THE CHURCH AND LABOUR-A SYMPOSIUM I.-THE ROOT CAUSES OF THE PRESENT TROUBLE IF the present unhappy relations between the Church and Labour are to be changed for the better, it is obvious that there must be a candid attempt on both sides to state grievances and to examine them with patience and with a reasonably open mind. To avoid the dis- cussion of difficulties is to allow real and imaginary grievances to rankle in the mind and to inflame the temper. Health of mind and conscience depend upon constant ventilation. On the other hand mere recrimination is unprofitable. It may relieve the temper but it will not solve any problems. Now the purpose of our first question was to ascertain the root causes of the present trouble. It spoke of estrangement," and therefore thought primarily of those who have been in some kind of association with our churches in the past, but have felt bound to transfer their whole allegiance to labour. For the present inquiry this is the most crucial part of the problem, and any real solution of it would carry us a long way towards a solution of the wider problem that is presented by the hostility of the two groups. Not only has the Church failed to attract the outsider in the labour group, but she has failed to retain those who were once insiders in the Church. Now what do our replies yield us under this important head? The first impression is that the major part of the blame rests upon the Church. It is true that several writers-representing both those who speak for the Church and those who speak for Labour-attribute the present situation to mutual misunderstanding. There has been failure on both sides to appreciate what is best in the ideals of the Church and of Labour, and there has been an un- happy tendency to fasten upon certain ugly excrescences. In so far as there has been this false emphasis in both cases it should be remedied by closer acquaintance and by greater generosity and forbearance. This is not a plea for the perpetuation of evils by the cultivation of a cowardly tolerance, but rather for the encouragement of what is good and true in each case. This point will come up again at a later stage. The charges made by both sides may be broadly summed up under the heads of (a) Indifference (due to ignorance or to false preoccupation with narrow aims), and (b) Insincerity. Some of the particular evils enumerated fall under both heads, and we shall therefore make no attempt at a very rigid logical division. I. The Case against Labour. (a) Under the head of Indifference it is charged with being insufficiently, and in some case entirely, unconcerned about spiritual values. Its aims are materialistic, we are told, its methods are violent and revolutionary (and therefore lacking in a proper con- cern about the suffering that is caused to others by the effort to get its own remedied), and its spirit is bitter and divisive as may be seen from its class-conscious propaganda. It preaches hatred. Its economic theories are too often linked to an irrelevant secularism and atheism, and it offends against the sentiment of Churchgoers by holding its meetings on Sunday. As in some of these replies, it speaks disparagingly of the Church's concern about another world, and dismisses God contemptuously as the Unknow- able. It lays little stress on character and much on environment. It stresses rights rather than duties. (b) Under the head of Insincerity there is such a charge as the following One often hears the complaint that Socialists are the least socialistic-they will neither help, nor support with contributions, any good cause outside their own." Another writer speaks of the temptation of the plat- form towards exaggerated inaccuracy." This comes near to insincerity in speech. II. The Case against the Church. (a) Indifference: The Church fails to realize how enormously an iniquitous social order hampers the development of the working classes. For instance The Churches have taken no interest in matters concerning the bodily welfare of the workers, consequently the Labour Movement has grown up outside the Church instead of inside." The one is concerned with heaven and supernatural forces, the other with earth and natural or social forces." "That the Churches have never taken part in the fight for the emancipation of the workers." The apathy of the former (the Church) to the growing desire and effort of the workers to free themselves from being mere machines or tools for profit-making. Forgetfulness of the fact that sympathetic guidance by the Churches in the matter of removing slumdom, poverty, and social injustice and inequalities (by legitimate Christian deeds) would go far to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The workers do not feel they have the sympathy of the Churches in their ideals. In fact not only is there want of sympathy with, but there is actual opposition to the Labour Ideals often shewn." The Church is one of the institutions within the State which is used by the ruling class to keep the mass of the people in sub- jection." That is the voice of Labour on this count. But many within the Churches feel and say the same thing The Church seems to many to stand for the stalus quo." The failure of the Church to realize the social implications of Christianity. her concentration on personal and individual salvation to the practical exclusion of a wider gospel." That the Churches aim at making men fit for heaven but not at making the world fit for men." "The chief cause is the lack of sympathy on the part of the Churches with Labour in its efforts to obtain for itself the minimum opportunity for spiritual growth and expansion, by improved physical conditions. The Churches condemn such efforts as being materialistic and selfish They desire that the prevailing con- ditions of the workers should be tolerated as the provision of Providence for their span of lifejjiere— the state into which it has pleased God to call them.' (This last from a lady contributor). One definite instance of the indifference of the Churches towards the well-being of Labour is quoted by several writers : The Churches, as a rule, have all work, i.e., Building, Repairs, Printing, &c., executed by contract or tender. The cheapest gets the work and in no case do they trouble to enquire how such cheap- ness is produced. Public bodies have been already roused to do this."