“There Are ‘Protestants’ and Protestants” American Sentinel 9, 31, pp. 242, 243.

NOT everything that is called Protestant is such in reality. There are Protestants so-called, who are, unintentionally though it be, constantly strengthening the hands of Rome by the interests of their religion. How this is, appears in the following, from the Catholic Review, of July 14:—

The Rev. Mr. Buffum, of the Third Baptist Church, Greenville, Norwich, Conn., unintentionally supplies an unanswerable argument why there should be public Catholic schools. In a sermon preached in his church a few evenings ago before the anti-Catholic organization called the Order of United American Mechanics, he said concerning our public schools: “These are Protestant schools, for the nation if Protestants. These schools were made by the Bible and with the Bible. They suit seven out of eight of our people. Are they not good enough for the eighth man? Will you pull out the prop from beneath this magnificent structure simply to suit a foreign taste for the Romanesque? Why not bring in an element the Romanist cannot contend against—the Word of God? No teacher dominated by priests should teach in any public school. Catholics should not be elected to school boards. There should be no compromise. The battle will be fought to a finish.” If the present public schools are Protestant, why not then have enough public Catholics schools to educate the Catholic children? There are Protestant teachers in our common schools, Protestant preachers as superintendents, [243] Protestant preachers in the boards of education, the Protestant edition of the Bible is read in many of them, Protestant histories are taught in them. Protestant hymns are sun and the Protestant version of the Lord’s Prayer is recited in some of them. These are facts. The public schools in many places are, as the Rev. Mr. Buffum says, Protestant schools. We will not object to that if, as an offset, we have public Catholic schools. Be just. Give us what you have. No inequality should be tolerated. No union of the State with the Protestant Church any more than with the Catholic Church, should be allowed. Let us have similar rights, similar privileges, similar duties—justice all around.

What can “Protestants” of the Buffum school answer to this papal challenge? If our public schools are indeed Protestant, does not justice demand that they be made at once purely secular, or else that there be established also Catholic, Jewish and Agnostic public schools? To ask such a question is to answer it: our public schools should be secular and nothing else. [246]

Share this: