Signs of the Times

[From the Burlington Hawkeye, Burlington, Iowa]

Many agencies are interesting themselves in bringing up young people in the way they should go. Every parent, educator, juvenile judge, minister, probation officer offers his solution, according to his own slant on life. All seem to unite on the necessity for religious education. What is religious education? Going to Sunday school, learning Bible texts, singing hymns, is well enough. But does this prepare a child to meet the problems and temptations which will bob up in his pathway in the late teens and early twenties? Unless the teacher making the assertion, for example, that Jesus saves, is prepared to answer the child's natural questions, saved from what, saved for what, saved how, the phrase means nothing to the modern child. To memorize the Beatitudes is good. But what do they mean every day? In the family whose head's idea of business is sharp practice, or the "high pressure salesmanship" which bullies the buyer into buying beyond his means, in the family where intolerance reigns, or cruel gossip, mercy and justice are empty words. What is goodness? What is it for? What do we get out of it? These questions must meet square answers, if youth is to be satisfied. Such questions are not irreverent. They are reasonable and pertinent.

May 28, 1927

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