AN OPEN LETTER TO THE
REV. LEN G. BROUGHTON
In The Journal and Tribune of Saturday,
Dec. 2nd, was reported a lecture delivered
by you to a Bible class, on the preceding
Friday evening. For several reasons I am
asking the indulgence of The Journal and
Tribune for space to make a reply to your
adverse criticism regarding equal suffrage.
The form of speech of which you make
use would seem to imply that you believe
yourself to be an authority as regard's
God's whole scheme in general, and His
intentions concerning woman's position in
the human family in particular. I quote
from your remarks as reported:—
"Suffrage," said Dr. Broughton, "for
women is contrary to the whole scheme of
God, He intended that man should stand
for woman. He intended that woman
should not stand by his side in his responsibility for anything, but that she
should be by his side for protection."
It would Seem hardly necessary to re-
mind a Protestant clergyman of the twentieth century that as far back as the
sixteenth century, Martin Luther led a cru-
sade against tyranny over the human mind.
The triumph of protestantism assures the
right of private judgment in religious mat-
ters, to every individual where its teach-
ings are held in respect; though Roger Williams and the good Baptists of early America knew what it was to suffer under the
narrow bigotry of their religious neighbor.
But the framers of the constitution of the
United States knew the impossibility of the
finite comprehending the infinite and hav-
ing had experience as to the fallibility of
man's Judgment in earthly things, wisely I
concluded that it was hardly likely mere
man could decide positively concerning
God's schemes and intentions, Our constitution therefore, virtually insures to every
individual freedom from religious dictation
While our bodies may not be made to
suffer pain by decree of religious fanatics
it is still possible for weak minds to be
held in thraldom by the utterances of any
egotist who thinks his imaginings are at
one with God's Intentions. You may not
be conscious of any intention to tyrannize
over weak minds, so I take the precaution
of warning you of the danger of it.
You are reported to have said: "God
shows clearly that man should work for,
plan for, think for, woman."
Unfortunately in times' long past many
men held this opinion and so interpreted
God's intention when it suited their
convenience and gratified their vanity and con-
ceit. Especially do we find in comparing
the social conditions of men and women
that much objection was made to women
thinking and planning, but no obstacles
were put in the way of her working, if the
work were of an humble kind, and it could
be shown that it was principally intended
to be of benefit to some man or men.
Drudgery and all tasks that carried with
them no pleasure, riches, power, honor or
glory, have always been freely allowed
to woman as carrying out God's intention
as to the work proper to her sex.
Probably the best examples of your
theory that God does not intend that
woman should work, plan or think are to be
found In the harems of the Mohammedans.
The conclusion of the Moslem that women
have no souls is quite consistent with yours
that they were not designed by the Creator to
think. Every Individual soul must
think, if a member of the human family. ,
To place woman in the non-thinking class
is to consign her to the animal kingdom.
Primitive man, not having developed !
great intelligence, naturally placed brute
force as the greatest human attribute. He
despised the physically weak and made all
such his slaves. Those men found it easy
to make women subservient to them. Not
even clubs were necessary; their naked
hands were sufficient weapons to subdue
the females of the species- especially when
they were with child.
You, who know so much of God's intentions, probably agree with me that God
intended motherhood to be woman's crown
of glory. You know enough of the social
history of the human family, and I hope
you are candid enough to confess that man
has too often made it the cause of her
degradation and misery. Is this what you
would term man's protection of woman?
As man evolved in the course of time,
and intellect and character became successful
rivals of physical force, woman's
condition was ameliorated, yet within the
recollection of many of us not yet a hundred years old, fiats have been put forth by
certain male egotists, that woman could
not acquire learning equal to man, or, if
she did, it would be at the expense of
her health. The regime which women have
passed through at the dictation of ignorant
men would seem to have been sufficient to
make idiots of them all. The only reason
why they have escaped this fate must be
because the all wise Creator has protected them until the man has sufficiently developed to recognize that he is not the special
favorite of Deity, but that the love of
God is no less for His daughters than His
The God that I adore is the acme of jus-
tice, wisdom and love who endowed
with equal capacity man and woman. As
the animals seem to have developed first
so as to prepare the way for the human
family, so the earlier development of man
to power and position would seem to be
for the purpose of pointing the way to the
mother of the race.
Many women have been so dominated and
suppressed by man's presumptuous egotism
that their intellectual development has been
much retarded. It is this class that I fear
may be influenced by your teaching and
thus get erroneous view of God and His
scheme and Intentions.
One other quotation I would consider
in explaining his position, Dr.
Broughton said: "I am enough of a
pacifist to believe that the ballot must
be supported, if need be, by the bullet,
in order to enforce its meaning. Outside of any Biblican convictions, I believe that no one should vote, who cannot back their vote with arms."
Here speaks the primitive man. Is brute
force the only power by which mankind is
to be controlled? It is truly surprising the
little real influence the teaching of Jesus
has had on the so-called Christian world.
I ask you to consider that when the world
was governed by brute force the ballot was
unknown. The common people who did the
fighting did not cast a vote. Bullets and
ballots are not companions, but ballots in
the hands of the people are supposed to be
a substitute for bullets in the hands of
hired agents, too often of tyranny.
Thanks be to God that in giving woman
the crown of motherhood He made her the
giver, not the taker, of life. Woman has
no greater claim to the right to the ballot
than that she is a producer and not a
destroyer of life. Much as I believe justice
demands the ballot for woman, I would
shopper to buy more than ever before, goes
a long way to indicate the financial success of the season, there being more money
in circulation this year than for many years
the much talked question of the
high cost of living and the appalling in-
crease in price of the actual necessities of
life, the wares appropriate to the holiday
season are to be had at approximately the
same prices that were quoted last season.
"Made in America."
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