A Reply To Hawk’s Complaint

By Dorris V. Rader

Elsewhere in this issue, Brother Ray Hawk has charged this writer with misrepresentations in my reporting of the Sutton-Hawk Debate. Due to an omission of one word from my original manuscript, evidently by a typesetter, I must say that Brother Hawk has a just complaint that he was made to say something he did not say. In the next to last paragraph of my report, it was stated that Brother Hawk had “in effect” said certain things among which was that he did not have to explain his position on a given subject. He did not say this and my manuscript did not say this but rather, that he did not “have time to explain.” I caught this as soon as my copy of Truth Magazine came into my hands, and immediately wrote asking for a correction to be made. This was on September 21, about a week before hearing from Brother Hawk with his complaints.

Most of Brother Hawk’s complaint centers around this question which he answered both yes and no, thus showing his confusion. Please notice that the question was worded exactly like the proposition he denied for two nights except that one dealt with benevolence and the other with evangelism. Thus, the question was not really ambiguous. More than that, Brother Sutton read the question more than once and made much of Hawk’s answer Monday night. In his complaint, Brother Hawk says that when the question came to him again on Wednesday night, “This time I saw what he was asking and replied yes” (emphasis mine, DVR). He said, he “explained to him and the audience why I was answering it as I did that night but in the confusion of the moment, forgot which night I had given the wrong reply.” That is all I was showing-that Brother Hawk in trying to explain about this got confused and did not know whether his answer that night or the one Monday night was right.

The 10 year old orphan in diapers was a situation Hawk mentioned in his first negative speech. He had said nothing at this point about likening him to his 15 year old nephew who was in a coma and had to be diapered. He just had a 10 year old orphan boy who is a Christian and who was an obligation of the church and wanted to know who would diaper this boy. Later in this third negative, after Sutton had said “Down in Alabama, we do not diaper 10 year old boys,” then Hawk made mention that he had a 15 year old nephew in a coma and had to be diapered. In Brother Hawk’s complaint, he made it sound like that there was no 10 year orphan boy talked about, but rather a 15 year old nephew. He says that neither Rader not Sutton took time to remember this. I believe if he recalls, that he will remember that it was after he used the 15 year old nephew, that Brother Sutton put the same question to him with that 10 year old orphan boy, with a brilliant mind, wonderful voice, but who has certain physical handicaps and has to be diapered. He had him a student in Bellview Preacher Training School and asked him to tell who would diaper him. He asked if Hawk, as one of the elders would do it, or would the Director of the school? He asked if it would be home work or church work and where could it be done. Did Brother Hawk forget this?

This takes care of the complaints he has made. Just get the book when it comes out and read it. It will do good.

Truth Magazine XXIII: 3, pp. 11-12
January 18, 1979