The Charlotte News

Friday, January 3, 1941



Site Ed. Note: Aye...

Unwise Role

The Church Steps Out of Character in This Maneuver

The church people of the city are against amusements on Sunday, against ABC stores, too, and in no uncertain terms. In a sort of unofficial referendum among church members, the signed ballots came back with this result:

For ABC Stores ..................................... 6
Against ................................................... 3,477
Open Sunday ......................................... 9
Closed Sunday ...................................... 3,222

The one-sidedness of these polls is attributable in part, we suppose, to the manner in which they were taken. After all, it would take a truly independent spirit to rise up in meeting and say a few kind words for the Devil. Surely there are more than six church members in the city who have perceived with their minds the error of Prohibition, and more than nine who appreciate the fallacy of compulsory Sabbath observance.

But in the main there is no doubt that the great majority of the opposition to open Sunday and ABC stores comes from the churches, their ministers and congregations. It is they who have defeated all efforts to ameliorate conditions which are oppressive to many other fellow citizens and harmful to common institutions.

Strictly speaking, that is their right as citizens themselves, and yet they might well themselves question the advisability of acting not as citizens but as church members and of permitting the institution of the Christian church to be used as a sounding board for opinion on secular ordinances.

For if the organized church require, by edict or by inference, a fixed opinion of its members in secular matters, it cannot but alienate all those of a contrary opinion. And when the church as such sets up to impose its will and dogma upon the whole population, then it places itself in the position of antagonist, which must arouse antagonism.

Spurned Gifts

Senator Wheeler's Notion Of Justice Irks Nazis

Senator Burton Wheeler asked for it--and got it. Perhaps the most eminent wish-thinker in the country, he took seriously the continual babble of the Nazis about their great devotion and desire for "a just peace" and "a new order," and joyfully marched out his proposal that this Government attempt to make Britain come to terms with them.

Only to get kicked squarely in the teeth by Berlin.

Trouble with the Senator was that he had his own notions of what constituted "a just peace," and apparently believed innocently that they would coincide with the Nazi notions. And he wanted Germany given back her boundaries of 1914, which would include Poland but not Czechoslovakia. But in the same breath he wanted Alsace and Lorraine handed back to France--which didn't make sense, seeing that Alsace and Lorraine were part of Germany in 1914. Austria he conveniently ignored.

But yesterday the Associated Press reported from Berlin that "an unofficial source which undoubtedly reflects responsible Nazi opinion replied to... Wheeler's 'peace plan'... with the comment that 'the new order in Europe is something concerning which we need no advice from any other continent...' "

That ought to (but probably won't) knock it into Bounding Burt's head that the Nazi idea of "a just peace" is one in which Adolf Hitler will get his whole way or at least conditions under which he could take his whole way when he was ready.


Ireland Learns

Nazis May Be Laying Ground for Occupation

The Irish are now finding out what happens to all nations which think to appease Hitler. That the bombing of Irish territory can be an accident is clearly impossible. It has happened two nights in succession, 200 miles across water from any possible English target. Moreover, it has happened over Dublin, a fully lighted great city and so one impossible to mistake as English.

Just possibly, the bombs which have fallen on land were incidental to an attempt to mine the Irish coast, but that does not change the fact that it is an overt act of war against Ireland. Nor does the theory fit with the fact that some of the bombs dropped were incendiaries.

The purpose of all of this is a puzzle. The Nazis may be expected to say that it is really the British who are doing it in disguise, in order to stir Ireland against gentle Germany. But only the moronic, even in British-hating Ireland will take stock in that. And it is nearly certain that the Nazis know as much and that they have other purposes than to persuade Ireland of such nonsense.

Perhaps it is intended to scare the Irish out of giving bases to England's Navy--something they seem to have been considering more seriously since Mr. Roosevelt's warning to them. But the Nazis must know that the Irish are one of the most belligerent of peoples, and that threats don't scare them. And so it may be that what is going on here is an attempt to set the stage for a sudden occupation of the island.

The Nazis like to set up a phoney claim to legality before committing their crimes--perhaps as a hedge with which to confuse the silly-headed in the possible day of reckoning. And they would hesitate to attack Ireland without such a claim, particularly, on account of the United States.

But if they could goad Ireland into reacting in the characteristic Irish fashion and attempting to retaliate by agreeing to give Britain the desired bases, then that would of course make Ireland a belligerent and they would have the color of legality--could confidently count, among other things, on finding suckers for it in this country (many of them in high places), as they have found them for all their other preposterous propositions, and so dividing and confusing our reaction for awhile at least.

And as for the practical aspect of the matter, they would have an excellent chance of getting solidly established in Ireland before the British army had time to interfere--might well hope to throw the light British forces out of northern Ireland before they could be reinforced. Ireland swarms with Fifth Columnists.

Certainly the game would be worth the risk. Once established in Ireland the Nazis could greatly extend their submarine and air attack on British shipping. And even more important, they would be in position incessantly to bomb the Western harbors through which England's supplies now mainly come, and the industrial districts of the Midlands which are the heart of England's resistance.



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