Saturday, December 1, 2012

110 years ago: Lecturer denounces churches and the "1%"

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

From the The Toronto Daily Star, November 17, 1902, page 7:

RICH RULE THE CHURCHES
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AND THEY PREACH ALMS-GIVING INSTEAD OF JUSTICE.
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Hon. E.H. Crosby Explains the Attitude of the Laboring Man to Religious Bodies.

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"The Church and the Labor Problem" was the subject of the address yesterday afternoon at the Toronto Opera House by Hon. Ernest Howard Crosby, given under the auspices of the Single Tax Association. Speaking of the unequal distribution of wealth, the lecturer declared that while one laborer produced to-day as much as thirteen did 150 years ago, the results of the wonderful discoveries of the past century have gone into few hands, and have widened the chasm between the rich and the poor. In the United States one per cent. of the population owes more property than the other 99 per cent. The inventions of new machinery led to overproduction, and men in consequence were thrown out of employment and made incapable of buying. As production increased, the number of buyers decreased. This forced us to seek foreign markets, and when these are exhausted a crisis comes upon us. The speaker condemned the Socialistic remedy as impracticable and Utopian. The monopolies should be dealt with and rooted out before trying a complicated system of organized industries. The Church to-day too much represents the rich and their class interests. Instead of justice, it preaches an ineffectual kind of charity. It must take the side of labor.

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