A READER of the SENTINEL asks us to explain what imperialism has to do with religious liberty. The SENTINEL has been explaining this for some time, but will be glad to keep on explaining as long as there are honest people who desire to be enlightened.
Imperialism is a name designating government by the consent of some of the government.
True republican government is government by the consent of all of the governed. It rests upon the doctrine that “all men are created equal,” and “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
If it is true that all men have “certain unalienable rights,” and that “to preserve these rights governments are instituted among men,” it is necessarily true that governments derive their just powers from the consent of all of the governed.
And if it is not true that governments derive their just powers from the consent of all of the governed, it cannot be true that all men have certain unalienable rights. It necessarily follows that some men have no rights.
Imperialism, therefore, plainly asserts that some men have no rights. It asserts this in theory, and it has always asserted this in practise, wherever it has been put into operation. History is voluminous upon this point.
Now, what has the doctrine that a man has no rights, got to do with religious liberty? Is it a denial of religious liberty to an individual to declare that he has no rights?
How much religious liberty would an individual possess who had no rights?
If an individual had no rights, would he have any right to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience?
This is what imperialism has to do with religious liberty. Do you see it?
NOT many years ago the people of this country were engaged in a great and fierce dispute about the government—so fierce that they took up arms and fought each other till hundreds of thousands of them were killed, and the country was sunk under the ruin and paralysis of a great war. Did that state of things call for outside interference to stop Americans from cutting each others’ throats, because they did not know how to govern themselves?
Now, the same Americans are interfering in the Philippines, assuming the right to control the affairs of the islands, and slaughtering the natives who resist, to save them from the internal war and ruin which it is alleged would follow because they do not know how to govern themselves.
Would these Americans have been willing that any outside power should have saved them from ruin and bloodshed which resulted from their disagreement about government, by stepping in and “benevolently assimilating” this country? Would they have been willing any power should have done to them what they are now doing to the Filipinos? What imperialists would answer this question?
“THE kingdom of God is within you,” said Jesus Christ; and hence his kingdom is “not of this world.” Christ’s kingdom is advanced only by means which operate in the heart, the kingdoms of the world only by means which cannot reach the heart. The one is by faith; the other is force. This is a distinction always overlooked by those who think to establish the kingdom of God on earth by legislation and politics, but it is a vital distinction, and cannot be overlooked by him who sees the truth.