A RELIGIOUS paper of Chicago, exulting at the triumphs of goodness accomplished by the United States as “the Good Samaritan” in the war last year, says: “We have made Cuba rejoice and Porto Rico glad, and we have given the Philippines a chance to breathe.”
It is certain that from several thousand at least of the Filipinos “we” have taken away forever all “chance to breathe,” and there is not much of “the good Samaritan” about that.
Further, this religious paper says: “We have stopped extermination. We can take up our morning papers without reading a daily chapter of Cuban horrors. The Stars and Stripes are now waving where the buzzards used to swarm over the dead.” Alongside of that read the following lines from a letter written by a soldier in the Philippines, Feb. 7, 1899:—
“The natives fought with desperation. Their sharp-shooters planted themselves in trees and stayed there until they were shot down. Their trenches were just filled with the dead. But the boys have done their work well, and the insurgents are about fifteen miles out on all sides of the city, and still going. The boys are right after them, however, burning as they go. The skies at night are red with fires. The troops have been allowed to take anything they could find, and as a consequence considerable looting was done. One fellow got $600 out of a priest’s house. Many have gotten diamonds and precious stones. Of course there has been great cruelty, but these people needed a lesson. The only way to govern them is by fear. So all the burning and devastation was necessary. I hope it won’t have to go further.”
“Of course, all this has not been accomplished without great loss on our part. Last night the list of the dead had risen to fifty. Thus far about two hundred wounded have been taken to the hospitals. I tell you it is a terrible sight to see the poor boys being taken into the hospitals. It just seems criminal to sacrifice so many American lives on such a country as this is. And the United States paid $20,000,000 for the privilege. The end has not yet come, and no one knows how long it will take to subdue these people.”
“I sincerely hope that it won’t take long to educate these people, and that they will soon be convinced that to resist the superior power of the United States is worse than useless. But it is a harsh and unpleasant lesson that we are forced to teach these people. And the worst of it is they are fighting for just the same principle which actuated us in our struggle for our independence; that is the right to govern themselves and to conduct their own affairs. They look upon us as invaders, and although we are feared we are heartily hated by the inhabitants. The Filipinos die with curses on their lips and hatred in their eyes, and we are paying too great a price.”
This is the plain truth and the cold facts, just as they are written by one who is on the spot—one too whose heart revolts at it. Such things, of course, are only to be expected of the governments, states, and nations of earth; but when the churches, religious teachers, and religious papers identify themselves with all this and proclaim that in it all “we have played the Good Samaritan,” this presents a condition of things in the professed Christianity of the Unity States, that poses as the exemplary Christianity of the world, which, to the one who has a regard for real Christianity, is more disheartening than is the Philippine campaign to that honest soldier. What can such Christianity be but a part of that Babylon which is fallen, is fallen, and is making all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication?
A. T. J.