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and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one spirit to the Father."
Colossians 3:11: "Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised, and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in
Luke 13: 29: "Men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the Kingdom of God."
6. The Church is called and empowered by God to reconcile a divided humanity and to unite all people into the one family of God
John 10:16: "I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd."
John 17: 20-22: "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who are to believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one."
Ephesians 1:9-10: "He has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth."
II Corinthians 5:17-20: "If any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconcilation; that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconcilation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us."
7. Each member of the Church is summoned by God to work where he is toward overcoming misunderstandings and antagonisms that men may dwell together in unity
Romans 12: 16: “Live in harmony with one another."
I Peter 1: 22: "Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another earnestly from the heart."
I John 4: 7-8, 19-21: "Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. *** We love, because he first loved us. If any one says 'I loved God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother
Psalm 133: 1: "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity."
Acts 10: 28: "God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean."
Acts 11: 9, 17: "What God has cleansed you must not call common.' If then God gave the same gift to them (the Gentiles) as he gave to us when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"
BIBLE PASSAGES AND CONCEPTS SOMETIMES USED IN DEFENSE OF DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF RACE
Genesis 9: 18-27 is occasionally used as the basis for saying that God placed a curse on Ham and his descendants, turning them black and assigning them a place of inferiority and servility in society. It should be noted that the purpose of the passage is to explain why the Israelites came to a position of dominance over the Canaanites-not over the peoples of Africa. This is accomplished by appealing to the curse of Noah, a curse being thought by ancients to have permanent effect. It will be noted in a careful reading of the passage that: (1) God placed a curse on no one; (2) Noah did the cursing after being awakened from a drunken stupor; (3) Canaan was the one actually cursed by Noah, not Ham; (4) There is no indication of God's having approved Noah's act or of
his having implemented it in any way; and (5) No reference is made to anybody's having been given a different color.
Genesis 11: 1-9 records the incident of God's confounding the builders of the tower of Babel by confusing their language and scattering them over the face of the earth. The passage can hardly be used to support the idea that God ordained separate "races." It should be noted: (1) That the scattering of men was a judgment of God on man's arrogance, not a part of his original intention for the human family; (2) that the story of Pentecost in Acts 2 clearly indicates that it is God's intention in the Messianic Age to reverse the disruption of Babel (representatives of "every nation under heaven" heard and understood the apostles, and all men were incited to join the Church of Christ). The tower of Babel story is evidence of what God does not want, rather than of what he intends!
Joshua 9: 23 cannot be used to support the concept of enslavement on the basis of race. The Gibeonites were not from a different race than the Hebrews. Both were Semitic peoples and would have to be classified as Caucasians. Furthermore, the story does not say that God told Joshua to make the Gibeonites "hewers of wood and drawers of water." Joshua did to them what was good and right in his own sight (verses 25-26).
Acts 17: 26 says that God "made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation"; but the reference is to distribution of nations, not races. Those who use this verse to defend segregation in America do not suggest that modern Americans move out of the United States.
It is occasionally argued that since God “chose" the Jews it is apparent that he favors certain races over other races. It is true that the Bible teaches that God finds and calls people to do special work for him in the world, people who for various reasons are peculiarly suited to his purpose. Originally God called a family, the family of Abraham, which grew into a nation. He never called a "race." The Hebrews were a nation, not a race. It should be noted further that God's call involves tremendous responsibility, and if the people called fail in discharging their obligation, they are rejected and others chosen. When many Jews failed God, he chose other Jews and at length even Gentiles. Titus, a Greek, for example, became one of the chosen because he responded to God's call in faith and obedience. God has no favorites; he works with those who will work with him.
If one reads the Bible as a whole, it becomes unmistakably clear that God is seeking to heal the divisions in humanity caused by human sin and to bring all peoples of the earth into a community of the redeemed. In this blessed community human barriers of every sort are abolished or transcended. "In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. * * * There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3: 26-28). The first Christians found that with God's spirit within them they could overcome prejudice toward Samaritans and Gentiles and look on people who were in Christ as sons of God and brothers, not as white men, yellow men, or black men.
JUST, RIGHT, AND NECESSARY
The National Council, New York, N.Y., 1955
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL
The Right Reverend Henry Knox Sherrill, S.T.D., president.
The Very Reverend John C. Leffler, D.D., chairman.
The Right Reverend Howard R. Brinker, D.D.
Mrs. Roger L. Kingsland.
The Reverend Almon R. Pepper, D.D., director.
Division of Christian Citizenship:
The Right Reverend Lauriston L. Scaife, D.D., chairman.
The Right Reverend A. C. Lichtenberger, D.D., vice chairman.
The Reverend Leland B. Henry.
The Reverend Douglas L. Maclean.
Mrs. Stephen K. Mahon.
Mrs. Theodore O. Wedel.
The Reverend Moran Weston, Ph. D., executive secretary.
THE COMMITTEE OF ADVICE
The Right Reverend C. Alfred Cole, D.D., bishop of upper South Carolina; chairman of the department of Christian social relations, province of Sewanee.
The Right Reverend Thomas H. Wright, D.D., bishop of east Carolina; chairman of the Biracial Committee of the National Council.
The Reverend Duncan M. Hobart, chairman, department of Christian social relations, diocese of Mississippi.
The Reverend Duncan M. Gray, Jr., rector, Calvary Church, Cleveland, Miss.
The Reverend George M. Alexander, member, the National Council; rector,
George S. Mitchell, Ph. D., executive director, Southern Regional Council; member Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, Ga.
Lester B. Granger, executive director, National Urban League; member, St. Martin's Church, New York City.
The Honorable Francis O. Clarkson, judge of the Supreme Court of North Carolina; former chancellor, diocese of North Carolina, Charlotte, N.C. Mrs. Francis O. Clarkson, member of the National Council.
Charles E. Shaw, president, Watchtower Insurance Co.; member of St. Luke's Church, Houston, Tex.
Mrs. D. Ellwood Williams, Jr., president, woman's auxiliary, St. Anne's Church, Annapolis, Md.; chairman of Christian social relations, Maryland State Council of Churchwomen.
Dorothy Ferebee, M.D., former president, National Council of Negro Women; member, St. Mary's Church, Washington, D.C.
I. AN HISTORIC ACTION
In an action as historic as the Supreme Court's own decision on public school segregation, the National Council of the Episcopal Church1 unanimously accepted a report and statement of guiding principles on the decision, and commended the document to the church and churchmen for study and action "as they may be led."
The document was prepared, at the request of the council,' by its department of Christian social relations an division of Christian citizenship, assisted by a representative group of churchmen serving as a committee of advice. The report consists of a factual summary of public reaction to the decision during the first 6 months after it was announced, with special reference to the reaction of public school authorities and of church groups. The reaction of parachial, diocesan, and provincial bodies of the Episcopal Church is reported in some detail.
The council's resolution noted that the study document had been prepared to "assist parochial and diocesan authorities in their efforts to promote a wise, wholehearted, and genuine realization of the principles set forth by the Court and supported so widely by churchmen in all parts of the country."
The council also directed that the documents be transmitted to certain leaders of the church and of educational institutions affiliated with the church, with the request that they consider and act on the documents and inform the council of any use to which they may be put.
1 At its regular quarterly meeting, Dec. 8-9, at Seabury House.
2 The council's resolution requesting the report and statement may be found on p. 43. 40361-59-pt. 4——41
The text of the council's resolution is:
Resolved: The National Council accepts the report on church reaction to the Supreme Court decision on segregation in public schools and the guiding statement thereon, prepared by the division of Christian citizenship at the request of the council, and adopted by the division and the department of Christian social relations, as being in keeping with the spirit and intent of the resolutions of the general convention of 1952 on justice and equal opportunity.
The council commends this report and statement for study to all churchmen, and to such others as may care to take note of it, with the hope that this report of facts and this statement of guiding principles and policies may assist parochial and diocesan authorities in their efforts to promote a wise, wholehearted, and genuine realization of the principles set forth by the Court and supported so widely by churchmen in all parts of the country.
The council transmits this report and statement to all bishops of the church, deans of seminaries, trustees of educational institutions affiliated with the church, and to diocesan and provincial officers, with the request that they study and act on these documents as they may be led, and that they inform the council of any use which they may make of this document; and it requests further that its department of Christian social relations and division of Christian citizenship summarize and report such information to the council from time to time, and continue to give leadership in this matter.
The council's resolution made an affirmation of the justice of the Court's decision from the point of view of Christian faith and morals, as well as from the point of view of law and democratic principles. It concluded with an appeal to churchmen, despite the "very real and very great difficulties faced by them in many areas, to join with all men and women of good will to realize in the church and in the community the principles and goals of the Court's decision."
II. AN AFFIRMATION AND AN APPEAL TO CHURCHMEN
The council notes that parochial, diocesan, and provincial bodies of the Episcopal Church have already taken positive and supportive action. These actions range all the way from affirmations of general principles, to specific recommendations, to specific acts in crisis situations.
The council adopts the following passages from the statement of guiding principles presented by the department and division:
"The Court's ruling is more than a matter of law and order*** it is also a matter of religious faith and democratic principles * * * for it has to do with the will of God and the welfare and destiny of human beings Judged in the light of Christian principles *** the Court's decision is just, right, and necessary.
"We thank God for the new and rich opportunity for health and healing which the decision has opened up, and for the hope this brings to people all over the world.
"We thank God that so much of the growing support is based on reasoned Christian insight, faith, and conviction.
"We thank God also that through His Holy Spirit, He has put it into the hearts of many to undertake voluntarily to remove these barriers between the children of our land. These efforts have demonstrated that the decision is as workable in practice as it is sound in principle. It is true and it works. In the light of these successes, the recognized practical difficulties which still exist may be seen as manageable, when approached by men and women of good will.”
With full and sympathetic appreciation of the very real and very great difficulties faced by the church and churchmen in many areas, we feel compelled, however, to appeal to churchmen and others everywhere, to join with all men and women of good will, to realize in the church and in the community the principles and goals of the Court's decision.
III. A REPORT: THE FIRST 6 MONTHS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL DESEGREGATION
The discussion and action of the division of Christian citizenship, its committee of advice, of the department of Christian social relations, and of the National Council, were based upon a written report of reaction to the Court's
2 The full text of the resolution may be found on p. 37.
Except for editorial changes to bring it up to date, this section, pp. 5-36, is the "report" as prepared by request of the council.
decision during the 6 months which followed its announcement on May 17, 1954. This report is an essential part of the statement and resolution acted on by the council and commended to the church for study and action. It is clearly the intent of the council that the report and statement be considered together; for the facts illuminate and lead to both the statement and resoluion,
1. THE SUPREME COURT DECISION: ITS BACKGROUND AND EXCERPTS
Its background.-Four separate cases, instituted by Negro parents on behalf of their children, were originally argued before the Supreme Court in December 1952.
While these cases originated in different places (Clarendon County, S. C.; Prince Edward County, Va.; Topeka, Kans.; Wilmington, Del.; and Washington, D.C.); a common legal question bound them together and the Supreme Court considered them accordingly. A fifth case from the District of Columbia, similar in nature, but having a different legal question as its basis, was argued at the same time and a decision was handed down separately.
In each of the four cases, the parents were seeking the aid of the courts in obtaining admission of their children to the public schools of their community on a nonsegregated basis. Their children had been denied admission to schools attended by white children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to race. This segregation was alleged to deprive the plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws under the 14th amendment.
Through their legal representatives the parents argued that segregated public schools are not equal and cannot be made equal, and that hence their children were deprived of equal protection of the laws.
At the conclusion of the original arguments, the Court requested additional time and the lawyers of the plaintiffs, of the defendants' States, and of the U.S. Department of Justice were invited to submit information relating to certain questions advanced by the Court.
Oral arguments on these questions and briefs were submitted in December 1953.
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court handed down its now historic decision. The cardinal sections of this decision are cited herewith.
Excerpts from Supreme Court decision
"Our decision * ** cannot turn on merely a comparison of these tangible factors (of equality or non-equality of buildings, curiculums, qualifications and salaries of teachers) in the Negro and white schools involved in each of these cases. We must look instead to the effect of segregation itself on public education.
**** We must consider public education in the light of its full development and its present place in American life throughout the Nation. Only in this way can it be determined if segregation in public schools deprives these plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws.
"Today, education is perhaps the most important function of State and local governments. Compulsory school attendance laws and the great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society. It is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, even service in the Armed Forces. It is the very foundation of good citizenship.
"Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to the cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the State has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.
"We come than to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other tangible factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.
"In Sweatt v. Painter, supra, (and) in McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, supra, the Court *** resorted to intangible considerations * *. Such considerations apply with added force to children in grade and high schools. To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race, generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be