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that has come with the knowledge of law. We are hearing a great deal today about biology and sociology and psychology and all the other "ologies." They are very great things, great instruments that have enabled us to understand ourselves and our fellow-men. They are great instruments for service put into our hands to enable us to give intelligent service, to find a place in our social system for subnormal girls or boys whom before we had thought just stupid or depraved. Now we are learning where their place is, and are finding ways of helping them to play their part in the common task of life. It is a wonderful thing, this knowledge of law that is coming into all modern social work. But again and again there comes to be a sort of sense that a law is a magic thing that works of itself. There is no such thing. The law is a great thing as we come to have an understanding of it, as we get to know it, and know how to use it. But always we need to realize that man is the master of the law. In the face of the law, we have got to find some way of keeping our sense of the value of the person supreme in all social work, bowing in reverence before it, never despising it, never treating it lightly, never looking down upon it.
There are two great antidotes for these dangers. They are antidotes not ordinarily found in the social service language of our day. They are antidotes which some of you will think old-fashioned. They may seem to you to have been made unnecessary by the organization of social work and by the discovery of law. The first is God. When I say "God," I mean God. I do not mean my own idea of God. I do not mean any one of your ideas of God. I do not mean any name of God which anyone of you may give to God. As long as there are men there will be as many names for God as there are men. When I say "God," I do not mean the organized service of God. When I say "God," I mean God, just God, God himself, God, the Person back of all this universe. What that Person is like, I do not know. I have certain faiths about it, but that is my concern, not yours. Back of all this life is God, the Person. As you remember that in all your social work, remember that life is from the Person, and under the mastery of the Person, and accountable to the Person, then the Person, as we know it in ourselves and men, comes to have new significance and power, new sacredness and sanctity, calls forth from us a new reverence that we do not have if we think of life as an institution or a great collection of laws. The vision of God, and that you and I are sent from God to man to be His messengers and servants; that we are not acting of ourselves nor in our own strength, but only as men sent from God, in that way only may we see the wonder of personality and know the truth of brotherliness. Through the vision of God we can see, beyond and above the failures and discouragements, the worth of our service and of those we serve.
It is no easy task to believe in God and to see him in all this life. When a man really tries to see God, to see this life in the face of God, yet looks out upon the vastness of this universe, the multiplicity of its life, the universality of law, and looks, too, into the face of the ghastly and appalling evil that is in the world,
is honest enough to look into his own soul and see the depths of evil there—the conceit, the shame, the desires, the cowardices, the greeds, the cruelties there, only held in leash-and still believes in God, he has found the secret of all masteries. Seeing God, he dares to undertake the task of responsibility for a service that is other and greater than himself, and he finds in God a sustaining enthusiasm and power that can come in no other way. I bow in great reverence before those men and women who, out of the life that is in them, and without faith in God, go out and serve their fellow-men with enthusiasm and power day after day. They do it with a sacrifice to themselves that bids us, who believe in God, bow our heads in very shame at times. But I say to all of you, if you will somehow seek that vision of God and make it a vivid reality, a spiritual force, then you will find a reassurance in social work that will sustain you and send you out with a new power. Because God, being a person, and you and I being persons, and the moron, the criminal, the hopelessly insane, the delinquent, the weak, and the poor being also persons, we are all the children of God together. If we have this vision and this faith in serving them, our service is made worth while to us, and we are sustained in the face of seeming defeat and despair.
The second great antidote is another thing which might seem obsolete to social workers, one which social workers have rejected sometimes because it seemed to make useless or not worth while this social service. And that is immortality. I suppose the great majority of people are consciously agnostic about immortality today, that is, when an individual is up against the problem of immortality for himself. But by immortality, I do not mean something that is beyond, in the future, after death, a sort of disconnected place to which we will get some time by the grace of God. It is a deeper and more serious thing that I mean by immortality. There are two parts to it. One is the immortality a man believes in for himself; the other is the immortality of the race. Someone says, "Why work so hard over these problems, dealing with the morons and the rest of those defectives and delinquents? They are incurable." We are doing it because we want the next generation to be freer from these problems than we have been. We are for the immortality of the race with a patient faith which we cannot justify by reason. Why should I pay the price, with my own life, that my children shall have a little better place to live in? Because I am bound up in the bundle of life with the race, and I believe it is the will of God, the will of life, that this race shall go on to better things. Because we have inherited the goodly heritages of the present, from the past we shall be cowards if we do not try to make that immortality of the future a nobler kind of life than that of the present.
But I mean also a deeper immortality than that. Are these men and women and children we are serving just incidents in the immortality of the race, just vehicles for the carrying on of life from generation to generation, without significance in themselves or for us? There is no man or woman here who thinks that
of himself or herself. You do not think you are merely incidents. Your life, your opportunity, your privilege, is precious to yourself, and it is precious to you because that power and quality of immortality is inherent in every man and woman and child. The potential immortality that rests in
everyone, the power and quality of immortality that belongs to all, is that which makes a man stand up on his feet and separate himself from the herd and look up to God, and conceive God, and imagine God. It is the immortality in him that enables him to do it. It is in every single human being-in the one born out of wedlock as in the one born within the shelter of home life-therefore shall they be counted the greater sinners who so dare to misuse the creative gift that God has given them. That potential power of immortality belongs to the poor little imbecile who, through no fault of his own, has been deprived of his powers of reasoning, but whose imbecility does not kill the spirit that gives the brain its final life. That potential immortality is in the habitual offender who has thrown away all vestige of control, who scorns truth and honor and decency, who is living most of his life under the brutality of the third degree or of the brutalized wardens that keep him in control. As we come to believe that, and to see men and women as having the power and quality of immortality, we shall not call them morons, and criminals, and delinquents, but shall call them by their names, John and Mary, and separate each one in his own consciousness, and know they are worthy of our service and of our respect. To be immortal is so stirring and awful a thing, so mysterious and extraordinary a thing, so significant in its meaning of the value of a person, that when we go out to serve with that faith we go in quite a different spirit, with a soberness and reverence and a power and patience that we never had before. When that power is in a person, though we may not be able, through ignorance or our limitations, to say to them that here and now they shall be saved to manhood, and to humanity, and to self-respect, yet we shall know that in immortality they may achieve the joy that has been denied them in this little first chance at life which they have now. Therefore we shall serve them with our best.
And so as you go back into this complex organization of modern life and resume the work you have been called to do, won't you take with you these two great antidotes: personality and immortality, and because of them go out to serve happily, thanking whatever God there be that he has given you a chance to be a man and to be the servant of your fellow-men.
THE MENACE OF RACIAL AND RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE Professor Charles A. Ellwood, University of Missouri, Columbia
It is very strange that the topic which I have been assigned is one of the most difficult to speak upon at the present time. It would not have been fifteen or twenty years ago. Then everybody would have taken it for granted, and
said, "Of course, racial and religious intolerance is a menace." It is symptomatic of our time and of the change in the public mind that we have this topic on our program. I do not mean to say that it is going to be difficult to speak to you on this topic. You who are social workers are pledged in advance to racial and religious tolerance. But it surely is a difficult matter when we confront the American public; and there is no graver symptom of the condition of our civilization than that it has become difficult to speak in favor of tolerance and good will in our American society. We almost have to rub our eyes to realize that this is so. Yet I shall give you evidence that it is so. Permit me to add that there is no one to whom I would rather bring my message than this group of practical social workers; for if there is anyone who can help solve this problem, you can do it. Your program, as I understand it, is the resolving of conflict, whether it be economic, cultural, or racial, into cooperation for the welfare of all, with the ultimate aim of securing an adequate and normal life for all. In other words, your program is the building of a democratic and Christian civilization. While my calling is not in the line of practical social work, I believe social science and social work should go hand in hand. I have been identified with this body for twenty-five years, for at the beginning of my teaching I joined the National Conference of Charities and Correction, as it was then called, and attended my first meeting in Topeka in 1900. Through the twenty-five years that I have been teaching sociology at the University of Missouri I have always stressed the point that social theory is for the sake of social work, that theory is no good without practice; and my department has tried to turn out many practical social workers. Some of them, I am glad to see, are a part of this audience. So I feel myself one of you, and I am going to talk to you straight from the shoulder, face to face.
I think there is no profession doing so much to solve the social problem, the great problem of the relations of men one to another, as the profession of social workers. There should be no profession, unless it is that of the ministry, that is doing so much to solve that problem, and yet I find some things about social workers that at times distress me. Like other professional workers, they tend to become engrossed in the technique of the profession and in local affairs, and so fail to see all that is going on around them. They fail, in other words, to understand the world in which they live. But could there be anything more fatal to scientific social work than that the social worker should lack vision and fail to understand the world in which he is working? Of course, there may be some excuse. I think there is less of this among social workers than in any other profession I know of; but there ought not to be any of it at all. There is more ignorance of the world, I admit, in my profession of teaching; more ignorance in the ministry, and probably even among lawyers and journalists; still, least of all ought it to exist among social workers.
I find that many social workers do not know what sort of civilization has been growing up in this country since the war; particularly those of you who
come from the East do not seem to realize that in the rural regions of the South and West there is growing up a civilization which is essentially undemocratic and un-Christian, because it is intolerant. I know, of course, that intolerance is not confined to the South or the West. I shall return to that later, but it especially manifests itself there. There are two sorts of provincialism in this country. We who live in the West and the South speak of the provincialism of the East, because the East knows so little about what is going on in the rest of the country. In that respect the East is provincial. There is another sort of provincialism that is more threatening in the South and West, where vast masses are removed from the great currents of culture, because there are so many relatively isolated communities in those sections, and so you have another kind of provincialism which is even worse than the provincialism which you sometimes find east of Buffalo.
I believe that the first duty, then, of all of you is to clear your minds in regard to this matter. I am not trying to be sensational. I am going to give to you the sober and deliberate judgment which has come from my experience and study. I will have to emphasize, as my topic indicates, not the hopeful things, but those not so hopeful, and which we need to correct. Professor J. M. Mecklin, of Dartmouth, an eastern man born in the South, who has traveled all over the country to investigate the growth and meaning of the Klan movement and who has written the most scientific book about that movement, has said: "I think we must conclude that the American people are essentially an intolerant people." I hope that conclusion is not true. I believe that the wave of intolerance which we are now experiencing is a temporary, rather than a permanent, thing. War psychology has had a great deal to do with it; still I shall also show you that its roots lie deep in our national life, and that it existed long before the war, but that the events of the last few years have brought all these things to the surface.
Our forefathers realized that if they were going to build a social system in which there was to be an adequate life for all, a society that was fraternal, toleration would have to be written into our federal constitution. Those who pride themselves upon their Americanism but show intolerance are, it seems to me, forgetting that. Our forefathers understood that the first steps toward a cooperative society were toleration, understanding, and good will among the groups which make up the nation, and it seems incredible that any of us should have forgotten it. But it was not simply our national forefathers who understood this. The Protestant reformers understood it, too, and freedom of conscience was their first principle, with religious toleration. That is the very principle of Protestantism, and yet some Protestants seem to have forgotten that freedom of conscience is their fundamental principle, and so some Protestants occupy today the position which Roman Catholics occupied four hundred years ago. They are not willing to allow freedom of conscience even within their own denominations. I can say this, because all my ancestors have been militant