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"Evolution is a religion and a creed" was the key-note of an address in the Phillips Brooks House last night, delivered by the Reverend John Roach Straton, minister of the First Calvary Baptist Church, New York.
"Evolution today is really a religion, and not merely a theory," claimed Dr. Straton. "That is evidenced by the vehemence with which its disciples support their claim. It has become an actual fetish.
"Evolution with them takes the place of God. In supporting evolution, the modernists, including your Professor Mather, are trying to put forth a new religion. By their own admissions, their belief reduces God to a mechanical principle, a law. . . ."
"Evolution Must Be Barred"
In support of the barring of evolution from tax-supported schools, Dr. Straton declared that he would do his utmost to "rule it out as he would rule out any other religious creed from nonpartisan tax-supported schools. If the teaching of the Bible and Christian religion is to be ruled out, as it has been in many states, then anti-Bible and anti-religious teachings must be barred."
The use of reason in religion is a fine thing, Dr. Straton pointed out, but beyond a certain point reason cannot go. "We are finite beings in an Infinity, and our finite minds cannot grasp the Infinite. We follow Reason as far as she goes, and from that point on Faith must take her place. If we fall in Faith, therefore, we do not broaden our lives, but narrow them."
Brands Modernists as Atheists
In reply to Dudley Malone, who calls fundamentalism the "blind faith of bigots," and to its supporters as "leaders of the most sinister movement throughout the country," Dr. Straton held that his creed was simply "old-fashioned Christianity founded upon faith," and denounced Malone, Clarence Darrow, H. L. Mencken and all other "atheists and advocates of a degenerate cult" as leaders of that truly sinster movement, evolution.
To prove his point he quoted from the Bible "a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit," and went on to show that evolution was a reversion to pagan pantheism.
Professor Clifford, a leader in the fight for evolution, was quoted as saying that men made and unmade gods, that God is but the glorification of Man. Dr. Straton tried to show that this creed results in an idolatrous worship of man; the worship of man by himself as God, and a degeneration of morals such as we saw resulting in the fall of the old Roman Empire.
On Crest of Crime Wave
"We see now the greatest wave of degeneracy and crime that has swept the world since the fall of the Roman Empire, and what is more, it is increasing at a staggering pace," thundered Dr. Straton. His statement he illustrated by statistics on murders, divorce cases, and pornographic periodicals perpetrated annually in this country alone.
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