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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, February 19, 1919, Image 12

Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1919-02-19/ed-1/seq-12/

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(Continued from page 9)
for the leg shows the theatre would
go bankrupt. All are not bad. Who
said they were?
But a man runs no small risk try
ing to see anything elevating in the
Booth and Garrick, two of the
greatest tragedians, would not allow
their own children to go to the
theatre. Macready, one of the famous
English tragedians, would not allow
his wife or children to see a play
unless he had first read or seen it,
and passed upon it, as to whether or
not it was fit to see.
Those were men who had some
character to them and left honor and
high stamp after them.
An actress whose name I will not
give said this:
"After years on the stage I am con
vinced that the theatrical business is
the most corrupt in the world."
It is corrupting educationally, com
mercially and morally.
It is upon the charred souls of
women that moBt of the men who are
a power in the theatrical world have
climbed to their height.
You bow bridge whist and auction
pitch and five hundred in the home
and yx>u reap a crop of gamblers.
If you've got any cards in your
home you'd better throw them in the
furnace when you get back there or
else throw your Bibles in the furnace.
The two won't mix.
Oh, you needn't gasp! I am hand
ing it to you straight!
There's no use having Bibles around
your house if you're going to make a
Joke of His Word by playing bridge.
Somebody says:
"What difference between a game
of cards and a game of checkers?"
Well, just as much difference as
there is between heaven and hell.
Ever since the day that cards were
invented to satisfy the whims of an
idiotic king they have been the tools
of the gambler.
Many a boy is inveigled into &
gambling room and listens to the
roulette wheel, the faro bank and
keno and listens to the ribaldry and
the Jest and the blasphemy, and he
is reminded of home.
What a wonderful heritage to be
queath to a boy! To have him go into
a hell hole like that and have it re
mind him of home! He will go down
to the Judgment of God, and God will
damn you as Bure as you breathe.
Men who have been spending their
funds and lives to ferret those things
out tell us that nine-tenths of the
gamblers are taught in their homes
by their mothers, or 80 per cent of
them first learned gambling in the
homes of professing Christian people.
When I talk to you about card play
ing in your home, I am trying to
pound through your head that every
pack of cards is but another stepping
stone to hell. x
* * t
I think the old painted hag or the
broken down roue hanging around the
tables at Monte Carlo or a down-and
out card sharp bucking a crooked
game in a gambling Joint at 3 o'clock
in the morning a sight more respect
able than the church people or the
professed Christian who permits card
playing in his home.
The Chicago Civic Federation,
which was forced into existence at the
close of the World's Fair because after
the fair was over Chicago was the
Mecca for gamblers, found that out of
thirty-two hundred gamblers nlne
teuths had learned in their homes,
and eight out of ten in the home of
professing Christian people.
I tell you it takes a woman with
more than ordinary brass to stand up
and defend these things.
? ? ?
A man in Chicago in the Methodist
church was going around the country
visiting prisons and a woman came to
him and said:
"You are going to Auburn peniten
tiary; will you take this and give it to
my son?"
She handed him a photograph with
her name written on the bottom, with
the words:
"With love, mother."
When he reached the prison he saw
the young man and handed him the
picture and said:
"I saw your mother and she asked
me to bring you this picture."
He looked at it, and said:
"That is mother. There are
wrinkles in her face, not there the
last time that I saw her."
"Yes; your mother is aging fast."
The young man said:
"You take that picture back, and
give it to my mother, and tell her I
never want to see her. She taught
me to play cards and I killed a man at
a gambling table, and am serving fif
teen years to pay for it. Now she has
the audacity to send me her picture
after she pushed me behind the prison
I say it may not injure you, but it
is damning others.
? ? ?
I have Just as much respect for the
old gambler who will bet his last sou
as for the women who will sit around
in their homes and play cards for
* ? ?
A woman who will play bridge whist
is no better than a man who will go
out and play poker and the man who
comes home with a pocket full of
money won at a poker game is no
worse than his wife who has been
playing auction or five hundred all
evening for a nice cut glass dish in
which to keep the bouquets that are
sent to her by her church-going
In a town where I was preaching
they had all the parties to get them
off their hands before I came. They
had a big affair, and the prize was a
$20 cut glass dish, and a woman work
ed and sweated, and lied and cheated,
and took progressions which she
didn't win, and then she lost the dish
by two points.
She was short on Paul and long on
She was sick in bed for two days.
Now, listen! Her boy came in one
morning and kissed her and said:
"Here, ma. Here is a $20 gold
piece. Take that and go down to the
jeweler's and get a cut glass dish like
that prize. I won this up at Richard
son's last night."
She said :
"My boy! I take a $20 gold piecc
that you won at gambling to buy a
cut glass dish?"
He told her that it was just the
same to buy a prize with the $20 won
at gambling as to win the prize.
She said to me afterwards:
"I was Just as low down as that
man Richardson was, whom I bad
looked at with horror."
You are as low down as the gambler.
"But,'' some woman says. "Mr. Sun
day, I am teaching my boy to play
cards so that when he grows up he
won't want to play cards."
I have heard that; but, say, why
don't you Bend your daughter to live
in a brothel so that she won't want to
be a prostitute when she grows up?
You are a fool and a jackass to talk
that way. Your argument won't hold
water three minutes.
I don't care who you are, there is
only one thing to do, and that is to go
home and to throw away every card
that you have into the furnace and get
rid of the thing.
You say, "It will never get me." All
right, but it will get others. So you
ought to refrain from gambling for
the sake of other people whom your
example might lead astray.
Now, I'm not trying to cram any
thing down your throats. I am ap
pealing to your sense of reason and
decency, and if you are not man or
woman enough to listen I guess God
Almighty doesn't need you.
I do not know of anything that is
wrong for a church member to do,
that is not equally wrong for those
that are not church members to do.
The only difference between the
church member and the worldling is
that the church members have prom
ised to refrain and you have not.
I tell you what I would do if I were
in the church, and I was bound to
dance and play cards ? I would leave
the Church.
I would not stay In it.
Get out and then you can be re
ferred to as an ex-church member who
got divorced from Jesus Christ so that
you could dance with the devil.
? ? ?
The dancing Christian never was a
soul winner. The dance is simply a
hugging match set to music.
The dance is a sexual love feast.
This crusade against the dance is
for everybody not merely for the
preacher or the old man or woman,
who couldn't dance if they wanted to,
but for everybody interested in
morals, whether in the Church or out
of the Church.
? ? ?
I say that It is unspirltual. Many a
pastor is heartbroken, and is sighing
for new fields because of the godless
mob in the church.
I had rather have twelve women
filled with the Holy Ghost than a hun
dred theatre gadders, wlna guzzlers
and frivolous dancers.
What under God's heaven do you
amount to? The Church is honey
combed with the rottenness of society.
Somebody has got to come out and
run the risk of incurring your dis
? ? ?
I am preaching morality here, and
I'm not bothering about your opinion.
If my position antagonizes you, all
right; if I've got to displease God to
please you, you know where you can
head in.
Whine around then, but you can't
work your shell games on God.
Girl! Listen! It is Immoral.
Every good man and woman carries
in his or her breast passions the same
as bad men and women carry, and
thus your breast becomes a tinder bo*
and you ought to be careful where you
go and what you do lest you ignite It
and there be an explosion and wreck
of your purity and manhood and
The dance is the dry rot of society.
I say it is immoral.
? ? ?
Supposing that you go to a dance
to-night and then to-morrow you go
around to some man's house when he
la not there, that you might effective
ly impress upon his wife the dance
and ita necessary attendants and re
quisites. You intend to give instruc
tion, and you go in perfect innocence.
You assume the same position and
attitude with your arms about her
that you would take on the ball room
The husband comes in the back
door and sees you there with your
arms about his wife, and bang! bang!
goes the revolver, and you fall dead.
You could not find a jury of mar
ried men on Qod's dirt that would
convict him.
I would have just one vote ? and It
would be: "Go home."
You cannot get around the circum
stances. Is not that true about the
position? Any man knows it is, it
does not do any harm to keep away
and it may ruin your daughter to let
her go.
Do you go with your wife to the
dance? You don't dance, and she is
a flend.
You stand there, and watch man
after man as he claims her hand and
puts his name on her list. Perhaps
that fellow was her lover and you won
her hand ? and you stand there and
watch your wife folded In hla long,
voluptuous, sensual embrace, their
bodies swaying one against the other,
their limbs twining and entwining, her
head resting on his breast, they
breathe the vitiated air beneath the
glittering candelabra, and the Bpell of
the music, and you stand there and
tell me that there is no harm in It!
You're too low down for me.
? ? ?
Do you know that three-fourths of
all the girls who are ruined owe their
downfall to that very thing. Vou let
a young man whose character would
make a black mark on a piece of tar
paper, who goes down the line every
other night, hug and dance with your
daughter, and see what happens.
Are you a father? Are you a
Do you accompany your daughter
or your sister to the ball room and
see young fellows come up to her ?
lecherous young bucks ? asking the
hand of your daughter or your sister
for a dance ? young bucks that you
know live in sin, young fellows whose
names are as' common upon the lips of
the prostitute as upon the lips of your
You stand there and see young fel
lows come up and waltz with your
daughter and tell me that there is no
harm In it. You are too low down
for me.
Are you a mother? And do you
chaperone your daughter and groom
her, and shove her In front of every
marriageable buck, and you accom
pany her to the ball room and you
stand there and look at her with your
head cocked on one aide, and see a
young fellow come up and wrap his
arms around your daughter, and tell
me that there is no harm in it?
You must be made out of basswood
or putty or marble.
"But," said the woman, "you are
too severe in your strictures regarding
the dance. The positions have
changed since you danced."
Yes; I read that they had. i read
the other day a report that said:
"The devotee of the waltz ought to
be satisfied with the latest position,
entitled 'The Dream,' which brings
the bodies in such close contact that
a case knife could not pass between
I read the other day that sitting out
The Stewardship Committee's gOal~A Church Paper jn Every Home

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