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    April 24, 1890

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 5, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court against the Bible in the public schools is called a victory for the Catholics. Strictly speaking this is not true. It is a victory for everybody who loves justice and the rights of men. Yet in a certain sense it is a victory for the Catholics, that is, in the sense that they are the ones who had the courage to fight the battle by which the victory was won. In this sense it is a victory for the Catholics. It is an honorable one too and they are justly entitled to the credit of it. But it is a shame to the Protestantism of Wisconsin, that the fighting of such a battle and the winning of such a victory had to be by Roman Catholics.AMS April 24, 1890, page 129.1

    The Emperor of Germany, when getting up his labor conference, appointed a Roman Catholic Bishop as one of the German delegates and at the same time announced to the Pope that he relied upon the support of the Catholic clergy in settling the questions involved, and the Pope, in reply said that this question “would be best solved by the application of Sunday rest and religious education.” Thus, as the Sunday-rest movement spreads, the Pope comes more and more into prominence in the matter; and when that movement becomes universal, as these international efforts will make it, the Pope will be, in that matter, again the recognized universal head. This is very becoming. Universal Sunday laws before were synonymous with the Papal headship of the world, and when they become universal again, the same thing will be again. The two belong together.AMS April 24, 1890, page 129.2

    “A Fair Proposition” American Sentinel 5, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    To those people who are making such strenuous efforts to have a general religion “a broad Christianity,” adopted by the United States Government, we have a proposition to make, which, if accepted and carried out, will demonstrate the virtue of their professions.AMS April 24, 1890, page 129.3

    There is just now considerable talk about the establishing of a National University. The Roman Catholics have established a university at the national capital. Now it would do no good, even if it could be accomplished, for each one of the different Protestant denominations to establish a university also at Washington; therefore, what we propose is this: Let all the Protestant denominations, those broad Christians, those who think that religion and sectarianism are distinct and separate things,-let these unite in that blessed harmony which they advocate, and go to Cardinal Gibbons, and his associate authorities in this country, and, by a general consensus of opinion, reach a harmonious view of God and religion and morals. Then by generous contributions let them secure proportionate shares in the property of the university al-ready established; and make it indeed a national one, in which they can set before the Nation a living actual illustration of that all-absorbing charity and unity in Christian graces, principles, and methods, which they profess.AMS April 24, 1890, page 129.4

    This is a fair proposition. The way is open for them to show that their professions are genuine; that their views of the relations between State and religion are sound, and that it is the easy task which they profess, to make it a success.AMS April 24, 1890, page 129.5

    Or, if it be too great a task for Protestants thus to unite with Roman Catholics at the very first effort, then we submit this proposition-that they establish for themselves: a national Protestant university at Washington city. Let them decide just what principles shall be taught there, as the principles of genuine Christianity. Let them agree upon the true basis of morals; let them choose a board, settle the faculty, and illustrate upon a national plane the virtues of that broad Christianity, that unsectarian religion, and that standard of general morality which they profess and advocate, and which they claim it would be so easy for the State to adopt and enforce. If they will do this to their own satisfaction, and to the satisfaction of the people of the Nation, then their movement to have the State do likewise would have so much, at least, in its favor, that they could point to the actual facts in the case, and show that agreement in these things were possible. But until some such effort as this shall have been made, some attempt at least to do or show that that can be done, which they demand the State shall do, their professions and their pretensions that such a thing can be done will lack that force by which alone arguments can ever be made to carry conviction. Will they try it?AMS April 24, 1890, page 129.6

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 5, 17.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is a standing reproach to the sober sense of the American people that there have been found amongst them 330,000 persons who would buy Edward Bellamy’s nonsensical book “Looking Backward.”AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.1

    Says the Union Signal: “ Time was when a large proportion of the Christian world would have looked upon any marked observance of Lent as a relic of Popery, and while we gazed with interest upon Easter ceremonies, we nevertheless regarded them as spectacular and unnecessary.” Yes, that is so. It would be a good thing if that time would come again and continue indefinitely.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.2

    Miss Willard announces that “there is to be a party that will combine the farmer and the wage earner, that will make its force felt in the next campaign, and the Prohibition Party will form the nucleus. When that time comes, we will side with it and will take the consequences.” If she means indeed “the consequences,” then if that party wins, we pity her. It would be worse consequences than we should ever wish to see befall a human being.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.3

    Of the Nationalistic theories set forth by Edward Bellamy the Voice says: “The millennium lies somewhere in the direction this movement is heading.” As to whereabouts in this direction the millennium probably lies, the Voice allows that “it may be ten thousand years distant.” That is a very safe estimate. It is certainly not any nearer than that, and how much further off it is does not materially concern either the present or the rising generation.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.4

    The Presbyterian Synod of New York has, for several years, been working in behalf of religion in the public schools. A committee is appointed each year to have charge of the matter. This year again this committee on religion and public education has been appointed to confer with other denominations and seek their co-operation in the effort to introduce in the public schools some positive religious teaching as an essential part of the curriculum. Amongst the members appointed to confer with the several conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, we find the name of Dr. Howard Crosby. That is a very appropriate appointment. We hope all the others are of the same kind, because Dr. Crosby is openly and decidedly opposed to any religious instruction what-ever in the public schools. We are not acquainted with the position of any of the other persons named, but we hope they are all of the same mould of thought and opinion on this subject as is Dr. Crosby.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.5

    If the Sunday newspaper is such an outrageously wicked, such an all-polluting thing, and if it is such a heinous sin to read it, it is a query with us how in the world all the Sunday-law preachers know so much about it? Although they warn everybody against it under penalty of the imputation of a great sin, yet they them-selves seem to know all about it; they can tell exactly how many columns of gossip, how much scandal, etc., different editions of the Sunday paper contain. How can these things be?AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.6

    A statement that is quite often made, and which seems to be considered of much weight, by the workers for religious legislation is that “your rights end where mine begin.” This statement has not a particle of truth in it. It is simply another form of expressing their arrogant assumption of all rights. For if your rights end where mine begin, then it is for me to decide where mine do begin, and wherever that may be, there your rights must end. Don’t you see? In other words, all the rights that you have are just such as I choose to allow. The truth of the matter is that rights are perfectly equal. Your rights begin where mine begin; and end only where mine end.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.7

    That Wisconsin decision has caused wide-spread discussion, but none too wide. It is interesting to see the course that the discussion takes. The great majority of the secular papers indorse it. In fact, we have found but one that does not indorse it, and that is the Inter-Ocean. On the other hand, the religious papers and preachers, especially the Methodist, strongly disapprove. The New York Independent unqualifiedly indorses it. The Christian Advocate is the representative journal of all Methodism in the United States. It decidedly disapproves of the decision. It says:-AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.8

    It seems very odd that the Bible should be gravely pronounced a sectarian book by the chief tribunal of one of the States of this eminently Christian country and so does the argument by which the court sustains that pronouncement.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.9

    This position of the Protestant preachers and religious papers only goes further to show what the wide-spread demand for religious legislation had already made manifest, that in what passes for Protestantism, there is no disposition to recognize any such principle as equality of rights before men. And just as surely as that Protestantism should ever secure control of the civil power, it would be as cruel and unrelenting as ever a religious despotism was. That which professes to-day to be representative Protestantism has forgotten both what Protestantism is and what Christianity is.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.10

    The Union Signal of April 3, announces Senator Blair’s re-introduction of his educational bill, and says:-AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.11

    Now let every white ribboner bestir herself writing letters on behalf of our local unions to the Senators of the respective States, urging the adoption of this bill, and let us set at work, and in this difficult emergency, having done all, stand. Mrs. Mary H. Hunt is in Washington to foward the new movement, and will wisely direct our forces as heretofore Mrs. Bittenbender will also work unceasingly for the measure.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.12

    Yes, Senator Blair’s theory of government and the purposes of his legislation are directly in the line of things of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. As we have shown in the SENTINEL, the theory of government contemplated in that legislation is directly the reverse of that of the United States Government, and it is directly opposed to Christian principles, and, in short, aims at the subversion of Christianity itself.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.13

    There is opposition also in Canada against the Dominion Sunday Law that is proposed for enactment. A correspondent of the Moncton Times says:-AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.14

    A reaction has set in against Charlton’s Sabbath observance bill and petitions against its passage headed, “A Plea for Religious Liberty,” and praying the Commons not to pass any bill in regard to the observance of Sabbath or any other religious or ecclesiastical institution, or to favor the adoption of any legislation to conflict with the rights of conscience, were presented to-day from Westmoreland, Scots’ Bay, Tiverton, Digby, French Village, Hallfax, Dartmouth, Indian Harbor, Moncton and Truro.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.15

    That is right. Let the good work go on. Call the attention of legislators to the essential evil that belongs with such legislation. Our friends in Canada have not the constitutional basis for their opposition that we have in this country, but they have all the basis of inalienable civil and religious rights that we have in this country, or that people have anywhere else, and that is the strongest basis that any argument can have. This proposed legislation gives to the friends of liberty of conscience an excellent opportunity to make known to the people of Canada what are the sound principles of Christianity upon the separation between religion and the State. We hope they will employ the opportunity for all that it is worth.AMS April 24, 1890, page 136.16

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