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RICHMOND, NEW ORLEANS, ATLAN ""'^MBER 5, 1919. ' No. 45 ""<)rrr '?! Cbttonal Mot e* anb Comment METHODISTS in England are getting to gether it seems. There are three branches of this church in this country, the Wesley ans, the Primitive Methodists and the United Methodists. A conference has just been held to prepare a plan for organic union. + + INTERCIIURCII World Movement has a legi timate function to perform and it may be of great help to the churches in securing informa tion as to the needs of certain sections of the world for the work of the Church, but some of the work it is undertaking is not in line with the work of the Church. And so there is no reason why the Church should furnish men and money for doing this work. We are officially informed that an Industrial Confer ence was recently called by the Interchurch Movement. Its actions and decisions are ap parently endorsed by the movement and re ports of them are being sent by its publicity de partment. Here are some of the actions taken as given in these reports: "Adoption of a set of principles to govern Christians in their deal ings with social and economic problems." We wonder who has given the authority for this Conference to adopt principles for the gov ernment of the Church. There is reported the "passage of a resolution instructing the In dustrial Relations Department of the Move ment to investigate the steel strike apd on the facts found to use its good offices in trying to bring about a joint conference and settlement of the dispute." "The general demand ex pressed in the speeches before the Conference was for action by the churches in the economic crisis instead of resolutions alone." In deal ing with the question of the relation between capital and labor, these are some of the prin ciples laid down: "The representation of the various parties in the government of indus tries." What is meant here it not explained, but it seems to demand that the employees be given the right to a share in the government of business that belongs to the employer. An other principle laid down in "The right of the workers to organize themselves and the de velopment of just and democratic methods of collective bargaining between employers' and workers' organizations." In dealing with wo men's rights in labor, the demand is made that they shall have "an equal voice with men in the democratic control and management of so ciety." This looks very much like demanding woman's suffrage. Leaving the industrial world, the Conference turns to the world of education and says: "We urge a thorough reconstruction of the curricula and methods of religious education to insure that the youth of the Church shall be trained for their fu ture responsibility in the application of these principles." But for the fact that the Churoji is mentioned we might imagine that we have been considering the platform of some political party. How the Church is to put these prin ciples into practice or upon what Scriptural ground this action is to be based we are not told. 4 + + VISIONS seem to get into the head of most people who look out upon the world and see its condition and then want to do some thing for the uplift of the wrld. Visions are good things. But before one tries to make a vision a reality, it is well for him to look a little at himself. He should consider his own limitations and he should remember that God has not given any one man everything to do. To each one is given his own peculiar work, and this he ought to do faithfully, rather than to try to do everything else that needs to be done. This is true of organizations, as well as of individuals. If we look at the program laid out by almost any of the organizations engaged in welfare work, we will see what a task it has laid out for itself. Not satisfied with the special work for which it was form ed, it tries to extend its efforts and its resources to many others. This is true among many others of the Federal Council, which tried very hard to regulate the war, and now of the Interchurch World Movement, which is trying even to regulate labor strikes and to tell em ployers of labor how they are to manage their labor and their business. A strong effort is being made to induce the Church to follow this same plan. It is far better for each cobbler to stick to his own last and not try to do everything. ^ 4* + TAXATION, of Church property is being discussed in some of the papers. This is not a popular idea. There are several reasons why this is so. There are some who object to it because they feel that the Church ought to have special privileges, and therefore the government should not impose any tax upon them. Others feel that if taxes are imposed it will mean that the members Avill have to pro vide the taxes and this will be equivalent to their own taxes being increased. Those who argue in favor of taxing Church property say that the Church ought not to stand as an ob ject of charity at the hands of the State any more than its well-to-do members should be supposed to need help from the government They say it is like the old custom, now largely gone out of use, of business men giving preach ers a lower price on what they sell than is asked of other people. They place them in the position of receiving charity. It is better, it is claimed, that the Church shall stand on a simple business basis. It is also claimed that there is in this country much property belonging to the Church which is not used for strictly church purposes and yet it is not taxed when it should be. * ENDOWING of Church papers is advocated by one of our exchanges. This may seem to some a strange suggestion, and yet why should it be ! Few, if any, Church papers are conducted for the profit of their publishers. Most of them are privately owned, but they are published for the benefit of the Church and the Lord's work. ' The editor of another of our exchanges has recently taken his readers into his confidence. lie tells them that for years he has been editing the paper and attend ing to all the business of the paper, with the help of other members of his family, and dur ing this time lie has received no financial com pensation for his work, but he has put $2,000 a year into the running expenses of the paper out of his own pocket. Not many editors can do that, but there are very few editors who do not in labor, at least, put a great deal more in than they get out. The Church needs its papers, and to make their publication assured, and to provide fof their being made of a char acter that is worthy of the Church and that will best serve its needs, a good endowment would help very greatly. + + + SOFT drinks are having their day now that prohibition is in force. And the reports indicate that this is distinctly a drinking na tion. There are hundreds of these drinks on the market and there is no way of telling what is the total amount of their sales, but one of them, which is more generally advertised and more generally sold than any of the others, reports that its sales are now at the rate of two and a half billion glasses a year. These harmless drinks take the place of the cursed al coholic drinks. What a blessed exchange. + + + WOMAN suffragists, who are clamoring for equal rights for women and men, might well take warning from what is said to be taking place in Germany. During the war the women there made the same claim. They entered industries and demanded the same wages as men received, and they are still get ting the high wages. In Stettin the men are now claiming equal rights with the women, and they have announced that if the women want to go with them to the theatre, the dance, or to suppers, the women must pay their part of the expense. We have noticed the growth of something of the same feeling on the part of some of the men in this country. There was a time when no respectable man in the South would keep his seat4ri the street car when a wo man was standing. Today it is not an uncom mon sight to see a number of men sitting while as many ladies are standing. Of course this ought not to be, but when women claim equal ity with men in many things, it is not sur-. prising that some men will take them on their own ground and give them just what men re ceive.