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Good Templars Reaction To The Murders

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Good Templars Reaction To The Murders

Post by Karen on Tue 2 Mar 2010 - 8:41

And last, but certainly not least; is the Good Templars' reactions to the Whitechapel murders:


A temperance service in connection with the Order of Good Templars took place in the Oddfellows' Hall at three o'clock yesterday afternoon. There was a fairly good attendance, including a number of members of the Order in their regalia. Mr. J.T. Smith presided, and explained that the service was held in compliance with a wish expressed by the Grand Lodge of the World.
After devotional exercises, the Rev. W.J. Williams addressed the gathering. The signs of the times, he said, were hopeful for the temperance cause. The Church now was making laudable efforts to stop the horrors of the slave trade in Africa, but it should not neglect the evils lying at their own doors. There was, he was glad to say, reason to believe that the Church did intend to do more than in the past towards removing the evils resulting from strong drink, and other evils existing in our midst. He referred to the good done by the Church of England Temperance Society, and criticised a remark of Bishop Hadfield, who was reported as having, in Synod, said that he did not approve of singling out only one particular sin for special attack, and that he did not see much benefit arising from Temperance Societies. A man who argued in that way, Mr. Williams said, did not perceive the signs of the times. There could be no doubt that temperance was one of the grandest moral agencies in the world, and was entitled to the cordial sympathy of everyone interested in the welfare of man. He referred to the temperance principles of General Harrison, the newly-elected President of the United States, and urged the friends of temperance to work more unitedly than in the past, so that they might be more successful in the contests with their opponents in such matters as Licensing Committee elections.
The Rev. C. Dallaston, President of the New Zealand Baptist Union, drew a contrast between a few years ago, when the temperance cause seemed to be hidden in some back street, and the present day, when it proclaimed itself boldly before all men. He referred specially to the friendly attitude now manifested towards the cause by the churches, which formerly were indifferent or hostile. Still the battle was only just begun, though victory was sure to come some day. Every scheme which had for its object the good of what the sacred writer designated "the common people" had been unpopular at first, just as Temperance had been. The speaker went on to urge that children should be educated on Temperance lines, and that care should be taken that the men entrusted with political power should be such as would pass laws which would make it difficult for our young men to sin, and not expose them to the temptations of drinking and gambling. The Press of the city had given much help to the cause of Temperance, but they wanted the Press to help them even more.
The Rev. J. Crewes said that more practical Christianity was wanted in dealing with intemperance. Great horror was just now expressed at the murder in Whitechapel of eight or nine women, who could not be said to be any good to the community. The drink traffic murdered not nine, but ninety thousand people - men and women - who were not ruined before the drink touched them. The speaker gave several illustrations, from his experience as Secretary of the Prison Gate Mission, of the evils arising from strong drink. He exhorted Good Templars to do more work outside the lodge-rooms for the cause of Temperance; urged ladies to impress upon children the necessity for abstaining, and spoke in feeling terms of the evils of intemperance among women.
During the afternoon hymns were sung by a choir under Mr. H. Corrick, and the meeting was closed with the benediction by the Rev. W.J. Williams.

Source: Star, Issue 6405, 26 November 1888, Page 4

Note: Sounds like a great speech filled with great morals, but let us look a little more closely at this phrase, which I have highlighted above:

"Great horror was just now expressed at the murder in Whitechapel of eight or nine women, who could not be said to be any good to the community."

Just what is the message that the speaker is sending out here? In essence, he is saying that since the murdered women in Whitechapel had been drunkards prior to their deaths, then they really deserved to die since they were not any good to the community!!?!!!! This is not Temperance; Temperance would have been better shown by getting these women off the street, educating them, finding them suitable employment, and properly feeding and clothing them! Temperance is not believing that the community is much better off without drunkards! No wonder that "Jack the Ripper" felt a burning need to rid the community of drunk women, whom he perceived as a bane to the community, instead of seeing them as the unfortunate human beings that they really were.

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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