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Newspaper Page Text
they can't live in the street. I have no right to drive them into the river.
If I drive them out of town they will go somewhere else; and we would -only
be laying our burden on our neighbor's doorstep. So I can't do that."
The preachers didn't offer any solution to the problem. So Jones said:
"I'll tell you what we can do, and if you agree with my plan we can
solve the problem and clbscup the houses. If each of us will take one of
these fallen sisters into his home, and enough other good Christians do
the same thing, we can provide good homes for all of them. I will agree
to take one of them. How many of you will take one?"
Not one of the delegation of Christian ministers was willing to carry .
his Christianity that far. Not one of them spoke up and said he would take
one of the sisters into his home. All of them quietly left the mayor's of
fice; and the world went on pretty much as it has been going on before
from Christ's time down until today. (
v Debs is a Socialist. I am not. I don't know what I am, but judging by
actual performance I am not as good a Christian as Eugene Debs is, and
my hat is off to him, and to Mrs. Debs, in respect and admiration. They
didn't make any fuss over what they did. iThey didn't advertise their
Christian act with the brass-band tactics of the chesty philanthropist, who
makes a loud noise with the money he gives' to charity and philanthrophy
which money he probably ground out of the souls and bodies of men,
women and children.
What Eugene Debs and his wife did was done in a manner that was
Christlike in its simplicity and sincerity. They recognized the woman as
their sister in the sight of God, and took her into, their home and unto their
bosom as a sister in the sight of men, notwithstanding her moral sickness.
As to whether it was right or wrong depends upon the point of view.
Mr. and Mrs. Debs thought it was right for them to do what they did
hence to them it was right. I think it was right, and hence to me it was
right. Many sane Christians, and many who are sane and not Christians,
will think it was right for Debs to do it, but they won.'t do it themselves.
They are afraid. Debs wasn't afraid. Mrs. Debs wasn't afraid. So they
did a simple thing, and a great thing. It will help others to think. It may
help other Christians to get their Christianity on straight.
All his life Debs has been fighting for fallen men and fallen women,
brothers and sisters who fell because they were pushed. He has been jailed
for it, hounded for it, denounced, dogged and damned for it; and, though I
do not belong to his party, I sincerely admire him for his clean, honorable
manhood and respect him for the enemies he has made. I don't think he
ever stood higher as a man and brother than he did when he opened his
door, with his wife at his side, and said to the woman and sister:
But I may think as I do about this because of my point of view. For f
I think the male prostitute, for example the educated lawyer who prosti
tutes his talent for hire, to help a vicious social system ruin the lives of
men, women and children, is far more dangerous to human society than the
most abandoned female victim of male lust and industrial greed in human
.society's sick room the tenderloin.
I can't see a great moral difference between the rich society woman of
many husbands, who "legally" takes them on and puts them off from choice,
and the woman of many temporary husbands for hire in the tenderloin,
"illegally," who have been driven, by men, into prostitution as a BUSINESS,
to earn a living. If we take one into the home, why bar the other?
We receive into our homes with honor and hearty welcome the judge,