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The Mail


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Mr. Michael W. Schwartz has provided us with an engaging article on the colorful and confused state of Arkansas politics. He has shown that Gov. Faubus' success was not without good reason that he possesses a true political genius notwithstanding the fact that one would not wish one's sister to marry the gentleman. If Mr. Schwartz is to continue his perspicacious analysis of the problems of the South, however, it is to be hoped that he will strengthen his presentation by a more judicious appraisal of the validity of the assertions which he makes concerning religious bodies in the South.

For example, even a cursory examination of American Church History would reveal that the Church of Christ is not "a dissident Baptist sect." But this is a small matter. More serious is the generalization that members of the Baptist church and the Church of Christ are "conservative and segregationist wherever they are found."

It is certainly true that an unfortunate percentage of the 11 million members of these churches are segregationist, but this, happily, is not the whole picture. Seven of the thirteen colleges supported by members of the Church of Christ are already integrated, at least to some extent, and integration is inevitable for most of the others. In fact, a recent poll at Harding College indicated that over 85 per cent of students and faculty favored integration. In all fairness, it must be admitted that this poll was censured by George Benson, president of the college and opponent of Senator Fulbright. But to identify the social and political policy of an entire church with that of one of its more prominent members seems only comparatively less accurate than to accuse all Roman Catholics of bigotry because of the actions of a Leander Perez or a Mrs. Gaillot.

Mr. Schwarts' reference to General Walker would imply an awareness, not wholly supported by his article, of the dubious value of such statements. Contrary to the picture which he presents, there is a fast-growing number of the members of these churches who are becoming "enlightened by the standards of the North," where all is purity and goodness, and who may soon even favor such radical measures as fluoridation. William C. Martin,   Harold O. Forshey,   Harvard Divinity School.

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