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August 14, 1963 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1963-08-14

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Seventy-T hird Year
'Truth Will Prevail"_
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

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, AUGUST 14, 1963


Catholic Dissenters Question
Failing Birth Control Dogma

E VERY SO often, a group of people discoverE
that tradition is beginning to fail them.
They find that their ways of thinking or acting
somehow have gotten out of tune with, their
basic needs and aspirations.
To resolve such a dilemma, they turn to a
problem-solving process. Prof. Robert C. Angell
of the sociology department suggests that there
are six steps in this process: 1) detection, the
realization that there is a problem; 2) com-
munication, bringing widespread recognition of
it; 3) analysis of the problem; 4) proposal and
essay, by which solutions are suggested and
tried; 5) evaluation of the various proposals,
and finally 6) consensus, the achievement of
substantjal agreement on the new solution.
The Roman Catholic Church faces such a
moral crisis with its position on birth control,
and there is considerable evidence that the
problem-solving process is getting underway.
THE DETECTION function is already well
along. Only a few years ago, scarcely a
Catholic could be found who would even admit
that the "population explosion" presented any
problem, either to the individual family or to
the world. Then, as the evidence became harder

YM :

MAKE NO MISTAKE about it, lobbying is
big business. For a group of well-trained,
efficient Individuals to be able to convince a
seasoned congressman of the validity of their
position is not always easy, as the lobbyists
themselves would surely be the first to admit.
Yet lobbyists have aided in the passing of much
valuable legislation, so that it is regrettable
when such examples as the recent Portuguese
lobbying campaign crop up to sullythe name
of lobbyists in general.
The case in point concerns a vast $500,000-
a-year campaign in which a group of indus-
trialists speaking for the Portuguese govern-
met pulled a fantastic snow job on many con-
gressmen to counteract the bad publicity they
felt the press was giving them over the con-
troversial tactics Portugal was employing in
its Angola colony. The Portuguese representa-
tives hired a public relations firm. and estab-
lished the "Portuguese-American Committee on
Foreign Affairs" as a front for their activities.
After the public relations men hd come up
with speeches plugging the Portuguese govern-
ment, the lobbyists talked no less than House
Speaker John McCormack (D-Mass) and for-
rier Speaker Joseph W. Martin, Jr. (R-Mass)
into delivering them on the floor of the House.
LOBBYISTS even went so far as to
send ,similar speeches through the mail in
postage-free envelopes graciously furnished by
Rep. Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. ID-Mass) who
wept further and allowed his office. and staff
to be utilized for the Portuguese lobbyists'.
aims. None of the aforementioned gentlemen
frozm Massachusetts have publicly disclosed
rurther details of these transactions as yet,
which still leaves their actions open to close
public scrutiny and criticism. It would be rash
to assert that all three congressmen had know-
Ingly forsaken their major duty-representa-
glon of their country-for what might have
been more lucrative dealings with a foreign
government even though they have not as yet
denied such a charge. But if they are given
the benefit of the doubt, one must then come
to the conclusion that said congressmen did
what they did out of sheer stupidity. Neither
conclusion is a pleasant one.
Senator J. William Fulbright (D-Ark), chair-
man of the Senate Foreign Relations Commit-
ee, the body responsible for exposing the
lobbyists' activities on Capital Hill, has called
for revising the foreign agents registration act
to make it mandatory for foreign lobbyists to
provide a more complete picture of their ac-
S IS A GOOD START, but it attacks the
conflict-of-interests problem from only one
angle, that of the lobbyist. Yet the lobbyists
annot be' expected to carry the full onus of
their actions; they are, after all, merely carry-
ng out instructions from back home. Instead,
he full spotlight should be focused on the
ongressmen involved. Whether the legislators
acted as they did through lack of information
about the true nature of the speeches they
were talked into delivering or through an ac-
ual desire to aid a foreign country's pro-
aganda machine before their own consti-
,uents they should not escape investigation.
Mhe public has a right to know the reasons
behind such questionable actions on the part
of their elected representatives in Congress.

to deny, some began to acknowledge the prob-
lem's existence, but with assurances that it
was only temporary, or could be solved by
growing more food or migration or some other
means-anything but birth control.
The full recognition of the grim future we
may be breeding ourselves into is exemplified
by the widely-publicized writings of Catholic
gynecologist Dr. John Rock, calling for the
Church to acknowledge the need eventually to
cut the birth rate. Dr. Rock is not alone. Other
Catholics have spoken out even more strongly,
and a center for population and birth control
research now operates at Catholic Georgetown
THE COMMUNICATION function, then, is
already underway. Discussions of population
and birth control, formerly almost taboo, are
becoming more frequent and frank. In many
places the people are ahead of their leaders.,
In Puerto Rico, not only have Catholics openly
defied the Church by using contraceptives and
even sterilization (with the co-operation of
Catholic doctors), but have even turned to
picketing to protest the Church doctrine.
The communication process is by no means
complete. Many Catholic leaders still insist
there is no population problem, and proclaim
the absolute duty and virtue of bearing large
numbers of children. Some still even condemn
the rhythm method, except for the most ex-
treme cases-even though Pope Pius XII sanc-
.tioned it for limiting births way back in 1951.
THE ANALYSIS function, because of the in-
tensified debate, is beginning to be carried
out. Projects such as the Georgetown center
are attacking the medical and social problems,
and the moral question will almost certainly be
reconsidered at the next Ecumenical Council.
So far, the proposal function has been ful-
filled almost exclusively by non-Catholics. But
now that discussion by Catholics has been un-
leashed, we certainly can expect to hear sug-
gestions from them, both on modification of
Church dogma and on population problems in
general, within the ner future. The final step,
consensus, is probably, still a long way off.
OF COURSE, the fact of change does not, in
itself, consitute a moral argument. If, in
fact, the anti-contraceptive position is right, no
mass stampede away from it changes the fact
of its rightness. But the rising dissent-from
men with altruistic, not selfish, motives-indi-
cates that something is very wrong with the
Church's policy.
And thenew atmosphere of humanitarianism
and progress, the theme set by Pope John, will
not allow this dissent to be squelched, and will
make the formerly-sacred cow of birth control
dogma a subject for discussion and change.
Richard Cardinal Cushing was speaking in
general terms when he noted recently that
"we can imagine few illusions of more potential
danger to the Church than the notion that
what was successful at one moment in Church
history must be, for that reason, institutional-
ized in a permanent and unchanging fashion."
He was speaking of Church dogma in general-
but there is no aspect of it which needs this
kind of open-eyed, humanitarian reappraisal
more than the crucial subject of birth control.
ALL THAT Alabama's Governor George Wal-
lace has done in the past to make a
mockery of the government of the United States
of America seems like pretty pallid stuff when
compared with his latest move, standing
against the United States Supreme Court's re-
cent decision barring compulsory Bible reading
in the schools of the land. In an action which
can only 'be construed as outright defiance,
Wallace and his henchmen on Alabama's State
Board of Education put into effect a resolution
making the Bible a compulsory course of study
in Alabama. He even went so far as to vow that
he would go to any school and read the Bible
himself if the federal government dared to pro-
test such a challenge to their authority.
Wallace has probably won several friends for
such a policy from among the ranks of those
who are disgruntled about the Supreme Court's
decision. Perhaps his "image" will even be
boosted among such individuals to such an

extent that they will overlook the harm which
will surely accrue to that "image" across the
nation. For the majority of those who hear of
Wallace's stand will undoubtedly realize that
this is not a case of a citizen trying to defend
himself against the authority of big govern-
ment. Rather, it is a simple case of a typical
Southern demagogue making a laughing stock
of both himself and his "sovereign state" by
defying the law of the land. Wallace's earlier
stand before the door of the University of
Alabama, in a futile attempt to block that
school's integragtion, showed the country the
true nature of the character of this demagogue,
and his latest publicity play is the same old
story but with a new cast of characters.
If there is any possible merit in Wallace's

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T imon' Production
Imaginative, Uneven


STRATFORD, Ont.-The Strat-
ford company has again given
us a chance to see a Shakespear-
ean play that is seldom performed,
and has lavished on the produc-
tion of "Timon of Athens" its us-
ual quota of originality and imag-
When put beside this year's ex-
cellent "Troilus and Cressida,"
however, the Stratford production
of "Timon" exhibits a number of
disturbing flaws. The dramatic
certainty evidenced in even the
first five minutes of the former
play forces into relief a confusion
and ambiguity which seem appar-
ent in both the direction and the
performance of the latter. Al-
though the production is imagina-
tive, it is basically incoherent and
ultimately unsatisfactory.N
Part of the trouble is in the
play itself. "Timon of Athens" is
a curious work and one with many
flaws. Similar in some ways to
"Coriolanus" andpin others to
"King Lear," it possesses neither
the power nor the poetry of the
great tragedies. Timon is not a
man, but a type, a personification
first of generosity and then of
misanthropy. It is never quite
clear from the text whether we
are supposed to sympathize witn
his railings against humanity
when he suffers from ingratitude,
or to see in the play an aristotel-
ian condemnation of extremes. The
action of the latter half of the
play is sketchy, and the sub-plot--
the exile and revenge of Alcibiades
-poorly integrated into the whole.
tempt to gloss over the weak-
nesses of the play, the Stratford
company, it seems to me, has only
succeeded in underlining them.
Timon is a two-dimensional char-
acter whose suddent transforma-
tion from philanthrope to mis-
anthrope is convincing perhaps on
a symbolic, but certainly, not oan
a realistic level. The drama might
be successfully produced as a sort
of stylized morality play, but plac-
ing it in a modern setting (music
by Duke Ellington, atmosphere by
Profumo) and attempting to bring
it within the context of realism
simply emphasizes the lack of di-
mension in the play and obscures
the peculiar simplicity of the plot.
The cocktail-party aura of
Athens, for instance, does not
adequately prepare us for Timon
in, a torn shirt discovering gold in
the woods (surely the most im-
plausible incident in the Shake-
spearean canon).
Even within Athens, ambiguity
persists. Timon is played with an
eye to psychological plausibility:
when his guests leave, his face
relaxes into a frown, his denials of
counsel and outbursts to his stew-
ard are almost maniacal, and his
tfinal lapse into bitterness con-

Focus on International Issues

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The second of
two articles on the National Stu-
dent Congress deals with the Issues
expected to arise there.)
Daily Guest Writer
N TURNING to the issues that
will be likely to arise at the
National Student Congress, some
of them are very easy to predict.
The hottestnand most contro-
versial issue in'the international
sphere-and of the whole congress
-will almost certainly be Cuba.
The Russian missiles and the
United States quarantine will
stimulate the most dramatic de-
bates and bitter controversies. It
is more risky to try and predict
what the final outcome of these
debates will be. I would guess that
there will be a lengthy and in-
voluted motion that condemns
Castro asma totalitarian dictator,
condemns the Soviet Union for its.
war-like attitude. by its placement
of rockets on Cuba, and will be
totally confused when it tries to
assess the action of the United
Another issue, less dramatic but
more important, will be the pros-
pects for future USNSA support
for the International Student Con-
ference. This will probably pass
and re-affirm USNSA's support for
this institution but will still re-
main clouded and practical effects
of this debate will only be resolv-
ed with the passage of time.
LEST IT SOUND too discourag-
ing, I feel there will be a program
directive for the national staff
to pursue & vigorous campaign for
greater student tax exemptions.
Further emphasis will be placed
on the need for support for stu-
dents working for integration and
voter registration' in the South.
Civil rights as they affect stu-
dents at Northern universities will
also be an issue, though probably
one of high consensus.
Federal aid to education will
be discussed and the position will
be one of favoring it as necessary

for the continued development of
the educational, system, with res-
ervations about the government'
attaching conditions to the money.
There may be a split on the ques-
tion of aid to parochial schools
which could be quite bitter.
In the field of civil liberties,
there might very well be a motion
concerning the politically motivat-
ed firings of university personnel
such as the incident of Prof. Sam-
uel Shapiro at MSU-Oakland.
* * .
THERE WILL very possibly be
a statement on the Oxford riots
that surrounded the enrollment of
James Meredith at the University
of Mississippi. This would prob-
ably take the form of a near unan-
imous condemnation of Gov. Ross
Barnett of Mississippi, officials and
Theremight be a statement con-
cerning the relationship of edu-
cational institutions to their fi-
nancial patrons. This will not be
a bitterly fought issue but it will
be significant in directing the
thrust of USNSA programming for
the future.
In the area of constitutional
amendments and p r o c e d u r a l
changes, there will probably be an
adoption of a limitation of the
amount of legislation that a con-
gress may consider and--odd but
true-a motion sponsored by the
National Executive Committee to
reduce the powers of the National
Executive Committee. Some other
topics that will come up will be
the present Regional structure to
a basis of fewer Regions with larg-
er areas and membership.
There will also be discussion of
the possibility of involving the
student =governments and the
member schools more directly in
the legislative process. These lat-
ter two will be discussed but I
doubt if anything concrete will be
done on them for the next two
years. These would be major struc-
tural changes which would have
to be considered carefully and,
there ought to be discussion on

the member campuses before any
change that drastic was made.
In closing, I hope that my spec-
ulations have not been overly ted-
ious to the reader. Their purpose
is to raise questions and to stim-
ulate thinking on these subjects. I
hope that this will encourage mem-
bers of the student body to press
the University delegates about
their activities at the congress
this summer when they return in
the fall. These are your delegates,
going on your money. If they fail
in their obligation to be active and,
intelligentparticipants at the con-
gress it is you who are the losers.

European Politics Hits Test B

THE REACTION in Bonn to the
test ban treaty is a reminder
on two points that are easily for-
gotten. First, the thorny question
of the succession to Chancellor
Konrad Adenauer is not through-
ly settled. Second, President John
F. Kennedy did not reach a firm
understanding with Bonn on Ger-
man - American policy because,
when he was in Germany recently.
the Bonn government was deeply
When the first news came from
Moscow that an agreement would
be reached, the West German for-
eign minister, Gerhard Shroeder,
welcomed it cordially and an-
nounced, so it was thought, Bonn's
prompt adherence to the treaty.
In doing this, Shroeder was
speaking for the post-Adenauer
German leaders. But, when Gen-
eral Charles de Gaulle decided
that France would abstain, Ade-
nauer and the old guard among
the Christian Democrats took
steps to overrule the foreign min-
ister. Since Adenauer is still the
chancellor, he is able to redirect

West German policy away from
the Atlantic partnership and along
a line which, while not identical
with de Gaulle's, is parallel to it.
Adenauer will use what political
influence he can exercise in the
United States to exact a'political
price before the treaty is ratified.
*.* *
ONLY ON THE surface is Ade-
nauer's maneuver concerned with
the nit-picking dilemma: if East
Germany adheres to a treaty, is
the partition of Germany recog-
nized in international life?
The East German government
has adhered, so I have been told,
to about 11 international conven-
tions, and that fact has not al-
tered thesituation. East Germany
is not recognized by the three
principal allied powers - France,
Britain and the United States -
which have authority in regard to
the solution of the German ques-
tion. The President of the United
States has, moreover, declared
publicly that East Germany's ad-
herence to this treaty will not
bring-United States' recognition.


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