I'm not all about satire, and neither should be any questioning soul...there ARE some good guys in the Jesus racket, and one of them, nay, one of the greatest and most astounding, is the extraordinary and charming Clarence Herbert Woolston. How we need this humble man today, and how he makes what passes for our public preachers look like the big walking bags of wind and shame they are.
I am not kidding one little bit. I may have spent the last five years making fun of bible thumpers on old time religion the blog, where this post originates, but one man has finally cured my heathen ways. Although this one man should be at LEAST as famous as Billy Graham's idiot son...he is unknown. That's right. A cipher. Not only forgotten, hardly ever heard of.
Let's start with this:
The refrain to the greatest children's song of all time:
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world
Are you humming it in your head? You should be. Know who wrote it? Nope.
Clarence Herbert Woolston, Doctor of Divinity wrote it. The rest of the song is HERE along with a lovely, simple piano backing which will allow you to sing along and share it with others. The fellow above with sideburns and a big cat in his hands.
Song writers will give up their left nut (or if they have no nuts, a left hand) to write what is known as a "standard" and this is one big glorious standard children love still, but their more racist and unforgiving parents (and politicians) have forgotten. Seriously...more children have sung this song than Sir Paul's "Yesterday" or Willie Nelson's "Crazy" but how often have you read the phrase "Clarence Herbert Woolston's "Jesus Loves the Little Children?"
I know how often. You have now read it exactly once.
The equally extraordinary "Bible Object Book" shown here is but one more accomplishment of this dear man history has forgotten. Each chapter, each PAGE is a delight. As you can see, my copy cost 49 cents. Now THAT is a sin. A HUGE sin when you consider the opening price of, oh, let's see...Sarah Palin's piece of bile was $28.99. That's right. Almost thirty bucks for an Alaskan fraud, you shallow and deceived followers. Thank GOD you can now buy Palin's book used (and unread) starting at ONE PENNY as long as you will pay postage. True!
Here is an example from Dr. Woolston's book, using as the object a postage stamp, from the chapter titled "The Postage Stamp as a Preacher"
"The postage stamp is a non-combatant. When it is licked, it does not hit back. It is a peace-lover."
"The postage stamp does what it is told to do...it does not seek to know the contents of the letter, but to deliver the letter to the party named."
Lovely. There are 61 chapters in the book, each one using an everyday object children are familiar with to teach a lesson. It is not only a teaching tool which is a model of effectiveness, but tolerance and love and it is all told with astounding beautiful and simple prose.
Perhaps we would know more about the book if Woolsey hadn't passed away less than a year after it was published. Search "Jimmy Swaggart" and you get well over one million hits. Search "Clarence Herbert Woolston" and you get few indeed, and a good number are used bookstores selling this book. It is enough to make me cry more than the disgraced buffoon and sinner Jimmy Swaggart...and although that charlatan will sell you HIS music, (boy will he...an entire website is devoted to selling you his music) they all suck by comparison to Woolston's masterpiece. In fact, they all suck by comparison to "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley. But I love Sheb.
Swaggart, however, should just ship all those CDs directly to the flea market where they belong and will eventually end up...the sooner the better.
Woolston was pastor of the East Baptist Church in Philadelphia. How lucky were they to have him. In this picture, Woolston brings a baby bear cub into church to illustrate the sin of stubbornness. Woolston was also known to use a baby leopard in lectures. A photo in the book shows his church filled to the rafters, literally, with children craning their necks towards the lectern.
Get this...Woolston also wrote a book Harry Houdini prized. I'd be honored if Harry Houdini had even browsed a pamphlet of mine, but he had the entire "Seeking Truth: A Book of Object Lessons with Magical and Mechanical Effects" which is 207 pages of REAL miracles, not the kind faith-healers and charlatans claim to make every day. Yep. Woolston also wrote a book in which you can entertain children while performing magic tricks from the Bible.
Now as for all those frauds out there roping folks into their gigantic crusades or evangelistic election schemes...will they ever repent and do some good for a change? I dunno...can a leopard change his spots?
In addition to "Jesus Loves the Little Children" Woolston wrote "Penny Object Lessons" "Seeing Truth" "The Curiosity Book" and produced what were known as the "Seeing Truth Packets" which were small versions of his notions.
Pictures from The Bible Object Book by Clarence Herbert Woolston The Judson Press 1926. Collection Jim Linderman.
Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books in Print by Jim Linderman are HERE