The Scourge of Scandal

The Nodaway Forum told it like it was, and the Skidmore New Era (Skidmore, Missouri) reprinted it in its April 4, 1907 edition on page 8.  Preach, Nodaway Forum, preach!

The Scourge of Scandal.

Why does dirty scandal taste so sweet to the average tongue?  Why does a good citizen repeat the vile story that stains the mantle of purity?  Why will a Christian follower prostitute his tongue with tales unfit for a stable boy or saloon janitor?

Just the other day every tongue in the city was wagging at the misfortune of a sweet young girl of Nodaway county.  Her unfortunate affair was a jest on every tongue.  Men laughed at her, women scoffed at her, the world condemned her.

No one heard a word of condemnation for the rascal who deserted her.  No one made an effort to place the responsibility where it rightfully belonged.  All the abuse, the ridicule, the calumny were heaped on the helpless, distressed girl.  The church deacons were offended at her and the dear sisters spoke her name with horror.  The neighbors snubbed her.


This young girl was an innocent, trustful human being who had confidence in all men as she had in her own father.  She had been away from her own fireside but a few times and knew nothing of the deceit, lust and broken promises of a selfish world.  When she was wooed she did not know the gallant knight of her girlish imagination was a lecherous despoiler of virtue.  She did not know this weaver of gilded promises was spinning a new of dishonor to entangle her feet.  She believed all, trusted all and lost all.  She has sinned, but the crime committed against her is greater than hers.

Was the hand of Christian charity extended to her?  Did the deacon with the long prayer and the saintly sister with a long face console her in her days of disgrace and distress?  Have the people with kindness in their hearts defended her?  Have stout hearts sworn to have her despoiler brought to justice that he may face the iron penalties of the law?  Have the homes of decency and the companions of respectability shut him out as they have been swung against her?  Have they, indeed?

How much more is the tongue inclined to wag with the slop of scandal than to raise its voice in loud defence of a helpless and betrayed girlhood!  How much sweeter to chatter with salacious gossip than to protect the good name of womanhood with good silence!  How much better to be charitable and kind and forgiving and helpful than to debase the tongue, the heart and our neighbors with talk that drives innocent victims to despair and the thoughtless speaker to the devil.

— Nodaway Forum.


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