E. Belfort Bax

Church Parades

(5 March 1887)

Church Parades, Commonweal, 5th March 1887, p.75.
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

The “parade” at St. Paul’s, on Sunday, was certainly a success from the point of view of the promoters. It was a demonstration, and an effective one in a sense. But the propriety of church parades is a question upon which divergent opinions may be, and are, held by Socialists. On the one hand, it is argued that any sort of “demonstration”, irrespective of its importance or character, is productive of good. On the other hand, there are those who, like myself, fail to see the special gain in inducing a body of 100, or 150 men to waste a fine Sunday morning, on which useful Socialist meetings might be held, within the four walls of a church. Surely there should be either one of two things. If it is intended to “demonstrate” against the present organisation of society through that “religion” (so-called) which holds such a prominent place in it, then the only logical procedure would be to go in such force to the “place of worship” selected, as to be able to supplant the parson and convert the quondam “service” into a Socialist meeting. But to proceed to church with the determination to “sit out” the morning performance with all the air of devout worshippers, I must confess seems to me to be a somewhat aimless proceeding. I do not think the logical alternative referred to would be worth its “candle” of subsequent prosecution at least at present, so my opinion of “church parades” is “don’t!”



Last updated on 26.3.2004