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The Rights of the People

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    II. WHAT PROTESTANTISM IS DOING

    The other combination which is determined to push the “Christian nation” decision to the fullest extent of the logic of it, is the combined Protestantism of the country.ROP 198.4

    Probably the reader has already asked himself, What is Protestantism doing all this time? Well, Protestantism, to be true to its name and vital principles, ought with one voice to be protesting against this Christian nation decision in every conceivable shape. For the celebrated Protest which gave to the Reformation the title of Protestantism is decidedly against it:-ROP 198.5

    “The principles contained in the celebrated Protest of the 19th of April, 1529, constitute the very essence of Protestantism. Now this Protest opposes two abuses of man in matters of faith; the first is the intrusion of the civil magistrate; and the second, the arbitrary authority of the church. Instead of these abuses Protestantism sets the power of conscience above the magistrate, and the authority of the word of God above the visible church. In the first place, it rejects the civil power in divine things, and says with the apostles and prophets, ‘We must obey God rather than man.’ In the presence of Charles the Fifth it uplifts the crown of Jesus Christ.”-D’Aubigne History of the Reformation, Book XIII, chapter 6, par. 18.ROP 199.1

    This is what Protestantism ought to be dong now in this case, but the fact is that, instead of this, that which stands for Protestantism in this country is the most persistent caller for the intrusion of the civil magistrate in matters of faith; and is no less strenuous in its assertion of the arbitrary authority of the church, than the Papacy itself. And in all this that which stands for Protestantism in this country is the greatest aid that the Papacy has in her mischievous purposes upon the country. From the day that the decision of the Supreme Court was made public and obtainable, the leaders of “Protestantism” in the country have been using it for all that it could be made to be worth, to crowd upon the government the recognition and maintenance of “the Christian religion.”ROP 199.2

    For twenty-nine years there had been an organized effort by professed Protestants to have the Christian religion established as the national religion by a constitutional amendment. Beginning in 1863 this organization had gathered to itself in close alliance the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (1886), the Prohibition party (1887), the American Sabbath Union (1888), and the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor; so that when (in 1892) the decision was published that “this is a Christian nation,” and that this is the meaning of the Constitution as it is, without any amendment, there was this whole combination ready to accept it and glad to use it to further their purposes. 43In this the many sects of popular Protestantism are acting strictly together. For there is sufficient antagonism between Protestantism and Catholicism to give to all the divisions of Protestantism a form of unity, in opposition to the designs of the Papacy upon the country. It is true that the Protestant combination were willing to join hands, and did so, with the Catholics, to secure their aid in getting the government committed to religion. But this was done with the idea that the governmental power should be controlled by the Protestants when it should be obtained. Now, however, that the thing has been done, and the “Protestants” see Rome pushing herself to the front everywhere and taking control of all, they are crying loudly against “the encroachments of Rome.” This, though, is nothing else than the same old cry of “Stop, thief,” for, as will be seen, they are doing their utmost to carry off all the spoil for themselves. For a full history of this combination see “Two Republics,” pp. 699-732.ROP 199.3

    Undoubtedly the very first use that was ever made of the decision, outside of the case at bar, was when, in the month of April, 1892, the president of the American Sabbath Union took it in his hand and went before committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, recited its “argument,” and demanded the closing of the World’s Fair on Sunday by Congress, “because this is a Christian nation.”ROP 200.1

    The Pearl of Days, the official organ of the American Sabbath Union, May 7, 1892, declared that this decision-ROP 200.2

    ‘Establishes clearly the fact that, our government is Christian. This decision is vital to the Sunday question in all its aspects, and places that question among the most important issues now before the American people.... And this important decision rests upon the fundamental principle that religion is imbedded in the organic structure of the American government-a religion that recognizes, and is bound to maintain, Sunday as a day for rest and worship.”ROP 200.3

    The Christian Statesman, always the official organ of the National Reform Association, and then the mouthpiece of the whole combination, in the issue of May 21, 1892, said:-ROP 200.4

    “‘Christianity is the law of the land.’ ‘This is a Christian nation.’-U. S. Supreme Court, February 29, 1892. The Christian church, therefore, has rights in this country. Among these is the right to one day in seven protected from the assaults of greed, the god of this world, that it may be devoted to worship of the God of heaven and earth.”ROP 200.5

    And in preparation for Thanksgiving day the same year, the Christian Statesman of November 19, 1892, came out with the following, which tells all of that part of the story that needs to be told. We print it just as it there appeared, titles and all:-ROP 201.1

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