Lietuva -- June 29, 1900The Lithuanian Freethinkers Alliance
It was previously announced about the necessity of a Lithuanian Freethinkers Alliance on June 3, 1900. The Lithuanian Freethinkers held a convention at New York City in order to organize the Lithuanian Freethinkers Alliance. At 1 P.M. the hall was packed with broad-minded and far-seeing people. They elected Dr. John Szliupas as president of the meeting and Mr. A. Szilingis, from Newark, N. J., as secretary. Telegrams and congratulations were received from Pittston, Pa., Minersville, Pa., Torrington, Conn., Philadelphia, Pa., and Pittsburg, Pa. The delegates were from New York City, Jersey City, Passaic, Elizabeth and Newark, N. J., Scranton, Pa., Plymouth, Pa., Baltimore, M d., and Brooklyn, N. Y.
The convention president, Mr. John Szliupas, opened the convention by delivering a short but energetic speech. The doctor said that the 2Lithuanians of today not only are suffering under the yoke of Russia and Germany, but are suffering from their own nationalists, the priests, and these priests are fed by the poor Lithuanians themselves. He further stated how the people in other countries overthrew the yoke of the clergy. After the doctor's speech, Mr. Balcziunas made a motion to establish the freethinkers' organization. Mr. Mikolainis seconded the motion by showing the necessity of freeing the people from the religious swaddling band, by spreading the enlightenment among the people. It was decided to organize the Lithuanian Freethinkers Alliance. Mr. Szesztokas made a motion that those who want to join the Freethinkers Alliance should give their names, and those who do not want to join the Alliance were asked to leave the hall, but no one left the hall. Then the platform was made and adopted. Mr. Ambrozewyczia made a motion to publish a newspaper as the organ of the Lithuanian freethinkers. Mr. Mikolainis made a suggestion to publish books instead of a newspaper. The books ought to be of small size, to print propaganda and other articles explaining the freethinkers' program. The motion was carried.3
To the Freethinkers Alliance fund it was decided to pay 25 cents initiation fees and 10 cents monthly dues.
Mr. Ramananskas' motion was that the Lithuanian Freethinkers Alliance should have a traveling agitator-speaker. It was decided to wait until the organization would stand on a firmer basis.
The question was brought up whether to publish the book written by Rev. V. Demskis, About the Works of the Bishop Walanczauskas. It was decided to publish a book, The Matter and Power, by Buechner.
They also decided that the members of the Freethinkers Alliance should cremate their dead ones.
The central committee was elected of the following members: President, Leonas Ereminas, 519 E. 5th St., New York; Secretary, Adomas Szilingis, 57 Beacon St., Newark, N. J.; Treasurer, Wincas Gustaitis, 56 Ainstic St., Brooklyn, N. Y.; Assistant Secretary, Motiejus Ambrozewiczia, 456 Beacon St., Newark, N. J.
The Lithuanian Freethinkers Alliance made a protest resolution against the dirty acts of the priest Szedwydis of Pittston, Pa. The priest told the mayor of Pittston, Pa., that the Lithuanians are rascals and hoodlums so the meeting of the Daughters of Lithuania was stopped by the mayor of Pittston because of the intrigues of the priest Szedwydis.
Also a protest was made against using the name of Lithuanians in the book, The Appeal of the American-Lithuanians to the Pope. This book was published without the consent of all the American-Lithuanians. This book was written by a few priests, not by all the Lithuanians.
The delegates of the convention are asking the Lithuanians to organize the Freethinkers locals in every Lithuanian colony in order to have a strong Freethinkers Alliance.
The newly organized locals should send all money to the treasurer, 5Mr. Gustaitis, who is under bond for $250.
The Lithuanian Freethinkers platform. The Freethinkers Alliance's purpose, with the help of enlightenment, is to free the people from religious prejudice and from political and material slavery.
We stand on the evolution theory which scientifically explains the beginning, growth, and development of the living being, man.
We affirm that the morale and ethic does not come from religion, that it develops from necessity and experience.
In politics it goes together with the Socialists, accepts freedom, equality and justice to all humanity. It upholds the freedom of speech, press, post office, discussion on various problems and the freedom of assembly. It affirms freedom, rejects religion as the slavery of the mind, demands for all Lithuanians material benefit and political 6freedom and enlightenment; to make efforts to free us from the clergy which is the stronghold of despotism.
The Lithuanian Freethinkers demand: (1) That the church and the clergy should pay taxes like all other people. (2) That the clergy should be expelled from Congress, legislature, from navy and schools, colleges, and asylums and from other institutions that are supported by the public. (3) That the government should stop supporting the religious institutions, educational and relief institutions. (4) That the government should not help build the religious institutions, the education of religion, etc. (5) That the government should stop participating in religious celebrations. (6) That swearing in the courts should be abolished, because an ordinary promise is enough to tell the truth, and to know that for not telling the truth one will be punished. (7) That all the statutes for upholding Sunday as a religious holiday should be abolished. (8) That justice based on religious morale 7should be abolished, should stand on the foundation of inborn morality. (9) That the government should stand in the public background, should not protect or uphold religion, nor give privileges to any church. (10) In time of war, the clergy should go to war to defend the country like any other citizen.
The Lithuanian Freethinkers Committee.
III C, I B 2, I E, II B 2 d 3, IV
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