Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 232
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 232
 
region south of Fourteenth Street. But that would hardly be fair. They moved after their congregations; but they left nothing behind. In the twenty years that followed the war, while enough to people a large city moved in down-town, the number of churches there was reduced from 141 to 127. Fourteen Protestant churches moved out. Only two Roman Catholic churches and a synagogue moved in. I am not aware that there has been any large increase of churches in the district since, but we have seen that the crowding has not slackened pace. Jacob had no trouble in escaping the Sunday-school, as he had escaped the public school. His tribe will have none until the responsibility incurred in the severance of Church and State sits less lightly on a Christian community, and the Church, from a mob, shall have become an army, with von Moltke’s plan of campaign, “March apart, fight together.” The Christian Church is not alone in its failure. The Jew’s boy is breaking away from safe moorings rather faster than his brother of the new dispensation. The Church looks on, but it has no cause for congratulation. He is getting nothing in place of that which he lost, and the result is bad. There is no occasion for profound theories about it. The facts are plain enough. The new freedom has something to do with it; but neglect to look after the young has quite as much. Apart from its religious

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