The elimination of real religion in the education of children and the substitution of worship of the State is, in the minds of many impartial observers, something approaching a national catastrophe. In any other community it would probably be accompanied by anarchy. It certainly has swelled the calendar of German crime. German statistics prove that every sort of horror has been greatly on the increase in the last quarter of a century.
I went to Germany the first time under the impression that the Anglo-Saxon had much to learn from German education. I do not think that any observer in Germany itself to-day would find anything valuable to learn in the field of education, except when the German student comes to the time he takes up scientific research, to which the German mind, with its intense industry and regard for detail, is so eminently suited. The German Government gives these young students every advantage. They are not, as with us, obliged to start money-making as soon as they leave school. As a rule a German boy’s career is marked out for him by his parents and the schoolmaster at a very early age. If he is to follow out any one of the thousand branches of chemical research dealing with coal-tar products, for example, he knows his fate at fourteen or fifteen, and his eye is rarely averted from his goal until he has achieved knowledge and experience likely to help him in the great German trade success which has followed their utilisation of applied science.
PULPITS OF HATE
The unpleasant part played by the clergy, and especially the Lutheran pastors, needs to be explained to those who regard clerics as necessarily men of peace.
The claim that the Almighty is on the side of Germany is not a new one. It was made as far back as the time of Frederick the Great. It was advanced in the war of 1870. It found strong voice at the time of the Boer War, when the pastors issued a united manifesto virulently attacking Great Britain.
These pastors are in communication with the German-American Lutherans in the United States, who exerted their influence to the utmost against the election of President Wilson, taking their instructions indirectly from the German Foreign Office.
The state of affairs in the German churches is so different from anything on the other side of the Atlantic, and in Great Britain, that it is almost as difficult to make people in England understand war-preaching ministers as it is to make them comprehend war-teaching schoolmasters.
My description of the poisoning by hate songs of the child mind of Germany at its most impressionable age came as a shock to many of my readers. But the hate songs of the children are not as fierce as the hate hymns and prayers of the pastors. Do the public here realise that of the original Zeppelin fund hundreds of thousands of marks were subscribed in churches and chapels, and that models of Zeppelins have formed portions of church decorations at festivals?