“The ‘Essence’ of Christian Citizenship” American Sentinel 14, 45, p. 709.

THE editor of Church and State, are formerly the Christian Citizen, says that “to stand with the administration on this ground is, to our conception, the very essence of Christian Citizenship,” and then states the “ground” to which he has reference by quoting this from The Outlook:—

“The responsibility for the protection of person and property in the Philippines having fallen in our hands, we could not rid ourselves of that responsibility by the resolve ‘to pull out some dark night in escape from the great problem of the Orient as suddenly and as dramatically as we got into it.’ It was not the duty of the Good Samaritan to leave his business and to devote his life to hunting for wounded travelers; but when the wounded traveler’s cry came to his ears, it brought a duty of humanity with it. The events of the war laid both Cuba and the Philippines and our pathway; to pass by on the other side and leave them to their fate because it is not for our interest to set them on their feet would be only one degree less criminal than to participate in the original robbery. We are to ask ourselves, not what is our interest, but what is our duty, and the answer to that question is plain now, as it was plain six months ago: it is to protect life and liberty, preserve order, suppress violence, establish justice founded upon law; in short, to secure ‘in both Cuba and the Philippines a substantial government.’”

Is this the Christian citizenship conception of the Good Samaritan—a conception which would make him attack the victim of the robbers, and wound him still further, before doing anything for his relief? What value would there have been in that terrible if the Good Samaritan had been pictured in that light, or had been described as making a deal with the robbers for the possession of what the victim happened to have left?

Christian Citizenship says, in this quotatation [sic.], that it is the duty of American Christians to “protect life and property in the Philippines—how?—By shooting people and burning up their towns! It is “to preserve order” and “suppress violence”—how?—By using violence upon the people, in the way best calculated to produce disorder! It is “to establish justice founded upon law”—how?—By denying justice, as defined in the Declaration of Independence and founded on the American Constitution! It is to secure there “substantial government” by erecting a military despotism!

We have seen it stated that killing people in battle is compatible with Christianity, and people professing Christianity go to battle excusing their action on the ground that Christianity does not absolutely forbid it. But it has remained for “Christian Citizenship” to justify the slaughter of military combats as being not only a civic but a Christian duty. For—to repeat—it “is the very essence of Christian Citizenship” to “stand with the Administration on this ground.”

Surely, it is an extraordinary kind of Christian duty to which the worst criminals take more readily than do any other class—this “Christian” duty of killing people! If this belongs to the essence of “Christian Citizenship,” then plainly “Christian Citizenship” is essentially anti-Christian.

Share this: