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Plus a Change


In spite of our particular care to avoid misunderstanding, we have received occasional communications protesting against our desire to "abolish chapel", or accusing us of being destructive critics without a constructive element. Of course it is compulsion and not chapel that we, and now virtually all of Yale College and the Freshman Year, are attacking, and the very attack is a constructive one. It is our belief, stated infinite numbers of times, that what runs our religious services is the element of compulsion. Unless you call an operation for appendicitis a destructive operation you cannot call this newly expressed and long felt Yale attitude a destructive attitude.

To be sure, patients have been known to die, but at least such is not always the case. An interesting sidelight is the following quotation from Professor Bliss Perry of Harvard, as it appeared in an article entitled "Fashions in College Morals" in the current Ladies Home Journal.

". . . But drop in at Appleton Chapel on any Sunday morning when Dean Brown of Yale, or Harry Emerson Fosdick is going to preach you will find it crowded with students, every seat taken and throngs of boys standing up to listen. The boys are there because they want to be, for there is no compulsion in the matter of attendance.

"Dean Brown tells me that he would rather preach at Harvard than anywhere else because he knows that here he has a voluntary audience."

Now one can readily, appreciate that it may have been somewhat as a politeness that the Dean mentioned his preference for preaching at Harvard. The fact remains that Appleton Chapel is crowded, and is crowded voluntarily, and that Professor Perry appears to be sensibly proud of the fact that the men are there because they want to be." What an excellent day it will be when someone can say of Yale undergraduates that they go to Chapel to worship; that they are there because they want to be. Yale Daily News, Nov. 10.

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