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100 years ago in Spokane: Pastor blames booze, golf and cars for people skipping church

 (Spokesman-Review archives. / Spokesman-Review archives.)
(Spokesman-Review archives. / Spokesman-Review archives.)

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Rev. Dr. Mark A. Matthews, a Presbyterian pastor visiting from Seattle, blamed three modern evils for a decline in the proper observance of the Sabbath.

The first evil was booze. He urged his audience at the First Presbyterian Church to keep the state’s prohibition laws strong.

The second evil was more of a surprise: golf.

“From 170,000 to 200,000 persons are desecrating the Sabbath in America due to Sunday golf,” he said. This was a problem, he said, not just for the golfers, but for the boys who caddy on the golf links every Sunday.

What was the third evil? The automobile.

“People load their families into gasoline wagons on Sunday morning to go on a pleasure jaunt, forget family prayers, do not clean the house and do not give the family a sufficiently cooked meal,” he said. “The automobile has done more to break the Sabbath and destroy the American home than any other pleasure.”

He also railed against motion picture shows for cutting into church attendance.

Then he took the opportunity to list what he considered the three greatest heresies of the time: theosophy, spiritualism and Eddyism (Christian Science).


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