEF is that the religious issue is little more than an invention of those seeking an excuse to vote Republican. Some loyal Democrats we know say they can’t conscientiously vote for a. Catholic. But in a great majority of cases, those who can’t vote for a Catholic are the same persons who couldn’t vote for a Protestant in 1956 and 1952. They are the same old Eisenhower Democrats who haven’t been able to vote Democratic since 1932and some of them weren’t even of voting age in 1932, which means that they are “Democrats” who have never voted for a Democratic President! If Kennedy were a Protestant or had Stevenson, Symington, Humphrey or some other Democrat been the party’s nominee, they still would find a reason to vote Republican. In many cases, there are Protestants who are guilty of the same things with which they are charging the Catholics. Today it is the Protestant clergy that is attempting to tell its members how to vote. It is the Protestant clergy that is distributing vile, vicious, slanderous, scurrilous, libelous propaganda via pulpit and press. It is the Protestant clergy that is displaying a spirit . of hate and bigotry. It is the Protestant clergy that is attempting to mix church and state. Certainly not all Protestant ministers are guilty of such unbecoming conductbut too many are. H. M. BAGGARLY in the Tuna , Herald Conrad in Denver PoSt “The next voice you hear . . .” Excerpts from Walter Lippman: The exchanges between the Protestant ministers and Senator Kennedy have not settled the “religious issue.” But they have clarified, it. There could have been no such thing as ignoring or suppressing the Issue. The only effect of not discussing it openly would have been to leave the whole discussion to fester in the dark, anonymously and maliciously. No doubt the black propaganda will continue. But at least there now exists a respectable and responsible discussion of the issue. Senator Kennedy’s reaction to the ministers’ questions, which were sharp and searching, was extremely interesting and important. He might have explained that to raise questions about his religion was a violation of the spirit of the Constitution, that the ministers were setting up a religious test for public office. But he did not do that. On the contrary, he chose to recognize that the questions raised by the ministers were real questions, not slanderous fabrications, and that an American Catholic running for President must answer them. The questions put to Senator Kennedy in Houston arise, according to the ministers, from the attempts of the Catholic church “to exercise control over its members in political and civic affairs.” The crucial point is whether the authority of the Catholic hierarchy or the conscience of the office holder is to determine what is and what is not a political and civic affair. The case of the Protestant ministers against Senator Kennedy is that “while the current Roman Catholic contender for the presidency states specifically that he would not be so influenced \(by the Catholic hierhis church insists that he is dutybound, to admit to its direCtion. This unresolved conflict leaves doubt in the minds of millions of our citizens.” This leads to the precise question which Senator Kennedy had to deal with. Where will be his paramount duty and loyalty on questions where, as for example birth control, the influence of the Catholic hierarchy has been used to impose by law on nonCatholics the Catholic doctrine? Senator Kennedy’s answer is that “I do not accept the right of . . any ecclesiastical official to tell me what I shall do in the sphere of my public responsibility as an elected official.” This is a declaration that as an elected official he, and not the Catholic hierarchy, will determine what lies within the sphere of his public responsibility. In this, the separation between church and state is as complete as it can be made. But that is not the end of this story. The Protestant ministers have probed still more deeply. They have raised the question whether a good Catholic can be as independent and as secular as Senator Kennedy declares himself to be. The way the Senator dealt with this loaded question is to my mind the most interesting, the most significant, and the most creditable and convincing thing in the whole affair. His answer was in effect that on the crucial questions of church and state not all Catholics think alike. His declaration of freedom from eccleciastfcal control in political and civic affairs is “the opinion of the overwhelming majority of American Catholics, and I have no doubt .that my view is known to Catholics around the world.” His position, he asserted, is “a position of the American Catholic church in the United States with which I am associated.” It is not the position of the Spanish Catholic church in Spain, or of the Colombian Catholic church in Colombia. It is the position not of all American Catholics but of “the overwhelming majority” of them. These are the answers of a brave and truthful man. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 September 30, 1960
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