The Church League for Women's Suffrage
|THE DEADLY FEAR
The Rev. Claude Hinscliff [sic] who is the founder of the Church League, said he noticed that wherever he went every one seemed filled with what he called the deadly fear. The rich were afraid of the poor, the poor of the rich, and the learned of the ignorant, and there was also an enormous amount of fear in connection with woman's demand to take her rightful place in the world. People were afraid of what they called innovations, and so they went muddling along in the same old way. It was said, and in the most pious way, that the Church must not have anything to do with politics, and that was one of those half truths which blinded people to the real position. He agreed that the Church should not have anything to do with party politics, because they were transient, but there were other things which were as far removed from party politics as the north pole was from the south.
He asked them to look at the suffrage question from the HUMAN STANDPOINT and not to make it a sex question. The greatest discovery of the age was the value of the individual. The bottom of the social unrest of to-day, whether of the miner, the docker or the women 'suffragists', was a realisation of the sense of the dignity and value of human life and a demand for what he would call more elbow-room. They believed that it was God's intention that every human being should have the opportunity of living the fullest life. He had seen in the cemeteries the graves of little children, on the tombstones of which was often inscribed 'Thy will be done'. That was the biggest blasphemy in the world, because it was not God's will that thousands and tens of thousands of little children should just open their eyes and then close them again in death.
(Mrs Everett proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers, and mentioned that after the holidays it was proposed to hold regular monthly meetings of the league. The Rev. H. Tower seconded, and the motion was carried unanimously.)
the procession reached Bond Street there was a long halt, and fearing
that the head of the procession would perhaps fill the church before
our section arrived ... I slipped out of the march, crossed to St.
James's Street, hailed a taxi and told the driver to drive to St.
George's Church, Bloomsbury. It'll cost you 3s. 6d. if I do, said this opportunist Jehu. Get on as quickly as you can,
I said and entered the taxi, and got as far as Holborn and the foot of
a side street leading into Hart Street where the church is situated. I
sprang out. Stop here, I said, and I'll walk through to Hart Street. I placed the money in his outstretched hand and vanished.
On getting to Bloomsbury Street it was a packed mass of humanity, and how to cross it to get to the pavement on the side of the church I knew not. But to get to that church I was determined if it cost me what the cause had cost the woman whose obsequies we were celebrating. I literally swam my way to the pavement, pushing people aside right and left as a swimmer does the water. Among the hoarse cries of a community who had come to see the remains of one 'butchered to make their English holiday', poor victims of the social systems of 'civilization' in our great 'industrial' cities, who get so few real 'holidays'. The King's 'orse! they kept on bawling,The King's 'orse! Chuck 'er out, said one of my own sex: these Suffragettes always spoil everyfink, forgetting that one now dead was giving them an entertainment. I wriggled my way on to the pavement, and for about a hundred yards or more wriggled in between them and on to my goal, the King's 'orse ringing in my ears. At one point a tall rather fine looking man, of the red hair and freckle order, put his arm round me to protect me, and did so in such an offensive and obscene manner that I literally shrieked out: Oh, Christ, to think that you died for such as these! He withdrew his arm quickly and said sternly, Let her pass, and helped me on a bit. Arriving at the church there was a double row of policemen across the pavement defending its entrance, and on the steps was our devoted friend, the Rev. Claude Hinscliffe, who had formed the Church League for Women's Suffrage, and several other clergymen, all tense and with white faces and in white surplices, awaiting the cortege ...
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