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Newspaper Page Text
The JVesbyterianVkhe South
Vol. 95. No. 19. RICHMOND, VA. May 11, 1921. ILLITERACY is one of the disgraces of this country. When the young men of our land were called into army service, the large per centage of them who could neither read nor write was a source of surprise and mortifica tion to many. There is no excuse for this state of affairs in a country as enlightened as ours and which has such immense wealth. One reason for this is that many of the people of our land have never taken education seriously enough to think it worth paying for. Another reason is that there is a large element who are in reality opposed to education, except along lines planned by themselves. There is now a bill before Congress by which it is proposed to give Federal aid to the States in providing education for their children, just as the Na tional Government is now aiding the States in building roads. This bill has been endorsed by Chambers of Commerce and other business and civic organizations all over the country. But strong opposition has been raised to it by the Roman Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. The head of this latter organi zation is quoted in the Boston Pilot, a Roman Catholic paper, as saying: "The Knights of Columbus oppose it not so much on religious as on patriotic grounds. . . . The Knights of Columbus denounce the Smith-Towner bill as an attempt to erect a permanent tyranny over the minds of our children." Evidently he real izes that the better the public schools are made the harder it will be to get the Catholic chil dren to attend the parochial schools of the Church. This exercise of liberty to secure the best education he calls a tyranny. No doubt he feels like a Catholic priest who compared the public schools to a serpent, which ought to be hit every time it shows its head. If America is to retain its freedom, it must be through un biased education. + + + THE General Assembly designated May 1.5 tli, the Sabbath preceding its meeting as especially appropriate for the presentation of the claim of the Christian Sabbath. And that Sunday schools on that day be requested to give special consideration to the question of Sabbath observance. One of the greatest sins of the present day is that of Sabbath desecra tion. It is a well known fact that many Chris tians do habitually on the Sabbath day things that would not have been thought of a few years ago, and that are entirely contrary to the teach ing of the Scriptures. Much is said these days in political circles about getting "back to the Constitution." It would be well if the Church would adopt as its slogan, "Back to the Scripture teaching about the Sabbath." THE Pope '8 ban upon the Y. M. C. A. is being given a good deal of attention in both the secular and Roman Catholic papers. The Vancouver Daily Sun speaks of it as a "call to a holy war." The Catholic citizen replies, "It is not so bad as that. If the Y. M. C. A. will just quit proselyting, the friction will cease to exist." The prime aim of the Y. M. C. A. has always been to extend the Christian religion among young men. It does not attempt to influence them as to the Churches they shall connect themselves with. If a young man of a Catholic family should, under the influence of the Y. M. C. A., be brought to accept the Saviour, the Association would not try to influence him as to what Church he should unite with, its aim would be to get him to connect himself actively with some Church at once. The Association is and has always been a Protestant institution and it can only present the gospel as it is held by the Protestant Churches. If a young man comes under the influence of its teachings and they appeal to him and he finds them better than any teaching he has formerly received, and he accepts these teachings and is led by them to unite with a Protestant Church, that is no more than could be expected of any think ing man. If the Association does any proselyt ing, it is simply by holding up the truth. The fact is the popes of all ages have pronounced bans upon the Protestant Churches, and what more can be expected for the Y. M. C. A., which is a child of these Churches ? The wonder is that this action has not been taken long ago. The fact is that this pronouncement of the Pope is a high commendation of the war work of the Y. M. C. A. That work carried on in Catholic countries showed the Pope that the Association gives to young men a religion that appeals to them as the religion of the Romish Church does not. The easiest way to meet this situation is to tell the young men of that Church that they must have nothing to do with the Y. M. C. A. + + + EVANGELISM is to have a prominent place at the coming meeting of the General As sembly. Wednesday, the day before the meet ing of Assembly, is to be devoted to a confer ence on this subject. The commissioners are asked to arrange their plans to reach St. Louis Wednesday morning, so as to be on hand for this meeting. The program, as given on an other page of this paper, shows that (his impor tant subject will be treated by some of the ablest men in our Church. Those who attend will l>e well paid for doing so. ?5* + + Manitoba, Canada, has taken a step in the right direction to aid in enforc ing the prohibition law. Sixteen physicians were found to be issuing prescriptions for liquor, when it was not needed as medicine. The government has suspended their license to practice for from one week to six months. It might be well to adopt the same methods in this country. We recognize the fact that the vast majority of the physicians are honest, law-abiding men, but we also recognize the fact that there are a few who are not. Those who keep the law will raise no objection to its penalties being enforced upon those who vio late it. The reputation of the profession ought to be protected against those who would dis credit it. STRANGE things are done in connection with religion, and one of the strangest is that men will claim to be Christians, belong to Christian Churches, and go forth as the representatives of these Churches, and then preach what Paul calls "another gospel," which is no gospel at all. And strangest of all is that they will go forth into heathen lands and proclaim this false gospel to those in darkness and sin. If Jesus Christ is not di vine and the Bible is not inspired, we do not see that they have auything better to offer than some of the heathen already have. The Chinese can truthfully say that Confucius was a great and good man, and that his writings contain a wonderful code of morals. If we can offer them nothing better, why should we send them missionaries? Yet we are told that there are many missionaries in China, who have abandoned the doctrine of the inspira tion of the Scriptures, the divinity of Christ and the atonement made by the sacrificial death of the divine Son of God. Some of our Northern Presbyterian exchanges are lament ing the fact that some men who hold these heretical views are among the missionaries sent out by their Church. Dr. Robert Speer, who is at the head of their foreign mission board, is quoted as admitting that these charges are true] but says that what is needed is that the Church and its educational insti tutions at home shall be cleaned up and made sound. It does seem that judgment ought to begin at the house of Israel, but that does not mean that it is to stop there. No Church ought to be satisfied, until it has gotten rid of all those, who, pretending to be its representa tives, preach a false doctrine, which will save no soul, but may be the cause of the loss of many. + + + SEVERAL overtures are going up to the General Assembly this year similar to three or four sent up by the Presbyteries last yenr, on a change in the constitution of the As sembly. They ask that commissioners shall be elected for two years instead of for only one year as now. This will be of great benefit to the Church, especially if the law is so changed as to make the Assembly a continuous court. Now it occupies an anomalous position among the Church courts of being the only one with *out continuous existence. When an Assembly closes, it is dissolved and there is no Assembly until another convenes a year later. It is earn estly hoped that the Assembly will give this matter careful consideration. + + + TURKISH women have begun appearing on the theatrical stage in Constantinople, hint an order has recently been issued bv the Sheik-ul-Tslam, the religious chief of police, forbidding Moslem women from appearing on the stage. What a blessing it would be to this country, if in this respect we were as far ad vanced in civilization as the Moslem Turks. Can we not establish an enlightened Christian conscience as the religious chief of police in this country ?