Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 6, 1966
NUMBER 22, PAGE 2b-3a

Marching For Morality

Wendle Scott

Powerful economic pressures have been applied against this writer and against seven ministerial students who joined a march seeking fair wages for Latin-American farm workers.

In defense of compassion (strange that such should be necessary) let me tell you some of the reasons why I, personally and individually, participated. First are the members of the church where I minister (I would say "preach" except that the elders of the English-speaking church which owns the building have forbidden me to preach in their property.) who have worked in the fields for as little as $2.00 and $3.00 per day.

Another reason is the woman, baptized by me, who silently suffered suggestive remarks from, and gave a kick-back to a packing-shed foreman so she could keep the job on which she and her three children depended for their livelihood.

I also remembered the fine old Christian gentleman who, after 25 years of service to his employer (maximum salary $4.17 per day), was unable to draw social security when he reached 65 because his employer had illegally failed to report him as an employee. After he had lost two or three years' social security benefits the employer finally reported him ---as an employee of one year. This man suffers this injustice for fear of losing his job. His age and infirmities would make it impossible for him to find another job. Legal punishment of his employer wouldn't put food on his table.

I considered my Latin-American wife and our five children who will live and work as Latin-Americans. Should I do nothing to improve THEIR future? Would my conscience permit me to cloister myself in my study and pretend that injustice and moral evils do not exist? To me it was not "Should I get involved?" but rather "Woe is me if I too pass by on the other side!"

John the Baptist became deeply involved in the moral-political question of Herod's incest. Jesus led a march that ended in the temple. The injustices he saw there led him to become deeply involved with the unjust merchants. Matthew 21:6-13. The apostle Paul felt himself involved. "Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not?" 2 Corinthians 11:29. The apostle James sacrificed peace for principle when he dared condemn the rich men of his day who fraudulently kept back "the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields." James 5:4. How could any words be more appropriate than these to describe the farm workers' plight in the Rio Grande Valley.

Naturally, the advocates of "Peace, peace, when there is no peace" in the First Century condemned them for "turning the world upside down," but true men of God have always "obeyed God rather than men." How could a 20th Century servant of God do less?

Our training school for Mexican preachers has suffered severe economic reprisals. We have lost support for 6 students, as well as our dormitory and classrooms. Despite this, we plan to continue because of the desperate need for Spanish-speaking preachers. Perhaps even more important is the urgent need to correct the false impression left before the world by these elders' actions, i.e., that the Church of Christ is INDIFFERENT and even ANTAGONISTIC to the Latin-American people's efforts to obtain economic justice.

The falsity of this impression can best be shown by churches and Christians taking up the support of the 6 students who have lost their support for participating in the march. It costs only $65.00 per month to keep a student in the school.

-918 North 17th McAllen, Texas 78501