THE question of the Bible in the public schools has lately caused considerable discussion in Detroit. One preacher of that city, Rev. James M. Henderson, says on the subject:—
“I am in favor of introducing the Bible into the public schools. The Bible, as the standard of Protestant religion, should be retained, and Catholics whose children attend our public schools should accept our Protestant Bible. I do not believe that any Catholic is ever willing to have as the basis of the religious training of his children the Protestant Bible, but the Catholic children usually attend Catholic schools. Parents of children who do attend our public schools should accept our Protestant Bible without sectarian comment.”
This shows the real purpose of the effort being made all over the land, and even in the religious attack made upon the national Constitution. It is simply to have the State establish the Protestant religion and enforce upon everybody the dictates of the Protestant church rulers.
Another preacher, Rev. Joseph W. Blanchard, sets forth the same doctrine in these words:—
“The public school should suit the majority, as this is a country where majorities rule. The majority of the people of this country are Christians, therefore the majority should rule. There ought to be Christian teaching in the public schools. The Bible should be read without note or comment, and the simple fundamental principles of Christianity taught.”
It is true that he uses only the terms Christian and Christianity to describe the religious teaching which they propose to force upon others; but he means only Protestant Christian teaching and Protestant Christianity. But it might not prove so in the end. Protestants might be in the minority in a little while, then it is probable that the Roman Catholics would be in the majority—it is so already in about a dozen of the States—and if the Catholic majority should force the reading of the Catholic Bible and Catholic instruction upon all the rest of the people at the public expense, that would probably put another face upon the matter. If some way could be invented by which these particular individuals could be compelled to take some of their own medicine administered by Roman Catholics, it would be an excellent thing. It might be possible in that way to reach their reason.
Rev. F. Grenell sees the matter in a much better light, and says:—
“Right is not decided by majorities, even though the majority be right.”
Yet how fast this wicked principle of majority rule in matters of religion and the conscience, is growing. But this question “is not a question of majorities or minorities, for if the conscience of the majority is to be the standard, then there is no such thing as right of conscience at all. It is against the predominance and power of majorities that the rights of conscience are protected, and have need to be.” And those who call themselves Protestants are not the only people in the world who have a conscience.
A. T. J.