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Everybody Read!!! The Fight is On!! The Issue is Clear Cut:
Electronic Edition.

Kurfees, John W.

Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services
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First edition, 2002
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Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

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John W. Kurfees
4 p.
[S. n.]

Call number Cp252 K97e (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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        The people of North Carolina must decide whether they will continue to permit the teaching of evolution, or any other theory in our schools run by taxation, which teaches that man descended (or ascended) from a low order of animal.

        Every intelligent person knows that such teaching contradicts the account of creation recorded in God's book, the Bible.

        This being the case, the God-fearing men and women of our State should urge the importance of legislation to prohibit such teaching in our State-supported schools and colleges.

        On the pages of this pamphlet will be found two articles which appeared sometime ago in the leading daily newspapers of the State. These together with the other matter contained herein are printed in this form for general distribution at the urgent request of men and women in different parts of the State and the printing and distribution is financed by them.

        Let it be understood by every reader that our efforts are strictly non-sectarian and non-political. Nothing in this pamphlet is meant as a fight on any individual and the names of men have been used only when the position they occupy is attacked.

        Our constant aim is that it all be done to the glory of God and in the name of His son, Jesus Christ. In this spirit we ask all to read the arguments presented and pass on to others.


        When editors of newspapers, newspaper correspondents, or anyone else make an honest mistake, it is excusable; but when anyone deliberately misrepresents an issue in any kind of contest it is not only inexcusable, but downright mean and very disgusting to fair-minded people.

        If one believes he is in the right, he has nothing to lose by being fair to his opponent and certainly should not misrepresent the issue to carry his point, no matter what the issue is.

        But if there has ever been a clear case of misrepresentation (yea and I make bold to say wilful misrepresentation) of an issue, it has been in the discussion now going on in North Carolina over the question of whether or not we are to continue to permit the teaching of the Darwin theory of Evolution in our State-supported schools and colleges.

        Those of us who say such teaching in tax-supported schools should be prohibited have time and again stated the issue fairly and impartially, only to find, perhaps the next day, in the account of some speech, in some editorial or in the writing of some newspaper correspondent, a deliberate misrepresentation of what we are contending for.

        One of their pet arguments is that we are trying to abridge the guarantee of free speech. Not one word of truth in that, and such is not the issue. Such a law as we are asking for is now on the statute books of Tennessee, and yet any man or woman inside the borders of Tennessee can teach Darwin or any such theory they please anywhere in that State without molestation, if they do so at their own charges, or if paid by those who want it taught, and our opponents know this. The same, of course, can be done here if such law is passed. Then why can't they be fair and state the case just as it is? The answer is plain, they can't win unless they fool the people, and this they seem determined to do.

        Another shrewd play they make, and just as unfair, is that we want to force the teaching of "certain religious beliefs" on the people. This is another falsehood and they know it. Not one of us have asked that anything in religion be taught in our State-supported schools, not even do we ask that the Bible be taught there; and there is not a teacher in a State-supported school in

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North Carolina who has brains enough to hold down the job but that knows there is not a single law in our State requiring that they teach the Bible there. Neither have we asked for such a law, and I, for one, would openly oppose such a law if it were asked for. Not because I would personally oppose the teaching of the Bible anywhere and at any time. I would glory in it for it has never been known to harm anyone; but simply because we have people in North Carolina from whom we, by law, extract taxes with which to run our State schools, who do not believe the Bible and don't want it taught to their children. Therefore, to force such people to pay taxes and use their tax money to pay teachers to teach their children a religion they do not believe would be wrong in the sight of both God and man.

        God never asks that converts to the Christian religion be made by force. His message is addressed to the intelligence and the law of persuasion is the only one He asks his followers to employ.

        Our State schools were established for the sole purpose of giving a literary education to the children of every family in our Commonwealth, and not for the purpose of teaching the Bible on the one hand, and most certainly not for teaching theories that contradict the Bible on the other hand.

        One self-conceited newspaper correspondent thinks he is smart, I suppose, when he suggests that the religious schools in our State are teaching just as much Evolution as the State schools, and asks why we don't go after them. Now we answer this for the benefit of any who might be misled by such sophistry, not for his benefit, for he is hopeless. Anyone who will attempt to think can see that the religious schools are run by money given voluntarily for their support, and are supposed to be run in accordance with the wishes of the religious people operating them; while State schools are run solely by taxation extracted by law from every citizen, according to his or her wealth. The teachers in such schools are paid out of these taxes and we, as taxpayers who have no choice but to pay, believe with all our hearts that, while the Bible is not taught in these schools (nor are we asking that it be taught there), we certainly ought to have a law to protect us against the teaching of a theory which flatly contradicts the Bible.

        In order to illustrate this point more fully, let me ask some of our opponents who are so-called Protestants, what they would say if the Pope of Rome would instruct his followers over here to get every teacher in our State schools, whom they could influence, to use as a text book, a volume teaching the infallibility of the Pope? No doubt quite a little headway could soon be made at this, and if the text book commission should finally endorse such a book, what would they do about it? I fancy the Constitution would no longer be in the way, and if it took a law to stop it, the law would be passed in short order. But after all, which is the worst to teach that the Pope is infallible or to teach that man sprung from a monkey, and thus give the lie to Moses, who spoke as he was "moved by the Holy Spirit?"

        I do not believe in the Pope's infallibility, nor would I want to be taxed to have such taught to my children; but I am frank to say that the Catholics have just as good right to force such teaching in our State schools as the Evolutionists have to force the teaching of their monkey theory. If not, why not?

        All this harping about the abridgment of free speech is nonsense, none of us are trying to abridge free speech, it is speech that is not free, but that which is bought and paid for out of the pockets of North Carolina taxpayers, to which we are giving attention, and which we believe (yea know) we have the right to control.

        So let us hope that the next General Assembly will not be influenced by the misrepresentations abroad in the land, but that a law will be given us that will protect us against a teaching that is tearing down the foundation upon which our Government was established.


Winston-Salem, N. C.


        In The Greensboro News of January 20 in the department of "Clark's Comment" appeared an editorial under the heading, "The Homeless Liberal," which in some respects is very illuminating. But what it illuminates is amusing to

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one who observes the trend of things in this day of grace.

        Of course, the so-called "Homeless Liberal" referred to is Doctor Chase, president of the University of North Carolina, and Mr. Clark is only echoing the doctor's own words when he uses the phrase. He is commenting on a speech made by Doctor Chase before the gathering of newspaper men recently at Chapel Hill.

        The doctor bewails the fact that there is no "room for the Liberal" of today. Who said there was no room for the Liberal? Was there ever a time when the Liberal had more room than now? And was there ever a time when thought or speech had any more freedom than it has today?

        Not only does the doctor bewail that there is "no room for the Liberal," but Mr. Clark seems to agree with him, or at least sympathizes with him in his supposed pitiful plight. And what is the burden of their complaint? Nothing but the awful blunder that the writers of the Constitution made when they failed to include "universities" in the clause along with "speech" and "press," when the freedom of the latter was vouchsafed to posterity.

        Yes, it seems that Clark and Chase would include universities along with newspapers and individuals if they were to offer an amendment to that revered document.

        Now this would be all right if a university occupied the same status as that of an individual or of a newspaper. In fact the present statement in the Constitution gives just as much freedom to a university as to an individual or newspaper, provided it is an independent institution. If not, why not?

        Mr. Clark knows and so does Doctor Chase, that newspapers are owned either by an individual or a corporation, and are run at the dictation of and according to the policy of their owner, and in this the Constitution guarantees them freedom. The same is true of the speech of an individual. Each is independent. Each is above and beyond the control of the populace if they choose to be. The same is true of an independent university. If Doctor Chase or Mr. Clark, separately or jointly, will establish a university and run the same with funds from their own purse, I feel sure they can teach just what they please there, and instead of any longer being "Homeless Liberals" they can be "Liberals" at home; and believe me the Constitution will protect them without any amendment.

        With these few statements of reason, the soundness of which I challenge Dr. Chase or Mr. Clark to gainsay, what, may I ask, is the real trouble? If the reader will observe closely, it can easily be seen.

        Doctor Chase is president of the University of North Carolina, not an independent institution by any manner of means and well he knows it. It is wholly dependent upon the sovereign citizens of North Carolina who give expression to their will through their representatives in the General Assembly at its biennial sessions.

        This being the case, I maintain without fear of a successful contest to the contrary that if the people through their representatives should demand of Doctor Chase as head of the University to cut out any one branch of study and no longer teach it, he would be in honor bound to do it, and if he refused they could remove him at once. Nor could he with legal sanction invoke the constitutional guarantee of free speech in such instance.

        The people of North Carolina with money from their pockets established the University and with money from their pockets do they maintain it, and with their voice they can make and unmake presidents of it; and alike they can control what shall, and what shall not be taught there, whether it suits Dr. Chase and Mr. Clark or not. There is where the shoe pinches and this explains the wailing cry of "Homeless Liberal."

        Mr. Clark writes what he pleases in The Greensboro News and no one has a right to say him nay, because it is an independent journal, but Doctor Chase occupies quite a different position. His services are engaged not to an independent institution but to one belonging to every man, woman and child in our Commonwealth.

        Therefore, when they speak through their legalized channel, Doctor Chase, and every other one so engaged at Chapel Hill should be willing to stand at attention, and either bow to their will in manly obedience or step down and out.

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        I believe I voice the sentiment of 75 per cent of the citizens of North Carolina when I say I am tired of all this child-like whining about "freedom" to teach this, that or the other. What is it they wish to teach that any one objects to? They say they want to teach "truth" and some object. Not so. No one that I know of has ever objected to any "truth" being taught, and no one knows this better than Doctor Chase, but all this whining and the echoing of it by certain editors is nothing but a series of propaganda to becloud the minds of the people and forestall them from enacting legislation to prohibit Dr. Chase and others in the employ of the State, not from teaching truth if you please, because not one of them will vouch for the truthfulness of the objectionable things, but to prohibit the teaching of speculative theories which undermine the faith of our people in God's Book, the Bible, the foundation upon which rests the civilization of the world, to say nothing of Christianity.

        Doctor Chase did not mention evolution in his speech before the newspaper men. It is quite fashionable of late for these learned gentlemen to speak and utter words of pity for themselves and their colleagues and especially for the youth of our land, because they themselves are not free enough to teach and the youth are not free enough to learn, and there they stop. Teach what? And learn what? Why don't they come out like men and say "we want to teach the Darwin theory of evolution and destroy once and for all the faith of every boy and girl with whom we come in contact?"

        Why not be brave like Luther Burbank, who is quoted recently as repudiating all that is divine.

        Do the people of North Carolina want to turn off Doctor Chase and employ Burbank or Clarence Darrow? It would be a shorter road to where we don't want to go, but none the less sure of reaching such destination if Doctor Chase is determined to force the teaching of evolution on us; for men like Clarence Darrow and Luther Burbank are nothing more than the better educated ones along that line.

        They are now full grown plants from just such seed as are being sown in the University and that Doctor Chase is now weeping over for fear the good people of North Carolina will quit watering them.

        Let me say to the people of this grand old State, open your eyes and "to your tents," before it is everlastingly too late.


Winston-Salem, N. C.


        We are told in holy writ that "by their fruits ye shall know them:" and as proof positive of the kind of fruit such teaching bears we quote an Associated Press dispatch, which appeared in the Greensboro News of March 4th and reads as follows:

        "Rochester, N. Y., March 3rd, Students at the University of Rochester who have formed an Atheist's Club will not be prosecuted or expelled, although the University in no way gives them encouragement, Dr. Chas. Hoeing, dean of the College for Men, said tonight when informed of the existence of such a group.

        "The Rochester Journal and Post Express said today that the 'Damned Souls' Society had been formed by students of the University to prove the necessity of Atheism and to abolish belief in God and all religions based on that belief."

        This is a sad story to come from a great University. In all seriousness, fellow citizens of North Carolina, is any further proof needed to spur us on to the desired goal? Numbers of such instances are cropping out on every side but space forbids further enumeration here. Surely no one wants the University of North Carolina, or any other of our state schools to bear such fruit. If not, let the people of every county in the state urge their representatives in the next General Assembly, both House and Senate, to stand four square for a law to forever ban such teaching from schools run by the peoples' taxes.

        Do the work before it is too late and if done properly, when the gavel falls for the last time in the General Assembly of 1927, a statute will have been written that will be a blessing not only to the present generation but to those yet unborn.