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January 20, 1872

Woman Items.

"A kiss, says a French authoress, costs less and gives more pleasure than anything else in the world."

" 'I will be in fashion, if I dye for it!' said the ambitious belle, whose locks were not of the ruling tint; and dye she did."

"In the Elgin watch factories three hundred of five hundred employe[e]s are girls. These girls earn from $10 to $20 a week, and perform the delicate operations incident to the business more skillfully than men."

"Mrs. Rolles has knocked one 'objection' entirely out of sight by the statement that an invention has been perfected in Boston by which the cradle can be satisfactorily, securely and continuously rocked while the women go to vote."

"A married lady in Connecticut recently fell into a river, and would have drowned except that her cries attracted the attention of her husband, who, mistaking her in the dark for another woman, worked like a beaver to get her out."

"A couple were married at Great Barrington, Mass., on Tuesday, and on Saturday the husband returned the bride to her mother. He said he wasn't in the habit of being kicked out of bed by women, and he wouldn't stand it. If the story be true here is a man who needs protection by a free love law. What will society do for him now? Laugh at him."

"Beecher stock is declining. Choice of pews only fetched two-thirds what it did last year."

The Convention of the Theologians

Last week we presented some of our views as to what the proposed action of the theologians means, when they shall attempt to indoctrinate the Constitution with their interpretation of God and the Bible. Against all such despotism we have always protested, and shall always continue to protest. No living man or woman has any right to force his or her convictions upon another person, and what these Pharisees propose, is simply the most high-handed outrage upon human rights that was ever attempted. They know that they represent but a miserable minority of the people of the country, or f the world, and when they assume to dictate to the great mass of people, we can but call to mind the old adage, 'that whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.'

Their egotistic, self-righteous call we have already published. We now propose to take it, sentence be sentence, and expose its monstrous and absurd assumptions. Its very first sentence is a plainly-stated falsehood, which everybody who is not prejudiced in its favor must discern at first sight. It declares that 'government is instituted for man as an intellectual, social, moral and religious being. It corresponds to his whole nature.'

By whom, pray, is government instituted for man? We deny the proposition. Government is instituted by men, as members of a common humanity, the rights of each one of whom are sacred to him and beyond the reach, by any but despotic means, of all people who meddle with what is none of their business. If we believe to-day that Jesus Christ took this view of humanity, teaching that they are all brothers and sisters, what business have these religious demagogues to attempt to compel men to believe that there are sheeps [sic] and goats in humanity, and that the goats shall be separated from the sheep and burned up in a lake of fire and brimstone, which, by the way, is a natural impossibility and a burlesque upon science, which is the exponent and natural handmaid and companion of all true religion.

Are we told that these long-faced hypocrites do not intend to use torture to convert us to Christianity? Don't you believe it. Anybody who believes that an infinite God can eternally burn His own children for a few miserable years of ill-spent earth life, can commit any heinous crime in the name of such a God, since anything that they might do to save us from His wrath, even the use of the rack and the stake would be merciful when compared with His horrible judgment. Therefore we say those who pretend to believe in a God who can be such an Infernal Fiend as they represent Him to be, will be justified by their belief, in proceeding to any terrible resorts to convert the world.

Read the next sentences and ponder them well, and see if they do not mean all we have hinted at. 'It' [government] 'acts well when it watches over domestic life, and asserts and enforces,' mark the language, 'the sanctity of the marriage bond; when it frowns on profanity, lewdness, the desecration of the Sabbath, and other crimes.' Here it is seen that a clear statement is made of what its intents are. . . .

The Justice of the Supreme Court, whose name, William Strong, is appended to this case, set all rules of logic at defiance, and, as Religious Bigotry has always done, assumes everything. He says, 'Moral principles of conduct are determined by moral relations.' Now, if any school girl of twelve years could not detect that absurdity we should say her teaching had been in vain. Why, the very reverse is true. Moral relations are determined by moral principles. The principles exist in the souls of men and determine what relations they shall maintain. Relations of all kinds are the outgrowth of principles Do these supercilious egotists suppose they can cram such stuff into the intellectual maw of humanity with the prospect of its being digested to yield fruit unto them? Our estimate of human intellect is too good to admit such an absurdity.

But he proceeds: 'The relations of a nation to God and his Moral Laws are clear and definite: 1. A nation is the creature of God. 2. It is clothed with authority derived from God. 3. It is under the dominion of Jesus Christ, the appointed ruler of the nations. 4. It is subject to the Bible, the special revelation of the moral law:' and he should have added, to complete his position, 5. And we whose names are hereunto signed are the elect of God and Christ to assert and enforce these propositions.

The relations of a nation as such to God and his moral law are not clear and definite. The relations which a nation sustain are determined entirely by the character of the moral and intellectual condition of the people who compose it. It proves quite to much to admit Justice Strong's proposition . . .

Absolutely--in the absolute sense--"A nation is the creature of God," and in the same sense are all things creature of God just what He has made him. . . .

In the relative sense, a nation is not the creature of God, but the construction of man, in the same sense that the railroad and steamship are the construction of men. . . . Even these bigots will not assume that God constructed the locomotive engine, except in the absolute sense that he created man and all things else as results of a general constructive process. Man contrived it, and, so far as these theologians have ever shown us, without any superior help. In the same way have men constructed nations, and unless these people assert that God has made all things just as he wants them, and that all the things of which they complain are creations of their own diseased fancies, then they must admit that they have no cause of action, since they do not propose to fight against God, nor should they fight against man when he has done so many things so well.

In the relative sense it is not true that government is clothed with authority from God. The authority of the government is derived from the people who construct it, except in governments which exist by the divine right of kings. . . .

Government is no more subject to the Bible than to the Koran. The truths enunciated by Confucius, Budha [sic] Brahma, Zoroaster, Plato and every other great person, are just as much authority to us as anything contained in the Bible. In fact there is no moral law contained in the Bible that is not copied from some of the earlier authorities. . . .

We must therefore enter our protest against the last proposition. In fact they deny it themselves, since they denounce in Brigham Young what they worship in Solomon. If the Bible is the moral law, then Solomon and his 1,000 women are a part of it. If only parts of it are moral law then we have just as good right to judge what parts are moral and what immoral as Justice Strong and Governor Geary have. We don't believe they will permit us to judge for them in this matter. We know they would fight rather than be compelled to take our judgment as against their won; and we know we shall fight when they attempt to compel us to take their judgment as against our own.

These would-be tyrants have not yet been the recipients of the first principles of freedom. It has yet to germinate within their souls. They want their own freedom but refuse to grant the same to anybody else. They want their freedom to be despotism to everybody else, and not being able to accomplish this by the force of their moral power they propose to assert and enforce it through a government shaped to suit their designs.

The fundamental propositions of these people being erroneous, all their deductions fall to the ground. A moral law which does not find itself written in the hearts of the people will never, if written in the Constitution of the country, accomplish anything except to become a basis of persecution. . . .

If these would-be exemplars of religion would follow the precepts and practices of their professed Master, they should set them about doing practical good, even breaking the Sabbath day as He did. They should begin the inquiry as to who are their neighbors. Some of them should even look into their own hearts to see if they have not already committed adultery. They should learn what Jesus always taught, that the law is unto death, but the spirit unto life. They should endeavor to learn the truth, that they have no right to judge, lest they be judged. In short, while they should desire a government to protect themselves from interference by others, they must learn that every other person desires governmental protection from their schemes for despotism.

Government, in its latest and best significance, is a form of organization by which the people secure to themselves protection from each other in their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. That is its only function. . . .

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