01 May 2009


        "Wherever the missionary goes he not only proclaims that his religion is the best one, but that it is a true one while his hearer's religion is a false one; that the pagan's gods are inventions of the imagination; that the things and the names which are sacred to him are not worthy of his reverence; that his fathers are all in hell, and the dead darlings of his nursery also, because the word which saves had not been brought to them; that he must now desert his ancient religion and give allegiance to the new one or he will follow his fathers and his lost darlings to the eternal fires. The missionary must teach these things, for he has his orders; and there is no trick of language, there is no art of words, that can so phrase them that they are not an insult." ("The Missionary in World-Politics," Who Is Mark Twain?, 2009)

        “O, compassionate missionary leave China!  Come home and convert these Christians.” ("The United States of Lyncherdom," 1901)

        [Re: Sandwich Islands, now Hawaii] Nearby is an interesting ruin--the meager remains of an ancient temple--a place where human sacrifices were offered up in those old bygone days...long, long before the missionaries braved a thousand privations to come and make [the natives] permanently miserable by telling them how beautiful and how blissful a place heaven is, and how nearly impossible it is to get there; and showed the poor native how dreary a place perdition is and what unnecessarily liberal facilities there are for going to it; showed him how, in his ignorance, he had gone and fooled away all his kinsfolk to no purpose; showed him what rapture it is to work all day long for fifty cents to buy food for next day with, as compared with fishing for a pastime and lolling in the shade through eternal summer, and eating of the bounty that nobody labored to provide but Nature. How sad it is to think of the multitudes who have gone to their gaves in this beautiful island and never knew there was a hell. (Roughing It)


Snowbrush said...

Yet they win converts. I saw a PBS program last night about the Indians on the "Trail of Tears' walking along singing Christian hymns. Go figure.

libhom said...

Wow, Twain really nailed it on missionaries.

feeno said...

C. Woods
Hope all is going well with you. Thought I'd drop by and say hi.

That show on PBS was very interesting. Even though I'm a Christian, I echo your thoughts. As I was sitting there on my couch watching how 1 third or 1 fourth of them died on that trail, yet they still were praising God. Yes sir, go figure indeed.

Thanks for the space, Peace, feeno

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