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The chief troubles of the world are largely due to four increasing dislikes: dislike of school, dislike of church, dislike of work, and dislike of foreigners. These foolish and dangerous dislikes usually get well rooted in childhood, where their growth might and should be prevented by teachers, and pastors—most of all by parents. The best service of teachers and pastors will be rendered if they insist on being only the assistants, never the substitutes for parents. Who can doubt there would be less of crime, vice, pauperism, industrial and international war if those who shape the powerful first impressions of life found a way to make children go joyfully to school, to church, to work, as to great opportunities of service, and carefully fostered the natural love of every child for every other child, instead of allowing class and race and sect hatreds to be planted in young hearts, out of which industrial and international wars must inevitably grow?
This book aims to open for discussion by collegians and plain people the many social problems that deeply concern children and the home. My experience in speaking from an auto pulpit from Bangor to Louisville has convinced me that even the street crowds of American cities are ready to consider social problems that deeply concern their children. I have never had a street meeting broken up, though nine-tenths of the audience commonly hold views opposed to mine. I hope by these familiar talks and especially by the Forums in Part II to bring the issues of every-day patriotism to the home tables, and make the family circle the rallying point for "a better country” and “a better world” here and now.
Lecture II. City and State Patriotism Through what natural causes should parents become deeply interested in having a good city government ? Child's first contact with government, the policeman, with whom parents should cordially cooperate. Mayor's autocratic control of all shows to be invoked by parents unitedly against all harmful shows. City Council to be enlisted by courteous interviews to furnish home protection so far as city ordinances can go. Parents' relations to juvenile courts should be intimate. Supreme duty of parents as lieutenants of Government in the training of good citizens to teach and practice obedience to all laws. Citizens to be made to feel that faithful enforcement of all laws is the special function of city officers: mayor, police, prosecutor, judges—who should be selected with special reference to fitness for that work. Re-creation Commission needed in all cities to survey, supplement and supervise public amusements, combining playground associations, censor boards, etc., for more comprehensive treatment of the biggest city problem. How do intelligent parents come to have increased interest in State Government? State laws secured not chiefly through the ballot box, where vote is usually on but one of a hundred subjects of legislation, but through the mail box. Petitions, letters, telegrams, deputations are respectively the 'artillery barrage, the infantry volley, the sharpshooters' shots and the cavalry charge in securing legislation, whether State or National.
Lecture III. National Patriotic Problems Moral issues regarded as belonging to city and state till 1882—why new view taken then and since? Why new view of national control of business also ? City, State and Federal relations to strikes. Recent amendments to national constitution. Why was not local option and State prohibition sufficient to curb liquor evil? Why should national government be given power by additional amendments to establish minimum standards on child labor and divorce? What are the real reasons why divorces have multiplied? In addition to law, what should education and religion undertake to do in restraint of
this great evil? And what should education and religion and legislation severally undertake in securing proper restriction of immigration first, and then the true Americanization and Christianizing of immigrants already here? Should efforts be made to draw immigrants from racial colonies to mingle more with native people? Is it desirable to keep children in churches where services are in foreign tongues only because some of the grown-ups are too old to learn a new language? What besides learning English is required by a true Americanization program? Should not Americanization include showing that the very fact immigrants come here indicates American ways have worked better than old country ways? What is an “American Sunday”? What is the American way
about Bible reading in the public schools and colleges ? What is the American way in politics ? In business? In society? In amusements? With all races here, what can we do to lessen international strife through proper relations with those in our midst who represent every foreign land? Most of all what is the new hope as to better relations between Negroes and whites as shown by the President's speech at Birmingham in 1921 and the report in 1922 on the Chicago massacre ? IV. Internationalism Through World Brotherhood (See Chaps. viii-xi; Forums 15-20; also Alphabetical
Index on all topics.) 1. Foreign missions of Christian churches have prepared the way for some association of nations to insure world peace by teaching best people of most influential Christian lands, during more than a century, that men of all colors and races are one brotherhood under the Fatherhood of God. Missions influential sociologically because they improve conditions of this life for the individual and the community, as well as hold up the joy or woe of the life to come.
2. Great "relief" campaigns conducted by Christian Herald, Literary Digest, Red Cross and other agencies, for India, China, Belgium, Russia and Near East, that have passed from millions into billions, have lessened international illwill and prepared nations for cooperation.
3. A survey of world conditions, especially in Europe, Asia, Africa, shows nothing less than an “association of nations"—the League of Nations or some similar bodycan assure us against Germany, Russia and Turkey bringing on another world war, which the radical revolutionists in all lands are likely to take advantage of for bringing on another world war to change industrial conditions by violence just when almost universal democracy makes it entirely practicable to make all reasonable industrial changes by the orderly processes of government. See Crafts' Internationalism for brief survey all associations of three or more nations in war or peace from the time of the Crusades. Nations have formed associations to regulate international postage by Postal Union, philanthropy by Red Cross, morals by White Slave Treaty and Anti-opium Convention. The supreme task of associated nations now is to assure world peace.
4. Each town can help prevent another great war by petitions to President Harding to resume our "vacant chair" as umpire and leader of our recent Allies. Each town can help also by eliminating local sect, class and race antagonisms, not only in the name of religion but of good manners. It is rowdy to get angry and abusive because others in the exercise of their liberty take different views from ours. Action of Kansas Governor in ordering Ku Klux officers out of the State-is it a good example? Also less drastic act of Georgia Governor in prohibiting public use of Ku Klux costumes ? The Facisti of Italy fighting revolutionary Communists by an irresponsible armed association can it be reasonably defended? Shall we prohibit appeals for revolutionary changes of government where democracy makes every man a “Sovereign Citizen," with every court as his royal court? And permit the discussion by platform and press of the conduct of sects, classes and races under the banner of free speech? Neither public or private force should be allowed to prevent either criticism or defense of Jews or Catholics; of Labor or Capital; of Negro or Oriental; but by moral suasion men who "seek peace and pursue it" should strive to keep discussion parliamentary and courteous, "SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE."
1. BE GOOD TO YOURSELF
I was spending the Sabbath in a minister's home, and had very promptly made a friend, as usual, of the youngest of the family, a little girl nine years of age. I had noticed early in my visit that her older brother, Tom, about twelve years of age, was a good deal of a tease, and when presently he passed out of the room, I said to my little friend, in the confidence of our new friendship and in a spirit I fear too gossipy, “Is Tom a good boy?” She raised her head and assumed the judicial air of a Portia, and speaking very slowly and carefully, as we ought to speak when judging others, she said: “Well, Tom is not as good as God; but then Tom isn't as bad as the devil.” In that broad bay I have instantly made room for all the boys—and the girls, too; I haven't left one of them out, nor one of the old folks, either.
Another pertinent story—for you can no more study childhood without stories and smiles than you can study geology without stones—was the case of a little girl who was asked by a lady visitor, “Are you a good girl ?” She answered cheerfully, “Not velly good, not velly bad; just a comferable little girl.” She had imbibed from the spirit of the age the idea that to be very good is to be very "uncomferable,” but the old Scotchman was nearer right who urged upon his son that honesty is the best
1 The subjects that are briefly introduced in each of these talks are further discussed, still more informally, in two Round Tables in Part II, which are intended to be forums of frank and friendly free speech. In those Round Tables information is given as to where literature on the subjects discussed can be obtained-usually free of charge. I suggest the whole series of talks be read first to get in short order a comprehensive survey of present day social problems, and that the Round Tables be then taken up in a more thorough second round of study.