TO the Lutherans of Wisconsin and Illinois, in their opposition to the Bennett law and its counterpart, America proposes to teach a lesson. It proposes to instruct the Lutherans in their duty in the matter of the education of their children, and in order to do so more effectually it goes to Germany for the principles which it wishes to inculcate. It might be well to say to America that perhaps the Germans know as much about the system in Germany as America does, and that if they had wanted to follow that system they would have staid there instead of coming here.
America presents the fact that in the German schools, the German language is taught; that religion is taught; and that State inspection of schools is universal in Germany, private schools not being excepted; and then argues that as the Lutherans at home “had to submit” to that, they ought not to complain when required to submit to the same thing in this country.
If the principles of monarchy, of paternalism, not to say of despotism, that characterize the German government, are to be the model for the States of this Union to follow, then there is no use of talking any longer of American principles. That the defenders of the Bennett law in Wisconsin and its counterpart in Illinois have to appeal to foreign principles to sustain their cause is the strongest indictment that could be made against the laws which they try thus to sustain. Any law or any movement which cannot be sustained without appealing to European principles, to principles of monarchy, to principles of Church and State governments, and of paternalism generally, has no place among American institutions, and is not worthy of recognition by the American people. And to call a paper “America” that does so, is a misnomer.
A. T. J.