January 30, 1889
IN our discussion of the Blair resolution for the religious amendment to the National Constitution, we have shown that, in order for the National power to determine what are the principles of the Christian religion which are common to all denominations and peculiar to none, a general convention of all the denominations, Catholics included, would have to be called; and that when this general convention should agree as to what principles are common to all, the Nation would adopt that as the National creed, and enforce it in all the publics in the land. This is precisely the idea of the author of the proposed amendment. In his letter to the Secretary of the National Reform Association, Senator Blair says:—
“I believe that a text-book of instruction in the principles of virtue, morality, and of the Christian religion, can be prepared for use in the public schools by the joint effort of those who represent every branch of the Christian church, both Protestant and Catholic.”
Therefore, when that shall have been done, it is certain that whatever principles are adopted as the principles of the Christian religion, they will have to be such as are satisfactory to the Catholic “branch of the Christian Church.”
Nor is this all. This is only the beginning, for, when this Convention shall have been called, it will assuredly be to the interest of each one of the principal denominations to have it adopt as many as possible of the principles of that particular denomination, and the final result of the discussion will be a compromise. But this will be only for the time being, because then the standard of the religion will be an element in the political contests, and it will be an object to each one of the principal denominations to secure as much influence as possible with the Government to get a new council called to revise the principles of the National creed, and this will be kept up interminably. As surely as any such amendment to the Constitution shall ever be adopted as this which is proposed by Senator Blair, or as is wanted by the National Reform Association, so surely will there follow with it a repetition of the course of councils, contests, and strifes that followed the Council of Nice, and the establishment of the Christian religion as the imperial religion of Rome. Compared with that which would follow this establishment of a National religion, the American people have never yet known what confusion really is.
By the above quotation from Senator Blair’s  letter it is seen that there is no intention to have the Bible in the public schools, nor that the teachers shall be allowed to teach from the Bible the principles of virtue, morality, and the principles of the Christian religion. It is what an assembly of Protestants and Catholics shall agree to say about the Bible, or to select from the Bible—this shall be put into a “text-book,” and from this the teachers shall instruct the schools. And this is only to establish an ecclesiastical supremacy here from which everybody must receive his religion ready made. If it is not proper that the religion of the whole Bible should be taught in the public schools, then this only proves that it is not proper that any of it should, as such.
A. T. J.