THE old readers of the AMERICAN SENTINEL will well remember the campaign we made in 1890 and onward on the looting of the national treasury by the churches under cover of Indian schools. We gave from the public records the history of that raid from its inception. Those records show that the scheme was invented by the Catholics, who by easy persuasion and open invitation were joined by about fourteen professed Protestant denominations. These professed Protestant denominations soon found that they were being used by the Catholic organizations as cats-paws—that by means of them the Catholic organization was getting money from the public treasury, which without them she never could have got at all. They found too that the Catholic Church, which first got nearly as much as all of them put together, soon was getting twice as much as all of them together, and soon again was getting a greater proportion than that. Then the “Protestant” churches began to turn Protestant; quit receiving public money, and protested vigorously against that “raid on the public treasury” which they with Rome had been engaged in for years.
This protest, however late, accomplished much. Though it took years to accomplish it, that “raid on the treasury was finally stopped: after millions of dollars had been taken from the national treasury by these churches and devoted to their own church work in their own church schools. It was a direct support of churches by the national government. By taking the money of all the people and appropriating it to these churches, the United States Government was but compelling people to make contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which they do not believe, which our fathers declared to be “sinful and tyrannical.”
In view of the foregoing sketch of some recent history the following from the Northwestern Christian Advocate, of February 23, 1898, is intensely suggestive and well worthy the most thoughtful consideration:—
“Some Methodist Episcopal names which are precious in all branches of Methodism are on record as favoring the pending congressional claim of the Southern Methodist Church for damages. A prominent and eminent minister of the southern church, in a dinner-table speech to the Cincinnati Methodist Social union, which latter recently gave a reception to the Book Committee, said that he returned thanks for several things, among others ‘for the fact, he would call it a civil fact, that the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church had generously given their approval to the claim of the Southern Methodist Church, without which my church probably would not have received a much-needed appropriation’ from Congress. We quote these words as substantially verbatim, for they express just that which the speaker said. That speech made our episcopal indorsement a public fact, and we therefore ask no pardon for alluding to it, nor do we water time to say that our allusion is entirely respectful.
“We regret that our bishops have indorsed the claim, for the reason that it is excessive at a time when there is  no just ground for any claim whatever, and because we are securely intrenched by facts that show that no Protestant church in this republic—the Southern Methodist Church not excepted—can afford to have that claim passed by the Senate, signed by the President and paid.
“We have it from authorities that command national respect and confidence that hundreds of other claimants are behind this Southern Methodist bill for indemnity and damages. Millions of dollars’ worth of greedy clamor awaits this successful award. Among them are Roman Catholic claims that will open the eyes of this nation, but when it will be too late. Some Roman claims already have been granted, and some of our own churchmen declare that ‘it is right, therefore, that some of the public money should go to Protestants.’ Four of our eminent ministers recently have said just that to this writer.
“The Methodist claim, as we firmly believe and have sound reason to hold, has been advanced and put through the House by the combined, massed, concentrated, and therefore irresistible influence of the friends of other claims already formulated and awaiting the ‘breaking of the jam,’ as pine-log herders say of their river work in the spring. We therefore do not marvel at the wonder and surprised gratitude of that same Cincinnati banquet speaker who emphasized his astonishment that a claim that had never been able to pass a Democratic Congress is now in such a gratifying position in a Republican Congress. We are inclined to congratulate the Democrats upon their worldly wisdom and traditional astuteness!
“Any man can stake his reputation upon the prophecy that this claim, if matured and paid, will presently be followed by insistent other claims for large sums which will get through because the Nashville demand has manifested so much importunity for a third of a century. If it were possible for our own Methodist Episcopal Church to make some large claim, American and all other Jesuits and American politicians would support it; and for two reasons: 1. Because they would reap enduring gratitude from the largest church in the United States; and 2. Because the question of the precedent of a successful claim paid to the largest church in the republic would open the floodgates to the Roman greed which already has made New York City and other cities a very bonanza gold mine and replete and accessible treasury for the benefit of an unfillable maw. This historic Roman greed and its appetite for all that our national treasury can feed to it, is the correct, reasonable, and sufficient explanation to our Cincinnati banquet speaker why Republicans have done that which Democrats dared not.
… “Harpies, greedy seekers after federal gold and designing politicians are making cats’ paws of our Southern brethren. These latter condemn us for resisting their claim, alleging that we are ‘reactionist,’ are ‘unfraternal,’ and so on. For purposes in hand only, we must be entirely indifferent to that estimate, and we now return answer that we really honor them when we declare our belief that, if they properly weighed the facts sketched in this article, and shadowed in the entire series of this, our most recent opposition to their claim, they would refuse to accept its proceeds and would indignantly decline to be made a precedent whereby our national treasury will be looted to an extent that will make Methodism a reproach for two generations. Not for one moment have we resisted the claim for motives like those attributed to us. Our grounds for opposition are far better than that. It is the old Roman Catholic Indian school question over again. Protestants have decided to accept no more government Indian school money, because it is a block, inside the treasury, to hold open the door while greed fills its lustful hands.
“This danger is real. The immense claims are formulated and await the golden hour in which mints will scarcely be able to coin money fast enough to pay constructive, excessive and outrageous damages to people whom the government has fostered and not harmed.”
A. T. J.