My Reply To Those Who Responded
The reaction to the article I wrote on the Race Problem in America has been by no means unexpected by me, but the character of this response, in the main, has been rather disappointing. Appearing at the time of the first section of it was an editorial notice, the spirit of which was fine, but the content was largely unresponsive to what I had written. I gave no indication of concern about the racial differences in the physical areas, the structure of the hip-joints, the color of the skin, the straightness or kinkiness of the hair, or any matter of that sort. However, the physical differences between the Caucasian and Negro races are so pronounced to render each, I think, unappealing in physical attraction to the other, and thus such should be a firm barrier to intermarriage. But such isn't true, however much it appears to me that it should be.
The editor says: "In God's church, in the United States of America, and in the heart of every true Christian there should not be the least hint of feeling or teaching that one race is superior to another unless one defines the area in which the superiority is supposed to exist." He further affirms: "Naive and doctrinaire insistence on the equality of the races has led politicians, clergyman and sob sisters to propel the negro into a position which will make him the perpetual loser. In many areas he is the white man's equal, in some his superior. In other areas (whether from his long racial history of deprivation and servitude, or whether from ethnic and inherent ineptitudes we do not say) he simply cannot compete with the whites. And it is cruel and vicious to try to make him do so." This last statement yields to the construction that he regards the negro as in some areas the inferior, and even cruel to endeavor to make him the equal of the white man. Hence, he, according to his own rule, should not have even hinted as much except he clearly defined the particulars wherein this inequality resides! This he has not done.
But brother Diestelkamp has acclaimed it a masterpiece, notwithstanding the fact it sets forth the persuasion that the races are unequal. And yet his response to my article is one of severe opposition. Truly, wonders never cease!
But brother Tant gives us one specific area wherein there may evolve and be demonstrated the superiority of the negro, and that in the field of religion. This observation is founded on the thoughts expressed by the late brother H. Leo Boles as suggested by the emotional nature of the negro. It has never been my persuasion that Christianity has been founded and perpetuated on an emotional base, but rather resting on a rational one. To ever elevate the feelings or emotions of anyone above the enlightening and elevating of the intellect, as an instrumentality in the propagation and advancement of Christianity is but to abase the sublime teaching of Christ. The whole spectacle of tongue speaking and Holy Spirit baptism which has intruded into the ranks of the church today, counting Pat Boone as its outstanding convert, is a reflection of the inversion of the proper order of the mental and emotional powers in relation to the truth of the gospel. I have no inclination to deify the human intellect, but, nevertheless, regard the scriptures as being addressed to the reason of man. True, there is a just and vital peace for the employment of the emotional faculties of man in Christianity, both in becoming a Christian and in living as one, but only in an impelling sense, and never in a directing sense.
Brother Diestelkamp treats us to his reaction under a seven point arrangement. In the first he waves aside all that I cited from Lincoln, Clay and Campbell by an avowed disinclination to discuss this material from the mid-19th century heroes. This disposition of their sayings was justified on the grounds that we today understand the opportunities for true equality better than they, and their concept of race relations cannot suffice for the many enlightened people of our time! My, how we have advanced! I suppose these "heroes" were just too benighted for our brother to regard them as competent witnesses. This is rather amusing in view of all he says until the final paragraph being "vain arguing," and that the Word of God settles it. Too bad Campbell didn't have God's Word to govern him in the formation of his concepts of race relations!!!
The good brother seems strongly anxious to deliver God from all responsibility for the existence of the different races. I know we have these races today, and between the position that God made them, and thus differently in some respects, and his position that climatic conditions and the process of natural selection in breeding being the explanation for the different races, the first must be true for the simple reason the second must be false. When there was but one race, where was there found others to select in the breeding process to create another race? He may visualize a Holstein herd becoming a Hereford herd within a few years without any contact with members of the Hereford family, but I cannot. In fact, I have had a herd of black Angus for several years, and the only white face calf I ever had resulted from one of the cows becoming acquainted with the Hereford bull of a neighbor. Too, if the Holstein herd can become a Hereford herd in only a few years, isn't it amazing that he wants thousands of years to effect the change in the color of races!
His citation of the passage affirming God made on one blood all nations, or as the Living Oracles gives it, "and he has made of one blood the whole race of men, to inhabit all the face of the earth — " has no bearing on the fact of racial differences. The blood and the genes are not the same, and the latter affects the peculiar and distinctive qualities of the individual both physically and intellectually. It is genetics and not climate that causes one person to be black and another to be white. What about the Eskimos? According to him they should be milk white, but, it is my understanding they are of a darker complexion than the Caucasian.
But since I injected nothing in my article on the difference of the races in that area which these brethren have, their references to such have not been responsive to my position. It is in the area of intellectual and moral differences that I have been and am concerned. These areas have a bearing on the social relations of persons, and thus the whole issue is essentially a social one. Office-seekers have made it a political one, and the clergy are making it a religious one. In its very nature it is the first, improperly the second, and utterly false the third.
This latter is the very ground which our brother says it rests on, inasmuch as he says God's Word settles it. Very well, if so, then true it is that all else is vain arguing. Hence, I cannot but wonder why he composed a piece six-sevenths of which was confessedly vain, when with the closing paragraph he settles in such summary fashion the whole issue. Of course, he did advert to three passages which he affirms settles the matter. First, Ephesians 2:14 is given, the design being by simply referring to it to establish the contention that he is devoted to; namely, the equality and integration of the races. Neither this scripture nor the others are identifiable with this subject. Gal. 3:28 is to the same effect, but more fully expressive than the one he cites. What does it teach, and what error was it designed to refute? The whole letter is directed against Gentiles being under the necessity of becoming, in effect, Jews in order to be Christians. Conversion to Christ does not embody the conversion of all races into one, nor even the acceptance of the mores of other ethnic groups. The whole statement simply affirms that as touching the provisions and terms of salvation God has made the one and imposed the other on all alike.
The reference to the injunction to love one another (Rom. 13:8) and the narrative of the good Samaritan were given in support of his position, and thus in refutation of mine. But I confess my complete inability to find anything in these scriptures as bearing on the subject at all. To me it is as dangerous to see what isn't in a scripture as to fail to see what is in it. Of course, in the account of Luke 10:30-37 the priest and Levite were Jews, and presumably also the victim of the thieves. However, the Samaritan was of a mongrel people, and, therefore, if he wants to relate this narrative to the race question, it would suggest that a person of a mixed background was better than one whose forbears were all of one race. Hence, from that point of view racial integration and racial intermarriage would find support for their advocacy from this. However, I do not think such was his intention in citing it; rather he cited it in support of what it means to love one's neighbor. Of course it teaches this, but what does such have to do with racial integration? Of course, if he intends to make the injunction to love your neighbor teach racial equality, then, to do so it must teach that we love everyone equally! That God loves all men supremely, as attested by the fact that Christ died for all, is true; but God is infinite, and we are not. I do not love any other as I love my wife and children, and I don't think he does either. Then, if the matter of love is unequal as touching its objects in our hearts, why seek to enlist the principle of love in support of racial equality? Such, however, was his effort, but to me wholly an abortive one. I recall this law of love" was utilized to support the brotherhood programs of sponsoring operations a few years ago, and they who did so were no farther afield than this present attempt is.
My attitude to "let them alone" was expressed as relating to the efforts of forced integration, and was not by any means designed to minimize or negate the fitness of a concern for and assistance in furthering the spiritual redemption of the lost of any race. He should strive a little more to handling aright the words of others, as doubtless he professes to do regarding the scriptures. My whole article was designed to disassociate the race question and its problems from the sphere of religion, for I regard every effort to sustain the present course of history by an appeal to them to be a prostitution of the Word of God. It is rather strange to me that a movement born of foreign political influences, aided and abetted by an intelligentsia of atheistic leanings should be found in such correspondence with the word of God! Too, if racial integration be contended for on the supposed equality of the races, and the scriptures teach the latter, then why doesn't brother Diestelkamp, and others likeminded do something about the de facto segregation in the North? It seems those of that section think that integration is imperatively right for the South, but not so for them.
Notwithstanding the decided difference of views between him and me, I shall not charge him with either sitting in an ivory tower, or bedecking himself in a veneer of hypocrisy, either thin or thick. I grant his sincerity, but dissent from both his reasoning and conclusions.
Rt. 3, Longview, Texas 75604