OBSERVATIONS Bishops Back Matthiesen All hail to the twelve Roman Catholic bishops of Texas who have now united in a unanimous statement attacking President Reagan’s decision to assemble the neutron bomb and joining Bishop L. T. Matthiesen of Amarillo in his concern about the ethics of helping make nuclear bombs. In a meeting in Corpus Christi on Sept. 12, the Bishops, speaking directly to the 2,400,000 Catholics in Texas and indirectly to every citizen and every church leader everywhere, said, “We his brother bishops of Texas share Bishop Matthiesen’s concern and fully support his appeal to those involved in the manufacture of these weapons in every nation to consider seriously the moral and ethical implications of what they are doing.” In every nation, this is the issue not just among the 2,400 workers at Pantex outside Amarillo where all U.S. nuclear weapons are assembled, not just among the uranium workers in South Texas, not just among the truck drivers who transport the nuclear weapons, not just among the young Americans who stand ready, day and night, in the silos to launch them this is the issue for everyone in every nation, Russia, France, Israel, China, Britain, everywhere. The Bishops appealed to the Reagan Administration “to pursue every avenue to advance a nuclear arms treaty.” In fact, of course, that Administration is pursuing every avenue to avoid one. The Bishops know this as well as any wellinformed citizen, yet they do not flinch from politics, they seem to have realized that the time for flinching is past, that these are the years of now or never for the human race. The New York Times, in its account of the Bishops’ meeting, quoted Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenze of San Angelo saying on Reagan’s decision to go ahead with the neutron bomb, “We think that it was unwise. It will just contribute to the escalation of the arms race.” San Antonio’s auxiliary bishop, Charles Graham, said of that weapon, “It kills people and saves buildings. That’s a sad commentary on life in our society.” Fiorenze told the Times that the last four Popes have opposed the arms race. “We should not let our government go unchallenged,” he said. “There has just been a drift in our country at this time, and people need to know there is a moral dimension to these issues.” Just as the Boston physicians who formed Physicians for Social Responsibility have led the way, set the example, for their entire profession, Bishop Matthiesen and now all his fellow bishops in Texas have led the way, set the example, for their entire profession, whether the church concerned be Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Moslem, Hindu, Greek Orthodox, or any other. Let the church bells ring in celebration of the courage of these men of God. Whatever our positions on religion, let our heads turn upward a bit in pride of our kind, recognition of a new possibility of hope, and quiet resolves of our own. No Interest in Aliens The decision by U.S. District Judge Woodrow Seals of Houston that the children of aliens in the United States are entitled to free public education here was a philosophical as well as a legal waystation in the evolution of the species. In this decision a federal judge consciously and explicitly transcended the legalistic boundaries and limitations of nationhood to aver that the people of a nation have responsibilities to other human beings among them, responsibilities that are more important than differences of nationality. If a child is living here, a child has the right to education here period. By decisions of this kind, Judge Seals TETXDB SERvER The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1981 Vol. 73, No. 19 7c ==.”7.: 14V? September 25, 1981 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. Editor and Publisher: Ronnie Dugger Co-Editor: Joe Holley Washington Correspondent: Bob Sherrill Research Director in Washington: Katharine C. Fain EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, New York City; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Presley, Texarkana, Tx.; Susan Reid, Austin; A.R. Tehachapi, Ca.; Alfred J. Watkins, Austin. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton, John Henry Faulk, Bill Helmer, Jack Hopper, Laurence Jolidon, Lyman Jones, Mary Lenz, Matt Lyon, Greg Moses, Janie Paleschic, Laura Richardson, M. P. Rosenberg, Bob Sindermann, Jr., Paul Sweeney, Lawrence Walsh. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Alan Pogue, Grant Fehr, Bob Clare, Russell Lee, Scott Van Osdol, Ronald Cortes CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Berke Breathed, Jeff Danziger, Ben Sargent, Mary Margaret Wade, Gail Woods A journal of free voices We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal of free voices. Business Manager Cliff Olofson Editorial and Business Office 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly except for a three-week interval between issues twice a year, in January and July; 25 issues per year. Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. years, $56. One year rate for full-time students, $13. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilmed by MCA, 1620 Hawkins Avenue, Box 10, Sanford, N.C. 27330. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. 2 SEPTEMBER 25, 1981
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