Source: Pacific Unitarian
Source type: magazine
Document type: column
Document title: “Sunday-School Department”
Date of publication: January 1902
Volume number: 10
Issue number: 3
|“Sunday-School Department.” Pacific Unitarian Jan. 1902 v10n3: pp. 90-91.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); McKinley assassination (religious response).|
|Leon Czolgosz [misspelled below]; Charles George Gordon; Jesus Christ; Herbert Lee; William McKinley.|
Patriotism in Our Sunday-Schools.
Thanksgiving Day this year will be a memorable
one for our beloved country. More and more a national religious holiday, the
themes of patriotism, of patriotic appreciation and patriotic obligation, will
be exalted with greater solemnity, sincerity, and unanimity than ever before.
The article which follows this, from the hand of Mr. Herbert Lee, instructor in the Portland High School, is timely and inspiring:—
The sacrifice of our late President to morbid fanaticism urges upon us the imperative necessity of right thinking. The assassin is himself a victim to his terribly mistaken zeal for what he regards as reform. We are sorry for McKinley; we are also sorry for Czolgoz. Our hearts bleed for such men. Can we do nothing by more thoughtful instruction to make more secure the lives of our presidents and at the same time free from this sad species of mental obliquity the minds of many of our suffering fellows?
Let us in our schools and in our debating-clubs emphasize the law of progress that history and science so abundantly prove. Let us teach that evolution is the law of the universe; that things develop, that nations grow. Let us remind our over-zealous reformers that  though a revolution destroyed many abuses in France, it did not save her from falling under a complete despotism within ten years. Let us reiterate, and never cease to do so, that there is no royal road to learning or any other really valuable thing. Thus may men come to see that a nation can never be reformed merely by the removal of a single individual. Only as a people becomes permeated with high moral principles, only as men come to be actuated by the true spirit of fraternity, brotherly love, genuine Christianity,—only then, and not until then, will tyranny and oppression cease from off the face of [the] earth. Therefore let those who are willing to risk their lives for the sake of their fellow man strive to help him by working with him, reasoning with him, dissuading him from evil, persuading him to good—in short, loving him.
Let us more and more draw attention to the inexhaustible patience of Jesus. When the “sons of thunder” came to him urging him to invoke the powers of heaven against a faithless and a worthless generation he turned to them with that tender look of mild surprise in his eyes, and with not a little sorrow exclaimed, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” And have we not all heard the watchword of General Gordon, who by his sublime life and character inspired into healthful action all who met him? It was but this: “With the help of the Almighty, I will hold the balance level.” Yes, less sensationalism, less notoriety, less talking for the newspapers; more quiet steadfastness, more real helpfulness, gr[e]ater self-poise, let us have. So shall w[e] more truly be faithful, earnest citizens.