The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to thi South Volume 53 TEXAS, SEPTEMBER 29, 1961 15c per copy Number 26 ‘LIKE PLAYING POKER’ Pacifism Loses In Church Poll SAN ANTONIO Speakers at the JayceeFourth Army “Let’s Look at America” seminar this week accused the Kennedy administration of appeasing Soviet Russia, urged immediate severance of diplomatic relations with the Soviet government, criticized American liberals as being soft on communism, and got in some harsh words on the United Nations. A small crowd turned out for the first day Friday, but an estimated 2,800 were in Municipal Auditorium Saturday to heaf the key Reporter noter, General Albert C. Wedemeyer. Sen. Strom Thurmond of accepted an invitation but was detained in Washington. He sent a telegram to Jaycees thanking them for their support in the successful effort to get a Senate probe into the muzzling of the military. The seminar was described by one local daily as “the most controversial public meeting in San Antonio in some 20 years.” Outside the auditorium cars bearing Catto and Goode stickers overflowed into .nearby parking lots. Sam Harper Jr., one of the Jaycee leaders, began the program with a blast at seminar critics, arguing that no one is more qualified than the military on the communist menace, and with a defense .6f General Edwin Walker. “This man needs no defense,” he said. “He needs commendation.” He continued, “It is not enough to scream against the horrors of federal control, federal regulation, shout from the housetop about states rights, and then sit idly by while a bunch of uninformed, immature individuals are elected to those important seats in local governments. We have a responsibility to save the nation.” Gen. Wedemeyer, in an interview off in the wings on the second day, said he is not a member of the John Birch Society, although he thinks it is “a fine, patriotic organization made up of outstanding Americans.” Acts of Appeasement Wedemeyer, gray and distinguished in horn rimmed glasses, scored “disturbing acts of appeasement by this new administration in dealing with the Soviet Union.” As examples, he said Far Eastern experts are trying to devise ways to get Red China into the UN, that communist literature is now allowed to come into this country unimpeded and without being labeled, that we have discontinued the practice of fingerprinting applicants for visas because the practice was offensive to the Russians, and that two Russian spies actively involved in espionage were recently allowed to return home. Wedemeyer said he favored an end to Soviet-American diplomatic relations and Red China’s entrance into the UN. Later on the UN, he said: “It was unfortunate that the new African nations were admitted to the organization, as they can contribute nothing to it.” In the domestic sphere, he said he opposed the backing Episcopal ministers have given the Freedom Riders. Wedemeyer said it will “continue to be impossible to negotiate a dependable nuclear weapons control agreement with the Soviet Union for the simple reason that international communism wants to destroy us, not live side by side with us.” Since 1945, he said, this country has poured $35 billion into Europe “and the American taxpayer has every right to know where this money has gone if only 16 divisions can be produced in this period of emergency for the NATO shield.” An early major error, he said, was Roosevelt’s decision to recognize Russia in 1933. The Eisenhower government should never have recognized Cuba, he argued. Col. R. B. Thieme, pastor of the Berachah Church in Houston, defended Gen. Walker, whose mother was in the audience, as “a great American and a great soldier.” “Many of the religious groups today,” he said, “individual ministers, , have followed certain lines that indicate that their thought pattern has departed from the biblical concept and has moved into the realm of anywhere from socialism to its extreme, communism.” Communists, he said, have laid down these goals to conquer Amer AUSTIN The John Birch Society is a serious threat to the American political system which it purports to defend. This is true whether your politics be liberal or conservative. Regrettably, most of the criticism which has been advanced against the Society has come from those who call themselves “liberal”. But for The author, Dr. John Bagalay, is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Texas. He is a Republican and a native Texan. His main intellectual interests are political philosophy and philosophy of law. Bagalay describes himself as “a conservative in the tradition of Burke, Adams, and the rest” There is a distinction, he is quick to say, “between the reactionary and the conservative. I’m concerned because sometimes they get lumped together.” Impact’s Impact: Booze! ABILENE The newest town in West Texas is Impact, and it’s not much. It has a few more than 200 residents the minimum for municipal incorporation. It has no police force, no fire department, no stores, no city hall, no city taxes, no electrical plant or water supply of its own. The streets are poor. There are no street lights. The mayor is Dallas Perkins; his wife, Nancy, is town marshal, tax assessor and collector, city secretary, city engineer, and just about anything else the city has in the way of jobs. There are also five aldermen. Nobody gets a salary, _st vt\\etice , BEE’ because there’s nothing in the city treasury. Nothing yet. In area, Impact covers only 47 acres, and the houses therein are modest indeed, a number of them in the $2,000 to $3,000 range. Insignificant as Impact is, it nonetheless has been the center of one of the most blustering civic storms in the history of this region, and for one reason alone LIQUOR! spelled in blinking, neon red. Any minister in Abilene will tell you proudly that his city is dry, and has been for as long as most people can remember. Just this month a group tried to have a liquor election called in Abilene, but they didn’t come even close to getting the polls opened, much less winning the very good reasons the conservative should be equally concerned with what the Observer has referred to as this “Radical Mystique”. It is somewhat alarming that the critical accounts of the Society, whether by Time Magazine or this newspaper, have been limited to certain practices thought to be undesirable. Such superficial criticism is wholly inadequate. If we view only the superficial activities and statements of the organization, our perspective is clouded by the fact that there is much which evokes only intellectual disagreement, rather than serious concern. Sometimes we may not even find disagreement. The Society’s stated philosophy, “less government, better government, more responsibility and a better world,” is as difficult to disagree with as to oppose motherhood and nickel beer. I suppose, further, that no one would deny the right of Mr. Welch and his group to AROUND TEXAS There are, the Texas Council of Churches reports, about five and a half million Texans who identify themselves as Christians by membership in a church. Bob Sherrill Just what is the “Christian attitude” toward the use of nuclear weapons? The Observer took its questions to half a dozen leading church educators or theologians in the state, representing various Christian faiths. If their responses are typical, then the leaders of Texas Christianity most definitely are not pacifists, do not think that nuclear war is any different from any other type of war, believe that when it comes to taking a position in regard to warfare a Christian’s best guide is not the Bible but his government, and haven’t given the question any close study in recent months. Each said the questions caught him “cold.” One told the Observer he thought it was harmful to the government to go around the state asking Christian leaders what their position is in regard to nuclear war. Another likened Russiari and United States nuclear stockpile threats to a poker game and said it behooved our government “to keep bluffing and calling their bluff,” and it behooves his church to support that bluff by not taking an official stand against the use of nuclear weapons. Dr. Don Morris, president of Abilene Christian College, the largest Church of Christ college in the nation. said: “As I understand the Bible, the Christian’s viewpoint should be in argue for the impeachment of Mr. Justice Warren, or for the necessity of security precautions in top level government agencies. Moreover, when Mr. Welch says that ours is not a democracy, but a republic, the problem is not that his opponents intend to assert the proposition that the United States is in John Bagalay fact a pure democracy with all that it entailsincluding Mr. Welch’s fear that there may be a tyranny of the unchecked majority, just as there may be a tyranny of the few or by only one. The Greek political theorists saw the difficulties inherent in a pure democracy and feared them long before Mr. Welch. No, the objection to the John Birch Society is to the political philosophy upon which its thought and action rests. The objection is not to the string of favor of enforcement of law7 local, national, or international `and the Christian should do all that he can toward the enforcement of law. “The type of weapon used is beside the point. Of course nuclear weapons are terrible. But if they have to be provided to protect freedom, what else can be done? It’s the same thing as providing the sheriff or police officer with a good gun so that he can enforce the laws in the community.” Scolds for Questioning He said the communists are lawbreakers “in carrying out their declaration to conquer the world.” unpopular remarks and the agitation for unwanted causes sustained by the Society and its followers. As a historical parallel, who could disagree with Hitler and Lenin \(in whose company the John Birch Socithat they hope to see poverty, unemployment, and disillusionment disappear from human experience? But what sensitive man is deceived by these aspirations when he looks at the political theories which underlie naziism and communism? It is not the moral and, presumably, humanitarian drives which give trouble in these philosophies, or in a radical, reactionary group such as the Birch Society. The Birch movement is grounded upon a fundamental error in political philosophy, so far as the AngloAmeriCan tradition is concerned ; and of all politically concerned persons, the conservative should be first to recog JAYCEE-ARMY SEMINAR Administration Appeases Soviets “Personally, as far as my attitude toward my neighbor, it shouldn’t be a matter of hate. But when he violates the law, I think the police officer should come over and arrest him, and I’m willing to pay my tax to buy the officer a gun to do it with.” He said he didn’t think the devastating potential of nuclear weap. ons changed the picture at all, that he himself would be willing to go to war against communism, that ACC “lost 40 boys during World War II and had very few conscientious objectors.” Dr. Morris scolded the Observer, “I think we’re in a life and death struggle against atheistic forces that would take the freedom away from the people, and stirring up this question is an implied criticism of our government and the efforts of both political parties to sustain it.” He said he was a conservative in politics and religion. Hines No Pacifist Bishop John Hines of the Texas Diocese of the Episcopal Church, EDITORIAL OPINION A Conservative Views The Birchers
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