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August 05, 1967 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1967-08-05

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Seventy-Sixth Year

City Clergy: Ministering to Military Minds


.:-- - -t

*e Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
ruth Will Prevail?

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.





Johnson and the Congress:
Typical Short-Sightedness

appalling short-sightedness in deal-
ing with the immense problems that are
confronting our cities.
Despite Vice-President Humphrey's plea
Wednesday night for a massive domestic
Marshall Plan, President Johnson has
since asked for a tax hike to continue
the troop buildup in Vietnam.
Johnson's request for a 10 per cent sur-
charge tax is based on dubious economic
grounds at best, and is merely a politi-
cal devise designed to cover up, by elec-
tion time, an impending $20 billion defi-
cit. But beyond this, the decision to send
an additional 45,000 combat troops to
Vietnam must be viewed with dismay and
Even as our cities burn, escalation con-
tinues. This would, by simple arithmetic,
preclude tan extensive program oriented
towards alleviating the crises in our urban
areas. The crash program to help deprived
residents cannot be successfully imple-
mented as long as the war rages; the
President's reassurances notwithstand-
ing. The cost estimates of urban re-
building range from $100 billion upward
over a number of years, and would be

prohibitive coupled with current Vietnam
expenses of some $30 billion annually.
NO ONE CONTENDS that immediate fi-
nancial aid will bring immediate re-
sults: a long haul must be expected.
Even so, the time to effectively begin is
Here Congress must accept its respon-
sibility and share the blame. The 90th
Congress, legislatively the worst in re-
cent years, in the last month alone has
voted down a rat-control bill that would
have provided badly needed assistance
in destroying pestilent rodents in the
ghetto and then proceeded to halve
Johnson's request for the Teacher Corps'
appropriation, despite the work it has al-
ready done in educating the poor in the
slums and in rurally depressed areas. In-
stead, it has busied itself with a riot-
control measure that would make it a
federal offense to cross state lines "to in-
cite a riot."
President Johnson and the Congress
are obviously more concerned with pre-
venting the death and destruction that
result from riots than in preventing the
death and destruction that result in

If you were an activist Christian
clergyman who was strongly op-
posed to the war in Vietnam, what
would you do if one of your
parishoners was Robert S. McNa-
mara? What if it were tactfully
indicated to you that the fat cats
in your flock would freeze their
purses if you continued screaming
about the war? How do you think
a "get out of Vietnam" sermon
would sound to two of the people
in your pews, each of whom was
listed among the top ten indi-
vidual contributors to the Gold-
water campaign? These are only
a few of the tricky problems that
many of the Ann Arbor clergy-
men have had to face in the last
two and a half years.
Reverend John Waser of the
First Presbyterian Church of Ann
Arbor has been dealing with the
problem in a most straightforward
fashion. Minister to R o b e r t
Strange McNamara for nearly a
decade, Rev. Waser saw only one
clear alternative to the dilemma.
"The military mind is evil and
despicable," said Waser, "but we
must still minister to the person
behind that mind." One of Ann
Arbor's more active critics of the
Johnson administration's war
policy, Waser has seen his great-
est challenge in attempting to
learn the Vietnam story in depth,
and in educating his parishoners,
particularly the youth segment.
"I SUPPOSE that the majority
of them are as opposed to the war
as I am," said Waser, "particular-
ly the teenagers. They haven't
had 'my country right of wrong'
stuff thrown at them as inten-
sively as have their parents, and

they can see the thing as a prob-
lem of personal involvement, not
just cocktail talk. In our Sunday
school classes, we've distributed
copies of Galbraith's "The Mod-
erate Solution" and have discussed
it at great length. Personally, I
think that he has a fine argument
there." When asked if he had
received much disapproval from
his congregation concerning his
actions, Waser replied, "Yes, to a
limited extent. On the whole,
though, most of the static has
been constructive criticism."
In May, theeGeneral Assembly
of the Presbyterian Church in the
United States issued a statement
which: 1) confirmed the morality
of dissent and; 2) declared the
expression of conscience, at what-
ever cost, to be a personal obli-
gation. When asked whether such
expression should pe made para-
mount to patriotism, Waser an-
swered with a definite and un-
qualified yes.
Not all clergymen are as for-
tunate as Rev. Waser in having
the support of both congregation,
and denomination behind such
personal convictions. Father Gor-
don Jones of St. Andrews Epis-
copal Church is included in this
less fortunate group. A member
of Clergy and Others Concerned
about Vietnam for the past two
and one-half years, Fr. Jones
has also spoken in behalf of In-
terfaith for Peace. His actions,
however, have not fallen upon the
receptive breast of his congrega-
tion. At first, Jones was bitter
about the cold shoulder and mus-
cle-around-tactics which his par-
ishoners used in their attempts
to curb his anti-war sermons and
public pronouncements. When one

speaks to Fr. Jones, one gains
the distinct impression that Jones
is a man who has learned his
Asked if he thought the oppo-
sition to his actions within St.
Andrews was based upon moral
conviction, Jones became most
reluctant to discuss the theology
of his congregation. Asked if he
thought that the opposition was
based upon the high economic
status of his church's member-
ship, Jones professed amazement.
"One would think that persons of
better educational andreconomic
backgrounds would form their
o p i n i o n s around analytical
thought. You tell me whether
'let's bomb the hell out of them'
is based upon an analysis of the
ceeded, Jones did not want to ap-
pear rude by calling an abrupt
halt, but he found his position be-
coming increasingly difficult as
his avenues of retreat were cut off.
It seemed as if Jones wanted to
say, "Look, what do you want me
to do? Do you want me to say that
they're all evil? Well, I can't. It's
not as easy as it sounds." When
asked whether or not he was con-
strained by any proclamation from
the denomination, Jones replied
that the Episcopal Church has not
taken any official stand on the
Vietnamese War.
This, Jones attributed to a lack
of certainty in weighing the moral
issues. When asked why he
thought other denominations had
been able to arrive at a moral
position on the war, Jones un-
ashamedly stated that he felt this
was due to a lack of reflective

abilities or powers within those
denominations. Perhaps this is
this case, or perhaps the Episcopal
Church's indecision is due to con-
siderations and pressures other
than theological.
One minister whose denomina-
tion has been profoundly influ-
enced by the activist movement is
Rev. Bartlett Beavin of the First
Methodist Church. Rev. Beavin
has been most outspoken in his
criticism of the war, as have most
Ann Arbor clergymen. Beavin es-
timates that about 90 per cent of
the city's clergy is against the war
effort. In his own case. Beavin's
activism is met with much discom-
fort by the members of his church.
"It's not much that they're polit-
ically pro-war," states Beavin,
"it's just that they feel that a
minister belongs within the four
walls of his church." Beavin was
most cordial and informative dur-
ing the thirty-minute interview,
but he asked that direct quotes at-
tributed to him be kept to a mini-
mum. It seems that the First
Methodist Church has hopes of
building a youth center on North
Campus and that the word has
politely filtered back to Rev. Bea-
vin that funds for the center
would not be forthcoming as long
as he continued with his dovish
public statements. Purse-string
pressure is not something that is
new to a practicing minister. It
has accompanied a myriad of is-
sues, both theological and polit-
ical. The war in Vietnam has now
reached the state of maturity that
it, too, has become the subject of
religious clout.
the First Baptist Church of Ann
Arbor is one clergyman upon
whom the Vietnamese war has had
a profound effect. As a member on
active duty in the armed forces
during World War II, Rev. Middle-
ton participated with full convic-
tion in the war effort. The present
conflict, Middleton claims, has
turned him into a thorough paci-
fist within the last three and one-
half years. "In the nuclear world,
war has become a totally obsolete
process, Middleton claims. "I
think that the shock of the Sec-
ond World War was not fully un-
derstood. It was not really ex-
plained to the country. Instead of
viewing the fight as a war against
fascism and inhumanity, it be-
came a thing of getting 'that
damned Hun' or that 'dirty yellow
bastard.' People did not really
learn from the war. It was just an
unpleasant shock which no one
thought would come again - at
least not to them."
Apparently, Middleton is one
who does think that it can come
again. Within the last six months
he has delivered at least five ser-
mons berating the Vietnamese
War. This has met with not a
slight amount of displeasure
among the First Baptist's mem-
bers. Mostly, Middleton claims,
this has taken the form of polite
rebuttal and expression of the

sentiment that a minister can ex-
press political feelings outside the
church but not from the pulpit.
Middleton. who traveled to Wash-
ington this past January, has
vented a considerable share of out-
side expression.
Fr. M. Jackson. parish priest at
St. Thomas Catholic Church has
also traveled to Washington in
protest of American involvement
in vietnam. He has been a sup-
porter of the Vietnam Summer ef-
fort and sees his role as priest as
one of educating his flock on the
subject of the war in vietnam and
of war in general.
Fr. Jackson feels that the role
of the priest in the pulpit is lim-
ited with regard to political ex-
pression. "The days of Fr. Cough-
lin are over for Michigan Cath-
olics," Jackson states. "I see the
war as a rejection of the most
basic of our Christian principles.
I'vs even had some people defend
the war to me on the basis that
the war is a defense of the west-
ern religious interaction principle
against the unity principle of the
Oriental mystic. If we have to re-
sort to war to defend the idea
and not the institution of Western
religion, then Western religion has
been entirely wrong. We might as
well use drugs to achieve the
Oriental mystic's unity with the
environment and forget about
going out. into the world, inter-
acting, and working for change.
The war alternative would make
us all nihilists. Life would have no
purpose, goodness, or scrutability."
IT WOULD BE a mistake to
conclude that all Ann Arbor
clergymen are opposed to the con-
flict in Vietnam. Rev. Armin Bizer
of the Bethlehem United Church
of Christ has delivered several
sermons which have touched
rather tangentially on the subject
of Vietnam, but the attitude has
been one of general condemnation
of war as a human effort. Per-
sonally, Rev. Bizer feels very un-
sure, confused, and trouble about
the war. He has not participated
in any outside action and educa-
tion groups, nor has he sought to
touch directly upon the war from
the pulpit. "Perhaps it was a mis-
take to become involved there in
the first place, but now that we
are there, we just can't pull out."
Bizer said. "I really don't think
that the other side is as anxious
to come to negotiations as many
doves would like to believe. Of
course, our membership ranges
from the John Birch Society to the
liberal element, so I get flack from
both ends for my views. I just
don't feel that it's the position of
the minister to get involved in
something like this."
Once again; we can pose the
question: what would you do if you
were a Christian clergyman who
was opposed to the Vietnam war
and Robert McNamara were one
of your parishoners? One senior
iminister after a long moment's re-
flection, replied, "That's easy.
Don't be a Christian clergyman."


Legislative Interferences?

MICHIGAN'S 1963 constitution makes
very clear provision for the contin-
ued autonomy of the governing boards
of state supported universities in control-
ling the operation of their respective in-
stitutions-a tradition dating back to the
founding of the University in 1837.
The reasoning behind the constitu-
tion's commitment to autonomous univer-
sity governing boards was that an in-
tensely political and often provincial
body such as the state Legislature was
thought incapable of making sophisticat-
ed decisions on educational policy. "Gen-
eral supervision" and "control and direc-
tion of all expenditures" is explicitly as-
signed to the respective governing boards.
However, both Republicans and Demo-
crats alike in the 1967 session of the Leg-
islature are either unaware of the con-
stitutional protections of the state uni-
versities or in their quest for tighter con-
trol of state higher education just
couldn't care less.
The most recent victim of legislative
meddling is Michigan State University.
To meet pressing financial needs, MSU
trustees adopted an ability-to-pay tuition
plan of questionable value for in-state
students. The Republican majority in

the Legislature, aroused over this attempt
by MSU's five Democratic trustees to
make the present system of tuition more
equitable, passed a resolution condemn-
ing the trustees for voting for a system
which they termed "unique, unworkable
and undoubtedly constitutionally ques-
MSU TRUSTEES can only be lauded for
their experimentation, even though a
number of problems with the plan still
must be ironed out belfore it can be suc-
cessfully implemented. However, the reso-
lution passed. Even more menacing is
that a Republican floor leader has threat-
ened retaliation in appropriating funds
for next year because of the plan.
Appropriations is the sole means of con-
trol the Legislature has. Unfortunately,
through intimidation of this kind it can
exercise a degree of control, constitutional
as it may be.
The MSU trustees should not bow to
pressure and threats of a Legislature
which has shown itself unable to handle
budgetary questions reasonably, or its
constitutional responsibility, let alone ed-
ucational policies.


The Problem of Identity


FEW PEOPLE seem to recognize that the
United States has become embroiled
in the internal affairs of more nations
than one. Although the focus of Ameri-
ca's foreign policy has been oriented to-
wards Vietnam, we are finding ourselves
more and more entangled in our attempts
to maintain the status quo all around the
There are over 35,000 U.S. troops sta-
tioned in Northeast Thailand. Invited in
by the current ruling military junta,
our forces are working to suppress peas-
ant rebellion in that nation as well as
utilizing its geographical advantages as a
base for the bombing of North Vietnam.
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service.
Summer subscription rate: $2.00 per term by carrier
($2.50 by mail); $4.00 for entire summer ($4.50 by
Daily except Monday during regular academic school
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
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Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan,
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.
Summer Editorial Staff
LAURENCE MEDOW ..................... Co-Editor
STEPHEN FIRSHEIN...................Co-Editor

In both Bolivia and Peru, our diplo-
mats are securing quasi-military govern-
ments by arranging for the sale of na-
palm to them. Napalm has proved to be,
in this case, an extremely effective meth-
od of quashing dissent in the "backward"
villages of the Andes Mountains.
Last month the United States even al-
lowed herself to become involved in the
present internal strife in the Congo by
flying three C-130 transport planes to
the aid of General Mobutu, the chief of
state. Two planes are still there and are
actively airlifting troops to quell the re-
IT APPEARS THAT the United States
sees her involvement in the totally in-
ternal affairs of so many other nations
as a reflection of her self-appointed po-
sition as policeman for the world; to the
administration it is only a game with the
little people playing 'the role of toy sol-
dier all around the globe.
Any nation must, however, work under
the principles of self-determination to
be a nation in the true sense of the
word. If it is not given the opportunity to
form its own life-style it cannot, in real-
ity, be more than a puppet in the com-
plex maze of power politics.
The right of a nation to determine its
own purpose and goals is, then, the most

Kerr on Students and Politics

The following is excerpted
from an address by Clark Kerr,
former president of the Univer-
sity of California, which was
given at a conference on "Stu-
dents and Politics" at San Juan,
Puerto Rico, March 27-31, 1967.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CPS)
-A spectre is haunting America
-the spectre of students. For the
first time in the history of the
United States, university students
have become a source of interest
for 'all the nation; a source of
concern for much of the nation;
and a source of fear for some of
the nation. This is a phenomenon
unique to the decade of the
The immensity of the change
is spectacularly highlighted by
the contrast with the decade of
the 1950's. The complaint then
was about the silent or apathetic
generation, the generation of pre-
organization men. The only prior
decade which had given warning
of the shape of things to come
mxAe +he 190M's.TBut then students

ters" of off-campus movements,
the center of activity was on the
campus itself. This is new.
It is new, but is it also signifi-
ficant for the unfolding history of
the United States? Does it por-
tend a new era with a new class
struggling successfully for power;
a new and potent force trying to
re-arrange events closer to its
heart's desire?
Youth reflects its society, but
often in an exaggerated fashion.
It magnifies and to some extent
distorts the current characteris-
tics of its society. It may, also,
at times be more sensitive to new
developments, and thus the new
developments may first be seen-
dramatically through the actions
of youth. This power to magnify
and this power to respond quick-
ly makes the study of youth an
especially rewarding one, for
through youth some aspects of
the nature of a society can be
understood more fully and more
quickly; but one must be wary of
the distortions also. To lose con-
tact with the mind of youth, how-
ever, is to lose contact witi a
,,,.F - -tn l -wnra i -r n nan o

tremism" of the Right and of the
Left became more prevalent in
the 1960's, so did it also with
youth-only more so. Each time
the movement of youth was in a
direction in which the nation, or
some influential part of it, was
going. Youth was America writ
large-written large and often in
a hasty scrawl. To understand
youth, it is necessary to under-
stand the nation. To understand
the nation, it is helpful to under-
stand youth.
Youth can be troublesome to
the status quo when a nation is
in a "time of troubles." A nation
is in trouble in a period of change,
and particularly violent change.
The only time that youth is revc-
lutionary is in a revolutionary
situation and period. Youth may
be inherently restless but it is not
inherently revolutionary. It has
a revolutionary inclination only
when revolution looms.
In the United States, in the
past few years, students have par-
ticipated in central concerns of
national life, such as the Civil
Rights movement and the debate
-a rma.,nn minnlvman a + nt

Profile of Courage
InSouth Vietnam'
A few weeks ago I asked a Vietnamese who just arrived in Wash-
ington, D.C., on an "official business trip" his opinion on the coming
September 3 Presidential elections in South Vietnam.
"It's like a bad detective story. Everybody knows right from
the start who is going to get killed," he said. "And you should know
who's going to win," he added.
"Sure, I know, who is going to get elected, but frankly I do
not know who's going to get killed," I said.
"Under the present circumstances in the police state of SoutU
Vietnam," my compatriot said, "these will be killed with thn
elections: freedom, political decency, peace and Au Truong Thanh."
"Why Au Thruong Thanh?" I asked.
"He is going to run for President, and already General Loan
is sending his henchmen after him."
AT 42, AU TRUONG THANH is a significant and controversial
figure in South Vietnamese politics. Educated in Paris (Ph.D. eco-
nomics), born in a wealthy family in the South, he was jailed during
the regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem. Since 1964, he has been -a
cabinet minister under three governments. General Nguyen Cao Ky,
the present Prime Minister, appointed him Minister of Economy three
times; he resigned late last year and is now teaching at the Saigon
University. He is a significant political figure because he has been
deeply committed to peace through negotiations while being part of
regimes which have made war the business of the day. He is contro-
versial because he has remained uncorrupted while serving under
corrupt regimes; he is popular with the intellectuals and students in
South Vietnam; he is equally at ease with U.S. intellectuals. "He would
have joined Americans for Democratic Action had he been an American
citizen," a friend of mine who met him last year commented.
On July 3, Mr. Thanh called on the Constituent Assembly to re-
move General Nguyen Van Thieu, Chief of State, and his running
mate, General Nguyen Cao Ky, Prime Minister, from the ticket "be-
cause government employes and military men are required (by elec-
toral law) to take leave without pay when they run for elections." He
also declared that "Vietnam has two choices: either we can achieve
peace or our country can be destroyed. The people should be permitted
to make that decision. The junta, represented by Thieu and Ky offers
a platform of more war. We offer a platform of peace." Mr. Thanh
also believes that "if, a peace ticket were elected, the Johnson Admin-
istration would be given a new mandate to enter into negotiations for
an end to the war."
SUCH PLATFORM AND such statements are making Au Truong
Truong Thanh the enemy of the military junta and the friend of the
Vietnames neonle who are demanding an end to the monstruous war



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