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of the well-to-do, but took its true humanly possible; if not, at least to place as an integral element in national aim at its perfection. The first step development. The State, which hitherto towards a perfect democracy is the had left education to individuals, was education of the suffrage. It is now forced to consider its position in regard a commonplace, that every child has to the education of its citizens. The a right to receive a thoroughly sound view began to prevail, that the future elementary education from the State. of democracy lay in better education, The State has the duty of instructing and that the ideal State was a highly each child, so as to fit it for its imporeducated people. This principle led to tant office of a ruler in civil life, which the establishment of the public school is really the position of a voter in parsystem, with the intention of bringing liamentary and municipal elections in education to the doors of the poorest. a democratic State. Since the success Difficulties with the churches at once of the modern State depends largely arose. Their influence was threatened on its success in industry, this idea in a field in which they had reigned must also influence education. Church supreme. What came to them largely and State agree that the State has by custom was claimed as a right more power to raise funds to secure these or less essential to the teaching of the educational ends. The point of dispute Church. The State was torn by party between the church and the supporters conflicts. To-day the following not of State control narrows itself down very satisfactory result prevails. In to the administration of the funds the United States a frankly undenomi- raised by the State, and to the immenational State system of primary edu- diate local control of educational cation, side by side with an expensive schemes. The State seems to have the Church system supported by voluntary exclusive right to administer and direct contributions; in Ireland, an undenomi- secular education. The object of the national system that, with the con State is to maintain efficiency of citinivance of the Government, is practi. zenship. To be certain of attaining cally denominational; in Great Britain, this result, control of the education of an undenominational system with cer. its citizens seems to be necessary. tain denominational rights, which prac. Money, too, is raised from the people tically places the British Church school for a specific purpose. The State is in the same position as the Irish Na- bound to see that this money is spent tional school. The solution is hardly economically and efficiently. These satisfactory, from the point of view of rights and duties of the State to the either Church or State.
citizens generally would not preclude The supporters of an undenomina- it from delegating authority, even in tional system of State primary secular secular education, to any particular education have a strong case. This is Church. But the onus of proof cera democratic age. In the United King- tainly seems to be thrown on the pardom and America, the will of the peo. ticular Church, to show that this dele. ple is the law of the land. Democracy, gation is called for because of grave in its present form, is not perfect; but reasons; that in present conditions it the fact is becoming more and more is possible; and, if it is called for, that evident, that it is the form of govern- the ends of the State are likely to be ment likely to prevail in the world. carried out efficiently. It may be well The aim of all who are interested in to examine these three points in some good government should be to make detail. democracy perfect, if perfection is The main reasons advanced by the Catholic Church in claiming a control- citizens, the parent's right to decide on ling voice in the secular education of the question of his child's secular eduthe young are: first, that, unless the cation seems to merge in the State. No Church has this control, the faith and one now questions the right of the morals of the children will be seriously State to insist on the attendance of endangered; therefore, as the spiritual children at school for a specified numend of the child must be looked to ber of days and hours. This right of rather than the civil, the State ought the State would be useless if it could to give way: second, that the parent's not prescribe the course of instruction. right to decide the form of his child's But, even if the parent's right were education is inviolable, therefore the conceded, it would by no means follow Church ought to have control.
that control ought to be given to the If it were clearly proved that a Church. Not all Catholic parents preState system of secular education fer Church schools. would seriously endanger the faith and That it is possible in present condimorals of children, the Church would tions for the State to delegate authorhave a strong claim on the considera ity in secular education to the tion of all who believe, as I do, that, Churches, is not clear. In the abstract, without the reality of a spiritual life, the State has the right to choose the all else is gray and barren. But the best agencies through which to act statement that State secular education Provided the Churches were efficient has this effect is an assertion that has educators, the State could delegate to never been proved. In fact, when one them the control and administration of tests it by one's own experience in the education. In the concrete, difficulties immediate circle of one's acquaintances, arise. For Roman Catholics the the assertion proves baseless. Several Church is one; but for the modern of my friends were educated in non- State the Church is diverse and multiCatholic schools and colleges, without plex. In Great Britain, Ireland, and the slightest injury to their faith. A the United States, the Roman Catholic cause that has to be backed up by Church is not only not in a majority, vague or untrue assertions is, if not but is a comparatively small minority weak, at least likely to be suspected of of the whole, having a majority only in weakness.
Ireland. In America and England, be The right of the parent to decide on sides the Roman Catholic, Anglican, the education of his child may be and Presbyterian Churches, there are viewed in different lights. The right of a number of other sects which form no the parent to decide on the religious inconsiderable proportion of the popueducation will be conceded by all who lation. In England there is an Estabbelieve in religion. Religion is too lished Church wbich has a close conintimate a thing, too personal a rela- nection with the State, and which tion between the individual and God, managed to secure the passing of the to be submitted to State interference. last Education Act. But the days of With secular education, it is different. Establishment are threatened; and a The individual to a certain extent permanent settlement of the Education merges in the State, and becomes one Question must be effected indepenwith it. The individual forms the dently of Establishment, and in the light State and controls it; but he is bound of its non-existence. Apart from the to regulate his life by its laws. Owing question of efficiency, the difficulty of to the close connection between good the State in delegating educational augovernment and the education of all thority to a Church or Churches lies
in their number and diversity. To ligious instruction as would justify whom is control to be given? From their separate existence. whom is it to be withheld? The diff. In almost every American diocese culty will further increase with Dises- there is an expensive Roman Catholic tablishment; for, within the Church of school system, side by side with the England to-day, there is such a diver- State schools. The Church schools are sity of opinion as to doctrine, that, with maintained on the so-called voluntary Disestablishment, will come a break-up system: that is, by money raised by the and a further increase in the number pastors from the laity by annual subof Churches. The State has to deal scriptions, often not voluntarily, and with all Churches alike. It cannot be in very many instances grudgingly supposed to share in the religious con- given. A number of these subscriptions victions of individuals who themselves are given by the poorer and more differ widely. Direct control delegated ignorant members of the Church, gento one Church or sect will be resented erally by Irish emigrants, whose feelby the rest. Control given to a few ings are excited by vigorous sermons will arouse the anger of the many. portraying in vivid colors the dangers The ideal State would surround the to Catholic faith and morals of State child with religious influences all school education. Enthusiasm for the through its education. But what is the Church-school system is generally conconcrete State to do? Diversity of be fined to priests and nuns and other relief makes its choice of a Church al- ligious, the lay element in the Church most impossible. A recognition of all being mere subscribers to a system forms of belief would introduce a they often condemn in private conversystem impossible because of its com- sation. The richer and more indepenplexity. With all these difficulties in dent Catholics, while on the best terms. view, it is not easy to see how the with the Church authorities, send their State is to delegate its power over secu- children to non-Catholic schools. Many lar education to the Churches
of the more intelligent Catholics, even There still remains the question of among the poorer classes, refuse to send efficiency. What reason is there to be their children to the Church schools, lieve that the Church school would preferring the State schools because of prove an efficient secular educator? the better education given there. As It is here that the claim of the one woman who sent her children to Churches can be judged apart from ab- the State school said: “The teaching stract reasoning, by the test of facts. is better; and my children have to It may be urged, by the supporters of make their way in life.” It is an exthe Church school, that it cannot be traordinary organizing power that has judged by the past, that want of the enabled the Roman Catholic Church necessary control or lack of funds was a in America to collect millions of bar to its efficiency. These reasons can. pounds to build up its Church-school not be given in favor of the American system, and to expend enormous sums Church schools, which are entirely yearly on its up-keep, in order to carry under the control of the clergy, nor of out an idea the majority of educated the Irish National schools under cleri. laymen do not approve of, and some cal management. Taking these two of the more intelligent American bishclasses of schools as a whole, they do ops discountenance. One of the most not give as efficient secular instruction prominent American Catholics, who as the ordinary American or English possesses in a high degree the confiState school; nor do they give such re. dence of his co-religionists, expressed
perhaps the feeling of the whole of his knowledge of his faith or of the moral class when he said of the Church- law. One of the leading Church school system:
schools in New York placed no higher
ideal of civic morality before its senior It imposes an unjust and excessive
class than to vote with their Partytax, mainly on the artisans and poorer store-keepers. Viewed from an educa
in their case “Tammany Hall.” One tional standpoint, it gives a lower
of the most common objections to the training than the State school. It de Church school in America is, that it feats its own purpose on the religious produces no influence whatever on civic side.
morality, and that, in New York espeOn being asked what he meant to
cially, the Church-school pupils are, in convey by the last sentence, he ex
many cases, the most corrupt politi
A few of the Church schools in I shall illustrate it by my own exam America are highly efficient. One in ple. I was educated at a New Eng. Chicago is perhaps one of the best land State school with Unitarian school
primary schools in the world-the fellows. No attempt was ever made to interfere with my religion.
pastor happens to be an intelligent and
The moral standard of the school was of
highly cultivated man, with abundant the highest. Occasionally a school-fel
means. But he is not hopeful of the W sneered at some article of my future of his school. “When I go," he faith. He generally got well beaten for said, “it will fall through. The people his sneer; but, if I did not understand
take no interest in it. They find the the point he objected to, I took care to
cost, too, a great burthen.” The farask my mother, when I went home, to
seeing American Catholic parent often explain it to me; if she couldn't explain, the priest was called in, and I
sends his children to the Church was instructed. I have a good working school up to ten years of age: “The knowledge of my religion now; but I sisters look after them," one of them got it through contact with my Unita- said, naïvely. At ten the children are rian school-fellows. I left that school
sent to the State school. carrying with me the respect and af
Two objections are brought against fection-which I retain to this day-of school-fellows who differed then, and
the Church school in America, which who differ now. from me in religion. would apply with equal force in the Boys who attend the Church schools United Kingdom. One is, that celibate now-a-days never hear of an objection clergy and nuns are less fit than lay to their religion until they are grown people to instruct the young in the up. The slight religious instruction
ordinary secular duties of life; the fact they bring with them from the Church
that clergymen ex professo place the school is of little use to them, and they
end of all their efforts in another life, fall an easy prey to unbelief.
makes them, it is said, the worst posThis is an intelligent appreciation of sible guides in the struggle for material the American school question. The and social advancement. The second Church school, as a rule, follows the is, that the Church school tends to keep same course of instruction, but with alive religious bigotry which is injuriless efficient teachers and insufficient ous to the welfare of the State. The inspection, as the State school. There State aims at efficiency of citizenship, are, besides, purely formal religious not mere skill in arts and crafts only, exercises which, while they perhaps but citizenship in a much wider sense. create a religious atmosphere of a cer- The State has urgent need that all its tain kind, in no way add to the pupil's citizens should be men grounded in the
civic virtues, in municipal and political children, the claim of the Church school honesty, in that charity which will as an efficient secular instructor falls enable them to regard their competitors to the ground. Nominally an undeand fellow-workers of a different re- nominational system, with schools open ligion, as fellow citizens all equally to children of all forms of religious beinterested in the welfare of the State. lief, it is, to the knowledge of the Insistence on religious differences all Government, worked on denominational through the school years of children lines. The local manager is, with very tends, it is said, to destroy civic char- few exceptions, either a Roman Cathoity; experience has shown that it tends lic, Episcopal, or Presbyterian clergyto produce civic hatred and distrust. man. The religion of the manager is This view seems to be confirmed by the religion of the pupil. Clergymen facts in the north of Ireland. In become managers, practically ex-officio, Ulster, three sets of schools are main- on being appointed to certain clerical tained by the State-Catholic, Episco- positions, irrespective of their knowlpalian, and Presbyterian. Intense edge of, or interest in, educational matsectarian bitterness prevails, pervad- ters. Very often they have neither the ing the whole business, social, munici- knowledge nor the interest. The pal, and political life of the province, manager, in civil law, has the sole In the west and south of Ireland, on right of appointment and dismissal of the other hand, where Catholics and teachers. For appointment a teacher Protestants attend a common school, must have a National Board certificate peace and charity prevail. It is a of competency. Teachers may be discurious anomaly, if civil discord arises missed on three months' notice, withfrom religious interference in secular out cause, or reference to the National education!
Board. The manager is supposed to Secular education given in Irish pri regulate the programme of instruction, mary schools under clerical manage the approval only of the National ment is not, even in a moderate sense, Board being necessary. Provided four efficient. Dr. Starkie, the Roman hours' secular instruction is given each Catholic Resident Commissioner of day, it is open to the manager to make National Education in Ireland, said so, what provision he pleases for religious some years ago, in an Address de instruction. Not even the most ardent livered to the British Association in supporter of the Church-school system Belfast. He was immediately con- can deny, that here we have the utmost demned in a series of resolutions by clerical control of secular education, the clerical managers, who, however, paid for out of State funds, that any can hardly be considered impartial modern State is likely to countenance. judges in their own case. The Irish Yet impartial observers have written National school system has been ac- its history in the one word: "failure.” cepted by the Roman Catholic Church It is founded on an untruth which as a solution of the religious difficulties recognizes a denominational school as in regard to primary schools, and has undenominational; it gives the adbeen held up as a model to England ministration of public funds to irreand America for the solution of simi. sponsible individuals; it is inefficient in lar difficulties. It is but a poor solu its management and in its educational tion. If the Irish National school may results; it is not even a help to the be taken as an example of what the Church in promoting religious educaschool under clerical management can tion. These are strong statements; but do towards the secular instruction of they are abundantly borne out by facts.