Paragon of Beauty

“You are the paragon of Beauty, upon which the universe judges itself.”


Give Me A Number

Give Me A Number

On September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists attacked the US, resulting in the deaths of 2,977 non-terrorists and over 6,000 injuries. The country rallied together, Congress passed emergency laws, orders were given.

26 days later the US invaded Afghanistan, and a world wide war costing over 1 million lives and over 7 trillion dollars started, which still rages today.

This weekend, 1 man killed 58 and wounded 527, for a total of 585 people. Yet in the current situation, we have been told “not to overreact”, “this is not the time to discuss this problem”, “its too soon”, etc.

Each of the 9/11 hijackers killed 157 people and injured 316, for a total of 473 apiece.

So, my question to those who say to wait is “How many does it take, before you respond like 9/11?” The total killed/wounded is higher per perpetrator this time, so why do we need to NOT do what you did 16 years ago? Is the ratio of dead too small; what if it had been 527 dead and 58 injured? Would you act then? Is that 157 killed per perp the real threshold, or is it higher? What if the shooter had killed 3,000 people and injured 6,000 more by himself? Would that be enough to finally get you to act?

Gun violence kills enough people for more than 10 9/11s every year in this country. Or, for you history types, the Battle of the Bulge and D-Day COMBINED are lower. The Battle of Gettysburg was a cake walk compared to one year in the US today. The entire American Revolution didn’t kill more people than the last 365 days, and most of them in that conflict died from disease. Does this history lesson give you some perspective?

So, the Do Nothing Crowd, I am speaking directly to you. Give me a number. Don’t look at the gun lobbyist, or the phantom tyrant living in your closet. Give me a number. How many American lives will it take before you treat this crisis like 9/11?

Give Me A Number.

The Empowerment of Women

In his poem, “Types of Women” or just “Women”, Semonides of Amorgos, a 7th century BC Greek poet, described the ten types of women.

Zeus made men and women differently, and the poem divides women into types categorized by animals or earth elements, such as “Fox Woman”, “Sea Woman”, “Ape Woman”, based on their looks, personality, and actions. Only the “Bee Woman” is considered good.

As the poem states:
“But by the grim contrivances of Zeus
all these other types are here to stay
side by side with man forever. Yes,
Zeus made this the greatest pain of all:

The Empowerment of Women is still one of the Great Issues that the human race struggles with, and probably will for some time. Women are blamed for bringing evil into the world by many religions, treated as property in the past and even today, often kept uneducated or not allowed to hold positions of authority, either in their churches or governments. Even in countries where women have gained, there are strong reactionary forces trying to return things to “the good old days.” I know several women who think themselves inferior to men, or whom allow a man to do their thinking for them.

Chris Hitchens once said, “The cure for poverty has a name, in fact: it’s called the empowerment of women. If you give women some control over the rate at which they reproduce, if you give them some say, take them off the animal cycle of reproduction to which nature and some doctrine—religious doctrine condemns them, and then if you’ll throw in a handful of seeds perhaps and some credit, the floor of everything in that village, not just poverty, but education, health, and optimism will increase.”

If you have read my posts, you know that I think women are wonderful, the fully equal partners in humanity’s quest for greatness. No one had to grant them that status; they earned it with their blood, sweat, and tears. While the Orthodox thank God every day in their prayers for not making them a women, I am thankful every day; for the mothers, sisters, daughters, friends who make life worth living.

I shall quote from another and better work called “Women”, from the great Def Leppard.

“One part love, one part wild
One part lover, one part child
A whole lotta fire, a little bit of ice
A whole lotta somethin’ you can’t sacrifice”

The Khalkhin Gol Campaign

The Khalkhin Gol Campaign (May 11 – September 15, 1939)

I like to share information on important historical persons and events that people should know, but do not. Today is a military campaign that changed the course of modern history. If the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) had any impact on your life, you might wish to learn its origins, along the windy plains of the Mongolian-Chinese border.

The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) brought onto the stage a new player in world politics; The Empire of Japan. Just a few decades before, Japan had been a feudal nation, steeped in tradition and conformity, but hopelessly outclassed by the other imperial powers. The Meiji Period (1868 – 1912) was an almost unprecedented modernization of every aspect of the country. Japan wanted to become a militarily strong, world class industrial power   . But, despite the extreme beauty of the mountainous Japanese home islands, they lack natural resources, and the ability to feed an ever-growing population. Japan held islands in the Pacific, Korea, and other mainland enclaves. The war brought Japan additional territory, and with it the need for a garrison. The Kwangtung Army was born.

Starting out as a small garrison, Kwangtung became the largest and most prestigious part of the Japanese military. Its leaders went on to hold a great deal of power in the Imperial government. Several attempts to overthrow civilian control originated in the Kwangtung Army.

With this power came pride and arrogance. Against the wishes of the government, in 1931 the Kwangtung Army invaded China, and succeeded. The government was forced to pretend that they had supported the idea the entire time, and the puppet state of Manchukuo (Manchuria) was created. If you have ever seen the film The Last Emperor, it shows this time period.

The Japanese government suffered from various internal power groups, and the two strongest were the Army and the Navy. While officially under one control, they operated as two separate militaries, with overlapping authority and often contradictory goals and production requests.

While everyone wanted to conquer China, there was a real debate over which direction Japanese imperial ambitions should follow. The Army held the North Group idea, to invade Mongolia and Russian Siberia, while the Navy held the South Group idea of the Pacific Islands down to Australia. The political stalemate continued, while the economic and foreign policy situation worsened.

In 1939, the Japanese government sent orders to the Kwangtung Army to strengthen the border with Mongolia. Interrupting their orders their own way, the Kwangtung Army decided to invade Mongolia. Hey, it worked with Manchuria, right?

There had long been skirmishing along the border, but on May 11 a Mongolian patrol was attacked by a Manchukuoan patrol. The Mongolians moved in more men, so the Japanese sent a regiment to drive them out. It was surrounded by Mongolian and Russian troops, who inflicted 2/3 losses on it before it could escape.

Throughout June, tens of thousands of men were moved in by both sides, and the Japanese government tried to halt further violence. A new Russian commander, Gregory Zhukov, who would become the most famous Russian commander of WWII, was brought in to take command.

In July, the Japanese launched a major offensive, backed up heavily by tanks. Japan treated the tank as an infantry support gun, and not like it is thought of as today. Zhukov counter attacked with a combined arms tank, armored car, artillery, and infantry force that crushed the Japanese and drove them back.

On August 20th, Zhukov launched a massive assault against the Japanese. It was supported by the first massed aircraft attack against a single objective in human history. The Japanese countered with their own forces, including their own air force, and large-scale aerial combat resulted. Russian tactics of combining artillery attacks with armored thrusts, followed by huge encirclements were born at this time.

The Japanese forces were shattered, and fled in full retreat. It was the largest defeat Japan had suffered in modern history, and it sent shock waves through the halls of imperial government. The power of the Kwangtung Army was broken forever, and the North Group idea was dead. Within days, the Nazi-Soviet Pact was signed, so Japan saw no help from their German allies.

The Japanese government in the meanwhile signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union on April 13, 1941. Even as German armies closed in on Moscow in 1941, and Hitler asked Japan to attack the Soviet Union, they refused to break this pact. This allowed the Russians to transfer troops to the west, massing 56 divisions for a counter offensive that dealt Germany their largest defeat of the war up to that point. The South Group idea was now to become the only hope of the Japanese future. The seeds of Pearl Harbor had been planted.

Other changes also followed. The Japanese Army staff in charge of armored warfare increased from 12 men in a single office to over a hundred, and tank production more than doubled. New ideas regarding field medicine were introduced, as many Japanese soldiers had died needlessly from minor wounds. Zhukov became famous, and would later become the Russian marshal who led the final assault on Berlin, ending the Third Reich.

For the rest of WWII, the Kwangtung Army was mostly used to garrison the region, and fight Chinese partisans. Its best units were sent off to fight in other theaters, replaced by poorly trained units with old, outdated equipment. When the Russians invaded Manchuria in August 1945, they destroyed an army of almost 800,00 men, most of whom had only been in military service less than 10 days. They spent the next few years in labor camps.

We can only speculate what would have happened if Japan had won the Khalkhin Gol campaign. They would have been at war with the Russians if Germany invaded, and perhaps there never would have been a Nazi-Soviet Pact in the first place. How WWII would have played out, would there have even been a full-scale war in Europe, is open to debate. Japan turned its eyes southward, and the rest is history.






Fritz Haber

Fritz Haber (1868-1934), is probably one of the most important persons in the history of the modern world, and yet almost no one today can tell you who he was. However, if you eat food to live, I hope that you will continue reading.

Haber was born in Breslau, in the Kingdom of Prussia, into a wealthy Jewish family. Germany was very prejudiced against Jews, but the Habers were not very religious, and integrated well into German society. Fritz himself later converted to Christianity, which helped his career immensely.

Haber was a very patriotic German all of his life, and jumped at the chance to serve his mandatory year of service in the Prussian Army in 1889. He served in the artillery, a branch that would later gain the most from his chemistry skills. He wanted to serve longer, but as a Jew his career ambitions were blunted.

He became an academic, earned his PhD from Friedrich Wilhelm University in 1891, and married Clara Immerwahr (herself a PhD chemist) in 1901. Haber was a contemporary and friend of some of the greatest names in the history of science.
Here is where the story becomes important to you. At the beginning of the 20th century, there was not enough ammonia and nitrates to be mined to keep up with the growing population of the world, and every country on earth faced famine and the problems it would create.

Fritz Haber knew that nitrogen was all around us; we inhale it every time we take a breath. With the atmosphere almost 80% nitrogen, he knew that he could solve this crisis, if he could just find an economical way to pull it from the sky. Nitrogen (N2) is a very stable molecule, and it would require some special coaxing to extract it.
In 1909, he developed the Haber-Bosch Process, This process converts atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia by a reaction with hydrogen using a metal catalyst under high temperatures and pressures: The formula is N2 + 3 H2 → 2 NH3.

Today, half of the human race eats directly because of this process.

Haber was awarded the 1918 Nobel Prize for this amazing discovery.

When WWI broke out, there was a dilemma in the scientific community. There was a very real belief that Science belonged to everyone, and scientists should not use their knowledge to make weapons. Haber was a German patriot, and he signed the Manifesto of the 93, declaring his support for the war effort. Albert Einstein pointedly refused to sign this document. Haber said, “During peace time a scientist belongs to the World, but during war time he belongs to his country.”. Other academics followed the lead of the 93.

Germany lacked resources to produce large quantities of gunpowder, and would have been forced to surrender in a few months based on their small stockpiles. The Haber-Bosch process was used to manufacture nitrates, which overcame this glaring problem.

Haber was made a captain in the German Army, and worked hard in the lab to develop new chemical processes for the war. He developed the use of chemical weapons, hoping to force the Allies to surrender. Many of his contemporaries in the scientific community were outraged, but Haber discovered a way to deliver quantities of chlorine gas to the enemy in quantity. He personally oversaw its first use at the Second Battle of Ypres (Spring 1915).

The Kaiser awarded Captain Haber a medal for his invention, but on May 2, 1915, his wife Clara committed suicide with her husband’s service revolver because of her horror at what he had done. Even with his wife’s death, Haber was committed to the war, and within a week was on the Russian Front gassing the Czar’s troops. He remarried in 1917 to Charlotte Nathan. (They divorced in 1927).

The Allies had their own Nobel Prize winning chemists, and they developed their own weapons. Haber was also the inventor of the gas mask, which has been a personal friend most of my life. By the end of WWI, 1/3 of all munitions fired (grenades, artillery shells, etc) contained chemical weapons.

Haber is today considered the Father of Chemical Warfare. He continued to work on Germany’s illegal chemical weapons program after the war, sometimes helping former enemies develop theirs in order to raise funds.

With the rise of Nazism in Germany, Fritz Haber once again found his past catching up with him. Although a Lutheran, and technically therefore a Christian, the Nazis saw him as “once a Jew, always a Jew.” His patriotism and his service to Germany meant nothing. Many of his co-workers at his institute were Jews, and he was forced to fire them. Secretly, he helped many to escape, including Charlotte and his three children and their families. Haber resigned and left the country, helped by several of the scientists who fought against him in WWI.

Haber was by this time sick and disillusioned. He found himself rejected by the nation that he had loved and worked for his entire life. All because he had been born a Jew. He died in Switzerland in 1934, at the age of 65.

Ironically, the institute he helped manage developed Zyklon, the hydrogen cyanide based gas that that would murder over 1 million people in the Holocaust death camps. The victims included members of Haber’s extended family, his co-workers, and his friends.

So, the next time that you sit down to a meal, I hope that you will take some time to think about Fritz Haber, this brilliant complex man who did so much to bring life, and death, to the human race.

The Reconquista of Spain

The Reconquista (Reconquest) of Spain (711-1942) is one of the longest series of wars in history. Later centuries turned it into a conflict in which the Christian states of Spain fought to liberate their country from the Muslim invaders. As with most of history, the story is far more complicated.

In the 7th century, Muslim armies, spurred on by religious zeal and a new found unity, expanded their control in an almost straight line west and east across the globe. They followed in the wake of untold numbers of Muslim missionaries, spreading the word of the new religion.

By 711, Muslim armies crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, conquering two thirds of Spain. In 717 they crossed the Pyrenees Mountains into France. In 734, Prince Charles Martel ended their expansion northward at the Battle of Tours, and in 759 the Muslims were forced back into Spain.

The situation in Spain stabilized, and a number of Christian and Muslim states developed, at various times fighting each other or making temporary alliances. Religion took a backseat to politics, and Christians and Muslims fought side by side. Cultural and military blending made it difficult to distinguish friend from foe.

Today, foreign fighters are pouring into Syria and Iraq, but for several centuries, Spain was the place for young men to go. Knights from all over Christendom, usually second and later sons, with just enough funds for arms and weapons, gathered their followers and headed off to seek their fortunes. If they were lucky, they could fight for several years for different masters, building up a reputation and military experience, find a wife of either religion, and become a noble landholder in their own right. More often, they only found an unmarked grave on some unnamed battlefield. Muslim warriors did the same. Even Vikings and archers from the steppes of Asia joined in the never ending conflict.

The life of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (1043-1099), known as El Cid, the most famous knight of the Reconquista, exemplified this trend. He started his career fighting Christians for a Muslim king, and hopped back an forth as his fortunes waxed and waned. Finally, he ruled a principality, officially as a vassal of a Christian king but really independent, before dying in the siege of Valencia against Muslims.

Roland, the legendary paladin of Charlemagne, died in an ambush at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass (778). He was killed fighting rebellious Basques Christians, but later chroniclers changed the story to Muslims.

Edward the Black Prince (1330 -1376), the first Prince of Wales to die before becoming King of England, caught his fatal illness while campaigning in Spain, from which he suffered for years before dying.

The Crusades would put an end to the impasse, as the flood of Christian warriors greatly increased, while many Muslims left to go fight in the Holy Land. Although the Muslims eventually won the Crusades, they had enough other problems, from invading Mongol armies and inter struggles, and mostly gave up Spain as a lost cause.

In 1469 the marriage of two teenagers spelled the end of Muslim Spain. Queen Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon joined their two nations, and by 1492 captured the last Muslim stronghold of Granada. (As seen in the picture). They celebrated their victory by sending Christopher Columbus off to discover a new route to India, and by expelling from the country all of the Muslims and Jews who refused to convert.

So began the Spanish Empire, which for the next several centuries would dominant politics in Europe. It would explore and conquer the New World and even reach out to the Pacific. It was the time of Spanish armies, the dreaded Inquisition, and huge Treasure Fleets. Several centuries would go by before this empire died, exhausted by war, economic mismanagement, superstition, and religious repression.

Vast numbers of books in Latin, Greek, or Arabic captured during this reconquest would fuel the Renaissance in Europe.

I have visited the palace of Granada, admiring its beautiful artwork and pools of water invented as early air conditioning. Spain is a wonderful nation with a long history, and countless unknown heroes lie in perpetual slumber in her soil.


Social Gospel Movement

Today, like the main performer in a piano bar, I am doing a request. The request is the Social Gospel Movement in America, but I will be expanding this to the movement in general.

When I was taking business classes, the professors often quoted from Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”, but in not a single class did any of them require us to READ it. I found this curious, because over and over again I was told that this was one of the most influential books in the founding of our nation, and the basis for our entire economic system.

Therefore, I committed the ultimate heresy; I purchased a copy, and read it cover to cover.

What I found inside was a blueprint for Progressivism, the Social Contract, and a progressive tiered tax system. The purpose behind nations and corporations generating wealth was to reinvest that wealth into the betterment of the lives of their citizens, especially those who had the least amount to give.

Smith’s other great work, and his personal favorite, was “The Theory of Moral Sentiments”. It opens with:

“How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrows of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous or the humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.”

This second book was never mentioned even once while I was in school. Adam Smith was a humanitarian who felt it our moral, social, and religious duty to improve the lives of our fellow man. By quote mining, they had turned “help your fellow man” into “greed is good”.

So, what has this long introduction have to do with the Social Gospel Movement? The Social Gospel was an originally Protestant social religious movement started in the 19th century, extending into the middle of the 20th, with some elements today, though in no way the mainstream in the United States. It was started by middle class preachers who saw the working classes becoming increasingly alienated from both the theory and practice of 19th century Christianity.

The movement was originally post-millennialist, in that they believed that the Second Coming of Jesus would not occur until after mankind had rid itself of social problems by its own efforts. This was not an original idea. Apocalyptic religions usually believe that the end of the world will not come until things get decidedly better or worse; usually the latter, if for no other reason than that it is easier to accomplish. There were several Jewish cults in pre-1st century Judea who thought that the Messiah would not come until the world was better, and far more who thought only ruin and war would bring him.

It is a myth that there was a rapid rise in the numbers of Christians in the 1st century. The extra biblical references to it would not fill a single sheet of paper, and come from later and medieval copies of texts without the original source materials. However, after a full century had passed and no end of the world was in sight, the 2nd century Christians turned their eyes from the skies to the earth below, and developed social welfare programs, which can be seen as an origin of the Social Gospel movement. One Roman author described Christianity as fit only for “women and slaves”, not realizing the significance of his words. These were two social groups with the least power, and the most to gain from a new way of thinking. They were also a significant proportion of the population. Christianity slowly became the religion of those who ran the day to day Empire and the middle class, until Helena and her son Constantine made it the official religion in the 4th century.

There were many in the Christian faith, both laity and priests, who felt it their duty to ease the suffering of their fellow man. The Franciscan order of priests was founded for this very reason. However, the emphasis of the Church became accumulation of power, wealth, and murdering other Christians who did not agree with them. Personal salvation by avoiding Hell took precedence over doing good deeds.

The Protestant Reformation and the rise of Humanism among the educated classes led to a new resurgence of concern for social ills. Infighting among sects, religious and political wars, along with the rise of Saint Paulian based Puritanicalism eventually subsided this upswing in social conscience. The needy were the way they were because of God’s Will and their own failures, and no right thinking Christian should interfere with that. You only helped them because you hoped they would reform their ways and think more like you did.

Most historians today completely miss the point of why various revolutionaries went after the churches in their countries. It was not an attack on the faith so much, but on the fact that the priestly class had become a privileged one, mostly discounting the needs of the poor. The French Revolution was a perfect example of this.

At the end of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th, the lower classes came to the full realization that they were being screwed. They did all the heavy work, the fighting and dying in wars, and the only thanks they got were short miserable lives. The American and French Revolutions were examples of what people could do to free themselves. The injustices of industrialization gave rise to the new political movements of Socialism and Communism, both based on putting the workers first. Karl Marx’s Das Kapital was first published in 1867. Revolutions broke out all over Europe in 1848, resulting in massive crack downs by authorities, but also a realization that the majority of the population would not stand for this forever. The increase in the voting franchise meant that politicians had to take notice of the needs of the poor. The German Empire, founded on the hard work of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, became a socialized paradise compared to its European and American rivals.

Into this environment stepped the Social Gospel Movement. Already, great strides had been made by Christians acting together. The abolition of slavery and the Temperance Movement were led by Christians, often working against the words of their holy texts in order to promote the social good. Christians became heavily involved in the development of worker’s rights, labor unions, opposition to child labor, environmental issues, better education, and eradication of vice. They saw clearly the causes of poverty and disease, and worked to clean up slums and provide health care to the poor. Many stood in opposition to war and empire building.

One good example of this was the Young Men’s Christian Association founded by George Williams in London in 1844. The YWCA and Boys and Girls Clubs would come much later. Christian principles would lead to a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

The Social Gospel and the Progressive movement often shared members and goals, and got help from figures like President Theodore Roosevelt. A growing press allowed people to learn of conditions far away. Charles Dickens and Mark Twain filled their books with the evils of modern society. “The Gilded Age” was the name of a book and a slur term invented by Twain, meaning that the apparent successes of Victorian society masked the depth of human misery that had built it.

Richard T. Ely (1854-1943) was a figure who straddled both the Social Gospel and Progressive Movement. He was an economist who helped found a number of organizations devoted to the applications of Christian principles to solve social problems. He lobbied for more government intervention in the areas of labor unions, workplace safety, child labor, and compulsory public education. Although he was strongly opposed to socialism, he adopted most of its ideas.

Ely wrote, “We have among us a class of mammon worshippers, whose one test of conservatism, or radicalism, is the attitude one takes with respect to accumulated wealth. Whatever tends to preserve the wealth of the wealthy is called conservatism, and whatever favors anything else, no matter what, they call socialism.”

Nevertheless, Ely was typical of his time, being both highly nationalistic and just as racist, wanting government support for the “Nordic” races over the “inferior” peoples. He was a strong supporter of American intervention in WWI, something opposed by the majority of those in the social movement. He founded the American Economic Association, which today is headquartered in Nashville, TN. His feast day in the Episcopalian Church (USA) is October 6.

The Social Gospel Movement suffered in the post WWI disillusionment, but saw major successes in the policies of the New Deal and the Eisenhower Administration reforms. However, in the 1950’s such ideas were being labeled as “commie” by the main stream media, government, and Christian churches, and membership fell off. It did remain a guiding principle in the Civil Rights Movement and Liberation Theology.

Today, the Social Gospel Movement can still be seen in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopalian Church, the Church of England, and in the reforms of Pope Francis in the Roman Catholic Church.

It is opposed by the majority of Evangelical Movements, and by Conservative groups and politicians. Most of the literature I found to research this article was actually from these detractors. They labeled the Social Gospel as “bankrupt”, “fallacious”, “dangerous”, “heresy”, “lunacy” and without a shred of biblical support. The Four Gospels sayings of Jesus probably could put them straight, but in their defense they don’t actually use them very often, except as reasons not to intervene. As they wrote in their articles, mankind is evil and sinful from birth, and only God can fix the problems. A single author put it “The problem is, this is a fallen, broken world full of imperfect people who cannot redeem themselves by their own efforts. Claiborne (another author) wants to bring to earth what is reserved only for heaven. Yet, no matter what people do, this broken world will remain broken.” He then went on to quote “the poor will always be with us”, so why bother.

“Temporal changes are not the objective of churches”.

I read this again and again. One helps the needy to get them to join your group. The Meek shall never inherit the earth because they will not be allowed to. Modern US Christianity has formed an alliance with Capitalism and Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.

The Social Gospel is not unique to Christianity. Every religion has those members who deem it a necessity to help one’s fellow man. Zakat (“that which purifies”) is one of the Five Pillars of Islam in which one gives to the poor and needy. Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood gain their strength from the good they do for their communities. Dana (“generosity”) is one of the Ten Niyamas of Hinduism. Buddhism is an entire religion devoted to bettering the lives of others. Europe has been moving in this direction for decades, although with less of the religious motivation.

All is not lost here. Organizations like St. Jude’s Hospital come readily to mind. The various Masonic charities, such as the Shriner Hospitals and the Scottish and Yorkish Rite Charities work quietly every day to improve the lives of needy children. Every single medical worker, school teacher, and social worker, whether for religious reasons or not, live the ideals of the Social Gospel.

Perhaps the Social Gospel today can be seen, not so much as a movement, but as influencing the millions of acts of kindness Americans perform every day. It has moved from out in the open into the hearts of our people. The Social Gospel today may not be able to cure every ill, mend every broken heart, or end all injustice, but, by God, they certainly are going to try.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:35-40