Christmas Greetings from Alfred Lawson (1936)

[Between 2009 and 2011, I maintained a TypePad blog, “More Fiends,” intended to update my book Baseball Fiends and Flying Machines. Those posts can still be found in the Wayback Machine, but I stopped updating that site in 2011. Because this WordPress site promotes and updates all my books, I’d like to republish some of those earlier posts.]

Posted 12/19/2010:

Starting in the late 1920s, Alfred W. Lawson began writing an infrequent series of short Christmas Greetings messages. Once he reached adulthood, Lawson openly scorned organized religion, and, at best, could be labeled an agnostic. His later homespun philosophical writings professed monotheism and expounded the central role in the workings of the Universe for God the Almighty, the Creator. Eventually, as evidenced in the essay below that Lawson wrote in 1936, he even admitted that Jesus Christ had been God’s messenger, though Lawson can’t bring himself to call Him by his proper name.

The following Christmas missive probably gained quite a bit of infamy, since in it Lawson makes a direct comparison of himself to Jesus, and suggests that he has inherited the role of Divine Messenger. This is Lawson at his loopiest (and most idealistic):

    “Nearly  two thousand years ago God sent a man to earth with a message for everybody to accept and be benefited by. It was–LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

    “But instead of exchanging love with one another the people practiced hate for each other. Instead of worshiping a God with Life they groveled beneath a dead lump of metal.

    “So, for Gold, or its purchasing power, people have lied to each other, cheated each other, stolen from each other, murdered each other, beggared each other, mutilated each other and degraded each other.

    “People have not loved one another as this man told them to do, but they have detested each other and the reason for that is because they have put Gold above God.

    “Now, nearly two thousand years afterward another man comes to earth and tells the people not to hate each other. He tells them that they cannot love and hate at the same time. He says that they cannot worship God and Gold together and unless they give up Gold it will be impossible to follow the precepts of the man who asked them nearly two thousand years ago to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

    “But there are certain creatures on earth who either directly or indirectly teach the people to worship Gold. They themselves pretend to worship God, but they sell their souls for Gold. Their purposes are both selfish and fiendish. They make laws for the strong to victimize the weak, which in the eyes of God is the meanest of all sins.

    “The people are taught that Gold is the base of value and through its medium they are fleeced of the products of their labor. They are also taught that they too can practice the same trickery for gain through Gold. But the reaction of God’s laws causes punishment and misery for all those who crave Gold no matter what the pretense may be. So God says this infernal practice must be stopped.

    “Now God sends another message to the human race, which is JUSTICE FOR EVERYBODY HARMS NOBODY.

    “That message will make it possible for the teachings of the man, whom God sent two thousand years ago, to be followed by everybody instead of being followed by nobody as happens at the present time.

    “Not only has God sent one man to deliver this message to the people, but he has sent one hundred and fifty thousand men and women of all races and religions into the highways and byways to teach JUSTICE FOR EVERYBODY HARMS NOBODY.

    “These men and women are officers of the Direct Credits Society and they love one another because they actually worship a living God and do not hate each other because they do not worship a lump of dead Gold.

    “These officers do not let the creatures who victimize everybody through the medium of Gold make them hate, fight and degrade each other.

    “So, in behalf of these real missionaries of God, it is to be hoped that not only will the people rejoice on Christmas Day that a movement has at last been started that will cause one to love another, but that the people will begin a new year by obliterating the horrible cause of their hatred for each other.

    “Direct Credits teaches everybody to be kind to one another three hundred and sixty-five days a year, not just one day a year.

    “Thus may this Christmas bring permanent love to the soul and may this New Year bring real intelligence to the mind so that all men may stop fighting and mistreating each other over a lifeless piece of deceptive Gold.”

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