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JIM resurrects blistery hot editorial from 1904

'We are straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Corruption, stealing, lying hypocrisy, drunkedness and other things demand out attention before we undertake to correct the little things.' - (Adair County News, July 13th, 1904, as republished from the Elizabethtown News.)
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Compiled by JIM

Straining at Gnats

In our national life, the great evils are overlooked, while the little ones attract excited attention. Politics is absolutely rotten and corrupt, yet people pay more attention to some little issue that passes away in a few years, and ignores the debauchery of the ballot box.

Corporation bribes and corporation power rule the United States absolutely. Every law is vised by the trust [corporate] managers. Every candidate for office is scrutinized by them to make sure he is available for them, yet the people shout themselves hoarse on some trifling issue that is gotten up to divert their attention from the real things.


One of God's commandments, thundered from Sinai, "Thou shalt not steal," is overturned to put some friend in office that he is not fit to hold.

As it is with us as a people, so it is with us as individuals. We threaten to turn a young girl out of church for dancing and never say a word against the old member who cheated his neighbor out of a thousand dollars.

We jump on the boy with bot feet because he goes buggy riding on Sunday afternoon and never have a word to say about the business man who spends his Sabbath talking business, reading the market reports and making plans for the week.

The young folks who indulge in a social game of cards are hauled over the coals by the local preacher while the drunkard remains on the church roll undisturbed and the mean old sister in her envious heart has been traducing the character of good people all the week, is looked upon as one of the props of the church people are devoting ridiculous attention to keep from getting fat or from getting bald.

If the same earnestness were devoted to ridding themselves of procrastination, extravagance or aimless self indulgence, how much greater would be the results. There is more agitation against the corset and the high heeled shoe and other trifling human foolishness than against superlative corruption menacing the national life.

Like the ant which is dragging the dead fly to his house, does not even see the great mountain that towers above him, so are people engrossed in correcting the little things in life, lose sight of the mountains of sin and corruption.

We are straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Corruption, stealing, lying hypocrisy, drunkedness and other things demand out attention before we undertake to correct the little things. (Adair County News, July 13th, 1904, as republished from the Elizabethtown News.)


This story was posted on 2017-02-02 11:11:11
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