Notes and Remarks [excerpt]
To clamor for stricter immigration
laws simply because the late President was assassinated by a man
named Czolgosz, is mere fatuity. The desirability of more rigorous
entrance requirements must be argued on its own merits, and the
murder of Mr. McKinley has nothing to do with the discussion. Neither
Booth the slayer of Lincoln, nor Guiteau the slayer of Garfield,
was a foreigner; and the unfortunate wretch who murdered President
McKinley was not a foreigner either. All were American-born and
American-bred; all were educated in the public schools. The words
spoken by a leader of the anarchists, Herr Most, are full of meaning.
“Czolgosz,” he said, “is not a Pole: the Poles are Catholics,”—the
perfectly correct inference being that no Catholic can be an anarchist.
The assassin publicly apostatized three years ago when he was “converted”
by a famous priestess of anarchy; and if he had been educated in
a parish school his “conversion” would not have been so inevitable.
The murder of President McKinley, more than any event of recent
times, seems to have brought home to non-Catholics the need of religious
training in the schools. “This,” said Edward Everett Hale, “must
be the result until in some happy day we can show that we educate
men where now we only instruct them. Let church and school be quicker
and stronger in giving to God’s children training that is divine.”
And the Rev. W. Montague Geer, of New York, closed a speech that
was long and strong with these encouraging words: “The question
now is, to what an extent can we mold and remodel our educational
system. To solve the problem we must put forth our best energies.
Almost any system is better than the present one. It were infinitely
better to divide up the money received from the school-tax among
the various Christian denominations and the Hebrews than to continue
the present irreligious system.” All which has been said before,
but the name of W. Montague Geer adds a touch of freshness.