Evangelical Social Reformers

Evangelical Social Movements


In the 19th Century, Evangelical Christians invested mammoth amounts of time and money into a wide variety of social reform movements. The abolition of slavery was at the top of the list, followed by the Temperance Movement. Evangelicals also founded and supported rescue missions for the poor, orphanages, Bible schools, medical missions, citadels of evangelism to the young, and preaching outposts in the inner cities.


Churches proved to be the main vehicles through which Christians could combine social work, community service, and evangelism. An idea became popular that it was futile to preach to those with empty stomachs. Presbyterian and Baptist churches in particular provided food and lodging for the needy, day nurseries, kindergartens, soup kitchens, employment bureaus, and dispensaries, as well as providing literary and athletic venues for people.


It is awesome to consider the multitudes of Christians who sacrificed the comforts of suburban or rural homes, and the possibilities of becoming upwardly mobile through careers, to instead live and work in appalling conditions among the urban poor.


Out of all this came the Social Gospel Movement that emphasized the social aspects of reform but disregarded the evangelism. From the Social Gospel Movement eventually came the enormous government programs that we have today to care for the downtrodden, which make it illegal to tell the lost the Good News.


A CHRISTIAN CROSS
A CHRISTIAN CROSS
WATER STREET MISSION (1892)
WATER STREET MISSION (1892)
HOLY TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF MANHATTAN (1873)
HOLY TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF MANHATTAN (1873)

The Social Mission in America


In the 19th Century, Christian reformers set their sights on eradicating evil from American society. Christian reformers concentrated on ending slavery and curbing alcohol consumption. They also turned their attention to the observance of the Sabbath, illiteracy, poverty, working conditions, care of the handicapped, women's rights, dueling, crime, prison conditions—and vice in general.


One reformer was a Presbyterian minister named Sylvester Graham. He preached that eating meat and drinking alcohol caused excessive lust, which led to sexual sins. Graham recommended a vegetarian diet, high in whole grains and fruit, and abstention from alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, fried food, spicy food, and meat. He started hotels, health clubs, spas, and magazines devoted to healthy living. He is best known for inventing the Graham Cracker as a health food, and for coining the phrase "a man is what he eats."


In its first 22 years, the Water Street Mission in New York City rescued thousands of men and women from drunkenness or prostitution. As the Christian banker D. H. Warner noted: "Religion is a practical thing, when it walks down into the lowest dives of our land and takes those who have been buried in sin and wickedness, and lifts them up, cleanses them and sets to work to uplift the rest of humanity."


Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Manhattan, though rather short-lived, became "one of the great mission churches of America that was valued chiefly for its ability to influence the indifferent, the destitute, and the outcast."


Baptist minister Cortland Myers of Brooklyn reminded social reformers that "The Church of Christ is not a benevolent institution nor a social institution, but an institution with one purpose—winning lost souls to Christ and being instrumental in redeeming the world."


THE SALVATION ARMY IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL
THE SALVATION ARMY IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL

Ymca, Twca & the Salvation Army


The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) came to the United States from London—where it was founded in 1844—in the 1850s. The YMCA was created for "Christian discipleship developed through a program of religious, educational, social and physical activities."


The original idea was to provide a safe and cheap place to stay in a Christian environment for young men who were passing through or were homeless. The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) was formed for the same mission in 1855.


The YMCA staff preached, and distributed religious tracts, on the streets of urban areas. The YMCA promoted "evangelical Christianity in weekday and Sunday services, while promoting good sportsmanship in athletic contests in its gyms (where basketball and volleyball were invented) and swimming pools."


The Salvation Army was started in 1876 by the Methodist minister William Booth in London to serve the needs of the urban poor. Booth had the idea that alcoholism and a lack of personal discipline caused much poverty. The Salvation Army had as its mission a ministry to the outcasts of society.


GENERAL CHARLES GORDON
GENERAL CHARLES GORDON

Charles Gordon


Major-General Charles Gordon (1833-1885) is mostly remembered by history as a beloved general in the English Army who met a tragic death. Gordon was courageous, heroic, and a masterful battlefield tactician. Less well remembered in secular histories and textbooks is his unwavering faith in God and tireless work for the poor.


Charles Gordon worked as a minister to poor slum-dwellers whenever he was off duty as an army officer. He rescued countless boys from the streets by teaching them the Bible and how to read and write. Gordon spent much of his personal time ministering to the spiritual needs of prostitutes, criminals, and the terminally ill.


FULTON STREET PRAYER MEETING (1859)
FULTON STREET PRAYER MEETING (1859)

Fulton Street Prayer Meetings


Jeremiah Lanphier moved from Albany to New York City hoping to make it big in business. God had other plans. Lanphier was saved at age 33, and in the summer of 1857 he was hired by the North Dutch Reformed Church on Fulton Street as a lay minister. Lanphier prayed earnestly that the Holy Spirit would guide him. God spoke to him and told him He wanted people in New York to pray.


Jeremiah Lanphier was moved to schedule one-hour prayer meetings for businessmen at noon each weekday. The first day Lanphier knelt to pray alone in the arranged room. No one joined him for thirty minutes, but by one o'clock six businessmen had knelt down to pray with him.


Four weeks later, a hundred men were praying in the room every day. These "Fulton Street Meetings" soon filled all the rooms at the North Dutch Church and the nearby John Street Methodist Church. Other churches—as well as police stations and firehouses—began to have noon prayer meetings too.

Within six months, ten thousand Manhattan businessmen were praying at noon each day. Other cities heard about this and replicated the idea. Within two years one million men of business were new converts to the Christian Faith.


MEL TROTTER FOUNDED THIS RESCUE MISSION IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (PHOTO 1900)
MEL TROTTER FOUNDED THIS RESCUE MISSION IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (PHOTO 1900)

Mel Trotter


Mel Trotter was the son of a saloon-keeper in Chicago. He grew up into a severe alcoholic, unable to conquer his addiction. His baby son died, he lost his wife, and he ended up homeless, hatless, and coatless.

In 1897, Mel Trotter sold his shoes for one last drink before he planned to carry out his suicide by drowning himself in Lake Michigan. As he made his way to the lake he fell down on Van Buren Street. A young man helped him up and took him inside the Pacific Garden Mission.


Mel Trotter accepted Jesus Christ that night and felt the shackles of despair and alcoholism fall away. For the next 43 years, he ministered to lost and hopeless men and women on the streets. His message: "God loves you in the midst of the deepest failure and despair, and his love has the power to change even the most ruined life."


In 1905, Mel Trotter was ordained, and for forty years he supervised a rescue mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Alumni of his mission founded sixty-eight rescue missions across the United States. Mel Trotter also became an international evangelist.


THE RESULTS ARE IN: CAPITALISM & THE PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC LIFTED A BILLION SOULS TO INCREDIBLE PROSPERITY
THE RESULTS ARE IN: CAPITALISM & THE PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC LIFTED A BILLION SOULS TO INCREDIBLE PROSPERITY

Christian Charity


The rise of the Protestant Work Ethic made a virtue out of the personal qualities required to prosper. The Protestant Work Ethic provided the major impetus to the rise of modern capitalism, which in turn caused such a sharp rise in standards of living that it is literally unbelievable when seen on a graphic chart.


The Protestant Work Ethic shed new light on poverty. It came to be believed that there are two kinds of people in poverty. The "deserving poor" are those impoverished due to no fault of their own, such as orphans and widows, and those struck by illness, accident, or calamity. These are people who cannot rise out of poverty no matter what they might do and so deserve charity as mandated by the Bible.


The "undeserving poor" are those who are plainly impoverished through their own faults, such as chronic drunkards, wastrels, spendthrifts, the promiscuous, the lazy, and the dissolute. They deserve temporary help along with the Good News of the Gospel; they deserve a hand up along with moral instruction in Christian principles and work habits. Benjamin Franklin said: "The best way of doing good to the poor is not making easy in poverty."


In no nation was poverty considered a concern of government. How could a government bureaucrat decide between the deserving and undeserving poor from some far away office filled with endless paperwork? The charity program right in the community where the poor lived was best—it could get to know them, and so discern between them as to the causes of their problems. The classic definition of poverty is lack of necessary food, shelter, and clothing.


EVANGELICAL SOCIAL REFORM WAS GRADUALLY REPLACED BY THE SOCIAL GOSPEL, WHICH WAS A STEPPING STONE TO GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS THAT EXCLUDE GOD ALTOGETHER, AND ARE MOST INTERESTED IN PERPETUATING & EXPANDING THEIR BUREAUCRACIES
EVANGELICAL SOCIAL REFORM WAS GRADUALLY REPLACED BY THE SOCIAL GOSPEL, WHICH WAS A STEPPING STONE TO GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS THAT EXCLUDE GOD ALTOGETHER, AND ARE MOST INTERESTED IN PERPETUATING & EXPANDING THEIR BUREAUCRACIES

The Social Gospel


The Social Gospel movement was fathered by Walter Rauschenbusch around the year 1900. He did not believe in much of the Bible. Rauschenbusch rejected the Christian doctrines of the Atonement, Salvation, and Heaven. He called himself a Christian, but what he believed was that Jesus was really just a social reformer—not the Savior. Therefore, he taught, Christians should reform society not individuals. Most of the people involved with the Social Gospel promoted socialist ideas such as labor unions.


Cincinnati was the scene of one of the great debates in American history, one that is now little remembered, but one that is often replicated unknown to its replicators of today. The utopian socialist Robert Owen squared off against the fiery Scottish American preacher Alexander Campbell.


Owen argued that all human ills are caused by a wicked society, much the same as Democrats do today. Campbell argued, much as Conservatives do today, that a wicked society is the result of individual human failings, particularly by sinful habits. America would largely follow Campbell for the next hundred years, but Europeans—such as Karl Marx—would follow Owen.


HORACE MANN
HORACE MANN
BESIDES SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS, NOAH WEBSTER PRODUCED THIS LITTLE BOOK TOO
BESIDES SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS, NOAH WEBSTER PRODUCED THIS LITTLE BOOK TOO
A RARE FIRST EDITION MCGUFFEY'S ECLECTIC READER
A RARE FIRST EDITION MCGUFFEY'S ECLECTIC READER

A Good Christian Education


Benjamin Franklin, in his 1749 publication Proposal Relating to the Education of Youth, wrote that religion should be one of the main subjects in public schools, as well as in university curriculums. Franklin thought this would be the best way to inculcate virtuous character traits in young Americans.


The founding father of American public schools, Horace Mann, agreed that religion and education were inseparable. Mann believed that religious instruction should be taken "to the extremest verge to which it can be carried without invading those rights of conscience which are established by the laws of God, and guaranteed by the constitution of the state."


The public schools in America were thus based on lowest-common-denominator Protestantism, taught from the Bible. As Horace Mann said: "Our system earnestly inculcates all Christian morals. It founds those morals on the basis of religion; it welcomes the religion of the Bible."


Horace Mann led a movement across the nation to provide public education. From 1835 to 1850, 80,000 new elementary schools opened that had enrolled 3.3 million students. And 6,000 new secondary schools were established that taught 250,000 students.


This created a mass market for textbooks. Noah Webster was the first to respond to this need, with his Blue-Backed Spellers and Grammatical Institute. Webster said, "Textbooks must form the morals as well as improve the knowledge of youth. Education is useless without the Bible."


The most popular textbooks in history proved to be William McGuffey's Eclectic Readers. Over 120 million were sold from 1836 to 1960. McGuffey was a Scots Presbyterian minister from Pennsylvania who became known as "America's schoolmaster." It was said that McGuffey "taught millions to read and not one to sin."


Besides grammar and rhetoric, these primers taught moral lessons based on Christian ethics: education, temperance, honesty, thrift, diligence, patience, integrity, loyalty, generosity, and faith in God and country. Protestant Christianity was "the only basis of a healthy self-governing society." God was the author of the United States of America. To quote from one textbook: "The marks of divine favor shown to our nation, the striking interposition of divine PROVIDENCE in our behalf, cannot fail to enliven the patriotic sentiments of a pious mind."


Slavery was denounced in the northern textbooks. Also denounced was Catholicism, labeled an idolatrous, oppressive religion that leads to superstition, persecution, and poverty. Spain, France, and Mexico were studied as examples of the stultifying effects of Catholicism.


The Mann system worked perfectly until Roman Catholics by the millions poured into the country from Europe. That is why Catholic schools were built across America. Catholics wanted a more Catholic based approach to education, instead of the Protestant education found in all public schools across America in 1850.


EENIE MEENIE, CHILI BEANIE, THE SPIRITS ARE ABOUT TO SPEAK!
EENIE MEENIE, CHILI BEANIE, THE SPIRITS ARE ABOUT TO SPEAK!
THE DRUNKARD'S PROGRESS (READ THIS CHART CAREFULLY—WHEN SOBER!)
THE DRUNKARD'S PROGRESS (READ THIS CHART CAREFULLY—WHEN SOBER!)
NUFF SAID
NUFF SAID

The Temperance Movement


When Alexis de Tocqueville was told in 1831 that 100,000 American men had signed a pledge to abstain from alcohol, he waited for the punch line—thinking it was a joke. 1,500,000 men eventually took the pledge.


A group of pastors started the American Temperance Union in 1833. At the time there were 14,000 distilleries in the United States (population 7 million) that sold 25 million gallons of spirits each year. Interesting word, spirits.


The consumption of beer and wine was also at an all time high. Many people starting drinking in the morning. It is estimated that per capita consumption of all forms of alcohol was seven gallons per year at its peak in 1830.


Taverns were popular as meeting places to discuss politics in those days. But they were also places where confidence men, gamblers, prostitutes, and thieves hung around to prey on the naïve.


Reformers took note of the bad effects of alcohol on the body and the mind. Also, the industrial revolution made drunken employees a danger to themselves and to others in factories or working on railroads. The reformers preached that alcohol ruined careers and marriages, leading to poverty, crime, disease, and death.


By 1840, the consumption of alcohol had incredibly dropped by 50 percent in the United States—from just ten years earlier. So the Temperance Movement was a tremendous success. But it also aroused great resentment, particularly among Catholics, who were rapidly growing in numbers because of mass immigration from Ireland and Germany. Germans and Irishmen came from drinking cultures.


The Reform Movement was a Protestant movement. Catholics saw all reform movements as an attack on individual freedoms. One person's sin can be another person's pleasure or cherished custom. Reformers countered that Christian liberty could only be maintained by morally upright citizens. True freedom was not the absence of all restraint but in fact depended upon a self-controlled, virtuous citizenry.


Neal Dow of Maine was called the "father of prohibition." He was the grandson of a Puritan named Hate-Evil Hall. I'm not kidding.


Dow led tours through the slums of Portland, where he would proclaim, "Rum did that!" His efforts and those of other like-minded people caused thirteen northern states to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages by 1855. Taverns responded by giving away booze to purchasers of crackers, nuts, and sausages. By 1860 the laws were repealed. But by then women had let it be known than manliness implied sobriety; and coffee had taken hold as the morning and afternoon drink, with alcohol reserved for the evening.


Temperance literally means moderation. The Temperance Movement would lose strength after a few decades as it became divided among those who wanted to promote voluntary temperance and those who wanted legal prohibition of alcohol.

SOURCES


SOURCES


My sources for this article include: The One Year Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten; Fundamentalism and American Culture by George Marsden; and A History of Christianity by Paul Johnson.




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Comments 103 comments

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Another winning hub. I was not too familiar with many of the subjects in your hub...but now I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of them after reading this excellent hub. As for the YMCA bell ringers...I always feel sorry for them in this time of technology...I used to always dump my change in the baskets....but now I never have money on me as I use a credit/debit card for everything....I am imaging soon each YMCA station will have a place to swipe the card right there by the bucket....great hub a pleasure to read as always. Voted up and awesome.


no body profile image

no body 4 years ago from Rochester, New York

Jimmy, I see you did not lie when you said on Facebook, you "best article ever!" I am going to share this on my FB. I know a lot of people that will love it. Hope they all read it. Love ya brother.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Cogerson— Thank you for being my first visitor!

I surely appreciate the voted up and awesome!

You have also raised an interesting point: How are these charity collections to withstand a cashless society? I had never thought about that. You are quite observant, my friend.

Thanks again for visiting and commenting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

no body— Actually, I was kidding, my Brother. I think I have published many articles better than this one. Still, I am eternally thankful for your concurrence.

I am really happy that you might share this article amongst your friends. I can think of no greater honor. I love you Bob!


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

Very interesting. As far as I can see in my studies it seems to me that all religions in the beginning of America were Christ based. I mention that because most today want to do away with Christ or just call Him a prophet. Moravian were a very interesting group. They quit the Catholic Church in the mid-1400s and become I believe Presbyterian who studied and went by the bible instead of being told what to believe and landed here in the 1700s up the east coast and the Carolinas and really were such a great aid to the soldiers of that time. They built Salem and forts around there,and probably were the most devout of all, is why I want to mention them. It appears many religions today have become like the government, well they may be a little smarter since they have more money. Strange how so many want to come into Christianity and take Christ out. Why can't they just start what they want to and call it anti-Christ?

Great hub as usual with much information and food for thought.


Hubertsvoice 4 years ago

Great article as usual. Could Booth's idea that alcoholism and a lack of personal discipline caused much poverty, possibly be switched to poverty and a lack of personal discipline caused much alcoholism, with equal truth?

One more question, if you don't mind. Do you think that the picture of those particular women hindered more than helped the effort to halt the drinking habits of men?


MonetteforJack profile image

MonetteforJack 4 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

Sir James, I clicked everything and voted up. You have interesting facts here. Now I know why Graham crackers have a soothing feel to the tummy.

You mentioned Horace Mann believes that religion and education are inseparable... and he happened to be the founding father of American public schools. It puzzles me very much now that some educators or administrators in public education, banned the teaching of religion and even mentioning GOD or saying a prayer before class. I just cannot comprehend that learned as they are, they did not learned at heart the value of religion and of GOD in education and of course in daily life.

Oh! I did clicked funny because, BECAUSE, because of the last picture -- the one Hurbertsvoice is referring to -- HAHAHA !!! The NUFF SAID ... HAHAHA !!! Great hub, sir!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Interesting presentation of the reform movement.I have an interest in the social history of the United States including religion.I think religion should be taught in the schools in a non-denominational way, such as the history of religion and /or explaining without judgement what the Bible is about.Much of American culture rests on Christianity and one cannot really understand American Culture without the influence religion has had on it.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Very interesting hub. I had heard of many of these movements but you have fleshed them out with great detail. I like the fact that these Christians had such a positive impact on their culture and that they were practical. I am definitely bookmarking this one for further study. Voted up, awesome and interesting. Great work!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Your outstanding skill as a researcher and historian, James, has come to light again with this fascinating hub. Welll done, my friend ... as usual.


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey

Excellent summation of the good works done by evangelical Christians and their part in the social reform movements of the 19th century.... not sure the Temperence Movemment or the notion of the "deserving" vs. the " un-deserving" poor worked out too well in the long run, but the history is fascinating and you present it so well with no personal moral axes to grind. Thanks for a great hub.


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Your best of the best Sir, in a sea of rather ininspired hack... peace be to you... lily


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 4 years ago

Great article. The concept of the deserving/undeserving poor is a valuable one. In fact, how can poverty be addressed without making the distinction?


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

I will vote up and slap on a useful. I am aware of the good done by the Salvation Army and also the Red Cross here in Australia. St. Vincents is a Catholic charity that does good here. I tend to believe, however, that Christianity like a number of other world religions, tends to create the poverty and hardship they then battle against.

If people have too many children naturally there is going to be poverty and, as the world's population gets more and more desperate for food because of increases in population, there will be more hardship. Christian idiots pushing for people to have more and more children are doing no one any favors.

Family planning is the way out of this mess. If Christianity and other religions cannot come to terms with this then the good they do is really too little which is bound to come too late for most of those they want to help.

Interesting bit on temperance. My grandfather was part of the temperance movement in Australia. In Australia, however, we never went so far as to ban drinking alcohol outright. In the USA this backfired badly doing more harm than good. Education rather than outright banning is and was the answer to combating alcoholism. Also providing people with better and safer work practices. You drink on the job anywhere in Australia and your days as a worker are numbered. All government departments have help offered to alcoholics but if you don't go with the program then you are out.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

A side note. Edgar Allan Poe, one of your greatest writers, had no physical tolerance for alcohol whatsoever. He could get drunk on one glass of wine. He avoided alcohol knowing what it would do to him. It must have been hard at a time when drinking was very much a social activity.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

James this was a great educational hub. Although your primary theme was alcohol, you failed to mention the greed and lust for power by many denominiations' building empires and multi million dollar churches. My belief is that God rules the universe and will judge the mighty and the meek and many who have no love in their hearts for the poor will have a rude awakening. Take care my friend and good will to all who practice what they preach...Cheers


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Doing the work of God is giving up something of yourself for others and I truly believe that if all else fails and you pray and reach out your hand God in his own way will take it. Informative, inspirational and just plain great.


Silvertip01 profile image

Silvertip01 4 years ago from West Virginia, USA

Excellent article,brother.Interesting,informative and also sad in a way.To think that the very institutions that were founded to teach people christian principles are now forbidden to teach them or to even mention the name of Jesus w/o arousing cries of "foul"....well,that's sad to me..


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Polly— Greetings! Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your kind compliments.

Yes, 99 percent of all religion in America was founded upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There was a small Jewish population, and some synagogues, in the major cities along the Eastern Seaboard.

There has certainly been a secular war waged against Jesus in this country. It began in the universities—most of which were founded as Christian institutions. This anti-Christ spirit really found its legs after being emboldened by the Supreme Court in the early 60s. That Court found that all the learned men before their day had not understood the Constituion—not even the men who wrote it understood it like these justices of the 1960s Court. God was to be banished from the public square! He was illegal!

The Moravians have a great history. I enjoyed reading your excellent comments. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Hubertsvoice— Thank you! You ask a very good question. I am not sure of I would equate the two formulae but it could be that it runs both ways.

Alcoholism ran rampant at the time through all economic classes. Some people surely do drink to drown their sorrows. And no doubt, alcoholics have problems holding down good jobs.

Your second question is funny. You've got a good point there! :D


joejagodensky profile image

joejagodensky 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Nicely presented. However, the Catholic Church is not against social reform in favor of individual rights. On the contrary, the Catholic Church was one of the leading voices in supporting the right of workers to unionize in the early 1900s. And the social reform movement influenced the "liberation theology" of the 70's in the Catholic Church for people seeking empowerment in third world countries. Thanks.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 4 years ago

The temperance movement, as you said, preached moderation and made great progress. Then along came fanatics who demanded prohibition, and we all know how that went. It seems all too often the extremists, on many issues, are the ones who get their way. Hopefully now, by way of the internet, the majority will realize their strength and demand we use common sense.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

MonetteforJack— Hello, my dear. I surely thank you for the voted up and you hitting all those good buttons for me.

I wish it had been educators who threw God and the Bible and prayer out of the public schools. Then they would have been tossed out on their collective ears soon after.

Unfortunately, this was the handiwork of the 1960s Supreme Court, which had the hubris to declare that they were the first men in 200 years who really understood the Constitution.

I very much appreciate your excellent comments. It is always a peasure to hear from you.


MonetteforJack profile image

MonetteforJack 4 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

The Supreme Court?!!!!!? I am shocked! Can the present Supreme Court change the decisions of the past?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

dahoglund— Thank you for your outstanding comments. I love history and I enjoyed your wise words here.

You wrote: "Much of American culture rests on Christianity and one cannot really understand American Culture without the influence religion has had on it."

Amen!

Those crazy Europeans set the standard for secularism. In their European Union documents, the Christian Faith is not mentioned—as if there would have ever been an Europe with it. (Europe being not so much a "continent" but an idea—Christendom.) They want to erase their history in the name of secular humanism. Many Americans want to follow their example. But not me.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

prairieprincess— Thank you for visiting my Hub!! I appreciate your gracious accolades, as well as the voted up, awesome, and interesting.

I am grateful for the kind comments and the bookmark. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

drbj— Your lovely laudations warm the cockles of my heart. Thank you for the affirmation of my work.

James :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

robie2— You are quite welcome. I sure enjoyed savoring your fine remarks.

Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub. I appreciate your gracious compliments. And I will be over ASAP to see what you've been publishing lately. :)


mkvealsh profile image

mkvealsh 4 years ago

In the first half of your article, you seemed to refer to the futility of community programs and social reform separate from the giving of the Gospel. This is the crux of the matter. The problems evident in society are the result of a godless state, and unless souls are reached, the physical aid will be of little value. This is why government programs don't work--real reform starts within. If true believers get busy and give of themselves for others, then we will see real results.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

lilyfly— Rhymes with Honey Pie. Which reminds me of The Beatles.

Your comments remind me of a Jimi Hendrix song:

"Drifting, on a sea of forgotten tearsdrops"

Thank you, my dear! :D

Jimmy Joe Ray Bob Junior


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

graceomalley— Thank you, Grace. I appreciate the compliment. And your question is poignant. How indeed? Well said. And pithy.


akune profile image

akune 4 years ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom

Oh the Christian responsibility. In our communities, we are light. We are salt. We must pray.

1Tim2:1-I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— Thank you for reading my Hub. I appreciate the voted up and useful.

You wrote: "I tend to believe, however, that Christianity like a number of other world religions, tends to create the poverty and hardship they then battle against."

I am not sure how to react to that, my friend. I have never heard anyone ever say that the Christian Faith 'causes' poverty and hardship. I mean, was there no poverty and hardship before Jesus was born?

I believe that Christian Faith in fact enriched the world in every way—not least materially.

I would recommend a couple books to you: "The Victory of Reason" by Rodney Stark, and "Progress & Religion" by Christopher Dawson.

You write: "If people have too many children naturally there is going to be poverty. . . . Christian idiots pushing for people to have more and more children are doing no one any favors."

I am not aware of any correlation between large CHRISTIAN families and poverty. I doubt that "Christian idiots" are pushing the godless to have more children. Not that I have ever heard of.

My dad came from a Christian family of ten children and they were not impoverished. I am the oldest of eight children myself and we are not impoverished.

Many American Mormons have five to eight children and they do not seem to be impoverished. The television program "19 & Counting" shows a Christian family with 19 children—certainly not impoverished.

Now admittedly, with a godless family culture and generations of bad habits I can see where having a large family could be difficult.

But I have never known a large family that prays together, humbly seeks God's guidance, follows Godly precepts as best they can, reads the Bible, attends church together, and mostly—does not divorce or have children out of wedlock—that is impoverished. In fact, I would speculate that most of the elderly who end up impoverished have no children, few children, or at least no children with whom they have true parental bonds with.

I surely agree with your comments on Prohibition. And I enjoyed your aside about Edgar Allan Poe. Overall, excellent comments. Thanks again.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

always exploring— Thank you for visiting and commenting. I sincerely appreciate your gracious compliments.

You wrote: "you failed to mention the greed and lust for power by many denominations' building empires and multi million dollar churches."

That is because I do not understand what you mean by "greed, lust, and empire" in this sense. No Godly church would be greedy or lustful. Empire? As in what empire?

You also said: "My belief is that God rules the universe and will judge the mighty and the meek and many who have no love in their hearts for the poor will have a rude awakening."

I certainly agree with you wholeheartedly. So, who has done more for the poor than Christian churches and individual Christians?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Gypsy Rose Lee— Thank you for the awesome accolades.

You wrote: "Doing the work of God is giving up something of yourself for others"

Amen! Well said.

I appreciate your fine remarks. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Silvertip01— Welcome to the HubPages Community! Let me know when you publish your first Hub so I can read it.

Thank you for the laudations, brother. I agree with you about the part of this message that is sad—tragic even.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

joejagodensky— You are welcome, Father Joe. Thank you for reading my work and leaving your comments for me.

This particular article is about the 19th century and I might just note that one of my sources is a Roman Catholic historian, Paul Johnson. But I do not say that to be argumentative and to dispute your remarks. I agree with you and I welcome you to the HubPages Community.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

As always just brilliant and very comprehensive. Thank you for the hard work putting it together.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Hello James, I guess i didn't make a clear comment. What i meant is denominations that build these multi million dollar crurches while there are homelessness and Hunger in America. How much better it would be to build housing for the poor. The Salvation Army's shelters here are full to capacity and i'm not talking about drunks and drug addicts, i'm talking about whole families who have lost their homes and jobs. I believe God would smile on this nation again if we would show love and kindness to the people who have lost their jobs and homes through the greedy banking system. That's what i meant about greed. Cheers....


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

James there were one billion people on the planet in 1800. Today there are 7 billion. This rise in such a relatively short period of time frightens me. It is likely to go much further because people tend to live longer. There was a time when having a large family was okay. Today it is selfish and dangerous. For generations the Asian world has known this. Certainly the Japanese and the Chinese have been aware of this. Any agency that promotes the idea that large families are okay is dangerous in my book. Perhaps in the past Americans could get away with having large families but not today. Why does America take water from the Punjab in India if there is plenty of water in the USA to meet USA needs? Why buy up farm land overseas if you have plenty of farm land of your own to meet your needs? In terms of food and water the world is heading for a crisis and anyone who can't or won't help is definitely in the way. People are starving and more will starve. The Christian religion may be fine in many regards but the eating of bibles is not recommended as a solution to a growing lack of real food. Certainly the Catholic Church still promotes large families where people can ill afford large families and thus the ultimate destruction of us all.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

sheila b.— I very much enjoyed reading your wise words. Thank you for posting these sensible comments here. I naturally agree with you. I appreciate the visitation. I always do.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

MonetteforJack— You asked: "Can the present Supreme Court change the decisions of the past?"

Yes, they can. They do not make a habit of it. That is what needs to be done here. They need to allow individual states to make their own laws about this issue to better reflect the values of people in different regions. Good question! Thank you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

mkvealsh— I am pleased to meet a homeshooling mother. Good for you!

You got my drift perfectly. I love your excellent comments!

You wrote: "The problems evident in society are the result of a godless state, and unless souls are reached, the physical aid will be of little value. This is why government programs don't work--real reform starts within."

Amen!

Thank you for reading my Hub. I look forward to reading yours soon. :)


Sueswan 4 years ago

A very interesting and informative hub.

Voted up and awesome.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

James, when Jesus was walking around the human population of planet earth was small. Today it is huge. Large families were once essential because not all the children born to a family were likely to survive long enough to have children of their own. Times change. Science has seen to that.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

akune— Thank you for very much for the Scriptures. And for your own wise and discerning words.

I am with you all the way. I appreciate this visitation. Welcome to the HubPages Community. God Bless You! :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Hello, hello,— You are quite wlecome, my friend. Thank you for the warm words of encouragement. I feel better already! :)


primpo profile image

primpo 4 years ago from Ocean County New Jersey

Well I am not surprised at all, you have well researched hubs.. I didn't know all this information about religion..voted up..love your stuff no matter the topic...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

always exploring— I appreciate you coming back by to clarify your original comments. Myself, I am happy to worship in a house church or a simple wooden country church. That said, I do understand why beautiful churches have been built. They are built as monuments to God and built entirely on donations for that purpose. So I can see both sides. Many of those beautiful churches do have soup kitchens and ministries to the homeless.

I think God will bless America again if we stop the progress of the godless agenda that is sweeping across our land, which includes banning God from one public square after another. I think it would be out of character for God to bless a nation of people who publicly proclaim and teach their children in public schools that they do not believe he exists and that his rules "suck."


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— I do understand your concerns. But I don't know what you mean by:

"Why does America take water from the Punjab in India if there is plenty of water in the USA to meet USA needs?"

This is news to me. We have never even remotely had a shortage of water over here, mate. Can you help me understand what you mean by this sentence?

And you asked: "Why buy up farm land overseas if you have plenty of farm land of your own to meet your needs?"

America is a huge exporter of food. To what do you refer here?

Mathus, writing 200 years ago, was alarmed that the so-called Anglo-Saxons had exploded from six million to twenty million in a hundred years. He predicted that if it didn't stop at twenty million, there would be starvation all around. And he was talking about England. One hundred years later there were six times as many Anglos—120 million—but they were eating so much better that they had grown four inches on average and added 20 years to their lifespans.

Paul Ehrlich in 1968 predicted mass starvation within ten years if we didn't freeze the human population. As you noted, the population has exploded since and guess what? Malnutrition has been cut in half at the same time. I think we sometimes overlook the incredible leaps in agriculture, food storage, communications, and shipping.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Sueswan— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— OK. And when do you think people ate better, ate more calories, ate more nutritiously, weighed more, were taller, and lived longer? Then (when Jesus was alive) or now?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

primpo— Thank you for the kind compliments and the voted up. I appreciate the visit and your comments. :)


robilyn profile image

robilyn 4 years ago from Largo, Florida

Thank you again! I love reading your work. It has been an incredible learning experience!


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

James, there are limits. The Chinese came to this conclusion some time ago and so did the Japanese. Population expansion in Australia means that the promise that every couple will be able to afford a house with a backyard can no longer be realized. We do eat better than those people of Jesus' time but Australians don't eat as well as the Australians living in the 1960s. What's more, Americans don't eat as well as Americans living in the 1970s. We went forward for a while, James, but now, like a slingshot, we are going backwards.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 4 years ago from Manila

This is another excellent hub from you James. Voted up and interesting. I enjoyed reading this one full of inspiring stories. Truly the ultimate hope is in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as demonstrated by the life testimony of Mel Trotter. Thank you for sharing this wonderful collection. May you be blessed today and always. Best regards.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

James, Mathus didn't know there would be a revolution in farming techniques. What he did predict, however, is coming true for the British today more on account of massive migration into Britain due to population expansion elsewhere than population expansion in Britain itself but it is happening.

In parts of the USA you have had a rising salt problem with irrigation similar to the rising salt problem found in parts of Australia including NSW.

Australia is also a huge exporter of food but we are coming up against out limits as are you. The Murray/Darling river system in Australia has been suffering from overuse for quite some time. It took some effort to bring back the Mississippi to what I saw in the 1970s to what it is like today. Other USA water systems I believe are still in trouble.

Leaps in agriculture, food storage and shipping won't always act as so many magic bullets against overpopulation. Christians like everyone else should get with the program. Doesn't every couple deserve a house with a backyard?


bethperry profile image

bethperry 4 years ago from Tennesee

Interesting hub article, and well written.

I've always found the leaders of the Temperate Movement interesting from a psychological perspective. Like the Shakers whose primary leader, Mother Ann Lee, had a phobia of sex I do suspect some of these leaders sanctified their personal phobias in the effort to gain control over the gullible.


Mr. Smith profile image

Mr. Smith 4 years ago from California

Great history of our now seemingly endless list of social programs. The current list is little more than a tax drain.

Your information shows how well programs work when faith, and specifically Christianity, is not removed. People who run them are "called" to do so, and because of that they are successful.

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's". That's all Caesar has. But when God's word is sent out, it comes back with interest!

Neat article, James.


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 4 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

Howdy James, excellent hub! I voted up and interesting. There is so much interesting information I can hardly take it all in. Christianity has always been one of my favorite subjects and your writing on it was superb. What a wonderful gift you have been blessed with, your writing captures you and keeps you wanting to read more! Blessings!


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Try these lyrics to the 1921 song Ain't We Got fun? It tells the plight of the poor and why they are often beaten to the pot of gold by the middle and upper classes even in the USA:

Ev'ry morning, ev'ry evening

Ain't we got fun?

Not much money, Oh, but honey

Ain't we got fun?

The rent's unpaid dear

We haven't a bus

But smiles were made dear

For people like us

In the winter in the Summer

Don't we have fun

Times are bum and getting bummer

Still we have fun

There's nothing surer

The rich get rich and the poor get children

In the meantime, in between time

Ain't we got fun?

Just to make their trouble nearly double

Something happened last night

To their chimney a gray bird came

Mister Stork is his name

And I'll bet two pins, a pair of twins

Just happened in with the bird

Still they're very gay and merry

Just at dawning I heard

Ev'ry morning, ev'ry evening

Don't we have fun

Twins and cares, dear, come in pairs, dear

Don't we have fun

We've only started

As mommer and pop

Are we downhearted

I'll say that we're not

Landlords mad and getting madder

Ain't we got fun?

Times are so bad and getting badder

Still we have fun

There's nothing surer

The rich get rich and the poor get laid off

In the meantime, in between time

Ain't we got fun?

When the man who sold 'em carpets told 'em

He would take them away

They said, "Wonderful, here's our chance

Take them up and we'll dance"

And when burglars came and robbed them

Taking all their silver, they say

Hubby yelled, "We're famous, for they'll name us

In the pepers today

Night or daytime, it's all playtime

Ain't we got fun?

Hot or cold days, any old days

Ain't we got fun

If Wifey wishes

To go to a play

Don't wash the dishes

Just throw them away

Streetcar seats are awful narrow

Ain't we got fun?

They won't smash up our Pierce Arrow

We ain't got none

They've cut my wages

But my income tax will be so much smaller

When I'm laid off, I'll be paid off

Ain't we got fun?

Yes the rich get rich and the poor get children. Someone bagged it right back then. Too many children and the poor stay poor while the middle class and the rich have fewer children and do a lot better financially.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great Hub - proving that length is not a problem. I echo all the positive things that have already been said. You provided detail about so many movements with which I was only barely acquainted. A really good read.


primpo profile image

primpo 4 years ago from Ocean County New Jersey

Rod , that could have been a separate hub!!! lol I always come back to read James stuff.. saw your comment.. and here I am.. lol


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

I suppose so primpo.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain

Excellent History lesson for me, as always. l adore the photo of 2 little girls , scarves, wooly hats mitts, etc., doing something for God.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

robilyn— You are quite welcome, my dear. I am well pleased that like my work. Thank you for saying so! :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— Well, yes, I understand the Chinese are limited by a backward country. The Japanese are limited by a land shortage. But when you say:

"Population expansion in Australia means that the promise that every couple will be able to afford a house with a backyard can no longer be realized"

I don't get it. Why can't you have a backyard whether you have one child or four? I have four children and I have a back yard—and a front yard! :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

cristina327— You are most welcome, my dear. Thank you so much for the voted up and interesting, as well as your gracious compliments and blessings.

As you said so well "Truly the ultimate hope is in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ"

AMEN!

And yes, isn't the story of Mel Trotter absolutely wonderful?

It's always great to her from you! :)


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

You are lucky James. The question is two fold. Could you afford a house with a backyard and a front yard if you had six children? Also in Australia where we are getting in lots and lots of migrants every year land tends to go up and up in value. The unit I got for around 90 thousand about ten years ago is now worth 250 thousand and it is only a unit. If I had to buy my unit today no way would I be able to do so. I would remain a renter for the rest of my life.

Population expansion in Australia means less available land to build upon which means more high rise apartments and less actual houses with backyards. As one of your song writers once wrote: Where do the children play? Curbing population expansion would be a way of saving the Australian dream but it has to be done overseas as well as here in Australia.

People tend to forget or want to forget that there is a great desert in the middle of my country. People tend to live on the east coast and that is also where the migrants go. Sydney is already overcrowded and will become more so as the years go by.

I still believe that 1921 song says a lot about poverty and irresponsibility of not family planning. We shouldn't encourage the poor to remain poor. We should encourage them to understand why the rich become even wealthier. If Christianity could help break the poverty cycle it would really be doing something.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— I had no idea that Australia and the U.S. were having salt problems in their agricultural lands. I appreciate the illumination on that score.

I think the population of actual British stock (meaning people), as well as all European stocks (peoples), are going down—alarmingly in fact. I have read that no European country is breeding enough to even keep up with its death rate. Seeing as how most aid in the Third World comes from America and Europe, maybe we should hope that those productive nations start having tons of children. After all, if the productive peoples die off, who is going to feed and provide medicine for everybody else?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

bethperry— Thank you for the compliments. And I certainly appreciate your interesting perspective on the motivations of the leaders of the Temperance Movement. There is nobody worse on the soapbox than an ex-drinker or ex-smoker, eh?

Good of you to visit and comment! :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Mr. Smith— Thank you for your kind comments. I sincerely appreciate the visitation from you. I love what you wrote:

"Your information shows how well programs work when faith, and specifically Christianity, is not removed. People who run them are "called" to do so, and because of that they are successful. . . . when God's word is sent out, it comes back with interest!"

Fascinating. Amen!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Whidbeywriter— Howdy! It is always a distinct pleasure to hear from you. Thank you much for the voted up and interesting. Your lovely laudations warm the cockles of my heart. And I appreciate your blessings too.

God Bless You!


geegee77 profile image

geegee77 4 years ago from The Lone Star State!!

Very interesting and excellent hub, very nicely written. Voted up and awesome:) ge


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

I don't know about population of actual British stock going down. This could be so. It probably is and it is a good thing. The hold out races however are doing a lot of damage in their migration patterns and no one seems to care. All populations need to go down. Tons of children? No. Everyone getting on the ball and having less children and thus less starvation and poverty, yes. James, overpopulation creates slums and there are some mighty ugly slums nowadays in the UK. There are slums in Sydney, Australia.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK

James, another excellent Hub, you certainly set the benchmark.

Voted up and awesome.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— Thanks for those outstanding song lyrics. I remember that tune. Music is a powerful medium.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

phdast7— Thank you for the accolades! I appreciate you taking the time to read this lengthy Hub. I am grateful for your affirming and encouraging remarks. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

primpo— I am well pleased that you read my stuff. I will be by soon to see what you've been writing lately. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Dim Flaxenwick— I love that photograph, too! Thank you for mentioning that. I surely appreciate this visitation from you, and I always enjoy reading your comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— Thank you for coming back, my friend, with more interesting commentary. I noticed something you said:

"Also in Australia where we are getting in lots and lots of migrants every year land tends to go up and up in value."

I am curious about Australia. WHY are you taking in lots and lots of migrants that drive up your cost of living so?

This also piqued my interest that you wrote:

"Population expansion in Australia means less available land to build upon"

The one thing would have thought you had plenty of Down Under is land, no?

I do not think that the overarching reason people get rich is not having very many children. It may be part of the makeup of very successful people to be self-centered so as to not care about posterity but I don't think having children dampens success. I mean, I know rich people who have adopted nine children and they are doing fine. Bill Gates could afford 1,000 children. I just don't think that is it. But I do appreciate your concerns and your opinions.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

geegee77— What a pleasant surprise to "see" you here. Thank you ever much for the gracious compliments, and the voted up and awesome!

JAW


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— Oh yes, the population stocks of all European peoples are declining at an alarming rate. Such a rate that, if it continues, they will be no more by the end of this century. If we look at the aid provided by people of European stock to the Third World, which is MASSIVE, I wonder if this is a good thing for the human race.

I have read that the reason poor people around the world have so many children is that sexual pleasure is one of the few pleasures they have readily available.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

searchinsany— Thank you for reading my work here. It is great to hear from you again. I appreciate the accolades, as well as the voted up and awesome. :)


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 4 years ago from Isle of Man

Another meticulously researched and well presented hub. When I read the words "futile to preach to those with empty stomachs" the thought occurred to me that Jesus realised this long before this when he fed those who had gathered to hear the sermon on the mount with 5 loaves and 2 fish.

There is no doubting the great work that these people did and the sacrifices they made and it is a shame that people tend to remember the bad apples and throw the baby out with the water.

Thank you.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

James, in Australia we mainly live on the east coast. The country may look large on a map but when you realize how much of it is either arid or desert then it is not so large at all. On the east coast building up and sacrificing houses for flats and units is the future thanks to migrants. Slums are being created. There is a limit to usable land so naturally the value goes up and up when you squeeze more and more people into a limited space.

We are taking in lots and lots of migrants because our politicians are gutless wonders and because our children are taught political correctness in high schools, colleges and universities.

We have plenty of land available for you to build on if you don't mind living where there isn't any water to speak of and where nothing will grow. Otherwise there are limitations in terms of what is available.

The people who are rich may be able to support a lot of children. It is, however, the generation before them you need to turn to to get a proper picture. A child has a better shot at a better future if he comes from a small family.

The people of the third world also traditionally have large families because the parents want to be assured that someone will look after them in their old age. Population expansion wasn't a real problem in third world countries or elsewhere until modern medicine and good food production meant a lot less infant mortality and a lot more people living longer.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

With the exception of one dig, I found this hub to be amazingly non-judgmental! Reading about these Evangelicals makes me want to research what Lutherans did in the 1800s, as the church I grew up in has and continues to be in the forefront of social action with their Lutheran Social Services and Immigration operations.

I was surprised to discover you have four kids. So much of what you write seems to come from a bachelor, truth be told. You don't share much about your family or your front and back yards.

Thanks!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Spirit Whisperer— You are welcome. I thank you for reading my work, and I appreciate the compliments.

Yes, Jesus did have that figured out alright.

I enjoyed your remarks, which are wonderfully thought out and well presented. It is always a pleasure to have you swing by and drop me a line. I will be seeing you soon on the other side. :)


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I love the story of Jesus and the loaves of bread. It has been suggested that the reason there was enough food, is because all those gathered opened their baskets and shared. I love this image also as a metaphor. Jesus opened his heart to share, and others followed.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— You say "Slums are being created."

I am quite shocked at this. I had no idea that this was going on Down Under.

You write that "We are taking in lots and lots of migrants because our politicians are gutless wonders and because our children are taught political correctness in high schools, colleges and universities."

Wow! I think we are in agreeance about this because the same thing goes on in America in a heavy way.

You also said: "The people of the third world also traditionally have large families because the parents want to be assured that someone will look after them in their old age."

For this point I can sympathize. Should not all of us look after our elders?


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Yes, James, we should and do look after our elders. My parents were looked after in their old age by their children. But you can take this way, way too far. Large families mean poverty and no one is taken care of in their old age. What's more, the leftovers are sent to Australia.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Storytellerrus— You are most welcome. I have written a few Hubs about my family but not often. HubPages once unpublished a Hub about my life and family because they deemed it "something that held no interest for anyone besides people who know me." Or something to that effect. I think that was the last time I wrote about personal things. (This was shortly after the Panda Slapdown and HubPages Staff explained that their policy about publishing personal stuff had changed.)

I had not thought of my writings as like those that would come from a bachelor. That is an interesting observation but one I do not know what to make of. I have three daughters; 33, 19, & 15. I have a son who is 32 and a granddaughter who is 15. Yes, I have a daughter and a granddaughter the same age and in fact they attend school together. :-)

I had not heard that take of Jesus and the miracle of the bread and fish to feed the 4,000 men (and their women and children) and the 5,000. I have always believed it to be what the Bible says it was: a supernatural miracle. After all, if Jesus was resurrected after being dead a few days, he could certainly do other miracles as well.

Thank you very much for both of your comments. I appreciate you coming by to read my work.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Rod Marsden— "the left overs are sent to Australia." :)

That's funny!

Thanks man. I always enjoy it when you engage. I appreciate your excellent comments.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

James, wow, this is a great hub. Thanks for sharing this much needed information. We are in a time where people are not either aware or are purposely overlooking these sorts of things.

I am frankly very tired of the demonization of certain groups of people, and it couldn't happen at a worse time. I mean, people are "easy", and just believe everything they hear without doing their own research. This is great research covering what I find to be a fascinating topic. Thanks so much, voted up and more. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

oceansnsunsets— My, what a pleasure to hear from you again, melady. I am so glad that you enjoyed this piece. Thank you ever much for your gracious accolades, as well as the voted up and more! :D

I appreciate the level of discernment evident in your remarks. Evil and deviancy used to be demonized; now it seems that good and virtue are demonized. The world has turned upside down.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 4 years ago

But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say to them on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry, and you gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink: I was a stranger, and you took Me in: Naked, and you clothed Me: I was sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? or thirsty, and gave You a drink? When did we see You as a stranger, and took You in? or naked, and clothed You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to You? And the King shall answer and say to them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it to Me. – Matthew 25:31-40

I think that says it all................. everything we've ever really needed to know can be found in a single volume............. daily study is the best education we can receive. K


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Kaie Arwen— Thank you for providing those wonderful Scriptures.

As you said so succinctly: "everything we've ever really needed to know can be found in a single volume............. daily study is the best education we can receive."

AMEN and AMEN!!

Thank you for your gracious reminder. I am with you. :-)


gabgirl12 profile image

gabgirl12 4 years ago

What hurts a person makes them strong, a critic makes them important, whoever envies them gives them value. And, it gives them a sense of peace to know that those who want the worst for them have to watch good things happen to them and know...that the best is yet to come. :)


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 4 years ago

James A Watkins, OUTSTANDING! I so appreciate your thorough concise well researched commentaries! You do an amazing job at presenting an unbiased account of the historical facts! This provides your readers with a wealthy plethora of tangible information that is very educational! Well done Professor!

I fondly refer to you as Professor because I truly believe that the contents and caliber of your factual literary compositions are noteworthy and are marvelously enriching! They are in my opinion most definitely in the mode of university quality! Actually much more interesting since they are presented in a compassionate humanitarian manner! I always know that I will come away and will have learned something new and beneficial… They are so very wonderful and resourceful!

My brother in the Lord you have done a superb job here, this is one of your best! Thank you for once again sharing the gift our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon you… It is my prayer that "your latter days shall be greater..." In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings! Love You! & God Bless You!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

gabgirl12— Thank you for those inspirational comments. You are a very interesting thinker. I look forward to coming over to read some of your writings ASAP.

I appreciate this visitation from you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans— You have made my day with your outpouring of lovely laudations. I cannot thank you enough for your ongoing affirmation and encouragement.

Your comments reach a state of eloquence rarely observed this side of the heavens. It is such a joy to read your warm words.

I appreciate the prayers and blessings, Sister. Some day we will meet on the other side of Jordan.

God Bless You.

Merry Christmas!

James


Sonia 3 years ago

This is just the pefcret answer for all forum members


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 2 years ago from HubPages, FB

Awesome article. Thanks.

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