Thomas McGrady found joy in social service
And his perfect consecration to his social ideals
Was the crowning glory of his life
And the bow of promise at his death.
-Eugene Victor Debs
Hellraisers Journal, Monday January 13, 1908
Eugene V. Debs Defends the Memory of Thomas McGrady, Part I
From the Appeal to Reason of January 11, 1908:
CALUMNIATING THE DEAD.
BY EUGENE V. DEBS.
THE Appeal does not court religious or sectarian controversy. Its columns bear sufficient testimony of this fact. We may go farther and say that the Appeal, for obvious reasons, shrinks from such discussion and avoids it whenever possible. This has been the policy under the most extreme provocation, and when there is an exception to this rule it must be for good and sufficient reason. The Socialist movement is made up of people of all religions, and of no religion at all, the same as any other political party; and no more than any other political party does it interfere with the religious beliefs of its adherents. This is well known to every Socialist.
The charge so frequently made that the Socialist party is an irreligious party and that its aim is to destroy the church and wipe out religion is simply a made-to-order falsehood, one of the many coined in the mint of capitalism, and circulated through its propaganda to injure the Socialist movement.
The facts above stated can be verified by simply reading the platform of the Socialist party, in which its essential principles and purposes are clearly enunciated, and by reading any of the numerous Socialist papers in which these principles and purposes are discussed with the widest freedom. It is true that an occasional article appears in the Socialist press touching the institutional church, and the priesthood or ministry but in such cases it will usually be found that the Socialist press is on the defensive, not on the offensive.
When the Pope issues an encyclical misrepresenting Socialism, the Socialist press cannot without stultifying itself remain silent. When a popular and pampered minister slanders Socialists from a rich and fashionable pulpit, they would be cowardly not to resent the insult. When a priest is engaged to tour the country under the patronage of capitalists to disseminate the falsehood that Socialism will destroy the home, and turn the family into a harem, and love into lust, what would be said of the Socialist press if it sat by in mute and supine submission? When a catholic paper publishes a special edition filled with capitalist advertisements, and with editorial and contributed matter exhorting wage-slaves to be meek and lowly and submit to the will of their masters, and this special edition, ordered and paid for by capitalist exploiters, is delivered in bundles at factories where the slaves are fettered and fleeced, and they ar asked to read this rot-which Christ would have trampled and spat upon-as the law and gospel of their spiritual advisors, is it likely that self-respecting Socialists who seek the freedom and uplifting of the working class could contemplate such an unspeakable outrage in silence without sinking to fathomless depths of self-contempt?
Continue reading “Hellraisers Journal: Eugene Debs Defends Thomas McGrady “to rescue the memory of a faithful and devoted comrade.” Part I”