East-West World-Wide News
CHURCH OF THE MASSES
The synod of the Old Catholic Church, during their January session in New York City, adopted an encyclical letter introduced by Bishop W. M. Brown.
The letter declares that "the true Catholic church cannot be a church of the classes," but "must be a church of the masses, of the uncultured rabble."
The document says that even in favored America there is an upper and an underworld, with great unemployment and exploitation.
The bishops extended their greetings "to the proletariat of the world and with hearts that yearn to express our human kinship, we bow to the so-called aliens, especially to the propertyless, the outcasts and the dispossessed."
The bishops also extended greetings to "the criminals of America, the convicts toward whom we as a society have dealt in anger, instead of in a spirit of fraternal love; the ex-convicts, hounded by the police and generally denied employment; also the so-called murderers, thieves, gunmen, crooks, harlots and other men and women of the underworld."
"We beg you, the so-called underworld, to forgive us," the letter stated. "Forgive us our jails as we forgive you your guns and black-jacks. Forgive us our capital punishment as we forgive you your murders."
TRANSLATION OF UPANISHADS
We wish to congratulate Professor Takakusu of the Tokyo Imperial University on a great scholarly accomplishment. The Professor, with the aid of twenty-seven scholars, has succeeded in two years' time in translating the entire set of 106 books of the Hindu Scriptures, Upanishads. The Japanese thus have the honor to be the first foreign people to undertake and complete the whole translation. Max Muller translated only 12 books, Prof. Deussen brought his total translation up to 60 books, and 13 books were translated by Prof. Hume.
Prof. Takakusu also compiled an index to his translation, which is of great importance, being divided into two parts—subjects and quotations. It is to be hoped that some worthy translator will soon undertake to make the treasures of the whole Upanishads available to the English-speaking peoples.
THE MYTH OF SUPERIORITY
During the past few years, such scientific writers as Madison Grant and Lathrop Stoddard have written books attempting to prove that "white races" are superior in all ways to Oriental peoples, and classifying the latter as a "menace" to everything progressive and honorable. These books have received much attention in certain educational circles and universities.
Now comes John Langdon-Davies, eminent English sociologist, with a refreshingly fair view of things. At a recent lecture in Cleveland, he characterized the writings of the two authors mentioned above, as being "pseudo-scientific and without foundation."
"No findings of science have yet given us reason for the claim that one race is intellectually superior," he said. "The myth of Nordic supremacy is an example of a pernicious and stupid point of view. Such a claim might be made by any race, starting with the anthropoid ape and culminating with itself. As a matter of fact, when our ancestors were roaming about Europe in extreme decolette attire, the Chinese had a great culture. How reasonable it would have been to have established a myth of Mongolian supremacy."
Mr. Langdon-Davies pointed out that there were no pure Nordics any more anyway, and that modern races are what they are ...largely because of contributions from other races. He also dwelt on the race antagonism and international misunderstanding that naturally result through claims of racial superiority. The superiority complex is at the root of many of the world's ills, and the sooner it is dissipated by the light of intelligent understanding, the better for us all.
SWEDEN LEADS PEACE MOVE
An unlimited arbitration treaty between Sweden and Denmark has recently been signed, whereby war is definitely outlawed. The pact provides for the arbitration of all questions, including even those of national honor and "vital interests."
Sweden recently concluded a similar treaty with Norway, and negotiations for the same purpose are on foot with Finland.
This is welcome news, indeed, and points the way for all nations to follow.
AN ATHEIST SOCIETY
"The American Association for the Advancement of Atheism" has recently been incorporated in New York City, after having been previously refused a charter. Its application revealed the objects of its work to be for "purely destructive" purposes, and for "destroying a belief (in God) which it considers detrimental to the interests of mankind and civilization." To this end, it will hold public meetings, give radio talks, and distribute scientific and anti-religious literature.
The society is not important, for it will never reach either a large or an influential number of people, because the belief in a God strikes the deepest note in human nature and cannot be destroyed by any number of lectures or leaflets. But the existence of such an Association does give food for thought. Why should people imagine that "science" and "religion" conflict? Does not every further advance of science into the realm of exact universal law, prove more and more clearly the Guiding Intelligence that set these cosmic laws in motion? Does not the scientific discovery that every atom, every stone, every solar system pulsates with rhythmic life ...point to the existence of a Living Originator? Why should the facts of life be so distorted, so garbled and misinterpreted, that any group of men should imagine that to pursue science, one must first deny Deity? Surely, a great gap remains to be filled in our educational system.
JEWISH RECOGNITION OF JESUS
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of New York City, one of the best-known and best-loved Jewish rabbis in America, recently delivered a sermon to his congregation that fairly took the breath away from the more orthodox Jewish members but which nevertheless was the result of his conviction, his experience and of the broad-minded religious period in which we are living.
"Jesus was," Rabbi Wise declared. "I accept this ...despite the notion I had been led to believe earlier in my life—a notion that Jesus was a myth and never existed. If Christianity is impracticable and unattainable, as the Jews say it is, then it is because the Christians have failed to live up to Jesus' teachings." He declared that these teachings comprise a code of ethics unsurpassed in history, being ...the very foundation of morality.
In a later statement, the courageous Rabbi said, "I dealt chiefly with two problems. Cannot Jesus the Jew be liberated from the great body of dogmas touching the Christ of Christian churches? Not that Jews may be Christianized, but that Christianity may reinstate Jesus the Jew."
These statements of the liberal-minded Rabbi demonstrate the great historical vitality of Jesus the Christ. After all these centuries His name is still potent to arouse new enthusiasm and faith in a people who have hitherto treated Him as myth, not Man.
The Rabbi goes on to say, "I stand exactly where my fathers have always stood ...in unequivocal denial of the uniqueness of the divinity of Jesus." All fair-minded students of history must agree that Jesus was not the only Divine Incarnation. "Peace on earth, good-will to men" will come, not as a result of the acceptance of one dominating world-teacher, but through a respect, understanding and OBSERVANCE of the beautiful teachings that underlie all the great religions of the world. Some people cannot bring themselves to believe in the divinity of any teacher. Yet if they will follow the teachings of pure Christianity, pure Hinduism, pure Buddhism, or any other great religion, they will come —in time—to realize ...even the divinity of their own selves.
SOUND CONQUERS FIRE
The following recent New York event is reported by the Cleveland "Plain Dealer" as follows:
"Firemen were astonished today to see a gas flame two feet high extinguished by sound and tonal vibration produced as simply as on a violin.
A demonstration was conducted at a West Side engine house by Charles Kellogg, California naturalist, who believes he can solve the problem of fires in large cities. Passing a bow, like an enlarged violin bow, swiftly across an aluminum tuning fork, he produced a screech like intense radio static. Instantly the yellow gas flame, leaping inside a hollow glass tube, subsided to a height of six inches and became a sputtering blue flare. Another attempt with the bow, and another screech of vibration, extinguished it. Mr. Kellogg told the incredulous firemen that they could put out blazes of the future without moving from fire headquarters." This demonstration seems to prove what has long seemed a doubtful legendary tale about a famous ancient Hindu singer, Tan Sen, who was supposed to be able to quench fire, and pierce the clouds for rain ...by the occult power of his song.
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