THE latest proposed Sunday iniquity is “the introduction of literature on Sabbath observance into school books.” It is scarcely necessary to say that it was a committee of the Reformed Presbyterian Synod that proposed this. Commenting on this cheme an exchange well says:—
Talk of Church meddling with or control of secular affairs, but did any one in the United States ever before hear of a proposition so outrageously audacious and insolent as that revealed by the name of this Covenanter committee? What wonder that such Protestants as these are opposed to the division of the public school funds in the interest of the Catholics! They want it all to serve their own purposes; they want to make the common schools, supported by the taxation of all classes of the people, the propagating grounds of their own narrow and intolerant notions. Of a piece with this demand is that of several Protestant lay organizations that only Protestant teachers shall be employed in the State schools. A western newspaper, mouthpiece of one of these sectarian societies, in declaiming against all teachers who are not Protestants, indignantly asks why Catholics should be allowed to teach in Protestant schools. Protestant, mind you, not public or common schools. It has come to this, that the schools of the people are held by one division of the church to be its property now, while the other division holds that they should be its private possession as soon as possible; and both agree in demanding that religion of some kind shall be taught therein all the time. All this in plain denial of the letter and spirit of the Constitution and of the law of equal freedom.
Dr. H. H. George was chairman, and of his report the Christian Reformer says:—
Dr. H. H. George … reported that he had corresponded with three leading school-book publishes; viz.: Ginn & Co., Boston; Potter & Co., Philadelphia; and the American Book Company, New York. The first mentioned thought it a grand idea, and would like to have the matter continued, and suggested that some sample manuscripts be prepared and submitted to the company. The second, or representative of the Pooter & Co. firm, could see no objection to it, and would be quite willing to consider it further. The American Book Company did not know that it would be expedient. They were aiming to meet any public demand in the line of school books, but had not known of any demand in the direction of Sabbath literature for such books. The committee deems it advisable to take further steps to prepare some discussion of the subject of the Sabbath in a graded series to suit the different school readers, and also a more analytic discussion of the subject for the text-book on physiology, and have them submitted to these and other book firms.
This is a monstrous proposition. Mr. George and his confreres would be horrified at the idea of turning the common schools over to the Catholics, even where papists are in the majority; but they deliberately plan to seize the schools in the interests of their Sunday propaganda. School books have quite enough of the errors of so-called orthodoxy in them now without making them vehicles for conveying into every home the claims of the false Sabbath.