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The Journal of Religion 



Volume II JANUARY 1922 Number 1 



THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE OPEN FORUM 
TO DEMOCRACY IN RELIGION 



GEORGE W. COLEMAN 

Boston, Mass. 



ABSTRACT 



The open forum is a_ direct result of the eagerness of the church to "reach the 
masses." Three of the pioneer organizations of the forum — at Cooper Union, in the 
Church of the Ascension, and at Ford Hall — were all inspired by the ideals of 
the church. The purpose of the forum is to give an opportunity for open discussion, 
where objections may be raised as well as positions denned. The result has been to 
jar church people out of their complacency, to modify unintelligent radicalism, and 
to stimulate thinking and reading. Dogmatism is immediately checked. No 
ecclesiastical or other conditions are prescribed for participation in the discussion. 
Those who have been alienated from the church find that religion, like other human 
interests, is progressing and is dealing with real issues. A wider sense of brotherhood 
is developed. A new community interest is aroused. Brief descriptions of typical 
experiments reinforce the foregoing points. 



The open forum brings together all kinds of serious-minded 
people at stated times for the purpose of discussing the issues 
of life under the leadership of recognized experts who stand 
ready to meet the challenge of any person in the audience who 
wishes to cross-examine them. The open forum is utterly 
democratic, but never chaotic. It guarantees a freedom of 
discussion which neither the speaker nor the audience may 
monopolize or subvert. 

The motto of the open forum is " Let there be light ! " The 
forum generates more light and less heat than any other form 
of public discussion. Even applied science in the material 
realm has not yet discovered how to give us light without 
heat. 



2 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

Although the modern forum idea is of very recent origin, 
it has quickly spread throughout the United States and Canada 
until now forums are numbered by the hundred. 

To those who are interested in religion let it be noted that 
this new instrument for democracy is an outgrowth of the life 
of the church, although it must be admitted that it has taken 
the church some time to recognize its own child. But the 
day of distrust and suspicion on the part of the church has 
given place to a time of eager inquiry, earnest appreciation, 
and active co-operation. It was the Rev. Charles E. Jefferson, 
D.D., of the Broadway Tabernacle Church, New York City, 
who some time ago prophesied that within a few years 
the forum would be as necessary an adjunct of the city church 
as are the Sunday-school and the prayer meeting today. 

The open forum came as an aftermath of that great urge 
of the Protestant church in America to reach the masses. 
Thirty years ago and more, "How to Reach the Masses" was 
the great hue and cry heard on every religious convention 
platform with interminable repercussions from our pulpits all 
over the land. Just about the time, years later, when we woke 
up to the fact that our effort to reach the masses was a continu- 
ing failure and we had begun to grow very anxious as to what 
the masses would soon be doing to us, one or two bold spirits 
within the church proceeded to do the obvious thing: they 
quit talking in the church about the masses and went out to 
the masses and talked to them. That was the beginning of the 
modern forum idea. 

The late Mr. Charles Sprague Smith at Cooper Union, 
New York City, Dr. Percy S. Grant of the Church of the 
Ascension on lower Fifth Avenue, New York City, and the 
writer in his work on Sunday evenings at Ford Hall in Boston, 
were the first to develop the technique and to practice the 
spirit of the forum as it is now conceived. At least they were 
the first to give a large, outstanding, and permanent exhibit 
of what an open forum can be and do. All three of these 



THE OPEN FORUM AND DEMOCRACY IN RELIGION 3 

enterprises owed their existence to the life and inspiration of 
the church. Charles Sprague Smith was the son of a minister, 
Dr. Grant used his church to father and mother the infant 
forum, and it was the Boston Baptist Social Union that gave 
me my opportunity to demonstrate what could be done in 
Boston. 

In all three of these ventures the driving force was the 
desperate need of finding some way to bridge the widening 
chasm between the well-meaning people within the churches 
and the good folks outside. It is doubtful if any one of us had 
at the start any clear vision of the open forum as it is con- 
ceived today. 

As we look back over the work of fourteen seasons at Ford 
Hall, our success in interesting the masses is unmistakable. 
Not even our severest critic would gainsay that. And to 
tell the story of the effect of these open-forum meetings on the 
masses of Boston who have frequented Ford Hall would be to 
write a romance. Many experts in social work have 
pronounced this method the soundest and most successful 
process of Americanization that they have witnessed — a 
process which awakens the smug and somnolent native just 
as surely as it informs and molds the confused and uncouth 
foreigner. 

But the purpose of this paper draws me away from this 
absorbing side of the story to another phase of the subject. 
What contribution does this open-forum idea make to democ- 
racy in religion ? Perhaps there is even more significance in 
the answer that can be made to that question. 

Let me say first of all with reference to this single forum at 
Ford Hall, after fourteen years of the most intimate acquaint- 
ance with its work and the results flowing from it, that the 
reaction on the life of the churches in Boston is in itself worth 
all these meetings have cost, if they have accomplished nothing 
else. Greater Boston now has twenty-five or more forums, 
and churches and church people are responsible for a generous 



4 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

share of them. Not only have Protestant churches taken up 
readily this method of discussing vital issues with the average 
man and woman, regardless of church connections, but the 
Roman Catholic church and the Jewish synagogue are also 
alert in taking advantage of this democratic method of dis- 
cussing everything that interests the public mind. 

The Common Cause Forum, conducted under the auspices 
of the Roman Catholic church every Sunday evening during 
the season in the Franklin Union Hall in the city of Boston, 
would be a very interesting study in itself. There you would 
find twelve hundred people in the most serious frame of mind, 
listening to the pros and cons of religion, the church, 
democracy, education, and every other vital topic, as set 
forth not only by responsible lay leaders of the church, but 
also as challenged, contradicted, and defied by some of the 
keenest young radicals this day of unrest has produced. 
Such an extraordinary spectacle was never witnessed before 
the coming of the forum idea, but it is a commonplace now at 
the Franklin Union after about ten years of continuous opera- 
tion. This forum under Catholic auspices goes much farther 
in the democratic discussion of religious questions than we 
at Ford Hall, under Baptist auspices, think is wise and fitting. 

In one Jewish synagogue in Boston some years ago the 
forum for the entire season was given over to the discussion 
of distinctly Jewish questions with a large audience of Jewish 
young people every Sunday night. The older men of the 
synagogue looked on in amazement and some of them in fear 
and trembling as they saw the young people gathering by the 
hundreds to discuss freely and frankly everything of interest to 
serious-minded Jews. 

But the establishment of forums under religious auspices, 
significant and interesting as that may be, was not the only 
mark made upon the religious life of the city by the Sunday 
evening meetings at Ford Hall. Neither would I lay special 
stress upon the forum method of discussion introduced into 



TEE OPEN FORUM AND DEMOCRACY IN RELIGION 5 

various adult Bible classes. Undoubtedly the greatest effect 
produced by the forum on the religious life of Boston is to be 
found in a changed state of mind among church people. They 
have been aroused and quickened, jarred and irritated, and 
set to thinking and reading as to the relation of religion to the 
whole realm of life. Even those who have never wandered 
into a forum meeting have not escaped its lessons as set forth 
in the daily press, sometimes in startling headlines. The 
meeting at Ford Hall, Sunday night, is often the topic of the 
week in store and factory, in office and boarding-house. While 
only a thousand or twelve hundred people may have par- 
ticipated directly in the meeting, perhaps a hundred thou- 
sand, some of them scattered all over New England, have 
eagerly watched for the report, especially so when some tick- 
lish subject was up for discussion or some unusually striking 
personality took the platform. 

If true religion is to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly, 
as the prophet Micah had it, then the forums everywhere are 
democratizing the discussion of religion with remarkable 
success. Justice is the passionate desire of these audiences 
everywhere, and the note of kindness in any address always 
meets a quick and warm response. And while many an ardent 
propagandist, both conservative and radical, comes to the 
forum in a cock-sure spirit, he often goes away much chastened 
and subdued. And, oftener than not, the humbling dose he 
needs is administered by the audience rather than by the 
appointed speaker of the hour. 

While it is a general forum principle to avoid all strictly 
sectarian and partisan discussions, one must have a very 
narrow conception of religion not to see that a live forum is 
shot through and through with a powerful religious dynamic. 
And the entire procedure and the dominant spirit are 
democratic. While no topic is sacrosanct to a well-trained 
forum audience, it is clearly recognized that some topics 
are futile. 



6 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

And as to the kinds of people who may be permitted to 
share in the discussion, there is no limit save one which is 
self-operating. The frivolous-minded person absents himself. 
The individual who prefers a movie, a dance, or a flirtation to 
the earnest, serious temper of the forum goes to his own place. 
But everybody else in the community is there or is represented 
by one or more of his kind. All classes, cliques, and creeds 
are present in the model forum. 

Here you have a thoroughly democratic audience — Jew, 
Catholic, Protestant, unbeliever, native and foreigner, em- 
ployer and employee, student and mechanic, radical and con- 
servative, rich and poor, coming together for one and the 
same purpose, keen to listen, eager to answer back. The 
fundamentals of life, individual and collective, are seriously 
discussed in a manner that gives everyone his right to be heard 
and no one a privilege to monopolize the discussion. Every- 
thing that touches life is pertinent and the topic set for dis- 
cussion invariably has its moral and spiritual implications. 
This is "democracy in religion" in action. Such a beacon 
light burning in any community for a period of years cannot 
fail to throw its beams into every nook and corner where 
religious-minded people gather, while its effect on the great 
throngs who are churchless and yet hungering and thirsting 
is dramatic and pathetic to a degree. 

Let me give one example. Boston, like every great city, has 
a considerable Jewish population. Eighty per cent of the Jew- 
ish young people are unattached to the synagogue, either ortho- 
dox or liberal. They are, for the most part, born idealists and 
extraordinarily alert mentally. They cannot be drawn into 
any kind of a religious service, so-called. They will have none 
of it. But it would be difficult to keep them away from a 
real community forum run without bias and having no axes 
to grind. From the first night it threw open its doors, all 
through its fourteen seasons, the Ford Hall forum in Boston 
has had in its audience a large contingent of these young 



THE OPEN FORUM AND DEMOCRACY IN RELIGION 7 

Jews. They come of course to discuss economic, social, 
civil, and industrial questions, but in connection with this 
discussion and through other topics presented in course, they 
find themselves facing the most serious personal questions of 
life. Its effect on them may be best judged by a friendly com- 
ment from Rabbi Harry Levi, of the liberal Jewish synagogue on 
Commonwealth Avenue, who remarked that the Ford Hall 
forum was a half-way house to Temple Israel for these young 
Jews. Thus many of these young people are saved from 
indifference, agnosticism, or atheism to a modern democratic 
interpretation of the religion of their fathers. 

And other men and women of Christian antecedents, who 
long since have become estranged from the church in which 
they were brought up, find themselves influenced by the forum 
discussions to make a fresh evaluation of the church. They 
are often greatly surprised to note that the church, too, has 
grown and progressed like themselves since the days when 
they were last in touch with its activities. I well remember 
the head mechanic on one of our steam railroads, who had 
gotten entirely out of patience with churches in general, com- 
ing to me privately at the close of a forum meeting where he 
had been a regular attendant and asking me very earnestly 
where he could get a manual of the church in which he had 
been trained; he wanted to study afresh the up-to-date 
pronouncement of the creedless church on which he had turned 
his back ten years before. 

There are still others attending forum meetings, and in 
large numbers, who will in all probability never find their 
way back into church membership. Poor substitute indeed as 
the forum is for a church, it seems to bring to these indi- 
viduals the inspiration, guidance, and fellowship which they 
crave and which they will not or cannot find in any church. 

It is no small contribution to democratic religion, I would 
judge, when innumerable earnest, serious-minded souls find 
in the forum, or through it, a means of encouraging and 



8 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

cultivating a sense of brotherhood based on justice, mercy, 
and humility. I have seen week after week in forum meet- 
ings a heterogeneous, cosmopolitan crowd, representing every 
prejudice and antagonism known to our American life, come 
to a unity of feeling, a self-forgetfulness, a high pitch of enthusi- 
asm over a mutual discussion of some topic of the most vital 
concern. This is a process of forming public opinion under 
the power of emotion, something that Benjamin Kidd declares 
to be of the very first importance for these days. When that 
discussion deals with the relations of men to one another and 
with the relation of man to the universe, which is the range 
of forum topics, it is shot through and through with religion. 
And what could be more truly democratic than the forum 
method of discussion, which exalts the expert, hears the voice 
of the people, and snuffs out the irrepressible talking nuisance ? 

While the forum is no proper substitute for the church, 
even though some people outside the church have found it 
adequate for that purpose, it is unmistakably a most fitting 
and successful substitute for a worn-out, brokendown, perfunc- 
tory Sunday evening service. It is right here, doubtless, that 
the forum makes its most direct and manifest contribution 
to democracy in religion. The forum has already salvaged 
many a Sunday night service to the great blessing of the 
community and to the distinct advantage of the church 
undertaking such a broad and generous service for its neighbor- 
hood. 

There are many downtown churches in cities all over the 
land where they do well if they can muster an attendance of 
one hundred on Sunday evenings, even though the auditorium 
may easily accommodate five or ten times that number. 
That was the case with a church I have in mind. It was in 
the heart of the downtown district in a city that numbered 
its inhabitants by the hundred thousand. Less than seventy- 
five people would file into the aisles of this cathedral-like 
auditorium on Sunday evenings, although the very same 



THE OPEN FORUM AND DEMOCRACY IN RELIGION g 

preacher would be heard by several hundred in that same 
church on the morning of the same day. 

But it was entirely different when the forum got well under 
way, and it was directed and presided over by this same 
preacher. There were not seats enough in the auditorium 
to accommodate the people who desired to attend. They 
came from all over the city and from miles around. The 
audiences exceeded a thousand every Sunday night. Two 
hundred extra seats had to be brought in, and then people 
sat all over the pulpit stairs and stood behind the choir-loft 
and out in the vestibule, where they could hear but not see. 
And this continued for five years, the interest and attendance 
and support growing stronger every year. 

There came to these forum meetings socialists and atheists 
who had not darkened a church door in twenty-five years, a 
multimillionaire was a frequent attendant, country folk drove 
in from the towns outside the city, Jews and Catholics were 
attracted even though the meeting was held in a Protestant 
church building, church members from the morning congrega- 
tion, who never before had gone to meeting Sunday evenings, 
were there — and the program lasted two hours and a half, 
and then it was too short for most of them. Remember this 
went on for five years, every Sunday night during the winter 
season. And it was a weakness in the church that resulted 
in a change of leadership which cut the forum off at the time 
of its maximum strength. 

The meetings of this forum were opened with prayer and 
closed with a benediction. Meeting in a church and led by a 
minister, the churchly environment was unescapable. And 
yet it was a meeting quite apart from the church, where no 
axes were ground, no propaganda declared, no overlordship 
exercised. Some of the most outstanding men and women 
of the country brought their messages to these people. Dis- 
cussion proceeded in true forum fashion. Many were amazed 
to see men speaking from a church platform submitting 



10 TEE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

themselves to cross-examination by the audience. Courteous 
but critical challenges were hurled from the floor and no one 
went to sleep or begged to have the time shortened, for these 
people were discussing the serious affairs of present-day living 
and they were all in dead earnest about it. They were asking 
what is just and they were trying hard to be merciful toward 
an opponent, and they often went out in a more humble frame 
of mind. 

This recital is but an outline of what one forum did in a 
church in a great city. It could be duplicated again and 
again, going each time to a different part of the country. 
Such a meeting is democracy in religion, or at least one phase 
of it, if I have not been misled as an American citizen or 
bamboozled by my religious instructors. And yet I know 
so-called ioo per cent Americans who deprecate a popular 
discussion of critical questions and I am well acquainted with 
religious leaders who insist that our present-day troubles 
have nothing whatever to do with religion. Maybe that is 
what is the matter with things after all. But if the churches 
won't discuss these matters and the forums ought not to do 
so, how are we ever going to get the troubles and religion within 
sight of each other ? 

As I write I am thinking of an able, well-seasoned minister 
with a rich and powerful congregation who, not feeling that 
the time of his crucifixion is yet at hand, has agreed with his 
governing board in the church that for the next three months 
he will not preach on any subject later than the Victorian 
age. Is that what might be called plutocracy in religion? 
Whatever it may be, it is far removed from the democracy 
which the forum injects into religion. 

In another city in the Middle West an almost defunct 
Sunday evening service was immediately transformed into a 
spiritual dynamo whose light is seen and power felt in every 
corner of the city among all classes of people. Hundreds were 
turned away all through a long first season. Again it was a 



THE OPEN FORUM AND DEMOCRACY IN RELIGION II 

downtown church that had lost touch with the people, having 
an evening congregation of less than seventy-five. Now the 
only difficulty is how wisely to direct and utilize the tremendous 
power which has been generated. 

It isn't a vaudeville performance, nor a motion-picture 
melodrama, nor a band concert, no, not even a stereopticon 
that furnishes the lure that draws the crowd to forum meetings. 
It is life, as we live it today, with all its problems and heart- 
aches, with all its lure and significance, unfolded by leading 
men and women who themselves have lived and thought in a 
large way, with all the marvelous reactions that come from 
hundreds of everyday men and women in the audience — it is 
this that attracts and holds the forum crowds. A live forum 
is as engaging as a vaudeville performance; something un- 
expected happening all the time. It is as absorbing as a 
motion picture, life speaking directly to you; it is as stirring as 
a band concert, putting your emotions athrill; and it is as 
true to life as the pictures from the stereopticon, for every 
participant in the audience gives you an instantaneous etching 
from real life. When doctrine, sectarianism, the life of two 
thousand years ago, a threadbare evangelism, a stereotyped 
service, a loosely thrown together address, fail to attract the 
multitudes, don't despair of the multitude. When the gospel 
fails to appeal, it might not be unreasonable to assume first 
that perhaps the gospel has suffered at our hands or that we 
have lost the ability to present it. At all events, it does not 
necessarily follow that some other way than our way is surely 
the wrong way. 

Someone, doubtless, is saying to himself that the crowds 
often follow after strange gods. A crowd in itself is no evi- 
dence that one is on the right track. True enough, just as 
certainly as empty seats are hopelessly unresponsive. But 
there is this to be said about a forum crowd: It is not only 
most wary and elusive, hard to get and harder to hold, but 
the forum crowd is not the mass of the people at all. I wish 



12 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

with all my heart it were. No, no, a forum audience is only 
the cream skimmed off the top of the crowd. It includes 
every class and kind, but only the most thoughtful individuals, 
the most earnest and devoted representatives of the different 
groups in the city. The great body of the rank and file in 
almost every class is too inert to respond to the attraction of 
serious discussion of public matters. It would rather be 
amused with predigested motion-picture pap, or go on a lark, 
or loll through the evening, or soak up a Sunday newspaper. 
No, don't think for a moment that the forum will draw the 
dregs either from the upper or the lower classes. Just as the 
stated church services appeal to only a small proportion of 
those who count themselves in the fold, so the forum draws 
to itself only a small proportion of either church people or of 
those outside the church. 

The forum method of discussion, following the message by 
the appointed speaker, is spreading far and wide, even where 
the forum name is never attached to it. Nowhere is it more 
often brought into use than in religious meetings. The 
prayer meeting, the Bible study class, the young people's 
meeting, the evening preaching service, and here and there 
even the Sunday morning service have been forumized to the 
extent that the people in attendance have the privilege of 
cross-examining the speaker by the question method. An 
able and successful pastor in New England, of long experience, 
not only introduced the full-fledged forum into his church activi- 
ties, but also forumized nearly every meeting held under the 
auspices of the church. Where the forum discussion has 
followed the Sunday morning service it has generally been the 
custom to adjourn after the benediction to another room 
where those who cared to remain were free to question the 
pastor on the subject of his sermon. 

While it must be apparent to anyone that a service for 
worship and inspiration might easily be spoiled by introducing 
an element of controversy, it must also be admitted that when 



THE OPEN FORUM AND DEMOCRACY IN RELIGION 13 

the preacher is exercising the function of the teacher and 
giving instruction to his flock, questioning on the part of his 
hearers might follow very fittingly and profitably. 

This last winter the open forum idea was planted in the 
midst of the activities of a church with which I have been 
connected all my life. It is a church made famous in the past 
by a great ministry. That era closed twenty-five years ago. 
Since then the environment of the church has completely 
changed. The once fashionable residential section of the city 
is now a boarding- and lodging-house district. There are three 
times as many people in the district as in the olden days, but 
they do not come to our church nor go to any church in large 
numbers, although a goodly proportion of them are white 
people of American or Canadian stock and Protestant in their 
leanings. The same gospel which used to fill our fine church 
auditorium has since come perilously near emptying it. Our 
service is almost identically what it was a quarter of a century 
and more ago. Our activities are precisely what they were 
forty years ago: two services on Sunday, Bible school, Friday 
night prayer meeting, young people's meeting, the Benevolent 
Circle and the women's missionary meeting, with the church 
sociable once a month — all preserved intact just as they were 
originally planned. 

But with the present pastor there came two years ago a 
new spirit and energy. He has the united support of all the 
old-timers and the love and devotion of a constantly widening 
circle of folks all through our community. He wouldn't accept 
the call of the church until he had assured himself that it was 
willing to go to some lengths to reach and serve the unchurched 
people of that neighborhood through whatever methods might 
be necessary. On his own initiative, without a suggestion 
from me, he inaugurated an open forum every Wednesday 
night in the vestry. And he made it an open forum for the 
neighborhood, not another service of the church. It was so 
satisfactory that, having been begun on a monthly basis, it 



14 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION 

was soon made semi-monthly, and then weekly. It gripped 
the neighborhood as had nothing else we had done in a long 
time. It brought into the vestry on Wednesday nights as 
great a variety of human beings as we have at Ford Hall and 
they found there the same friendly, tolerant, helpful spirit, 
with no traps set to catch them, no pressure brought to bear, 
no smug condescension, but a virile, frank, hearty fellowship 
and an eager disposition to learn something from the other 
fellow. 

Not only was this little forum with its weekly attendance 
of two hundred and more a pronounced success from every 
point of view and a joy and a blessing to those who attended 
without ever approaching the church at any other time, but 
every activity of the church itself began to take on new life. 
The Sunday evening service is larger than it was in the palmiest 
days of the old regime, and the morning attendance grows 
steadily. A recent sociable in the vestry had more people in 
attendance than the oldest member could remember having 
seen at any similar gathering in the church. The credit for 
all this is by no means due to the forum. Without our young 
pastor we should be lost. But I am quite sure he would say 
that he would now feel lost without the forum activity. This 
forum is injecting the spirit of democracy into this fine old 
church to an extent that it never dreamed of before, and it 
needs it quite as much as the crowd it seeks to serve may need 
the gospel. 

A little dried-up Methodist church in an extreme southern 
state opened its doors to the forum with the result that the 
auditorium had to be enlarged three times in a few years and 
the church became the fifth largest of its denomination in the 
state. Finally it became necessary to build a big auditorium 
with a seating capacity of three thousand for the exclusive use 
of the forum and its various activities. A pastor of another 
denomination in the next town across the river had an evening 
congregation of about twenty-seven. He was afraid that the 



THE OPEN FORUM AND DEMOCRACY IN RELIGION 15 

afternoon session of the forum would draw away a few of his 
attendants, perhaps five or six. When asked which he would 
choose to suffer, the possible loss of six auditors, Sunday eve- 
ning, or the shutting up of the forum on Sunday afternoons with 
an attendance not less than two thousand, he promptly said he 
would shut up the forum. Since the establishment of that 
forum, the Sunday evening congregations within a radius of 
ten miles of the forum auditorium have been augmented by 
two thousand attendants. This same minister declared it was 
his business to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and let the 
world take care of itself. I wonder if he was preaching Jesus' 
gospel and if it wasn't the gospel of Jesus that the forum there 
was disseminating. 

And that reminds me of what William T. Ellis, the widely 
known religious journalist, once said about the forum at Ford 
Hall. He said, "I could easily imagine the Galilean on that 
Ford Hall platform, answering the eager, earnest questions of 
the perplexed multitude." 

Intelligent people cherish the most widely divergent views 
about both democracy and religion. With some it is always 
a form, while with others it is purely idealistic and mystical. 
Most of us are able to recognize both democracy and religion 
when we see them in action. The forum is a vital force and 
its natural field of action is in the realm of practical democracy 
and sound religion, and it is at its best when it finds the two 
fields inevitably merging one into the other. 

The forum cannot flourish where the instincts of the people 
are not democratic. The forum will get no foothold where 
the passion for truth and righteousness has been smothered 
out. America provides the two requisites and the forum 
flourishes on her soil. It is not ten years yet since the forum 
movement may be said to have gotten under way. It would 
be a bold prophet who would dare say what it will accomplish 
in the next generation as a contributing force to the democ- 
ratization of religion.