Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Carnegie: "The organ lessen the pain of the sermon!"

Carnegie was not very religious, in fact, he may have been an agnostic.  Yet, he gave money to purchase 4,092 church organs in the United States at a cost of $3,604,719.  Pennsylvania received 1,351 organs, Ohio 440 and New York 290.  It is said Nevada got one.  Not sure about Illinois.

Other countries got 3,597 organs at a cost of $2,643,593.  England and Scotland received the most, 3,124.  The grand total to everyone was 7,689 organs for a total cost of $6,248,311.75.

If he didn't believe in God, why would he do this?  He did believe in a Creator of some kind and wanted to reconcile religion and science.  What he didn't like were the oppressive creeds handed down by various groups and each group claiming they had the only truth.

When the Robert Burns statue in Garfield Park was dedicated, Andrew Carnegie was invited.  From his Skibo castle in Scotland his telegram read:  "It is a great disappointment that I cannot be with you during the ceremony of unveiling the statue to the immortal Bard, that child of pure genius, the great Democrat who, proclaiming the 'Royalty of Man', struck down Rank with one hand and the old hard Theology with the other, dispelling the false conceptions of a Heavenly Father who sent 'ane (one) to heaven and ten to hell a' for his glory.  I feel that he also gave us the great rule of life, 'Thine own reproach alone do fear'. In greater degree than any man who ever lived he became the embodiment of the national spirit of his country.  There cannot be too many statues erected to the memory of Burns."

                                                                                  Andrew Carnegie

So, why did he give money to purchase church organs?  He said:  "To lessen the pain of the sermon."

On another occasion he said:  "You can't always trust what the pulpit says, but you can always depend upon what the organ says."  You decide!

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