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Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

"A Hideous Hypocrisy." Scientist's Opinion
of Foreign Missions. (S668b: 1909)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A reprint of comments Wallace made (by letter?) that had been printed in the Christian Commonwealth; this notice was printed on page 5 of the 22 January 1909 issue of the Nottingham Evening Post. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S668B.htm

     To this week's issue of the Christian Commonwealth a number of prominent people contribute opinions on foreign missions.

     The veteran scientist, Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, says:--My own experience has been chiefly of French Jesuit missionaries, of whom I have a high opinion. On the general question I believe that, while our Governments permit trade in rum and firearms, and every kind of robbery and persecution of the natives, the attempt to teach Christianity becomes a hideous hypocrisy.

     The only missionaries who should be permitted to go among savages should be carefully selected for broad-minded human sympathy, a high standard of morality, and absence of religious prejudice. They should be trained in elementary surgery and medicine, as well as in carpenter's and smith's work, and they should go out with a Government Commission as "protectors of the natives" against every oppression by Europeans. At every such "mission" there should be an established market, where alone trade with natives should be carried on under the eye of their protectors.

     Every trader should have a permit to reside at a mission (or other European station), while trade with natives elsewhere should be strictly forbidden. Thus alone can Congo and other atrocities be rendered impossible.

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