1912: ABERDEEN MINISTER AND SPORTS AND AMUSEMENTS. "Religion and Amusement" was the subject of a sermon delivered in Trinity Parish Church, Aberdeen, last night by the Rev. D. A Millar. The preacher said that around about them they saw one great desire for amusement and little else. It did not become the Church and Christian people to severely criticise that tendency. Amusement and recreation were necessary. Play was an older thing than work, and was as old as religion itself. It was necessary that young persons should have time for their minds to be removed from their cares. It was never more necessary than it was to-day, when there was so much pressure and so much strain. They had heard a good deal about the evils of football.
A prominent man once said he was sorry to think that such a huge amount of money was wasted every Saturday on football. Others complained of the great crowds that witnessed football matches, and had nothing else to do. He did not consider that the criticism was all just or all fair. That did not happen before, because their forefathers had not the opportunity. It was not well for them to say that they were worse than their ancestor, but they must take into consideration the time and the wealth people now possessed. After all it was the desire of the working man to spend his leisure moments in some such way - where they could be taken out of themselves away from their work, their burdens and cares for an hour or so.
The Christian sometimes asked should he or she go the theatre? Certainly! if he or she could remain faithful to the spirit. After all, they must obey the dictates of their conscience. There was the evil of gambling in football and in many other things. There was the amusement and excitement of the daily and evening newspapers. Some people could not be without that amusement - without newspapers. They wanted something new, something startling ? they wanted the amusement in the columns. The papers provided items about the race course, and gambling was encouraged. Not only in that way but in the advertising columns was it encouraged. At the same time none of these were wicked institutions. There was the cinematograph shows, and the amusement of the church. That might shock some people. How many people went to the church compelled by the act of worship? How many people were connected with the church for the sake of having times of excitement or for causing disputes? Was the element of worship there?
Source : The Aberdeen Daily Journal Monday January 29th, 1912