Carl Noetling Klass to Jane Addams, June 13, 1917

Lebanon Oregon
June 13-1917.
Miss Jane Addams
Chicago Ill.

My dear Miss Addams:

Just a word of introduction first. A Presbyterian Minister -- know no patriotism but for the U.S.A. but ↑owes↓ gratitude to all nations who have contributed to the worlds wellbeing. Father served ↑in↓ the Union Army. Grandfather and family on mothers side from Germany 1848. My misfortune these days is having a German name.

I just read a report of your address before the Current Events Class of 1st Cong. Ch. Chicago. Good for you, and of what you are doing now you can quote [Sydney] Cartons words at the guillotine, not without similar stage setting perhaps. I felt alone and under tremendous strain for a while after taking a stand against War -- and this war. Members of my Church withdrew, and I have known how Elijah felt under the juniper. But bless you. I've heard something come in on the wings of silence. There are six thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal. The spell of fear is beginning to break. Sunday night I said some strong things in criticism of war [page 2] of the [illegible] program of Pres Wilsons effort to cork the throat of the nation and paralyze the hands of editorial writers. I asserted our right to speak our minds among ourselves. I've predicted the right position of our General Assembly in offering the Church of Jesus Christ to the service of war as the pinnacle of heresy against the head of the Church, saying of the two -- church and state are one and church at the top -- and -- church and state are one and the state is on top -- I [illegible] ↑would↓ have to choose the former. I stated too that my refusal to subscribe for "Liberty" bonds is the only opportunity I have had of voting against our participation in this war. I would subscribe for [aggregated] bonds for Belgium and Assyrian relief -- as I have given to those ends. Were the "Powers ↑that be↓" fearful of a vote by the people on war? Then have we a democracy with which to open a missionary propaganda. If [thorough] democracy is a thing to be feared let us not make [pretenses] before the world, wishing on the world what we fear as a wolf in the herd flock.

I want to say that following that sermon or address there was a veritable love feast, with fear dispelled. [page 3]

We closed singing America -- with a fervor I have not felt in this congregation on [many?] occasion. "Long may our land be bright with freedoms holy light Great God our King."

Now this has been an intrusion on your time but I wanted you to know of one more pair of [knees] that bow to no God but the Father of Jesus. "We can not but speak the things we have seen." [We] too "Can not do else."

They tried to scare my dear friend [Sydney] Strong in Seattle. I shall be in Seattle soon, having given up this field, and ↑shall↓ see him. I hope I may have some part [in] the movement which I feel is going to rise like a great wave over the country -- or like the lifting up of the blades [of corn] under the warm sun. You see it is no juniper tree for me now.

Bless you Christian woman.

Very sincerely

Carl N Klass.


[illegible] How generous the headlines to these news items! This item was headed Chilly Reception Given Speech of Pacifist. But it did warm the cockles of my heart.

Graduate Wabash College '01.
Union Theological Seminary '04.
New York

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