Sunday, July 22, 2012

Augut 11, 1944


Dear folks,

            How are youn’s by now? I got this last letter in record time. Someone went down after the mail on Wed. afternoon and Your letter was in it. I usually get them on Thur.

            It seems that you are getting a little rain. That makes it hard to get straw in but you seem to be getting some in anyway. Say how much can one of those pickup bailers do in a day? The farmers around here have a lot of hay and they use a buck rake and stationary baler. Some of the fellows have been working with them and they claim that (the farmers) they can bale it faster this way than they could with a pickup. A pickup baler would cut down on the number of men they would have to hire.

            I’m ripe for a little discussion on religion and what-have-you. One of the fellows here has heard Ceicel Hinshaw and knows a little about him. He says that he went to Harvard and came back with some different ideas that some of the local preachers didn’t go for. Maybe that is what he was meaning. If he thinks about religion the way I do he couldn’t preach and maybe he isn’t. I’d like to know what is meant by the spiritual level of a college. I wonder what he means. He seems to be a go-geter and that is good. But this spiritual stuff is so vague to me. I never could figure it out. I used to think that Penn had no spiritual life and I think I was right if what I meant by spiritual was manifested by lots of prayer meetings and Bible study. But I have a hunch that now I’d think Penn was plenty spiritual.

            Here’s and idea that just soaked through me the other day. I guess it has been floating around the world for a long time. You and I have a pattern figured out that we would like to see people fit themselves into. The Church has a pattern and each minister has a pattern/ Society as a pattern, the Gov’t has one and just about everybody and every group has one. They would like to have everybody fit into their own special little pattern/ Their pattern isn’t perfect. They themselves can’t fit it. I know I certainly can’t fill mine. But still I want to fit other people into it. Do you follow me. Whenever we talk to anyone or in raising children people try to make other people in their own image. I am beginning to think that isn’t good. I wan’t my brothers to be pacifists. You wan’t them to be good workers and efficient and to be Christians, Dad. While Mother wants them to be Christians then good workers. Mom’s pattern makes people go to church every Sunday. Makes them work in the church. Your’s Dad makes them express part of their religion by doing a good job. The kids each have a pattern thay would like to fit you parents into. The Gov’t pattern for a young man is that he be in the army. If not then if he measures up to a other set of standards he may bu the grace of the Gov’t got to a CPS camp. When he gets there. If his ideas are such that they fit in general with the CPS ideas and aren’t too far from the composit pattern of CPS men he will enjoy his stay in CPS. If the thoughts that he thinks are far more radical he may find that he don’t fit our pattern and have to go on to a Gov’t camp or to jail or 1-AO. The thing I wonder is how far do we dare to go in assuming that we are right? How far can we go in making others conform to our pattern? I have been studying a little history lately and I have remembered the history I learned in school. It seems to me that most of the progress that civilization has made has been made by those who were way off the beaten track. Look at Christ. He certainly didn’t fit into any pattern of his day. I don’t know as he tried to make people fit into his pattern either. He just went about doing good. Then the people couldn’t stand it so they tried to get him to fit their pattern and whipped him and threatened him and finally killed him thinking that they had at last conquered him. But he has lived on for 2000 years.

            Well, that is one thing that I have been thinking. I don’t know maybe I am on the wrong track. I’m still looking. I hope I never get to the place that I think I am the only one that is right. What do you think?


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