Society’s Saviors by Elbert Hubbard

Story type: Essay

All adown the ages society has made the mistake of nailing its Saviors to the cross between thieves.

That is to say, society has recognized in the Savior a very dangerous quality–something about him akin to a thief, and his career has been suddenly cut short.

We have telephones and trolly cars, yet we have not traveled far into the realm of spirit, and our X-ray has given us no insight into the heart of things.

Society is so dull and dense, so lacking in spiritual vision, so dumb and so beast-like that it does not know the difference between a thief and the only Begotten Son. In a frantic effort to forget its hollowness it takes to ping-pong, parchesi and progressive euchre, and seeks to lose itself and find solace and consolation in tiddle-dy-winks.

We are told in glaring head-lines and accurate photographic reproductions of a conference held by leaders in society to settle a matter of grave import. Was it to build technical schools and provide a means for practical and useful education? Was it a plan of building modern tenement houses along scientific and sanitary lines? Was it called to provide funds for scientific research of various kinds that would add to human knowledge and prove a benefit to mankind? No, it was none of these. This body met to determine whether the crook in a certain bulldog’s tail was natural or had been produced artificially.

Should the Savior come to-day and preach the same gospel that He taught before, society would see that His experience was repeated. Now and then it blinks stupidly and cries, “Away with Him!” or it stops its game long enough to pass gall and vinegar on a spear to One it has thrust beyond the pale.

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For the woman who has loved much society has but one verdict: crucify her! The best and the worst are hanged on one tree.

In the abandon of a great love there exists a godlike quality which places a woman very close to the holy of holies, yet such a one, not having complied with the edicts of society, is thrust unceremoniously forth, and society, Pilate-like, washes its hands in innocency.

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