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are part of us. So we try to respect their feelings,” he said. “We are against segregation, in any form, anywhere. We are against it!” he exclaimed. In Washington, D.C., he was a dinner guest of whites, and just before he left here this month, he observed some whites’ farming operation, thought the people were “very nice,” and was impressed by their automatic corn-puller. The night before the Observer interviewed him, he had been an overnight guest in a humble Negro farm home in Hollands Quarter, a Negro community near here. He said he has not seen any farming techniques that will help private farmers in Nigeria. Tractors are more expensive there than the labor they replace, and a corn-puller could be used economically on a government farm, but not at present by private farmers, again because farm workers’ wages are low. Panola County practices he does believe are applicable to farming in Ilorin are the teaching of metalwork, home and farm visits by government farm agents, and local planning committees. In contrast to Nigeria, where the program comes from the government, here “The program comes from the people and not from the government. The people make their own program. I think that’s good, because I think the people know their needs, and they know their interests,” he said. Farm workers in Nigeria cannot afford cars, as some of them do here, and the standard of living in Nigeria is lower than here; but here, Akintola said, “I think the economic condition is worse. I see a lot of educated Negroes who are unemployed. You won’t find that so much in my place. . . . There is a higher unemployment here than there. . . . “I wouldn’t like to live here,” he said. “I’d like to go back.” In Nigeria he has attained a pretty good rank. “I don’t think I would get that position if I was here,” he said. On Saturday, Nov. 30, he flies home. R.D. Religion in Texas Politics “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall anyone be excluded from holding office, on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledges the existence of a Supreme Being.” Constitution of Texas. Clearly, according to this section, Texas adopted theism or monotheism as its state religion and denies public offices and trusts to unbelievers; but the Constitution does not deny them other civil rights such as that of paying taxes. In the Torcaso V. of the United States recognized the right of an American to hold a public office without believing in God. Hence the proviso in italics above is null and void. Our lawmakers and public officials will continue to abide by the theistic proviso until some one of them takes his oath of office so seriously as to refuse to declare his belief in a Supreme Being because by making such a declaration he might violate the Constitution of the United States. Then too the day must come when, in Texas, candidates for public office will no longer declare their religious affiliations and activities on campaign literature. These are not qualifications for such office, nor are the lack of them disqualifications. Religion is and must remain a personal matter between each individual and his God. THE SUPREME COURT’S DE-CISIONS in the Torcaso case and in the public school devotionals cases were based on sound historical foundations. I shall mention a few : 1. The Constitutional Convention, 1787, refused to adopt a motion by Benjamin Franklin “that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in The writer is a member of the American Humanist Assn. and lives in Austin. 12 The Texas Observer William E. Roth this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business and that one or more clergy of this city be required to officiate in that service.” The delegates regarded the people as supreme, and the session adjourned without voting on Franklin’s theistic motion. 2. The treaty of peace with Tripoli was ratified by the Senate during Jefferson’s administrationJames Madison was secretary of state. It contains the statement: “The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion.” 3. Jefferson in writing to the Danbury the First Amendment to be “a wall of separation between church and state.” 4. The American flag bears no cross. Perhaps the most significant contribution in history to the concept of religious and political freedom was the Constitution of the United States and its Bill of Rights; these excluded religion from affairs of state and the state from abetting or curtailing any religion. Shall we in the twentieth century abandon these principles? The United States Supreme Court says, “No !” As the colonial days with the bickerings and intolerances based on differing religious dogmas and creeds recede from us in time, we are prone to lose sight of the problems which the founders of this nation had to solve. Immigrants, particularly from Europe, understand these problems much more clearly than do native Americans; they know from experience the bane of church states. Facts such as the following were fresh in the minds of the framers of the Constitution: A Quaker who entered Virginia a third time or a Unitarian who entered Marylandboth colonies had established churcheshad committed a capital offense. The Pilgrims came to America to gain religious freedom for themselves alone ; Anne Hutchinson was excommunicated from Massachusetts, and Roger Williams, who held that the state had no rights over the conscience of men, was banished. He founded the colony of Rhode Island, and it tolerated all sects. Pennsylvania tolerated other sects than Quakers, but withheld certain civil rights from them. New York early removed all restrictions on religions because it was good business to do so. The Revolution forced the many religious and political barriers between the colonies to fall. Without doubt many Quakers were in Virginia when Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown and were not hanged. Today there are those who seek to rebuild the ruins of the past. THE FACT that legislators, judges, and law-enforcement officersthe censor moramust, in Texas, be theists makes the sense of justice and fair play inoperative where unbelievers are concerned. It is perhaps for this reason that then Atty. Gen. Will Wilson declared: “The decision of the United States Supreme Court in the Engel v. Vitale [the regents’ prayer] case does not prohibit the public schools of the State of Texas from allowing the saying of prayers or the reading of passages from the Bible during the course of school activities . .” The majority opinion in this case contains this sentence: “It is neither sacrilegious nor antireligious to say that each separate government in this country should stay out of the business of writing or sanctioning official prayers and leave that purely religious function to the people themselves and to those the people choose to look to for religious guidance.” Wilson in his interpretation ignored the word, “sanctioning,” probably because of religious bias. Now Texas Education Commissioner J. W. Edgar, replying to queries on devotionals in public schools, says in effect that the attorney general’s opinion of September 1962, written about the New York case, is considered still in effect. \(Texas Outlook,