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can be right that while in one state a child has a chance to go through the elementary grades before he goes to work, another child in another state is allowed to go to work at eight years old without being able to read. That is the condition which exists. I cannot think the Senator stands for it.
Those who are for this amendment are charged with attempting to nationalize the children of this country. That was good! I thoroughly enjoyed the picture the Senator painted of what is going to happen-that bureau in Washington which will require at least three millions of dollars and four hundred thousand agents to carry on. But he has understated it, according to some of the associations opposing the amendment. They have said it would require a federal agent for every home and every farm in America. What are these agents going to do? They are going to take every child as soon as it is born, snatch it from its mother's breast, take it to Washington, put it in the national kindergarten, and keep it from doing any kind of work till it has passed its eighteenth birthday not allowing it to do any kind of work, even work with its brains!
In Massachusetts we found that a great many people had gone to the dictionary and discovered that labor means any kind of exertion, physical or mental, and they told the people that if this amendment was ratified no persons in the United States would be permitted even to think until they had passed their eighteenth birthday. And their reasoning indicated that many above eighteen thought the law had already passed and were setting a good example before the children.
He told us every government uses all the power it possesses; that we are in a bad way, with all our bureaus. It is a curious fact that the people responsible for the establishment of bureaus in the federal government never complained until we tried to get a little bit of a bureau to look after children who could not look after themselves. Now the promoters of the adult bureaus have become alarmed because some people want a bureau for children. The Senator said we ought to have a bureau for Jews, and a bureau for women! Today the women are citizens of the United States, participating citizens, and so are the Jews, and, in some parts of the country; Negroes. Theoretically, they have the right to participate in our citizenship, in the making of our laws, in the establishing of our institutions. Does not the child exist in an entirely different category? I agree with the Senator that all our responsibilities as citizens should be considered locally first, that we ought to get all reforms first through our cities, and only go to the state house when it is impossible to make improvement in the city, and only to Washington when it is impossible in the state. The child does not exist politically, but is the ward of the state, and when the Senator objects to the cost of its protection we call his attention to the fact that the government gives its citizens a rebate of $400 on their income tax for every child under eighteen years of age. Has he, or any of his constituents of the National Manufacturers Association, protested against that?
It has probably not escaped any of our listeners that through the splendid
spirit and eloquence of my distinguished opponent two or three facts have been brought out. One is that the child labor problem in this country is belittled by him-there isn't any-and if there is, it's a good thing. Second, that the government is bad and getting worse all the time; third, that our citizens are becoming ignorant and lawbreaking and vicious, and we are on the way to the demnition bow-wows. I do not see how he can be cheerful about it all. He must be an incorrigible optimist! When he tells you that every state has a good child labor law, he simply states what is not so-unless you are prepared to agree with him that the best child labor law is no law.
I read that speech of President Coolidge with interest, and I read some things in it which the Senator did not have time to read tonight, but which have been called to the attention of the American people by the New York World. For instance, President Coolidge says that if questions which the states will not fairly settle on their own account shall have to be settled for them by the federal government, it will be only because some states will have refused to discharge their obvious duties. I prefer to stand in this respect with President Coolidge. In the application of this particular problem I do not believe that any state line is any more sacred than a county line. Because a child happens to live in Colorado, or Nebraska, or New York, or Georgia, it does not follow that the United States and its citizens have no interest, or right to an interest, in him. I believe in this indestructible Union, made so because of common purposes, common ideals, and a common destiny, and I am convinced that if any section of the country, whether state, county, city, ward, or home, becomes lawless and unwilling to give proper protection to those who live within its bounds, the necessity rests upon the American commonwealth to see that that sore spot is healed, not for itself alone, but for the health of the whole body.
THE RELIGION OF HUMAN HELPFULNESS
Rev. John Howard Melish, Trinity Episcopal Church, Brooklyn
Come ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.-Matt. 25:34.
The mineral kingdom has existed from the foundation of the world. The vegetable kingdom, drawing its life from the rocks and the sun, the air and the water, has existed from the foundation of the world. The animal kingdom, depending in the last analysis upon the vegetable kingdom, goes back to the beginning of life upon this planet. Vitally related to all these kingdoms, his bones of the very substance of the rocks, his bodily organs similar to those of the animals, even his brain not unlike the brain of humbler creatures, there came in the course of evolution the kingdom of man. The human kingdom, like the
mineral, the vegetable, and the animal kingdoms, has been prepared from the foundation of the world.
Man is the inheritor of all three kingdoms. He is born to the scepter; but, like a royal heir apparent, he must grow up to it. And how slowly man has entered into his kingdoms! Throughout all the years that he has fought cold and hunger there was an unlimited wealth of coal beneath his feet, but he never discovered it until yesterday; the fertile ground was able to grow fifty bushels of wheat where it has grown one, but man did not know how to cooperate with it until today; water in vast quantities falls upon the earth and runs down to the sea, giving super-power of inestimable strength-its full use is the task of tomorrow; electricity was all-persuasive, ready to turn night into day, flash messages around the world, and perform every task; but man went on in darkness and put the heavy burdens upon the beasts or his fellows whom he enslaved. Man is just beginning to enter into his kingdom. We moderns talk about progress and pride ourselves on our achievements in the conquest of nature. And well we may, for in the past century we have made more advance than in all the preceding centuries. But from the viewpoint of the race, the progress has been humiliatingly late and painfully slow; and in the higher realms of our kingly inheritance we have only begun to wield the scepter and wear the
The kingdom into which man is still to come, and which now is eagerly awaiting its heir and master, is the kingdom of man himself. This kingdom is like a great modern factory which is owned and run by large-minded men. Their first task, of course, is to finance the enterprise, build the works, and assemble the machinery; their next task is to organize their producing and selling force. Only when these tasks are completed can they undertake the supreme adventure of industrial life. This is to create the spirit of good will which, entering all, from president to scrub woman, makes of a factory a home of liberty and democracy. So our task as men and women, inheritors of the kingdom of man, now that we have in a measure entered into those other kingdoms of coal and electricity and mechanical inventions, is to come into the human kingdom. We are to humanize society. We are to socialize the world. We are to bring humanity under the scepter of the intellect and the heart. We are to have our nobler selves control our lower selves, even as we are to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
In the fulfilment of this great adventure religion has a part to play. What is its contribution to the humanizing of the world? Does it help man in the conquest of the earth? Does it inspire or strengthen him to gain the mastery over the brute in humanity and in nature? Does it furnish any truth, any knowledge, any power, any consolation, any inspiring vision which man needs and without which his task may end in failure? Let us bring the mind of Christ to bear upon this venture of humanizing the world.
Christ, the supreme religious teacher, divided mankind into two groups. The one he calls "blessed," and the other, "cursed." The kingdom of man, says the Master, belongs to those who help their fellow-men, and those who will not help cannot share the inheritance. Let us think of each of these groups in turn.
Who are the blessed? "I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison and ye came unto me." Feeding hungry people, whether it be by sharing a loaf with an individual or increasing the food supply of a nation, is part of the great humanizing task. The cup of cold water to a child or a reservoir of clear water to a city helps to give man the conquest of nature. The building of a municipal lodging-house, the maintenance of a social settlement, a branch of the Traveler's Aid—all take the stranger in. Many a factory clothes the naked, even as many a bureau of charities. What greater and more efficient ministry could be performed for the sick than that of the modern hospital? And to the thousands shut up in prison go the Prison Reform Association and the Mutual Welfare Leagues of Thomas Mott Osborne, as well as the prisoners' relatives and friends. All the rich and varied forms of social work are forms of ministry; they help men in their hours of need.
Christ claims all such helpers of their fellows as the inheritors of his kingdom. He pictures the claim as causing huge surprise to them. "When," they exclaimed, “saw we thee hungry, and fed thee, or athirst, and gave thee drink? And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in, or naked, and clothed thee? And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?" His answer was very simple and all-embracing: "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me." Is not that declaration as surprising to many social workers today as to those folks in the Master's picture? "We are so busy keeping and applying the second commandment," some say, "that we have no time to think of the first commandment; we are so occupied in saving the souls of others that we have almost forgotten our own souls." All such helpers the Master claims without distinction. "Are you helping men? Then you are helping me, whether or not you are aware of it." Is not this a surprise to many?
Real religion is usually a refreshing and delightful surprise. It is so entirely different from what men generally think it is. Religion is not one thing more, something that is added to the sum total of human activities. Real religion is the spirit with which all things are done. All the social worker needs in order to become religious is to recognize the fact that in serving men he is serving the Christ. And in this recognition, when it becomes a motive, he gains whatever help and inspiration religion has. When I do the service I am set to do, not because I may have an aptitude for it, or because it is my means of livelihood, not merely because I conceive it to be my duty, but when I do it because I believe God would have me do it, and therefore I will do it because of my wish
to serve him and because of love for him, then there is a will to serve, a vigor, and enthusiasm which are matched nowhere else. That motive has been the mainspring of the golden deeds of the world. No man serving his fellow-men need wait unto the end to be surprised by the Master. He can enter into the joy of the Master in the midst of his work. "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
And now let us turn to the other people whom the Master calls a hard name, "cursed." To our modern ears it has a harsh sound, but the fact behind the word is a harsh fact. There are men who live utterly useless lives; they take everything, and give nothing; they live on others, never for them; they are the parasites and the drones of society. They eat the food which others produce, and wear the clothes which others make, and sometimes keep well by making others sick, and shut up in prison any who question their right to exploit mankind. The kingdom of man is deferred, and at times defeated, by such men. Christ pictures such useless creatures as consigned by the King to outer darkness. And they are told the reason for their banishment: they never fed, clothed, visited, nor came to one of the least of the brothers of Christ and the sons of God.
The Master pictures these people as tremendously surprised when they are told that they are useless. They feel that some mistake has been made. "When saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?" The King answered that inasmuch as they did it not unto one of the least of their brother men, they did it not unto him. If social workers are surprised today when they are told that their service to man is religion, some other people are due for surprise when they shall be told that their so-called "religious services" are not religion.
The story of the Good Samaritan is a perpetual warning to religious people. It was a priest who went down the Jericho road, and did nothing for the man wounded, robbed, and dying by the wayside. Would not that priest be surprised if he were told that he had no share in the Kingdom of the Father? He would have furnished a reasonable alibi today. "Real religion," said a priest recently from a distinguished pulpit, "is theocentric, awed, a thing of beauty and deep humility. We are not to seek it for the sake of preserving civilization, that relatively unimportant incident, we are to seek it because we have lost our way, in a maze of sin and pride; because we are lonely, and life is dull, and the world's gaudy baubles seem like tinsel; because God is our true home." So the priests might have argued in the days of Christ; so they did present religion in preReformation days. It is not the religion of the great prophets of Israel, Isaiah, Amos, Jeremiah, who held that religion is justice, mercy, as well as humility. Nor is it the conception of the New Testament, which holds that religion is love, the love of God in the neighbor, and of the neighbor in God. The kingdom of man, fulfilling its destiny, is the Kingdom of God.
In the story of the Good Samaritan, the Levite, as well as the priest, was a