Deep in the heart of San Antonio, Texas, stands the Alamo Mission, site of the heroic battle by nearly 200 frontiersmen against the armies of the Mexican “Napoleon” Santa Anna. No quarter was given in the battle, and the 200 early Texans perished.
Last month in the same city and against this background, commissioners to the 181st General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. proved more tractable than the Texans. They listened to the strident demands of black militant James Forman and brown-power spokesman Eliezer Risco and responded favorably to most of them.
In a series of hotly debated measures, the highest deliberative body of the 3.2-million-member denomination voted to appropriate $100,000 for the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (with which Forman is associated), the same amount for Indian American groups, and $50,000 for Spanish-American organizations; and to seek ways for people living in poverty to own land, particularly property now held by the Board of National Missions not needed for church work. Commissioners also voted to direct the Council on Church Support to develop strategy for funds “equal to or surpassing those raised in the Fifty Million campaign” to benefit deprived people. Specific goals will be acted on at next year’s assembly.
The new “Fifty Million” measure, the denomination’s second monumental fund drive in five years, was approved by an estimated 2 to 1 voice vote. Its goal presumably would be at least $74.6 million, the amount raised or pledged thus far to the Fifty Million Fund. At an earlier assembly session, Forman had demanded $80 million for reparations to American Negroes as UPUSA’s part of an over-all $500 million figure; 60 per cent of the denomination’s ...1
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