July 28, 1957

The Lone Star Steel Company of Dallas Texas, one of the major steel companies of the country, has added a full-time minister to its staff as chaplain for its workers. The chaplain, an ordained Methodist minister, is available to all workers for personal counseling and advice. The company has also constructed an interdenominational chapel for prayer and meditation by any of the more than 4,000 employees of the company.


New York: A new name for the Brotherhood of the United Lutheran Church in America will be proposed to delegates at the organization’s 1957 convention in Pittsburgh, from October 17-19. A change in name, to United Lutheran Churchmen, along with a new constitution and by-laws had their first reading at last year’s convention. The United Lutheran Church in America has reported that it paid a quarterly dividend of 11.8 cents to subscribers to the common investing fun.


The editor of The Christian Century magazine has raised questions about the lasting benefit of crusading techniques like those of Billy Graham. In an article written for the United Press, Dr. Harold E. Fey says, “Mass-produced conversations fail to endure the test of time. On the other hand, the one-by-one conversions which take place through the churches amount to more than 3 million each year, without fanfare or excitement and with a minimum of loss and disillusionment.”


Mackinac Island, Michigan: A Philippine newspaper columnist says moral rearmament (whatever that is) is “the only platform for reconciliation between the Asian countries.” Vicente Villamin of Manila spoke last Tuesday to the Moral Rearmament World Assembly.


Pittsburgh: A segregation law passed in South Africa this month has been described by the Anglican bishop of Johannesburg as, in his words, “a straitjacket of racist ideology.” The Rt. Rev. Richard Ambrose Reeves, speaking in Pittsburgh, said the new law threatens the freedom of assembly for the first time and includes churches. This illustrates clearly that once the people embark upon a restriction of one basic right, such restriction tends to spread until it embraces others, and unless stopped and reversed, ends by turning the country into a concentration camp where no rights exist. We have some in this country who think we can have just a little bit of restriction without harm.


The dean of the Harvard Divinity School, the Rev. Dr. Douglas Horton, has been elected chairman of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. Dr. Horton succeeds Archbishop Y. T. Brilioth of the Church of Sweden. The bishop of the Church of South India, the Rt. Rev. J. E. Lesslie Newbigin, has moved into Dr. Horton’s former post of Vice Chairman. Delegates to the commission meeting at Yale University Divinity School this week heard their executive secretary declare neither the World Council of Churches nor the Faith and Order Commission has claims of monopoly on matters of Christian unity. But Dr. J. Robert Nelson continued that the commission is unique because it is the only fully international and inter-confessional body that has as its sole purpose the promotion of the unity of all Christian people.


Northern and Southern Baptists have at least their top officers on a remarkably intimate level. Both belong to the same congregation. The Rev. Dr. Clarence Cranford heads the American or Northern Baptist Convention. He is pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. One of his parishioners is Democratic Representative Brooks Hayes of Arkansas, who leads the Southern Baptist Convention. The two church bodies have been rivals in the past, and still are, but the two presidents have a fine working arrangement. Representative Hayes says, “Happy circumstances find us together. The exchange of ideas is very helpful.” Dr. Cranford states, “We can keep each other informed.”

This top executive proximity happens because of a simple but unusual arrangement in the nation’s capital. The 54 Baptist churches in Washington are duly aligned, that is, they are affiliated with both northern and southern groups. No report yet has been received of development of split personalities as a result of this arrangement.


New York’s Francis Cardinal Spellman is reported as mentioned very prominently as a possible successor to Pope Pius as head of the Roman Catholic Church. The information comes from the Vatican-approved biographer of the 81-year-old pontiff. The biographer, Seamus Walshe, also says Archbishop Giovanni of Milan is considered a possible successor to the throne of St. Peter. Walshe has written what is described as a “human and personal” biography of Pope Pius XII. He is in the U.S. for a six-month lecture tour. He is an Irish educator on sabbatical leave from the Notre Dame International School in Rome.


Every minute of every day for the last seven years prayers for easing the problems of the world have been sent up from the Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Oklahoma City. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Monsignor John Walde, says that when the prayer vigil began, the Korean War looked as if it might lead to a third world war. There was tension over the whole world. And Corpus Christi Church had its own problems. Vandals had twice entered the church, burned valuable vestments, and ruined sacred vessels. Father Walde adds, “We thought prayer was the answer.” So at least one of the church’s 1,500 members has been in the church praying since that time. But Father Walde sees no reason why the vigil should end. As a matter of fact, no expiration time was set when the praying began.


A subject of basic import to all Americans who cherish freedom, including freedom of religion, is one that receives little attention in the press, namely the serious restraints upon Americans who wish to travel in other countries. As The Washington Post editorialized not long ago, the State Department is now denying to all American citizens, with a few official exceptions, the right to travel in China, Albania, Bulgaria, North Korea, and North Vietnam. Earlier, and for some months, it imposed a similar blanket ban on travel to Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria. Moreover, some Americans are denied permission by the department to travel anywhere, Americans, i.e., who are adjudged (or prejudged) by the department as being persons who cannot be trusted, according to the arbitrary standards of the bureaucrats in the Department of State.

Prior to World War I, passports were not required, but in recent years they have become a kind of exit permit without which one cannot leave the country, and while, in form, they are somewhat like birth certificates, i.e., mere documents of identity and nationality, the department uses them as instruments of policy, withholding them whenever and from whomever it chooses. A serious question exists as to whether these restraints on freedom of movement, whether applied indiscriminately to certain areas or discriminatory in regard to all travel abroad of suspected individuals, do not violate the basic American constitutional right.

It is true that there is no explicit guarantee of freedom of movement in the Constitution, but that freedom has been recognized ever since the Magna Carta in the common law of England and in the traditions of the U.S. as a right of free men. In 1948, the United States signed, but the present chief executive has not seen fit to present formally to the Senate for ratification, a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted unanimously by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and which reads in part, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his own country.” In recent decisions, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has referred to the right to leave the country as “an attribute of personal liberty” and as “a natural right subject to the rights of others and to reasonable regulation under law.”

However, since 1918 it has been a crime to leave or enter the country in time of war without a passport. Congress gave the president authority, in 1941, to make travel restrictions in times of national emergency. In pursuance of that authority, an executive order forbids citizens to go abroad except in conformity with regulations prescribed by the secretary of state, and in this order designates two bases on which passports may be denied:

  1. That travel by ordinary Americans might adversely affect foreign relations;
  2. That travel by persons suspected of communist sympathies might impair national security.

Without venturing to comment on the constitutional issue that may be involved here, it is pertinent to question whether, as a matter of national policy, the freedom of Americans should be so drastically limited at the mere discretion of a public official, and an appointed one at that. Power to conduct foreign relations does not mean power to control all acts of Americans which may affect foreign relations. The General Counsel of the American Jewish Congress, Will Maslow, pointed out recently before a Senate committee that American citizens in this country may, by acts or utterances, affect foreign relations more significantly than by routine tourist travel, yet the State Department, thank goodness, has no power to regulate such acts or utterances. The department may rightly warn against travel into countries where danger exists, but to prohibit such travel at the traveler’s own risk is a kind of paternalism – or “father knows best” idea – that is alien to the American tradition. It may refuse protestation; it should not refuse exit.

And as far as suspected security risks are concerned, one cannot help but wonder whether the power to deny passports is not more dangerous to liberty than the travel itself. It is of course true that disloyal persons might serve as communist couriers or might do things abroad that are not to the advantage of the United States. But the danger is hardly as great as reposing in the passport office arbitrary authority to keep Americans at home. Since freedom of travel is a basic human right, it ought to be denied only when the exercise of it would facilitate a violation of law, such as in the case of fugitives from justice, draft evaders, or others seeking to escape their rightful responsibilities. It is more than doubtful that, if they knew the facts, many Americans would subscribe to this paper curtain erected by little men whose egos impel them to tell what other people shall do or not do in the matter of travel; little men who think they know what is good for others and for America. A strong country such as ours needs no such dictatorial nonsense.


These are stirring if not exactly great days, both on the local and national scene. Last Friday, according to eyewitness reports and newspaper comment, a hearing was held for an accused person in Jonesboro, where the atmosphere must have been somewhat like old Roman days where the crowds gathered to see Christians thrown to the lions. At any rate, the climate of the courtroom was far less than decent decorum of judicial proceedings would require. Whether the accused in this or in any other criminal case is guilty or innocent is a matter to be determined in a calm, judicial atmosphere, not the kind that prevailed in this case. The popular curiosity-seekers, the morbid fascination, etc., are all understandable. What is not understandable is that the person presiding would let such a ridiculous situation continue throughout the hearing.

On the national stage it would appear that everything else has to wait while a handful of Southern Dixiecrats kill off, with administrative backing through vacillation, a bill designed to strengthen the enforcement of basic civil rights of all Americans. The House is stymied until the filibuster fanfare is over, and it looks right now as if the civil rights bill may be carried out of the Senate draped under a Confederate flag. It might be appropriate also for those responsible for its demise to get a few Nazi salutes, which would be in keeping with their ideology of racist supremacy and superiority.

All agree that the legislative program of the administration is bogged down and that little if any constructive legislation is to emerge from this session of Congress. The school aid bill was killed in the House this week. The administration blames Congress and the Congress blames the administration. It is likely that if the chief executive would like to know who is most responsible for this lack of achievement on his proposals, he could first meet that person merely by walking to the nearest mirror.

July 21, 1957

Denver: The editor of the Episcopal Church news magazine has raised the question whether Christianity can get too “popular.” Dr. William S. Lea, recently chosen dean of St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, says in a special article for the United Press that thoughtful Christians are concerned about relating their beliefs to the real problems of the modern world. He sets forth seven steps for cementing religious awakenings:

1. The parish church has to show forth in its common life what is proclaimed from its pulpit;

2. Evangelism and the church’s mission begin at home but does not end there;

3. Every layman must be a minister;

4. A greater application of the Gospel to all life;

5. The need to recognize the principle of contagion: He says that “Christianity is more often caught than taught;”

6. Jesus talked about God-centered living, not about religion. Religion is not a biblical word at all;

7. The need to proclaim the principle of redemption.

By relating Christianity to these steps, Dr. Lea believes that the current religious revival in America will have a more lasting effect, and, by implication at least, if it is not so related, it is simply superficial manifestation that will soon vanish.


The president of the National Council of Churches indicates that communist practices call for serious questions about the Western world’s treatment of women. Dr. Eugene Carson Blake says the communists try to treat women as if they were men. He also told a meeting of the World Council of Churches, meeting at the Yale Divinity School, that the Western paternalistic society assumes the man to be the head of the household and the leader in all activities. (An assumption, this reporter should like to interpolate, that is more apparent than real.) Anyway, Dr. Blake goes on to say that the communist attitude raises the question whether the Christian church needs to find an alternative between the two patterns. Ideally, there should be a partnership between men and women on an equal basis, but making use of the special abilities of each sex. He asserts that it would appear a Christian society should hasten on its own initiative to remove legal and other artificial barriers; I should like to add, to both men and women.


Rabbi Jacob K. Shankman of New Rochelle, New York, has been elected chairman of the American Board of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Announcement of the election has been made in the biennial convention of the union in Amsterdam, Holland. Rabbi Shankman succeeds Rabbi Ferdinand M. Isserman of St. Louis, Missouri, in the American post.


Just before the weekly Moslem noon prayers Friday, one of the Islamic world’s leaders was buried in the “Land of the Setting Sun.” The body of the Aga Khan III will lie first in a temporary brick tomb in a corner of the courtyard in the old imam’s villa at Aswan, on the Nile in Upper Egypt. Later a permanent mausoleum will be built for the remains of the 79-year-old Islamic Moslem leader, who died in Switzerland.


At Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, Bishop William T. Watkins of Louisville, Kentucky, has told a five-day session of Methodist pastors and district superintendents that “We southerners have a fearful responsibility in the matter of race relations, and we must be careful not to consider the same old problem.” “This is a new hour and history has turned a corner to face a brand-new situation when the worth and dignity of an individual, regardless of race or color, is being fully recognized and fought for around the world.” He goes on, “Race relations is not merely a southern or American problem.” But “America’s future and well-being, it’s leadership in world affairs, is at stake in this whole matter.” Few realists would disagree with that.


Many, perhaps most, of our Puritan forefathers were stalwart Calvinistic Englishmen and of course we are proud of them. But from around 1650 to the present, theology has experienced revolution after revolution: the protest of Pynchon; the concession of Jonathan Edwards; the Arminianism of the Wesleyan revival; the anthropology of Channing; Bushnell’s “Christian nurture”; the social gospel; and today philosophic humanism moving in one direction and despairing neo-Calvinism moving in the opposite direction. Once in a while we need to pause to survey the distance we have come and to envision the road before us. It will suffice little to waste our energies battling for a system of theology, whether it be humanism or Calvinism, and losing sight of the essential nature of religion (all religions) itself.

Religion is man’s response to the totality of the universe. The critical examination of this phenomenon is a philosophy of religion – any religion. The study of religion is a derivative and summative science. Religion has no data that are not also the data of other disciplines. The study of religion is the study of man on this planet from the standpoints of value, meaning, and appreciation. Since these are all involved in human experience, there is nothing in life that is foreign to religious examination. Thus practically religion is the science of life, the art of living. Psychology calls it “adjustment.” Religion can be studied in solitude, but it’s doubtful that it can be practiced in solitude. A. Eustice Hayden helpfully suggests that religion is simply “the shared quest for the good life.”

As one tries to examine the trend of scientific advance and tries to answer the question of whether modern scientific development was inevitable, given the nature of the human species, it is easy to arrive at the conclusion that technical progress is an inescapable necessity, like the law of nature of itself. There is little hope of trying to hold back the unfolding of science. But such a conclusion raises cogently the question of conflict between necessity and freedom, or determinism and freedom of the will. If civilization moves by unchanging laws, then what is the sense in our endeavor to direct it or to give it reasonable purpose? Would it not be better to accept a fatalistic attitude and live gaily from day to day? How can we speak about guilt and collective crime when we have recognized the inevitability of the development from the savage with bow and arrow to the airman with a hydrogen bomb?

One answer may be that the real world, which at times seems to be predetermined, sometimes seems to be a place where free will operates, and may actually be both. Just as light sometimes seems to be a train of waves, and sometimes a group of corpuscles, while both descriptions are really different aspects of the same physical situation, so also the apparent contradiction between predetermination and free will is not a real contradiction. Metaphysicians may proclaim one or the other of these doctrines but common people can accept the dual nature of the universe.

It is true that the hydrogen bomb is a devilish invention and that there is opposition to its manufacture and testing. The man who had directed the production of the first uranium bomb, Robert Oppenheimer, tried to resist production of the hydrogen bomb and was squeezed out of the Atomic Energy Commission for his pains. The principal promoter of the hydrogen bomb, Edward Teller, not only developed the theory of the bomb, but has agitated for its production. Thus he has inscribed his name in the book of world history – whether on the debit or on the credit side, the future will reveal. Teller’s justification of his course ran something like this: If we do not make this bomb, the Russians will. As a matter of fact, the first H-bomb explosion took place only a short time afterwards.

The leading statesman of the big atomic powers are in the habit of declaring that great war has become impossible. But neither their own foreign offices, nor the governments of smaller states take much notice of such declarations. The old diplomatic game, the bargaining and quarreling about small advantages, continue as if nothing had happened. Immensely expensive preparations are constantly being made for a war, which must under no circumstances be allowed to come about. Such is the crazy situation in which we find ourselves. It looks as if our civilization were condemned to ruin by reason of its own structure.

At the present time, fear alone enforces a precarious peace. However, that is an unstable state of affairs that must be replaced by something better if catastrophe is to be avoided. It is not necessary to look far in order to find a more solid basis for the proper conduct of human affairs. It is the principle which is common to all great religions with which all moral philosophers agree: the principle which in our part of the world is taught by the doctrine of Christianity; the principle which Mahatma Gandhi actually carried into practice before our own eyes, in liberating his own country, India, from foreign domination. It is a renunciation of force in pursuit of political aims except insofar as collective force, under control of the community – in this case, the world – is applied in an orderly way to prevent those who would destroy mankind from carrying out their evil purposes.

National sovereignty run amuck is a principal force blocking the development of such a community. Vested interests, in the form of markets, bureaucratic positions, personal and group status and prestige, as well as plain ignorance, combined to distort, misinterpret, frustrate the efforts of those who believe that the free world must rapidly, while it has a chance left, move to develop a world order based on law and democratic process that will curb the Hitlers and Stalins, and others much nearer home, but who here shall remain nameless, who would fasten upon mankind the terrible destructiveness of its own inventions. It is these who regard anyone advocating world order under law as being destructive of the status quo, and they are right. But a great prophet once remarked that “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Vision and action are needed urgently now before inevitable conflict under the present system may well cause us all to perish. I personally prefer one world to none.


This last item is one that every person in Washington County should have in his consciousness and on his conscience. On April 30, a citizen of this community was murdered in cold blood, premeditatedly. It was almost a month before the first arrest was made in the case. Another arrest was made a week ago. Within this past week, an almost unbelievable series of events have occurred.

Two independent investigators employed by the county have withdrawn from the case, stating as their reason that they did not have cooperation from the chief law enforcement official of the county, an elected official. One report has them stating that he actually impeded the investigation.

To further compound the confusion, a legal firm, one of the best-known in the region, that had been hired by the father of the murdered man to aid the prosecution, withdrew from the case, giving as its reason that it could not get the cooperation rightly expected from the chief legal officer of the county, also an elected official.

To add a touch of something or other to an already chaotic situation, one of the accused has employed the services of a much-advertised attorney to conduct her defense.

In lengthy statements that, to this reporter at least, confuse rather than clarified the basic questions, both sheriff and attorney general avowed their earnest desire to see justice done, the latter saying that he was requesting a special prosecutor from the state capital to conduct the prosecution.

All of these things have left the public disturbed, confused, disgusted. The blood of Everett Jenkins cries aloud and loudly, not for vengeance, but for simple justice. Those to whom the people of this county have entrusted enforcement of the law have failed, either in procedure or purpose, to function effectively, or this sorry mess of affairs would not have developed. The public has a right to a simple and unequivocal answer to the sheriff’s own question when he heard the second arrest had been made: “What’s going on here?”