October 6, 1898
WHEN Cesar enters the domain of religion, he does not lay aside his sword.
THE “things that are God’s” are not to be rendered to him through Cesar.
TO DECK Cesar in the garments of religions, only dishonors those garments and makes Cesar ridiculous.
STATE religion can be no more than a garment worn on the outside. The sword of compulsion lurks beneath the garb of piety, and the “dogs of war” lose nothing of their character by appearing in the guise of sheep.
IT amounts to the same thing in the end whether the church becomes political or the state religious.
“GOVERNMENT of the people, by the people, and for the people,” can become Christian only when the people become Christians.
THE church will look a long time into the turbid pool of politics before she beholds a reflection of divinity.
IN religion, nothing can rightfully come between the soul and God. In politics, the party and the boss come between the individual and his vote. Religion in politics is therefore religion controlled by man.
WHEN the early church was about to be endued with marvelous power, she repaired not to Cesar’s throne, but to an “upper room” and the throne of God.
WHEN Christianity ascends the throne of earthly power, she invariably lays aside her robe of pure white and puts on one of scarlet.
THE strife in the church as to which should be the greatest, which began in the days of the apostles, was settled only by sinking the church to the lowest level of degradation.
THE worship that is offered to God through Cesar, will need purifying to make it presentable at the throne.
[Inset.] STATE RELIGION: CESAR—THE STATE—IN THE GARB OF PIETY. CESAR, robed in the vestments of religion, makes an incongruous picture. Such garments were never designed to cover the embodiment of civil authority and power. The sword by which his word is always enforced belies the pretense of the love which draws and persuades men; the fangs of the wolf belie the appearance of the harmless sheep. The hypocrisy of the display is evident. Yet in this country of professed separation of church and state, the state has not wholly laid aside the garb of religion but maintains the appearance of piety in its laws for Sunday observance, its appointment of days of thanksgiving and prayer, its maintenance of chaplains and sectarian institutions, and its gifts of public money and state property to the churches.