One of the things that is very easy to forget, overlook, or evade seeing, is the fact that most religions have more similarities than they do differences, yet we are prone to emphasize those differences, and even quarrel over them. Consider the following:
Christianity says “All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.”
Buddhism says “Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”
Confucianism says “Do not unto others what you would not they should do unto you.”
Hebraism says “What is hurtful to yourself do not to your fellowmen. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.”
Hinduism says “This issue sum of duty: do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain.”
Islam says “No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
Taoism says “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and regard your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.”
Zoroastrianism says “That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for it’s own self.”
Why not think over these things as you feel an urge to consider a religion different from your own as being inferior?
A congressman has proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. reading as follows:
“Resolved that the following article is hereby proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by conventions in three fourths of the several states: Article I, Section 1. “This nation devoutly recognizes the authority and law of Jesus Christ, savior and rule of nations, through whom we are bestowed the blessings of almighty God.”
If adopted this would mean a person could not take a loyalty oath without assenting to a credo that reads like something out of one of Billy Graham’s sermons, or one of the columns of Norman Vincent Peale. Of course, if these two are favorites of yours, you have every right to disagree with this reporter, and he respects that right.
George Washington said, “Precedents are dangerous things. Let the reins of government then be braced and held with a steady hand and every violation of the Constitution be reprehended. If defective, let it be amended but not suffered to be trampled whilst it has an existence.” This short paragraph is recommended reading for the juvenile senator from Wisconsin, who is a Republican; for Senator Eastland, who is a Democrat; and for Rep. Francis Walter, who is of the same political complexion. What about construing the invocation of the Fifth Amendment as an admission of guilt? The framers never so intended.
A very heartening demonstration of adherence to American principles of freedom of speech occurred this past week at Princeton University. Alger Hiss, convicted perjurer, had been invited to speak to the American Whig-Cliosophic Society. Rumors were flying during the week that some of the trustees were insisting upon canceling the invitation, but the president of the university secretly refused to interfere. Thursday night, he spoke – his first public appearance since his release from about four years of prison. There were no demonstrations; he submitted to a question and answer period; and then slipped out of a back door to avoid a waiting crowd. It is hardly likely that he changed many things about the subject matter of his speech, but how much better is it that he was permitted to go ahead without fuss. This could have made him a martyr in the minds of extremists. Freedom of speech in our First Amendment means just what it says.
A report to Harvard University president, Nathan M. Pusey, by the preacher of Harvard University, George A. Buttrick, deals with the decline and upsweep of activity of religious activity and interest. Professor Buttrick does not believe there is a religious revival going on here in this country, revival in the older sense of the word. However, he is convinced that “There is here and elsewhere a revival of interest in religion. “That kind of revival,” he goes on, “if it should run down false trails could be a misfortune; it could lead to emotional escape” (and as an aside, it would appear that there is considerable evidence of this) “or a dubious ‘peace of mind,’ or even to the claim of divine sanction for buttressed systems of theology and entrenched prejudices within our common life. Conversely, this revival of interest could deliver us from arid … too cold rationalism into ventures of mind, a broader human concern, and a deeper reverence.”
One of the many facets of the problem of integration of the races in the South is that of competition between colored and white workers in industry. While some labor unions have become angered by integration and have threatened to secede, union leaders see little danger of mass secession. On the contrary, industry itself has taken the lead in integration. In the steel mills of Birmingham, e.g., the Negro worker, once relegated to menial jobs, is steadily if slowly moving across the color bar into skilled jobs and non-segregated union locals. In Memphis, the International Harvester Company, since its opening eight years ago, has steadily without fanfare and without serious incident been promoting Negroes into skilled jobs. And Georgia’s biggest employer, Lockheed, has been equally successful in assigning Negro workers to skilled assembly and fabrication jobs at its Marietta bomber plant. Even in Mississippi, where the governor vowed last year to preserve integration until “Hades freezes over,” many colored workers have been integrated without incident. So, if the Negro can be given economic opportunity and educational advantages on a basis equal to his white brothers, he will have achieved the most important of his objectives, and will go a long way on his own to raise his standards of living, become a better customer, parent, and citizen.