For the stat-minded among us who study the religions of New York City, this short magazine article from 1933 will illustrate how the various faiths were represented numerically in New York's Sing Sing Prison:
"One Buddhist and two [Muslims] were received within the gray walls of Sing Sing during the last fiscal year."
"During the same period the doors of the great prison closed behind 855 Catholics, 518 Protestants, 177 Hebrews, twenty Christian Scientists and eight of no religion at all."
Click here to see a 1938 photo essay about life in Sing Sing Prison.
Click here to read more old magazine articles about religion.
The attached column appeared on the pages of THE LITERARY DIGEST and was written in response to a press release that was sent to the Associated Press a short while after a document titled the "Humanist Manifesto" was signed by "thirty-four editors, educators and ministers".
With very little column space available, the uncredited journalist did a fine job in summarizing the "creedless creeds" of this new secular philosophy that was born of the machine age. Like so many social movements that came out of the Twenties, Humanism holds that "the religious forms and ideas of our fathers [are] no longer adequate", we are all simply mammals, we answer to no one, nothing is sacred, there is only the here and now and it would be suitable if we all behaved nicely.
"In the war society of the South, religion played a leading roll... The Methodist and Presbyterian churches cut themselves away from their Northern brethren and cast their fortunes with the Southern cause... The churches of the South entered so whole heatedly into the cause of the war that they were invariably closed by the Union commanders. Throughout the war many revivals, special prayer meetings, and fasts were held for the success of Southern arms... The army was swept by religious fervor. All regiments departing for the front were consecrated. Many clergymen joined the army as chaplains... ."
At the thirty-fifth annual church congress of the Protestant Episcopal Church (1919) clergy members seemed to agree that Christian leaders were fully complicit in the recently ended war and were guilty of abandoning Christianity for patriotism:
"Christianity has betrayed itself body and soul".
When W.W. II started, Americans went back to church...
In 1900 people wanted to know why men didn't like going to church...
Out of the Mouths of Babes: Girl Evangelists in the Flapper Era
Here is an article concerning the persecution of that Protestant faith so unique to American shores: the Jehovah's Witnesses, a religion that numbered 50,000 world-wide in 1936. The attached article reported on the school expulsions of various assorted young followers for failing to show proper respect to the American flag on campus:
"A year ago the first such case, in Pennsylvania, startled the newspapers. 'If you kill me I won't salute!' quavered an eleven year-old schoolboy. He was expelled. Soon after, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, a teacher was was dismissed for refusing to honor 'the flag of horror and hate.'"
Accompanied by a German political cartoon that more than implied that army generals do not belong in God's heaven, this article is a digest of a number of articles from Germany that thought carefully about a speech given by Kaiser Wilhelm, in which the sovereign opined:
"He who is not a good Christian is not a good man, nor a good Prussian soldier, and he cannot possibly fulfill the duty of a soldier in the Prussian army."
The Teutonic press corps rightfully pointed out that Jews had been serving in that army since 1812, and had been recognized as a patriotic and reliable pool of recruits.