Religion: Relative Route to Absolute

Racial segregation should be continued in the Methodist Church for the foreseeable future, a 70-member Methodist commission reported last week. There was no minority dissent to the report, which was based on four years of study and hearings in 24 cities. Moreover, leaders of the 360,000 Methodist Negroes (out of the 10 miliion total membership) agreed with the decision.

The reason for this extraordinary state of affairs lies in the special way the Methodists set up their regional structure in 1939, when Northern and Southern branches of the church—split like most large church groups during the Civil War —united to form a...

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