Baltimore Evening Sun (14 July 1913): 6.
Novel recommended to clerical uplifters: “The Inside of the Cup,” by Winston Churchill. Plot in brief: A young clergyman, tiring of “social service,” begins to clean up his own vestry. Result: the vestry charges him with heresy!
A DAILY THOUGHT. All our liberties are due to men who, when their consciences have compelled them, have broken the laws of the land.--W. K. Clifford.
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth G. Murray, the moral statistician, in The Evening Sun of Saturday:
In the fall of 1911 there were in Baltimore city over 60 places where vice existed, and at the same time we had the regulation system, unmolested by any agitators. That is to say, we had public and private vice in our city, and segregation increased rather than decreased private vice.
A beautiful example of that solemn and clownish rumble-bumble which is the chief delight of vice crusaders. The obvious fact, of course, is that segregation worked against dispersion, if only by providing powerful competition. The truth of this was shown the moment the first blow at segregation was struck. The dispersed foci of vice increased immediately and enormously, and at the present time, instead of 60 of them, we have fully 300. And if the protests now pouring in are honest, they are still multiplying.
Unless I err grievously, the Rev. Dr. Murray’s statistics are all borrowed from the late Samuel G. Pentz, C. P., that notoriously reliable authority. The Hon. Mr. Pentz, before he retired from the moral turf, made a great ado over the fact that there were no less than 60 “centres of vice” in Baltimore, but what he always forgot to tell the Sunday-schools was that all save very few of them were within well-known and unmistakable areas. And the few that were actually dispersed were nearly all in inconspicuous places, where they offered little offense to the neighbors. But under the present system the seed is scattered broadcast. There is prostitution today in scores of neighborhoods which never had a hint of it before.
The news that the new science of “sexual hygiene” is to be taught in the public schools of Chicago, over the protest of 90 per cent. of the parents of the town, should give heart to those propagandists who have long advocated the same great reform in Baltimore. We have, as everyone knows, an ideal teaching force for the work: it is made up almost entirely of old maids. Besides, we all know that knowledge, in that department, is the one road to virtue: witness the notorious asceticism of medical students. Certainly it is lamentable that Baltimore, the capital and stronghold of all the other current quackeries, has allowed Chicago to get ahead of her with this one. Soused with mixed Perunas, we have let the jug of Swamp Root go by.
Meanwhile, it is interesting to hear from Dr. W. J. Robinson, a New York specialist, that the principal effect of all the current gabble about sexual hygiene and eugenics, at least in New York, has been to fill the people, and particularly the women, with extravagant and groundless fears. A number of imprudent physicians, by well-meant warnings, have helped to spread this mania, but its chief cultivators have been lay uplifters of the bogus “expert” type. According to such experts, 90 per cent. of all men above the age of 21 are walking culture tubes, and 60 per cent. of all children are born either insane or blind, and usually both. So far this campaign of “education” has not made much progress in Baltimore, but the great thinkers who run the Maryland Suffrage News have shown a considerable interest in it, and on doubt it will break out soon or late. Another argument for bringing the Rev. Billy Sunday to our fair city. Let that learned theologian fire the first gun.
The estimable Hot Towel makes the sad announcement that the Hon. Blair Lee has a cinch on the short-term Senatorship, and that all the other aspirants, including the Hon. Dashing Harry, have been scared off. Bitter news, indeed. The nomination and election of the Hon. Mr. Harry would have been a double killing, for in the first place it would have shut off his eternal wire-pulling and campaigning, now so tedious and ludicrous, and in the second place it would have put a frank anti-Progressive into the Senate. He is the one considerable politician among us who professes no belief in the political cancer cures that quacks are now bawling from every stump. He has never fallen for such bosh, and I doubt that he ever will. His appeal for votes is made on other grounds, and if those grounds are sometimes less virtuous, it is also true that they are infinitely more honest. He is not a bogus utopian.
Such men are needed in the Senate, which is fast filling up with pelitical Munyons and Lydia Pinkhams. The House is already lost: throw a brick there and you will infallibly hit a vice crusader, and if not a vice crusader, then a local optionist, and if not a local optionist, then an initiator and referendor. Every idiotic invention for turning men into archangels overnight is now preached there by mountebanks who know that it won’t work, and not a dozen open critics remain on their legs. The Senate catches the same measles. Even such old-times as the Hon. John Walter Smith are now swallowing Perunas by the barrel, and protesting pathetically that they enjoy it. The direct primary has gone down; the Webb law has followed it; more and worse doses are prescribed by the attending Cagliostros.
The Hon. Mr. Harry, unless I misjudge him, would never yield to that Tartuffian debauchery. He had a chance, far back in the Senatorial fight, to get converted to all the current nonsense, and so to confute the Sunpaper. He was, in fact, strongly advised to do so, and by Machivellis of considerable sapience. But he kept his flag nailed to the mast, and it is nailed there yet. He has his faults, true enough. He lacks humor. He is an inept and ludicrous controversialist. He is often, not to put too fine a point upon it, a bit too grasping. But, taking him as he stands, he is at least infinitely superior to the Old Mother Hubbards who now cry up their liniments on all sides--for example, to the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte, LL. D. Saying your worst against government by the Prestons and Sonny Mahons, you must always admit, in the end, that it is better than government by vice crusaders, suffragettes, Socialists, trust-busters, wool-hat messiahs, initiators, referendors, recallers, boozehounds, penalogists, uplifters, Chautauqua stars and other such political raffia workers and charlatans.