Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 07, 1890The Agitation against the German Schools.
Thus far the new compulsory school law of Illinois, does not appear to affect Chicago very much, because its enforcement here is well taken care of, being entrusted to competent officials. Outside of the Chicago district, that is in Illinois, many transgressions are perpetrated in rural districts by the bucolic school boards and the obliging courts. These are not based on the fact that they are parochial schools, but that they are German schools. The school committee of German Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Illinois has correlated all the various forms of agitation. This compilation was entrusted to its Secretary J. I. Groose.2
Many of these instances we have mentioned ourselves, also the fact that none of the schools of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Unitarian, etc., and also of the Roman Catholic Church, are free from this impertinent interference by the county school boards. These persecutions are also disgraceful restrictions of religion and the freedom of conscience.
By suppressing these German schools, the religious instruction which is given in them, is either likewise abolished or profoundly curtailed. Since these vexations affect both, the German, and also the religious sentiments of the maligned, it is but logical that a subsequent resistance will assert itself in a very decided and forceful manner. A very efficient organization against these propagandists has been created by the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Illinois, as has been previously alluded to.3
It has formed a committee for the purpose of either abolishing the Compulsory School Law, or cleansing it of all objectionable features. Furthermore, advice and assistance shall be given to all the harassed communities as well as legal representation before the courts. The president of this committee is Rev. Hoelter of Chicago, assisted by Rev. Grosse of Addison and Rev. Schuessler of Joliet, and also the laymen, Eduards, Melcher, W. Tatge, the latter is an attorney at law.
What weight the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Illinois can throw into the scales of justice, may be deduced from these well authenticated figures: It controls 226 schools with 18,463 scholars. There are 192 clergymen, 114,693 church-members, 68,436 communicants, and, at least, 15,435 voters.4
These are, hark ye well! only the Evangelical-Lutheran voters. It would be desirable to ascertain the voting strength of the other German-Protestant churches. One would be confronted with mighty figures. But how will these numbers be increased if we add the many German-Catholic voters:
I A 2 a, I A 1 a, I A 2 b, III C
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