THE MAILED FIST OF CLERICAL AUTOCRACY.
- TO TOE EDITOR. Sir, —If anything were needed to show the monstrous nature of the policy of the Bible-in-Schools party it would be the ' Outlook' extract quoted with approval in your issue of 22nd by the Rev. Mr Wood. According to that precious doctrine the minority of the Presbyterian ministry is supposed to sit silent and obey the dictates of the majority, aye, even to the length of preaching in favor of' a proposal that they in their hearts consider wrong. As fpr those of the laity who signed the petition, many of them did so because of the mie'.eading issue put before them. I personaly know of cases; and Professor Hunter himself was actually assured by a lady convasser that teachers were to have a conscience clause. Mr Wood Will find that just as minorities in New Zealand have gone out to help the British Flag, so will the patriots of this land refuse to allow any set of self-consti-tuted religious majorities to impose disabilities on minorities here. The whole fight for liberty in speech and thought has been won by the' struggle by minorities against the tyranny of majorities, and particularly is this so of the very Church of which Mr Wood is an ordained minister. Had his forefathers sat dumbly silent when ordered to do so by majorities, where would the Church of Scotland be to-day? The rights of conscience belong to no majority. They are God-given, personal rights. Yet the ' Outlook' would have ministers sacrifice their sacred convictions, and even preach against them, out of loyalty to the Church. Mr Wood contends that a missionary, because he is not an " ordained minister," is not to be considered. How many missionaries it would take to equal an ordained minister we are not told. Following that comes the declaration that home missionaries and teachers have no to sign protest*. Fancy Mr Robert Wood as supreme controller of people's rights! "Clergy first; their sacred person must be protected. Laity out of it, except those who bow at our altar. Teachers and missionaries tabooed." A pretty policy this to seriously present to an intelligent country. The time is ill-chosen to ask us to impose religious tests and disabilities upon aiinorities. All alike have arisen in unity for the Empire aud the Flag. From that Empire and that Flag, and the free people who live under it, our own minorities are as much entitled to receive justice and protection from clerical aggression as little Belgium is to protection from the Kaiser, who also, be it noted, goes to battle in the sacred name of religion and the uplifting of the world.—l am, etc., J. J. Ramsay. Alexandn, October 24.
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THE MAILED FIST OF CLERICAL AUTOCRACY., Evening Star, Issue 15633, 26 October 1914
THE MAILED FIST OF CLERICAL AUTOCRACY. Evening Star, Issue 15633, 26 October 1914
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