Svornost -- September 16, 1884How the Americans Care for Chicago's Bohemians. We Are Infamous Heathens According to an American Missionary Society.
EDITORIAL: There exists in our city an American missionary society. It published, not long ago, its first annual statement called, "First annual report of the Chicago City Missionary Society." This booklet has twenty pages with, at least, twenty infamous lies and calumnies about the Bohemians in Chicago. We do not like this kind of slander, and so much the less when it comes from the mouth of Ecclasiastical zealots, who boast that they are fighting evil with truth. We hope, anyhow, that the local public will be informed how our nationality has been unjustly offended, and what kind of crooked calumnies are spread among the religious masses about us. We must assert that their efforts are connected rather 2with the devil, than with God.
On page 6 of this annual report, is given, by the superintendent of the missionary society, J. C. Armstrong, the first report on the Bohemians.
"In the Lumbermen's Miesion, founded for workers of lumber-yards, a new field is opened for our society. This mission is located at the corner of 19th and Center Streets. In this district the religious services are held in French, German, Norwegian and English. One day in a week should be devoted to the Bohemians. A large number of Bohemians separated from the Catholic church have built in the neighborhood a beautiful infidel temple. This is the same spot where, in 1876, occured the revolt, and there have been, until now, elements there which played with dynamite. Those are the men, who are not afraid of God and do not care for the rights of other fellow human beings. It will be much cheaper, wiser and safer to go among them with the gospel, than to let them come to us with sword and fire. Our problem is to save them from eternal damnation, these desperate individuals who are connected with the vice of our city. This sacred mission is given to us, 3and what will be the answer to Him, who has sent us?"
All that has been cited above is an infamous lie and malicious slander of the whole Bohemian community in this district and of the National Hall of the C.S.P.S. (Czechoslovak Benevolent Society), and of all the workingmen, who feed and fatten the churchmen. They lie when they say that the revolt of the workingmen, in 1877, started in National Hall and that National Hall is a seat of the so much feared dynamite throwers.
It is further an absolute lie that Bohemians frequenting this hall, have no fear of God or consideration for their fellow human beings. All those societies, which have meetings in this hall, have the same mutual problems of encouraging fraternity amongst humans and of furnishing financial help to the needy. They are not, as the missionary report says, a bunch of desperados, connected with the city's worst element, whose sole purpose is crime. It is incredible how a superintendent of a 4missionary society is able to release such infamous lies from his devilish throat. His mouth anointed with sacred oils, Christ's blood and prayers, should be clean and veracious. How can he dare to bring the Gospel to these defamed and slandered Bohemian people, to preach his American morality with all this Pharisaism, thievery and knavery and to wish to convert them to his faith, a faith that has originated from the devil, himself.
This superintendent's devilish mouth should not spread lies about his fellow-men, whom he does not know, and never has associated with. He believes only in spreading vile calumnies. He mixes christianity in his devilish saliva and believes that no one will know the difference. In this way he strives to poison our people and corrupt them to his level.
The Chairman of the missionary society, Mr. C. F. Gates, a missionary himself, expresses a still worse opinion on the Bohemians living in this district. He writes on page 10, 5as follows: "You have heard about the committee organized by us for the purpose of establishing a McLeane Mission, called the "Lumbermen's Mission, at 683 Centre Ave. The committee's task was to find out the best ways to win for salvation the Bohemians, who are populating this district very densely. There is nothing done. We can see swarms of children running wild in the streets. We can see crowds of men leaving their dwellings and going to the meetings, to listen to the instigative speeches of the communistic and socialistic leaders. The only things that they learn at these meetings is to fight against God and the Church, against the law of possession, against the family's rules and social connections. When we consider, that their votes in the elections have the same worth as ours, we will understand the big value of our undertaking to penetrate those crowds with the light of the Holy Gospel.
If we wish to be saved ourselves, we must try to save our children and in the name of our Master, under whose banner we are marching. We must walk through all 6the side streets of our city seeking for the lost ones, to save them with God's help.
Brothers, why does God allow all those people from Bohemia, Italy, Germany, Holland, Norway, Denemark, England, Ireland, Holland, China and Japan to come independently, instead of delivering them straight into our hands so that we can show them the value and power of the Christian faith, as a developer of their body, morals and soul? It is a very expensive problem to send the missionaries to the remote countries, but when God is sending those pagans to our own door, we should seize the work in our own hands and we will not regret this at the day of judgment.
As compensation for our missionary work we will have flocks of devoted men and women, who will go everywhere and distribute the bread of life and God's teaching. We need money for this purpose, we need money to change saloons into churches, and to decrease crime. If we had money to do this we would not need a big police force 7to keep order and we would save much money in this way.
From these few words it is easy to see that the Chairman of the missionary society looks at the Bohemians of the 6th ward as heathens and abases them before the entire religious community. The whole prestige of the Bohemians being destroyed, the missionaries in their devilish hypocrisy will show their mercy and, collecting money from the rich Americans, will start to convert those uncultured, ignorant Bohemians from paganism. They would make out of us sly thieves and impostors, of the type that are always recruited from American clergymen. We read, almost every day in the newspapers, that they hang themselves, cut their throats, that some of them are put in jails, and some of them run away with their spoils to Canada, stolen money, collected through their people's faith in the Holy Gospel. Should the Bohemians be the same kind of pious Christians, should they deprive themselves of their honesty, good hearts, good name and model themselves after the American brothers.8
You Pharisaic creatures come among these so called pagan Bohemians and they will teach you honesty, Christian love, toleration, humanity morality, temperance, and justice. You do not need to teach Bohemians these virtues, but rather you can learn these virtues from them, because all that you know now is the vices of crime, shame and infamy - even if you pray and stay in churches. We have recognized your infamy and this deterred us from attending your churches and services, which allow such thieves, impostors and libertines to be seen and honored as holy men; holy men that despise poor, honest workingmen; holy men, who, nevertheless, are willing to save these workingmen from paganism.
You American Pharisees, who are hiding your vice and knavery in places that are meant for prayers, go among the Bohemians and learn how to pray simply but sincerely. If there was a country, which has had religion and may be too much of it, such a country was Bohemia, and starting with the middle ages Bohemia has been floded with religious teachings, religious practices, religious propaganda, and bloodshed for religion. The Bohemians have outgrown all that 9foolishness and they are not so low as to let themselves be the victims of your religion that attempts to implant devilishness into the hearts of our people. The Bohemians are outspoken. They will tell you all that they have in their hearts. Through the experience of many centuries the Bohemians have abandoned your type of religious practices, and even if you had whole regiments of missionaries sent into their midst these missionaries would not be able to change their human morals and doctrine of truth. These Bohemians would stand firm, like a wall that was once formed centuries ago by the Hussites, armed with clubs similar to those which were used to split the heads of the black monks, who came to Bohemia to preach hypocrisy, dishonesty and immorality, ready to do the same to these modern black monks of the missions.
If these missionaries will come to the Bohemians to learn from them religion, morality and honesty, they will be welcome, but should they come with the intention to destroy the prosperity of our people, to insult us, to humiliate us unjustly, and then to rehabilitate us later, their enterprise would not pay at all.10
I propose to the members of the missionary society, who intend to ensnare these ignorant Bohemians for the Methodist church on 19th Street that they explain and interpret to their representatives, how the Bohemians feel about it.
They should enlighten their American representatives on how to talk with Bohemians. It is their duty to reprimand those Pharisaic slanders, and to revolk these wicked chairmen and superintendents of the mission, all of whom have thrown calumnies at us.
In the future they should not write about the Bohemians, before they mingle with the Bohemians, and become acquainted with them. Further, they should never lie so unpardonably, and offend people that endeavor to build noble projects for the future.
We are happy that Dr. Adam will visit Chicago in the near future. He knows 11us, loves us, protects us, and he will certainly take care, that all these slanders thrown on Bohemians by the religious fanatics be revoked and the good name of the Bohemians restored. The offended morality and feelings of the good and organized Bohemians in Chicago may instigate, unnecessarily, a justifiable revenge.
The action of the Chicago Missionary Society, and of all those rascals who throw different calumnies on Bohemians in Chicago, is decidedly criminal in nature.
I C, I B 4, II B 2 d 2, II D 6, III C
Secondary listingsBohemian // Attitudes > Mores > Religious Customs and Practices (I B 4) ?
Bohemian // Contributions and Activities > Avocational and Intellectual > Intellectual > Publications > Periodicals (II B 2 d 2) ?
Bohemian // Contributions and Activities > Benevolent and Protective Institutions > Settlement Houses and Community Centers (II D 6) ?
Bohemian // Assimilation > National Churches and Sects (III C) ?
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