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The Two Republics, or Rome and the United States of America

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    A NATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

    Nor is Senator Blair the only United States senator who is enlisted in the scheme to create and establish a national religion. Senator George F. Edmunds is scarcely second to Mr. Blair. When in 1876 there had passed the House by the almost unanimous vote of 180 to 7, a proposed amendment to the Constitution prohibiting any State from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and forbidding any appropriations of public money to religious sects or denominations, it went to the Senate, where it was referred to the Judiciary Committee of which Senator Edmunds ends was chairman. The National Reform Association seeing how readily the resolution had passed the House, and fearing it would pass the Senate, hastily called a meeting of its executive committee, and framed a National Reform clause, and appointed a committee to carry it to Washington to the Senate Committee; and the National Reform Manual says that “this very clause was introduced into the amendment.” This and other changes made an entirely new, and in fact a National Reform, resolution of it, and fortunately it failed to pass the Senate, but only by two votes.TTR 826.1

    Again: May 14, 1890 Senator Edmunds introduced in the United States Senate “a bill to establish the University of the United States,” Section 10 of which reads as follows:—TTR 826.2

    “SECTION 10. That no special sectarian belief or doctrine shall be taught or promoted in said university, but this prohibition shall not be deemed to exclude the study and consideration of Christian theology.”TTR 826.3

    It is evident that this section provides at once for the creation of a national god and the establishment of a national religion; for theology is the science which teaches about God. But it is only the Christian theology, science of the Christians’ God, that can be taught there. It is only the wisdom concerning the Christians’ God that could be studied and considered there. Therefore this section does as clearly and distinctly provide for the setting up of somebody’s idea of God, and the establishment of the beliefs, doctrines, and views which conform to it, as anything can do. It just as clearly and distinctly provides for the establishment of some form of Christianity as the national religion, as it would be possible to do by an act of Congress. Because it would be at once a national recognition of Christianity as the only form of theology, belief, or doctrine worthy of study and consideration from a national point of view; and the national recognition of Christianity, and the teaching of it at national expense and by national authority, would be but the establishment of that form of Christianity as the national religion.TTR 827.1

    As with the Blair resolution, it is evident also that this would not be by any means the end of the story. The next thing to be decided would be, What form of “Christian theology” shall it be? Shall it be Roman Catholic “Christian theology,” or shall it be Protestant “Christian theology,” that shall be studied and considered in the National University at the national expense and by national authority? This would have to be decided; and as the bill provides that the Board of Regents shall be composed of the President and Cabinet, the Chief-Justice of the United States, and twelve citizens of the United States “appointed by a concurrent resolution of the two houses of Congress,” as to how the question should be decided would be the issue in the very first presidential election after the passage of the bill, and in every other presidential and congressional election that ever would follow. At every national election “Christian theology” would be the one great question at issue. Mrs. Woodbridge’s National Reform Woman’s Christian Temperance Union idea of bringing the gospel to the masses, would be literally fulfilled in the perfect image of the original campaigns that made the papacy.TTR 827.2

    It may be said that even if such a bill as this were passed by Congress, it would at once be declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. That it ought to be declared unconstitutional is very certain, but that it would be, is another question entirely. That such a bill is unconstitutional is clear from one consideration alone, to say nothing of any more. If Christian theology be taught in the University, there will have to be a teacher. Such a teacher would in the nature of the case be a holder of an “office or public trust” within the meaning of the Constitution. In order to be qualified to teach Christian theology, such a person must necessarily be a Christian. But to require such a teacher to be a Christian would be to require a religious test, and clearly a violation of that clause of the Constitution which declares that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this government.”TTR 828.1

    Yet this would be hardly more of a violation of this clause, than is the appointment of chaplains under the law as enacted. And there is hardly a doubt that the teaching of “Christian theology” would be carried on under such an act as this, by teachers obliged to submit to such a religious test, just as the appointment and work of chaplains is now carried on. What does the Constitution amount to in the presence of such forces?TTR 828.2

    But whether it would be declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court, is by no means certain. Senator Edmunds, the author of the bill, is said to be one of best, if not the best, of constitutional lawyers, not only in the United States Senate, but in the whole country. True, it does not follow that this fact would necessarily have any influence with the Supreme Court; yet when a man with such a reputation as a constitutional lawyer, would deliberately frame and offer such a bill, it might be that a sufficient number of the judges on the Supreme Bench would view the constitutionality of the act as Mr. Edmunds does; especially if he should argue in favor of its constitutionality, as he would be certain to do, it being a favorite measure of his. 12[Page 828] See pages 323, 324 of this book.TTR 828.3

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