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Letters From The People

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LThiscolumn Is open totbepaople to exprws thelr opinión upoo any subject of Interest to the public, and corrapoudence upon al! ii'dej of all subjeots Udeslred. AU we ank ofoorreHpondent Is to keep out of personnlitie, and une argument tnstead of abuse. He ooncUe, don'i use more word than noceeRary to expresa ldeHH. Tht publlsher of the Courif.b doei not hold hhnnelf responsible foropluloiis expri-Hsed.} I.ijfht Wanted. Uk. Editor:- I am sadly confused. I notlce that other people when confused rush to the editor for guidance. I have lost track of the country and the century I live in. It isan anomalous thing, and I must explain to you how it has been brought about. I sometimes go to church - sorne people say not as often as I should. Frequently when at church, I hear a descrlption of things in the far-away lands, and either the preacher has a good case, or he is an arch manipulator of words, for when he proposes a collectlon to send men and women to those far away lands to teacli them better ways, I see my way clear to throw in my mlte. It usual ly happens that after a year or two we get a report froin these men and woinen sent out in this way. We flnd out thut our good intentions have not been appreciated, and that the Chinese, for example, have been receiving our well-intentioned raessengers with howlings and hootings, with 8tones and sometimes bullets, and that the authorities have been utterly supine underall thisdangertolife and limb. I confesa that this report lires my blood, and when I flnd that our men have been standing right up to this unflinchingly, I say to myself "I don't understand all you are trying to teach, but I admire your Anglo-Saxon manhood. Here is my share of money for you as long as you can do credit to our cornmon manliood in that brave way." Now the flrst thing that confuses me is, how we should ever fall into the habit of sending such brave men sofrir from home, when we might employ them right at home. So far as public and private indignities cast upon personally worthy people can be taken to indícate character, we have the hoodlum Chinese right in our midst, for thera has not been an indignity or a danger put upon a Protestant Missionary in China during the past, which has not been done in kind to the gentlemen and ladies who have come to Ann Arbor for the purpose of doing good. Some years ago, I remember of noing to church, and an old gentleman preached about some men and women who came over to this country a good many years ago, for what they called " freedom to worship God.1' I remember the preacher appeared to have a good deal of historical informatiou. He described the conditiou of affairs in the past ages- which, if true, were truly wretched. I remember he worked on my feelings a good deal, and when he wound up by saying "Thank God, in America every man is free to worship God in bis own way," I was carried off from my feet, and I too shouted "Thank God." The strangest thing about it is, that it did not secin qneer for me to shout. But that happened a good many years ago. I know more now I want to know if there is any way of getting that "Thank God" back. In the lirst place, the old gentleman was mistaken. There is no such general f reedora in this country. If you are rich and powerful, and control manv votes, vou have this freedom. But if you are weaK ana acspiseu, anu tnere is a prejudice against you, you have no such freedom. In thesecond place, I now have doubts whether any such freedom is a good thing. There are 8.000 or more Christian people in this community who have been having unrestricted religious freedom for a good many years. Thev are, upon the whole, well-intentioned people. I feel sure that, if after tneir experience, they regarded religious freedom as a good thing, they would exert tlieniselves to secure it for everybody in the community. You can see that I am confused upon what I supposed was fundamentally settled. A few years ago there was a good deal of excitemeut in San Francisco. Sorae classes of people that they called the lioixlluiu classes elected men to office that favorcd them in every way. The result was, no gambler could be effectively prosecuted, and every effort to carry out Lhe laws against the law-breaking classes was effectually hindered. The offleers were known as the "hoodlum officials." S"ow this happened the other side of the Itocky MnuntaiiiB. I suppoge it would je impossible fur a similar thing to hap¦'M upon this enligliteneil side of the iïocktes. I should feel like knocking a man down who should suggest that such a calamity could happen in these eulightened Eastern communities. Uut what confuBes me is to get a proper name for the oflicials in any coinmunity who do not really favor the hoodlum classes (for that is impossible), but who strongy appear to do so. I under.-taiid a gentleman by the name of SliiTiiiun, living in Oliio, found out tliis fall tliat the negroes in South Carolina and Alabama were prevented frotn holding Iree and unrestricted political meetings, and tbat hebrougbt the matter before the citizens in Ohio in such a way, tliat the majorlty of them voted this montli that the thiug waswrong.and they threaten to have a uew Fresident If the thingis notchanged. Doyouknow anything about this nian Sherman ? Is he a kind man ? Does be care for aDybody but the negroes in the south? Do you tliink we could get him to bring the matter before the people of Ohio so that they would vote in favor of our havlng free and unrestricted religious meetings in Michigan ? I could mention many other thlngs whlch have tended to unhinge my snpposed connection with the nineteenth century. But perhaps I have encroaclied too largely upon your time. I have a vulgar taste to reveal to you. I have always been Interested in dogs. 'erhaps you,and some others will cut me ead to hear me say so, but iny interest s mucli greaterin the poor, unfortunate ill-conditioued dojrs, providing their dog moráis ri'main good, than In the fat, wellfed, .leek dogs. I am decided that so long na the lat, well-fed and sleek H:iptista, Cathollcs, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Unitarians In this community are protected from disturbance and violence in their religious meetings, my efforts shall go.out to secure the same protection to the noor. dcsnised Satvt.!on Armv


Ann Arbor Courier
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