THE AMERICAN SENTINEL is a thorough-going Protestant journal, and is therefore opposed to every form of the Roman Catholic doctrine, and to the Roman Catholic system as a whole; but we do not indorse in any degree this anti-Catholic cry that is becoming so prevalent. Our opposition to Roman Catholic doctrine, and to Roman Catholicism as a system, is confined wholly to the field of reason and discussion. We maintain that the Roman Catholic has just as much right to be a citizen of the United States as any other man, that he has all the rights of any other man, and that these rights are just as sacred as those of any other man. We know that any man or any class of men who would deny the Roman Catholics any civil rights whatever, would deny the same thing to anybody else. It is certain, therefore, that if this anti-Catholic crusade that is being so urgently pressed by many who appropriate to themselves the name, American, would be as thoroughly despotic if it had its way as Roman Catholicism ever was, or as any system could be. And although all these papers and associations boast of their Americanism, the spirit of the whole movement is everything else than American.
Americanism, that is, the genius of American principles and American political doctrine, is the recognition of the equal rights of all,—of the rights of the Roman Catholic as well as of the Protestant, and of those who are neither, as well as of those who are either. The constant ambition of THE AMERICAN SENTINEL is to be thoroughly loyal to genuine American principles, asserting and defending the equal rights of all the people whatever their religious profession may be—the right of any man to be a Roman Catholic and a citizen at the same time; the right of any man to be a Protestant and a citizen at the same time; the right of any man to be neither and also a citizen,—the right of the Roman Catholic Church to exist as a church, and to have its own church schools free from any interference by the State, as the State has the right to its schools free from any interference by any church; and the same to any Protestant church. We believe in the right of the State to exist, and in the right of the Church to exist, and in the total and absolute separation between them.
A. T. J.