A RELIGIOUS government must be a government in which one person is religious for another—the majority for the minority. And this Christianity demands that each person be religious for himself, and denies that one person can represent another in religion, it follows that a religious government cannot possibly be a Christian government.
THE liberty to worship God according to the dictates of conscience, without molestation, is a part of the civil liberty which is every individual’s right by creation. And when civil liberty is denied an individual, religious liberty, in this sense, is denied with it. To deny the principle of government by consent of the governed, is to deny religious liberty, in the sense in which the SENTINEL has considered it. Religious liberty in its truer sense, as meaning liberty in Christ, cannot be taken away from any person without his consent; it is enjoyed inside the prison cell as well as in the house of worship. But freedom from state interference in religious belief and practise, is a freedom which rests directly on the principle that just government is by the consent of the governed. Deny that principle, take away from an individual the liberty of self-government, and you take away that person’s religious freedom. He cannot possibly be free to act as he sees fit in matters pertaining to religion, and at the same time not be free to so act in the secular concerns of life. There was never in all history an instance where one person was governed by another in civil affairs, where he was not also governed in religion by that other person, or at least the right to govern him in religion was assumed by the governing individual. In all governments which have not been by the consent of the governed, church and state have been united, laws for governing the people in religion have been in force, and people who asserted their religious freedom have had to do so in defiance of the government, and at the cost of the penalty which the state saw fit to inflict.
Now, the Government of United States is denying the principle of government by consent of the governed in the case of the Filipinos. In doing this it is denying to people the right of religious freedom. And as religious freedom is the right of every person, black as well as white, savage as well as civilized, and as the SENTINEL stands for this principle, and has stood for it from the first, it cannot but declare itself against the governmental policy of imperialism; and in so doing it is not departing from the stand it has always taken, and is not going into politics.