The Pan-Baiters

The Pan-Baiters

(from The Judge, 04-03-1920)

THERE is one god that will never pass away. Gods may go and gods may come, but Pan lives on forever!
Pan is nature, life, instinct, the seasons. beauty, good wine, pleasure. the heady laughter-beads in the cup of the eye and the whispers in the reeds and trees where clandestine lovers meet.
Pan’s eternal slogan has been, “Live and let live.” Eat, drink and laugh, is another of his pipings on his immortal pipe carved from the Tree of Good and Evil, and still another is, Get thee behind me. Long-Face and pogrom-laden bigots!
We have had in the last two thousand years Christian-baiters, Jew-baiters, free-speech baiters, free-thought baiters, and now in this country we are afflicted with the Pan-baiters.
They chase the great god from the eating places, from literature, from the “movies,” from the stage, from the painted canvas, from the great poem, from the hearts of the human.
Squat on their wooden thrones in sanctified sublimity, they crack their whip at the head of the happy god wherever he shows himself. Pan-baiting is the veritable business of our lawmakers and sectarian pundits. If they ever discover that sunlight intoxicates they will attempt to gouge the eyes out of the God of Day himself.
But Pan hides, and is never dead, and can never die while the blood is rich and red.
The Pan-baiters are wasting their bad breath.

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