THE ELECTION POLICY OF THE BIBLE IN STATE SCHOOLS LEAGUE.
TO THIS EDITOR.
Sir. —I beg to point, out- the following erioneons renresentati ,ns in your ailictr on tho above subject in your if sue *<! Saturday last..
First-, you say that the !« arm- are asking candidates to endorse, the platform of the league “in its entirety” and “all tirat it connotes.” This is incorrect, as probable ovciy candidate in Dunedin is well aware The league arc m> mure asking candidates to endorse personally the platform of the league than the Temperance party are applying the test of total abstinence to their candidate.'. Tim league are concerned just now about the. question whether candidates, in the event of their election to Parliament, will or will not allow the people to vote at the ballot- box for or a gin st, that platform. The league claim that the people have » right to receive from Parliament this liberty to accept or reject the platform of tho league at the ballot box. Tho league maintain that the candidate who refuses to grant this reasonable right of a Referendum Bril is unworthy of receiving votes of the members of the league in this democratic Do minion, and exhort (heir members accordingly. Tire late Ron. Richard Seddon affirmed in 1904 that a Referendum Bril on Bible in schools was a right and reasonable thing, and he maintained that if he refused such a request he would not be doing his duly to his country or to Ins position of Prime Minister. The present policy of the league finds ample justification 'in Mr Soddon’s statesmanlike presentation of the case.
Second, your article aaya “ that the Bible in State Schools League have no belief in their declaration, that their membership consists of a large majority of rim electors of the Dominion.” Tho Bible in State Schools League made no such declaration. Tho league's declaration, as given by Canon Garland in his statement to tho Parliamentary Committee, in Wellington the- other week, is as follows; The league's request is signed by 153,000, which, taking the electors at 590,042 in 1911, is over 25 per cent, of the electors--well over one-third of the
486,100 electors who voted in 1911
Third, you presult the Rev. Dr Gibb as a monument of inconsistency on this question because in 1903 he denounced the .suggestion that the schools of New Zealand might be used as the English Education Act allowed the schools to bo used. You have, in your hands Canon Garland’s statement to the Parliamentary Committee amounting to 255 pages, and in your article you suppress and ignore Dr Gibb’s vindication and justification of his present attitude in that statement. You will find that statement on page 146. which, is as follows:
1 was mum more cognisant of tho working of tho Education Act in Australia, and the overwhelming testimony to tho smooth and satisfactory working of the latter came under rnv attention at
a later period. In plain terms, it is the, discovery that the Right of Entry in Australia, so far from inflicting injustice on any, even the smallest church, is universally regarded as a boon of incalculable worth that has led to mv chant"' of attitude. 1 thought that if the Right of Entry were aceoidid there would he friction, discord, and heart-burning in the churches. I find that peace and mutual good-will are promoted among minister? of religion and churches by (heir joint efforts to give .religious instruction to the children in the public .'■••hoo!?. An ! finding this. I had no option hni n withdraw from my former petition and take my stand, as I now iru«vr heartily do. with those who demand tho Right of Entry for ministers or their duly, accredited rep rcscii tali vcs. As a very elementary act- of just ho to Dr Gibb I ask yon to insert this Jotter. - f am, etc.. Rour.nr Worm. November 10 [Apparently oar rev. correspondent is unaware of the form of pledge that the league are asking their members to sign. If he d- exes, wc shall have much plea.-ure in publishing it. But be may obtain enlightenment by consulting the columns of our morning contemporary, in which the Rev. \V. Gray ILxoti frankly admits that the action of tho league, in nqu st:ng tacir menthols to abstain from voting i<<r any man—he his party what it may—-who will not clearly and definitely proini-.; that he v. ill support the propo-ed tvjVien- ■! *i o.i the i.-sucs framed by the league. "Vs been thitisl upon the in. nil-‘it-, of the leagno again.-t their will and host, < ndeavors.” And as to what- shape Ihf.o endeavois" ha' - e taken ar.d taking tile public are likely dul'in. t-'n- n> >“ |V w we-duS to hear sonic ini cue-i n.r ; ■ v-■ io lion?. As for the Rev. Dj Oil,in. t. c ii.r' tion, it mav possibly sat.ciy Mr V, o. • f but we doubt, veiy much v, hot !n r it n he satisfactory t" the great- majority < l tile people -■! ((t.igo. who .-o far n.r.■■ not been ah! ■ to bring th ms Ivc? to believe that peace and good-will are bk-.-ly to ho promoted among mini.-tem ~i icli gion by their "joint ” elb.-tis to nve religious inftfit’ti at in the Seat- rrh<-T. It is passing si range that- Mr Wood should overlook the fact umio-icd by tin- Rev. Dr Gibb—that the league's, plat form '? not by any means a “joint ' - (Tyrt t-. giv<religious instruct on in the public '■< mom ■. but is only a "joint" effort to obrainth. Right of Entry hy the clergy ini" those schools—to he followed hy the separate effort of ench clergyman to teach therein the special dogma of hie ) atricnlar "mm.” Is it to he wondered, then, that so many earnest Christians are determined to land aloof from the scheme of the Bdile-in-Schoola League?— Ed. E.S.]
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THE ELECTION POLICY OF THE BIBLE IN STATE SCHOOLS LEAGUE., Evening Star, Issue 15646, 10 November 1914
THE ELECTION POLICY OF THE BIBLE IN STATE SCHOOLS LEAGUE. Evening Star, Issue 15646, 10 November 1914
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