Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Profits of Religion by Upton Sinclair

Part 2 out of 5

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

who favor radical land-taxes. He gives them to men like
himself--autocratic to the poor, easy-going to members of his own
class, and cynical concerning the grafts of grace.

In one English village which I visited the living was worth seven
hundred pounds, with the use of a fine mansion; as the incumbent
had a large family, he lived there. In another place the living
was worth a thousand pounds, and the incumbent hired a curate,
himself appearing twice a year, on Christmas day and on the
King's birthday, to preach a sermon; the rest of the time he
spent in Paris. It is worth noting that in 1808 a law was
proposed compelling absentee pluralists--that is, clergymen
holding more than one "living"--to furnish curates to do their
work; it might be interesting to note that this law met with
strenuous clerical opposition, the house of Bishops voting
against it without a division. Thus we may understand the sharp
saying of Karl Marx, that the English clergy would rather part
with thirty-eight of their thirty-nine articles than with one
thirty-ninth of their income.

There is always a plentiful supply of curates in England. They
are the sons of the less influential ruling families, and of the
clergy; they have been trained at Oxford or Cambridge, and
possess the one essential qualification, that they are gentlemen.
Their average price is two hundred and fifty pounds a year; their
function was made clear to me when I attended my first English
tea-party. There was a wicker table, perhaps a foot and a half
square, having three shelves, one below the other the top layer
the plates and napkins, on the next the muffins, and on the
lowest the cake. Said the hostess, "Will you pass the curate,
please?" I looked puzzled, and she pointed. "We call that the
curate, because it does the work of a curate."

Graft in Tail

As one of America's head muck-rakers, I found that I was popular
with the British ruling classes; they found my books useful in
their campaigns against democracy, and they were surprised and
disconcerted when they found I did not agree with their
interpretation of my writings. I had told of corruption in
American politics; surely I must know that in England they had no
such evils! I explained that they did not have to; their graft,
to use their own legal phrase, was "in tail"; the grafters had,
as a matter of divine right, the things which in America they had
to buy. In America, for instance, we had a Senate, a
"Millionaire's Club", for admission to which the members paid in
cash; but in England the same men came to the same position as
their birth-right. Political corruption is not an end in itself,
it is merely a means to exploitation; and of exploitation England
has even more than America. When I explained this, my popularity
with the British ruling classes vanished quickly.

As a matter of fact, England is more like America than she
realizes; her British reticence has kept her ignorant about
herself. I could not carry on my business in England, because of
the libel laws, which have as their first principle "the greater
the truth, the greater the libel". Englishmen read with
satisfaction what I write about America; but if I should turn my
attention to their own country, they would send me to jail as
they sent Frank Harris. The fact is that the new men in England,
the lords of coal and iron and shipping and beer, have bought
their way into the landed aristocracy for cash, just as our
American senators have done; they have bought the political
parties with campaign gifts, precisely as in America; they have
taken over the press, whether by outright purchase like
Northcliffe, or by advertising subsidy--both of which methods we
Americans know. Within the last decade or two another group has
been coming into control; and not merely is this the same class
of men as in America, it frequently consists of the same
individuals. These are the big money-lenders, the international
financiers who are the fine and final flower of the capitalist
system. These gentlemen make the world their home--or, as
Shakespeare puts it, their oyster. They know how to fit
themselves to all environments; they are Catholics in Rome and
Vienna, country gentlemen in London, bons vivants in Paris,
democrats in Chicago, Socialists in Petrograd, and Hebrews
wherever they are.

And of course, in buying the English government, these new
classes have bought the English Church. Skeptics and men of the
world as they are, they know that they must have a Religion. They
have read the story of the French revolution, and the shadow of
the guillotine is always over their thoughts; they see the giant
of labor, restless in his torment, groping as in a nightmare for
the throat of his enemy. Who can blind the eyes of this giant,
who can chain him to his couch of slumber? There is but one
agent, without rival--the Keeper of the Holy Secrets, the Deputy
of the Almighty Awfulness, the Giver and Withholder of Eternal
Life. Tremble, slave! Fall down and bow your forehead in the
dust! I can see in my memory the sight that thrilled my
childhood--my grim old Bishop, clad in his gorgeous ceremonial
robes, stretching out his hands over the head of the new priest,
and pronouncing that most deadly of all the Christian curses:

"Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins
thou dost retain, they are retained!"

Bishops and Beer

For example, the International Shylocks wanted the diamond mines
of South Africa--wanted them more firmly governed and less firmly
taxed than could be arranged with the Old Man of the Boers. So
the armies of England were sent to subjugate the country. You
might think they would have had the good taste to leave the lowly
Jesus out of this affair--but if so, you have missed the
essential point about established religion. The bishops, priests,
and deacons are set up for the populace to revere, and when the
robber-classes need a blessing upon some enterprise, then is the
opportunity for the bishops, priests and deacons to earn their
"living." During the Boer war the blood-lust of the English
clergy was so extreme that writers in the dignified monthly
reviews felt moved to protest against it. When the pastors of
Switzerland issued a collective protest against cruelties to
women and children in the South African concentration-camps, it
was the Right Reverend Bishop of Winchester who was brought
forward to make reply. Nowadays all England is reading Bernhardi,
and shuddering at Prussian glorification of war; but no one
mentions Bishop Welldon of Calcutta, who advocated the Boer war
as a means of keeping the nation "virile"; nor Archbishop
Alexander, who said that it was God's way of making "noble

The British God had other ways of improving nations--for example,
the opium traffic. The British traders had been raising the poppy
in India and selling its juice to the Chinese. They had made
perhaps a hundred million "noble natures" by this method; and
also they were making a hundred million dollars a year. The
Chinese, moved by their new "virility," undertook to destroy some
opium, and to stop the traffic; whereupon it was necessary to use
British battle-ships to punish and subdue them. Was there any
difficulty in persuading the established church of Jesus to bless
this holy war? There was not! Lord Shaftesbury, himself the most
devout of Anglicans, commented with horror upon the attitude of
the clergy, and wrote in his diary:

I rejoice that this cruel and debasing opium war is terminated.
We have triumphed in one of the most lawless, unnecessary, and
unfair struggles in the records of history; and Christians have
shed more heathen blood in two years, than the heathens have shed
of Christian blood in two centuries.

That was in 1843; for seventy years thereafter pious England
continued to force the opium traffic upon protesting China, and
only in the last two or three years has the infamy been brought
to an end. Throughout the long controversy the attitude of the
church was such that Li Hung Chang was moved to assert in a
letter to the Anti-Opium Society:

Opium is a subject in the discussion of which England and China
can never meet on a common ground. China views the whole question
from a moral standpoint, England from a fiscal.

And just as the Chinese people were poisoned with opium, so the
English people are being poisoned with alcohol. Both in town and
country, labor is sodden with it. Scientists and reformers are
clamoring for restriction--and what prevents? Head and front of
the opposition for a century, standing like a rock, has been the
Established Church. The Rev. Dawson Burns, historian of the early
temperance movement, declares that "among its supporters I cannot
recall one Church of England minister of influence." When Asquith
brought in his bill for the restriction of the traffic in beer,
he was confronted with petitions signed by members of the clergy,
protesting against the act. And what was the basis of their
protest? That beer is a food and not a poison? Yes, of course;
but also that there was property invested in brewing it, Three
hundred and thirty-two clergy of the diocese of Peterborough

We do strongly protest against the main provisions of the present
bill as creating amongst our people a sense of grave injustice as
amounting to a confiscation of private property, spelling ruin
for thousands of quite innocent people, and provoking deep and
widespread resentment, which must do harm to our cause and hinder
our aims.

I have come upon references to another and even more plainspoken
petition, signed by 1,280 clergymen; but war-time facilities for
research have not enabled me to find the text. In Prof. Henry C.
Vedder's "Jesus Christ and the Social Question," we read:

It was authoritatively stated a short time ago that Mr. Asquith's
temperance bill was defeated in Parliament through the opposition
of clergymen who had invested their savings in brewery stock, the
profits of which might have been lessened by the bill.

Also the power of the clergy, combined with the brewer, was
sufficient to put through Parliament a provision that no
prohibition legislation should ever be passed without providing
for compensation to the owners of the industry. Today, all over
America, appeals are being made to the people to eat less grain;
the grain is being shipped to England, some of it to be made into
beer; and a high Anglican prelate, his Grace the Archbishop of
York, comes to America to urge us to increased sacrifices, and in
his first newspaper interview takes occasion to declare that his
church is not in favor of prohibition as a measure of war-time

Anglicanism and Alcohol

This partnership of Bishops and Beer is painfully familiar to
British radicals; they see it at work in every election--the
publican confusing the voters with spirits, while the parson
confuses them with spirituality. There are two powerful societies
in England employing this deadly combination--the "Anti-Socialist
Union" and the "Liberty and Property Defense League." If you scan
the lists of the organizers, directors and subsidizers of these
satanic institutions, you find Tory politicians and landlords,
prominent members of the higher clergy, and large-scale dealers
in drunkenness. I attended in London a meeting called by the
"Liberty and Property Defense League," to listen to a
denunciation of Socialism by W. H. Mallock, a master sophist of
Roman Catholicism; upon the platform were a bishop and half a
dozen members of the Anglican clergy, together with the secretary
of the Federated Brewers' Association, the Secretary of the Wine,
Spirit, and Beer Trade Association, and three or four other
alcoholic magnates.

In every public library in England and many in America you will
find an assortment of pamphlets published by these organizations,
and scholarly volumes endorsed by them, in which the stock
misrepresentations of Socialism are perpetuated. Some of these
writings are brutal--setting forth the ethics of exploitation in
the manner of the Rev. Thomas Malthus, the English clergyman who
supplied for capitalist depredation a basis in pretended natural
science. Said this shepherd of Jesus:

A man who is born into a world already possessed, if he cannot
get subsistence from his parents, and if society does not want
his labor, has no claim of right to the smallest portion of food,
and in fact has no business to be where he is. At Nature's mighty
feast there is no cover for him. She tells him to be gone, and
will quickly execute her own orders.

Such was the tone of the ruling classes in the nineteenth
century; but it was found that for some reason this failed to
stop the growth of Socialism, and so in our time the clerical
defenders of Privilege have grown subtle and insinuating. They
inform us now that they have a deep sympathy with our fundamental
purposes; they burn with pity for the poor, and they would really
and truly wish happiness to everyone, not merely in Heaven, but
right here and now. However, there are so many complications--and
so they proceed to set out all the anti-Socialist bug-a-boos.
Here for example, is the Rev. James Stalker, D. D., expounding
"The Ethics of Jesus," and admonishing us extremists:

Efforts to transfer money and property from one set of hands to
another may be inspired by the same passions as have blinded the
present holders to their own highest good, and may be accompanied
with injustice as extreme as has ever been manifested by the rich
and powerful.

And again, the Rev. W. Sanday, D. D., an especially popular
clerical author, gives us this sublime utterance of religion on

The world is full of mysteries, but some clear lines run through
them, of which this is one. Where God has been so patient, it is
not for us to be impatient.

And again, Professor Robert Flint, of Edinburgh University, a
clergyman, author of a big book attacking Socialism, and bringing
us back to the faith of our fathers:

The great bulk of human misery is due, not to social
arrangements, but to personal vices.

I study Professor Flint's volume in the effort to find just what,
if anything, he would have the church do about the evils of our
time. I find him praising the sermons of Dr. Westcott, Bishop of
Durham, as being the proper sort for clergymen to preach. Bishop
Westcott, whether he is talking to a high society congregation,
or to one of workingmen, shows "an exquisite sense of knowing
always where to stop." So I consulted the Bishop's volume, "The
Social Aspects of Christianity" and I see at once why he is
popular with the anti-Socialist propagandists--neither I or any
other man can possibly discover what he really means, or what he
really wants done.

I was fascinated by this Westcott problem; I thought maybe if I
kept on the good Bishop's trail, I might in the end find
something a plain man could understand; so I got the beautiful
two-volume "Life of Brooke Westcott, by his Son"--and there I
found an exposition of the social purposes of bishops! In the
year 1892 there was a strike in Durham, which is in the coal
country; the employers tried to make a cut in wages, and some ten
thousand men walked out, and there was a long and bitter
struggle, which wrung the episcopal heart. There was much
consultation and correspondence on episcopal stationery, and at
last the masters and men were got together, with the Bishop as
arbitrator, and the dispute was triumphantly settled--how do you
suppose? On the basis of a ten per cent reduction in wages!

I know nothing quainter in the history of English graft than the
naivete with which the Bishop's biographer and son tells the
story of this episcopal venture into reality. The prelate came
out from the conference "all smiles, and well satisfied with the
result of his day's work." As for his followers, they were in
ecstacies; they "seized and waltzed one another around on the
carriage drive as madly as ever we danced at a flower show ball.
Hats and caps are thrown into the air, and we cheer ourselves
hoarse." The Bishop proceeds to his palace, and sends one more
communication on episcopal stationery--an order to all his clergy
to "offer their humble and hearty thanks to God for our happy
deliverance from the strife by which the diocese has been long
afflicted." Strange to say, there were a few varlets in Durham
who did not appreciate the services of the bold Bishop, and one
of them wrote and circulated some abusive verses, in which he
made reference to the Bishop's comfortable way of life. The
biographer then explains that the Bishop was so tender-hearted
that he suffered for the horses who drew his episcopal coach, and
so ascetic that he would have lived on tea and toast if he had
been permitted to. A curious condition in English society, where
the Bishop would have lived on tea and toast, but was not
permitted to; while the working people, who didn't want to live
on tea and toast, were compelled to!

Dead Cats

For more than a hundred years the Anglican clergy have been
fighting with every resource at their command the liberal and
enlightened men of England who wished to educate the masses of
the people. In 1807 the first measure for a national
school-system was denounced by the Archbishop of Canterbury as
"derogatory to the authority of the Church." As a counter-
measure, his supporters established the "National Society for
Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Doctrines of the
Established Church"; and the founder of the organization, a
clergyman, advocated a barn as a good structure for a school, and
insisted that the children of the workers "should not be taught
beyond their station." In 1840 a Committee of the Privy Council
of Education was appointed, but bowed to the will of the
Archbishops, setting forth the decree of "their lordships" that
"the first purpose of all instruction must be the regulation of
the thoughts and habits of the children by the doctrine and
precepts of revealed religion." In 1850 a bill for secular
education was denounced as presenting to the country "a choice
between Heaven or Hell, God or the Devil." In 1870, Forster,
author of the still unpassed bill, wrote that while the parsons
were disputing, the children of the poor were "growing into

As with Education, so with Social Reform. During the struggle to
abolish slavery in the British colonies, some enthusiasts
endeavored to establish the doctrine that Christian baptism
conferred emancipation upon negroes who accepted it; whereupon
the Bishop of London laid down the formula of exploitation:
"Christianity and the embracing of the gospel do not make the
least alteration of civil property."

Gladstone, who was a democrat when he was not religious, spoke of
the cultured classes of England:

In almost every one, if not every one, of the greatest political
controversies of the last fifty years, whether they affected the
franchise, whether they affected commerce, whether they affected
religion, whether they affected the bad and abominable
institution of slavery, or what subject they touched, these
leisured classes, these educated classes, these titled classes
have been in the wrong.

The "Great Commoner" did not add "these religious classes," for
he belonged to the religious classes himself; but a study of the
record will supply the gap. The Church opposed all the reform
measures which Gladstone himself put through. It opposed the
Reform Bill of 1832. It opposed all the social reforms of Lord
Shaftesbury. This noble-hearted Englishman complained that at
first only a single minister of religion supported him, and to
the end only a few. He expressed himself as distressed and
puzzled "to find support from infidels and non-professors;
opposition or coldness from religionists or declaimers."

And to our own day it has been the same. In 1894 the House of
Bishops voted solidly against the Employers' Liability Law. The
House of Bishops opposed Home Rule, and beat it; the House of
Bishops opposed Womans' Suffrage, and voted against it to the
end. Concerning this establishment Lord Shaftesbury, himself the
most devout of Englishmen, used the vivid phrase: "this vast
aquarium full of cold-blooded life." He told the Bishops that he
would give up preaching to them about ecclesiastical reform,
because he knew that they would never begin. Another member of
the British aristocracy, the Hon. Geo. Russell, has written of
their record and adventures:

They were defenders of absolutism, slavery, and the bloody penal
code; they were the resolute opponents of every political or
social reform; and they had their reward from the nation outside
Parliament. The Bishop of Bristol had his palace sacked and
burnt; the Bishop of London could not keep an engagement to
preach lest the congregation should stone him. The Bishop of
Litchfield barely escaped with his life after preaching at St.
Bride's, Fleet Street. Archbishop Howley, entering Canterbury for
his primary visitation, was insulted, spat upon, and only brought
by a circuitous route to the Deanery, amid the execrations of the
mob. On the 5th of November the Bishops of Exeter and Winchester
were burnt in effigy close to their own palace gates. Archbishop
Howley's chaplain complained that a dead cat had been thrown at
him, when the Archbishop--a man of apostolic meekness--replied:
"You should be thankful that it was not a live one."

The people had reason for this conduct--as you will always find
they have, if you take the trouble to inquire. Let me quote
another member of the English ruling classes, Mr. Conrad Noel,
who gives "an instance of the procedure of Church and State about
this period":

In 1832 six agricultural labourers in South Dorsetshire, led by
one of their class, George Loveless, in receipt of 9s. a week
each, demanded the 10s. rate of wages usual in the neighbourhood.
The result was a reduction to 8s. An appeal was made to the
chairman of the local bench, who decided that they must work for
whatever their masters chose to pay them. The parson, who had at
first promised his help, now turned against them, and the masters
promptly reduced the wage to 7s., with a threat of further
reduction. Loveless then formed an agricultural union, for which
all seven were arrested, treated as convicts, and committed to
the assizes. The prison chaplain tried to bully them into
submission. The judge determined to convict them, and directed
that they should be tried for mutiny under an act of George III,
specially passed to deal with the naval mutiny at the Nore. The
grand jury were landowners, and the petty jury were farmers; both
judge and jury were churchmen of the prevailing type. The judge
summed up as follows: "Not for anything that you have done, or
that I can prove that you intend to do, but for an example to
others I consider it my duty to pass the sentence of seven years'
penal transportation across His Majesty's high seas upon each and
every one of you."

Suffer Little Children

The founder of Christianity was a man who specialized in
children. He was not afraid of having His discourses disturbed by
them, He did not consider them superfluous. "Of such is the
Kingdom of Heaven", He said; and His Church is the inheritor of
this tradition--"feed my lambs". There were children in Great
Britain in the early part of the nineteenth century, and we may
see what was done with them by turning to Gibbin's "Industrial
History of England":

Sometimes regular traffickers would take the place of the
manufacturer, and transfer a number of children to a factory
district, and there keep them, generally in some dark cellar,
till they could hand them over to a mill owner in want of hands,
who would come and examine their height, strength, and bodily
capacities, exactly as did the slave owners in the American
markets. After that the children were simply at the mercy of
their owners, nominally as apprentices, but in reality as mere
slaves, who got no wages, and whom it was not worth while even to
feed and clothe properly, because they were so cheap and their
places could be so easily supplied. It was often arranged by the
parish authorities, in order to get rid of imbeciles, that one
idiot should be taken by the mill owner with every twenty sane
children. The fate of these unhappy idiots was even worse than
that of the others. The secret of their final end has never been
disclosed, but we can form some idea of their awful sufferings
from the hardships of the other victims to capitalist greed and
cruelty. The hours of their labor were only limited by
exhaustion, after many modes of torture had been unavailingly
applied to force continued work. Children were often worked
sixteen hours a day, by day and by night.

In the year 1819 an act of Parliament was proposed limiting the
labor of children nine years of age to four-teen hours a day.
This would seem to have been a reasonable provision, likely to
have won the approval of Christ; yet the bill was violently
opposed by Christian employers, backed by Christian clergymen. It
was interfering with freedom of contract, and therefore with the
will of Providence; it was anathema to an established Church,
whose function was in 1819, as it is in 1918, and was in 1918 B.
C., to teach the divine origin and sanction of the prevailing
economic order. "Anu and Baal called me, Hammurabi, the exalted
prince, worshipper of the gods".... so begins the oldest legal
code which has come down to us, from 2250 B. C.; and the
coronation service of the English church is made whole out of the
same thesis. The duty of submission, not merely to divinely
chosen King, but to divinely chosen Landlord and divinely chosen
Manufacturer, is implicit in the church's every ceremony, and
explicit in many of its creeds. In the Litany the people petition
for increase of grace to hear meekly "Thy Word"; and here is this
"Word," as little children are made to learn it by heart. If
there exists in the world a more perfect summary of slave ethics,
I do not know where to find it.

My duty towards my neighbour is.....
To honour and obey the King, and all that are put in authority
under him;
To submit myself to all my governours, teachers, spiritual
pastors, and masters:
To order myself lowly and reverently to all my betters ....
Not to covet nor desire other men's goods;
But to learn and labour truly to get mine own living, and to do
my duty in that state of life, unto which it shall please God to
call me.

A hundred years ago one of the most popular of British writers
was Hannah More. She and her sister Martha went to live in the
coal-country, to teach this "catechism" to the children of the
starving miners. The "Mendip Annals" is the title of a book in
which they tell of their ten years' labors in a village popularly
known as "Little Hell." In this place two hundred people were
crowded into nineteen houses. "There is not one creature in it
that can give a cup of broth if it would save a life." In one
winter eighteen perished of "a putrid fever", and the clergyman
"could not raise a sixpence to save a life."

And what did the pious sisters make of all this? From cover to
cover you find in the "Mendip Annals" no single word of social
protest, not even of social suspicion. That wages of a shilling a
day might have anything to do with moral degeneration was a
proposition beyond the mental powers of England's most popular
woman writer. She was perfectly content that a woman should be
sentenced to death for stealing butter from a dealer who had
asked what the woman thought too high a price. When there came a
famine, and the children of these mine-slaves were dying like
flies, Hannah More bade them be happy because God had sent them
her pious self. "In suffering by the scarcity, you have but
shared in the common lot, with the pleasure of knowing the
advantage you have had over many villages in your having suffered
no scarcity of religious instruction." And in another place she
explained that the famine was caused by God to teach the poor to
be grateful to the rich!

Let me remind you that probably that very scarcity has been
permitted by an all-wise and gracious Providence to unite all
ranks of people together, to show the poor how immediately they
are dependent upon the rich, and to show both rich and poor that
they are all dependent upon Himself. It has also enabled you to
see more clearly the advantages you derive from the government
and constitution of this country--to observe the benefits flowing
from the distinction of rank and fortune, which has enabled the
high to so liberally assist the low.

It appears that the villagers were entirely convinced by this
pious reasoning; for they assembled one Saturday night and burned
an effigy of Tom Paine! This proceeding led to a tragic
consequence, for one of the "common people," known as Robert,
"was overtaken by liquor," and was unable to appear at Sunday
School next day. This fall from grace occasioned intense remorse
in Robert. "It preyed dreadfully upon his mind for many months,"
records Martha More, "and despair seemed at length to take
possession of him." Hannah had some conversation with him, and
read him some suitable passages from "The Rise and Progress". "At
length the Almighty was pleased to shine into his heart and give
him comfort."

Nor should you imagine that this saintly stupidity was in any way
unique in the Anglican establishment. We read in the letters of
Shelley how his father tormented him with Archdeacon Paley's
"Evidences" as a cure for atheism. This eminent churchman wrote a
book, which he himself ranked first among his writings, called
"Reasons for Contentment, addressed to the Labouring Classes of
the British Public." In this book he not merely proved that
religion "smooths all inequalities, because it unfolds a prospect
which makes all earthly distinctions nothing"; he went so far as
to prove that, quite apart from religion, the British exploiters
were less fortunate than those to whom they paid a shilling a

Some of the conditions which poverty (if the condition of the
labouring part of mankind must be so called) imposes, are not
hardships, but pleasures. Frugality itself is a pleasure. It is
an exercise of attention and contrivance, which, whenever it is
successful, produces satisfaction..... This is lost among

And there was William Wilberforce, as sincere a philanthropist as
Anglicanism ever produced, an ardent supporter of Bible societies
and foreign missions, a champion of the anti-slavery movement,
and also of the ruthless "Combination Laws," which denied to
British wage-slaves all chance of bettering their lot.
Wilberforce published a "Practical View of the System of
Christianity", in which he told unblushingly what the Anglican
establishment is for. In a chapter which he described as "the
basis of all politics," he explained that the purpose of religion
is to remind the poor:

That their more lowly path has been allotted to them by the hand
of God; that it is their part faithfully to discharge its duties,
and contentedly to bear its inconveniences; that the objects
about which worldly men conflict so eagerly are not worth the
contest; that the peace of mind, which Religion offers
indiscriminately to all ranks, affords more true satisfaction
than all the expensive pleasures which are beyond the poor man's
reach; that in this view the poor have the advantage; that if
their superiors enjoy more abundant comforts, they are also
exposed to many temptations from which the inferior classes are
happily extempted; that, "having food and raiment, they should be
therewith content," since their situation in life, with all its
evils, is better than they have deserved at the hand of God; and
finally, that all human distinctions will soon be done away, and
the true followers of Christ will all, as children of the same
Father, be alike admitted to the possession of the same heavenly
inheritance. Such are the blessed effects of Christianity on the
temporal well-being of political communities.

The Court Circular

The Anglican system of submission has been transplanted intact to
the soil of America. When King George the Third lost the
sovereignty of the colonies, the bishops of his divinely inspired
church lost the control of the clergy across the seas; but this
revolution was purely one of Church politics--in doctrine and
ritual the "Protestant Episcopal Church of America" remained in
every way Anglican. The little children of our free republic are
taught the same slave-catechism, "to order myself lowly and
reverently to all my betters." The only difference is that
instead of being told "to honour and obey the King," they are
told "to honour and obey the civil authority."

It is the Church of Good Society in England, and it is the same
in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington,
Charleston. Just as our ruling classes have provided themselves
with imitation English schools and imitation English manners and
imitation English clothes--so in their Heaven they have provided
an imitation English monarch. I wonder how many Americans realize
the treason to democracy they are committing when they allow
their children to be taught a symbolism and liturgy based upon
absolutist ideas. I take up the hymn-book--not the English, but
the sturdy, independent, democratic American hymn-book. I have
not opened it for twenty years, yet the greater part of its
contents is as familiar to me as the syllables of my own name. I

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee, Casting down their
golden crowns around the glassy sea; Cherubim and seraphim
bowing down before Thee, Which wert, and art, and ever more
shall be!

One might quote a hundred other hymns made thus out of royal
imagery. I turn at random to the part headed "General," and find
that there is hardly one hymn in which there is not "king ... ..
throne," or some image of homage and flattery. The first hymn

Ancient of days, Who sittest, throned in glory;
To Thee all knees are bent, all voices pray.

And the second--

Christ, whose glory fills the skies---

And the third--

Lord of all being, throned afar,
Thy glory flames from sun and star.

There is a court in Heaven above, to which all good Britons look
up, and about which they read with exactly the same thrills as
they read the Court Circular. The two courts have the same
ethical code and the same manners; their Sovereigns are jealous,
greedy of attention, self-conscious and profoundly serious,
punctilious and precise; their existence consisting of an endless
round of ceremonies, and they being incapable of boredom. No
member of the Royal Family can escape this regime even if he
wishes; and no more can any member of the Holy Family--not even
the meek and lowly Jesus, who chose a carpenter's wife for his
mother, and showed all his earthly days a preference for low

This unconventional Son lived obscurely; he never carried
weapons, he could not bear to have so much as a human ear cut off
in his presence. But see how he figures in the Court Circular:

The Son of God goes forth to war,
A kingly crown to gain:
His blood-red banner streams afar:
Who follows in His train?

This carpenter's son was one of the most unpretentious men on
earth; utterly simple and honest--he would not even let anyone
praise him. When some one called him "good Master," he answered,
quickly, "Why callest thou me good? There is none good save one,
that is, God." But this simplicity has been taken with
deprecation by his church, which persists in heaping compliments
upon him in conventional, courtly style:

The company of angels
Are praising Thee on high;
And mortal men, and all things
Created, make reply: All Glory, laud and honour,
To Thee, Redeemer, King. . . . .

The impression a modern man gets from all this is the unutterable
boredom that Heaven must be. Can one imagine a more painful
occupation than that of the saints--casting down their golden
crowns around the glassy sea--unless it be that of the
Triumvirate itself, compelled to sit through eternity watching
these saints, and listening to their mawkish and superfluous

But one can understand that such things are necessary in a
monarchy; they are necessary if you are going to have Good
Society, and a Good Society church. For Good Society is precisely
the same thing as Heaven; that is, a place to which only a few
can get admission, and those few are bored. They spend their time
going through costly formalities--not because they enjoy it, but
because of its effect upon the populace, which reads about them
and sees their pictures in the papers, and now and then is
allowed to catch a glimpse of their physical Presences, as at the
horse-show, or the opera, or the coaching-parade.


I know the Church of Good Society in America, having studied it
from the inside. I was an extraordinarily devout little boy; one
of my earliest recollections--I cannot have been more than four
years of age--is of carrying a dust-brush about the house as the
choir-boy carried the golden cross every Sunday morning. I
remember asking if I might say the "Lord's prayer" in this
fascinating play; and my mother's reply: "If you say it
reverently." When I was thirteen, I attended service, of my own
volition and out of my own enthusiasm, every single day during
the forty days of Lent; at the age of fifteen I was teaching
Sunday-school. It was the Church of the Holy Communion, at Sixth
Avenue and Twentieth Street, New York; and those who know the
city will understand that this is a peculiar location--precisely
half way between the homes of some of the oldest and most august
of the city's aristocracy, and some of the vilest and most filthy
of the city's slums. The aristocracy were paying for the church,
and occupied the best pews; they came, perfectly clad, aus dem Ei
gegossen, as the Germans say, with the manner they so carefully
cultivate, gracious, yet infinitely aloof. The service was made
for them--as all the rest of the world is made for them; the
populace was permitted to occupy a fringe of vacant seats.

The assistant clergyman was an Englishman, and a gentleman;
orthodox, yet the warmest man's heart I have ever known. He could
not bear to have the church remain entirely the church of the
rich; he would go persistently into the homes of the poor,
visiting the old slum women in their pitifully neat little
kitchens, and luring their children with entertainments and
Christmas candy. They were corralled into the Sunday-school,
where it was my duty to give them what they needed for the health
of their souls.

I taught them out of a book of lessons; and one Sunday it would
be Moses in the Bulrushes, and next Sunday it would be Jonah and
the Whale, and next Sunday it would be Joshua blowing down the
walls of Jericho. These stories were reasonably entertaining, but
they seemed to me futile, not to the point. There were little
morals tagged to them, but these lacked relationship to the lives
of little slum-boys. Be good and you will be happy, love the Lord
and all will be well with you; which was about as true and as
practical as the procedure of the Fijians, blowing horns to drive
away a pestilence.

I had a mind, you see, and I was using it. I was reading the
papers, and watching politics and business. I, followed the fates
of my little slum-boys--and what I saw was that Tammany Hall was
getting them. The liquor-dealers and the brothel-keepers, the
panders and the pimps, the crap-shooters and the petty
thieves--all these were paying the policeman and the politician
for a chance to prey upon my boys; and when the boys got into
trouble, as they were continually doing, it was the clergyman who
consoled them in prison--but it was the Tammany leader who saw
the judge and got them out. So these boys got their lesson even
earlier in life than I got mine--that the church was a kind of
amiable fake, a pious horn-blowing; while the real thing was

I talked about this with the vestrymen and the ladies of Good
Society; they were deeply pained, but I noticed that they did
nothing practical about it; and gradually, as I went on to
investigate, I discovered the reason--that their incomes came
from real estate, traction, gas and other interests, which were
contributing the main part of the campaign expenses of the
corrupt Tammany machine, and of its equally corrupt rival. So it
appeared that these immaculate ladies and gentlemen, aus dem Ei
gegossen, were themselves engaged, unconsciously, perhaps, but
none the less effectively, in spreading the pestilence against
which they were blowing their religious horns!

So little by little I saw my beautiful church for what it was and
is: a great capitalist interest, an integral and essential part
of a gigantic predatory system. I saw that its ethical and
cultural and artistic features, however sincerely they might be
meant by individual clergymen, were nothing but a bait, a device
to lure the poor into the trap of submission to their exploiters.
And as I went on probing into the secret life of the great
Metropolis of Mammon, and laying bare its infamies to the world,
I saw the attitude of the church to such work; I met, not
sympathy and understanding, but sneers and denunciation--until
the venerable institution which had once seemed dignified and
noble became to me as a sepulchre of corruption.

Trinity Corporation

There stands on the corner of Broadway and Wall Street a towering
brown-stone edifice, one of the most beautiful and most famous
churches in America. As a child I have walked through its church
yard and read the quaint and touching inscriptions on its
gravestones; when I was a little older, and knew Wall Street, it
seemed to me a sublime thing that here in the very heart of the
world's infamy there should be raised, like a finger of warning,
this symbol of Eternity and Judgment. Its great bell rang at
noon-time, and all the traders and their wage-slaves had to
listen, whether they would or no! Such was Old Trinity to my
young soul; and what is it in reality?

The story was told some ten years ago by Charles Edward Russell.
Trinity Corporation is the name of the concern, and it is one of
the great landlords of New York. In the early days it bought a
number of farms, and these it has held, as the city has grown up
around them, until in 1908 their value was estimated at anywhere
from forty to a hundred million dollars. The true amount has
never been made public; to quote Russell's words:

The real owners of the property are the communicants of the
church. For 94 years none of the owners has known the extent of
the property, nor the amount of the revenue therefrom, nor what
is done with the money. Every attempt to learn even the simplest
fact about these matters has been baffled. The management is a
self perpetuating body, without responsibility and without

And the writer goes on to describe the business policy of this
great corporation, which is simply the English land system
complete. It refuses to sell the land, but rents it for long
periods, and the tenant builds the house, and then when the lease
expires, the Corporation takes over the house for a nominal sum.
Thus it has purchased houses for as low as $200, and made them
into tenements, and rented them to the swarming poor for a total
of fifty dollars a month. The houses were not built for
tenements, they have no conveniences, they are not fit for the
habitation of animals. The article, in Everybody's Magazine for
July, 1908, gives pictures of them, which are horrible beyond
belief. To quote the writer again:

Decay, neglect and squalor seem to brood wherever Trinity is an
owner. Gladly would I give to such a charitable and benevolent
institution all possible credit for a spirit of improvement
manifested anywhere, but I can find no such manifestation. I have
tramped the Eighth Ward day after day with a list of Trinity
properties in my hand, and of all the tenement houses that stand
there on Trinity land, I have not found one that is not a
disgrace to civilization and to the City of New York.

It happens that I once knew the stately prelate who presided over
this Corporation of Corruption. I imagine how he would have
shivered and turned pale had some angel whispered to him what
devilish utterances were some day to proceed from the lips of the
little cherub with shining face and shining robes who acted as
the bishop's attendant in the stately ceremonials of the Church!
Truly, even into the goodly company of the elect, even to the
most holy places of the temple, Satan makes his treacherous way!
Even under the consecrated hands of the bishop! For while the
bishop was blessing me and taking me into the company of the
sanctified, I was thinking about what the papers had reported,
that the bishop's wife had been robbed of fifty thousand dollars
worth of jewels! It did not seem quite in accordance with the
doctrine of Jesus that a bishop's wife should possess fifty
thousand dollars worth of jewels, or that she should be setting
the blood-hounds of the police on the train of a human being. I
asked my clergyman friend about it, and remember his patient
explanation--that the bishop had to know all classes and
conditions of men: his wife had to go among the rich as well as
the poor, and must be able to dress so that she would not be
embarrassed. The Bishop at this time was making it his life-work
to raise a million dollars for the beginning of a great Episcopal
cathedral; and this of course compelled him to spend much time
among the rich!

The explanation satisfied me; for of course I thought there had
to be cathedrals--despite the fact that both St. Stephen and St.
Paul had declared that "the Lord dwelleth not in temples made
with hands." In the twenty-five years which have passed since
that time the good Bishop has passed to his eternal reward, but
the mighty structure which is a monument to his visitations among
the rich towers over the city from its vantage-point on
Morningside Heights. It is called the Cathedral of St. John the
Divine; and knowing what I know about the men who contributed its
funds, and about the general functions of the churches of the
Metropolis of Mammon, it would not seem to me less holy if it
were built, like the monuments of ancient ravagers, out of the
skulls of human beings.

Spiritual Interpretation

There remains to say a few words as to the intellectual functions
of the Fifth Avenue clergy. Let us realize at the outset that
they do their preaching in the name of a proletarian rebel, who
was crucified as a common criminal because, as they said, "He
stirreth up the people." An embarrassing "Savior" for the church
of Good Society, you might imagine; but they manage to fix him up
and make him respectable.

I remember something analogous in my own boyhood. All day
Saturday I ran about with the little street rowdies, I stole
potatoes and roasted them in vacant lots, I threw mud from the
roofs of apartment-houses; but on Saturday night I went into a
tub and was lathered and scrubbed, and on Sunday I came forth in
a newly brushed suit, a clean white collar and a shining tie and
a slick derby hat and a pair of tight gloves which made me
impotent for mischief. Thus I was taken and paraded up Fifth
Avenue, doing my part of the duties of Good Society. And all
church-members go through this same performance; the oldest and
most venerable of them steal potatoes and throw mud all week
--and then take a hot bath of repentance and put on the clean
clothing of piety. In this same way their ministers of religion
are occupied to scrub and clean and dress up their disreputable
Founder--to turn him from a proletarian rebel into a
stained-glass-window divinity.

The man who really lived, the carpenter's son, they take out and
crucify all over again. As a young poet has phrased it, they nail
him to a jeweled cross with cruel nails of gold. Come with me to
the New Golgotha and witness this crucifixion; take the nails of
gold in your hands, try the weight of the jeweled sledges! Here
is a sledge, in the form of a dignified and scholarly volume,
published by the exclusive house of Scribner, and written by the
Bishop of my boyhood, the Bishop whose train I carried in the
stately ceremonials: "The Citizen in His Relation to the
Industrial Situation," by the Right Reverend Henry Codman Potter,
D. D., L. L. D., D. C. L.--a course of lectures delivered before
the sons of our predatory classes at Yale University, under the
endowment of a millionaire mining king, founder of the
Phelps-Dodge corporation, which the other day carried out the
deportation from their homes of a thousand striking miners at
Bisbee, Arizona. Says my Bishop:

Christ did not denounce wealth any more than he denounced
pauperism. He did not abhor money; he used it. He did not abhor
the company of rich men; he sought it. He did not invariably
scorn or even resent a certain profuseness of expenditure.

And do you think that the late Bishop of J. P. Morgan and Company
stands alone as an utterer of scholarly blasphemy, a driver of
golden nails? In the course of this book there will march before
us a long line of the clerical retainers of Privilege, on their
way to the New Golgotha to crucify the carpenter's son: the
Rector of the Money Trust, the Preacher of the Coal Trust, the
Priest of the Traction Trust, the Archbishop of Tammany, the
Chaplain of the Millionaires' Club, the Pastor of the
Pennsylvania Railroad, the Religious Editor of the New Haven, the
Sunday-school Superintendent of Standard Oil. We shall try the
weight of their jewelled sledges--books, sermons,
newspaper-interviews, after-dinner speeches--wherewith they pound
their golden nails of sophistry into the bleeding hands and feet
of the proletarian Christ.

Here, for example, is Rev. F. G. Peabody, Professor of Christian
Morals at Harvard University. Prof. Peabody has written several
books on the social teachings of Jesus; he quotes the most rabid
of the carpenter's denunciations of the rich, and says:

Is it possible that so obvious and so limited a message as this,
a teaching so slightly distinguished from the curbstone rhetoric
of a modern agitator, can be an adequate reproduction of the
scope and power of the teaching of Jesus?

The question answers itself: Of course not! For Jesus was a
gentleman; he is the head of a church attended by gentlemen, of
universities where gentlemen are educated. So the Professor of
Christian Morals proceeds to make a subtle analysis of Jesus'
actions; demonstrating therefrom that there are three proper uses
to be made of great wealth: first, for almsgiving--"The poor ye
have always with you!"; second, for beauty and culture--buying
wine for wedding-feasts, and ointment-boxes and other objets de
vertu; and third, "stewardship," "trusteeship"--which in plain
English is "Big Business."

I have used the illustration of soap and hot water; one can
imagine he is actually watching the scrubbing process, seeing the
proletarian Founder emerging all new and respectable under the
brush of this capitalist professor. The professor has a rule all
his own for reading the scriptures; he tells us that when there
are two conflicting sayings, the rule of interpretation is that
"the more spiritual is to be preferred." Thus, one gospel makes
Jesus say: "Blessed are ye poor." Another puts it: "Blessed are
the poor in spirit." The first one is crude and literal;
obviously the second must be what Jesus meant! In other words,
the professor and his church have made for their economic masters
a treacherous imitation virtue to be taught to wage-slaves, a
quality of submissiveness, impotence and futility, which they
call by the name of "spirituality". This virtue they exalt above
all others, and in its name they cut from the record of Jesus
everything which has relation to the realities of life!

So here is our Professor Peabody, sitting in the Plummer chair at
Harvard, writing on "Jesus Christ and the Social Question," and

The fallacy of the Socialist program is not in its radicalism,
but in its externalism. It proposes to accomplish by economic
change what can be attained by nothing less than spiritual

And here is "The Churchman," organ of the Episcopalians of New
York, warning us:

It is necessary to remember that something more than material and
temporal considerations are involved. There are things of more
importance to the purposes of God and to the welfare of humanity
than economic readjustments and social amelioration.

And again:

Without doubt there is a strong temptation today, bearing upon
clergy and laity alike, to address their religious energies too
exclusively to those tasks whereby human life may be made more
abundant and wholesome materially..... We need constantly to be
reminded that spiritual things come first.

There come before my mental eye the elegant ladies and gentlemen
for whom these comfortable sayings are prepared: the vestrymen
and pillars of the Church, with black frock coats and black kid
gloves and shiny top-hats; the ladies of Good Society with their
Easter costumes in pastel shades, their gracious smiles and their
sweet intoxicating odors. I picture them as I have seen them at
St. George's, where that aged wild boar, Pierpont Morgan, the
elder, used to pass the collection plate; at Holy Trinity, where
they drove downtown in old-fashioned carriages with grooms and
footmen sitting like twin statues of insolence; at St. Thomas',
where you might see all the "Four Hundred" on exhibition at once;
at St. Mary the Virgin's, where the choir paraded through the
aisles, swinging costly incense into my childish nostrils, the
stout clergyman walking alone with nose upturned, carrying on his
back a jewelled robe for which some adoring female had paid sixty
thousand dollars. "Spiritual things come first?" Ah, yes! "Seek
first the kingdom of God, and the jewelled robes shall be added
unto you!" And it is so dreadful about the French and German
Socialists, who, as the "Churchman" reports, "make a creed out of
materialism." But then, what is this I find in one issue of the
organ of the "Church of Good Society"?

Business men contribute to the Y. M. C. A. because they realize
that if their employes are well cared for and religiously
influenced, they can be of greater service in business!

Who let that material cat out of the spiritual bag?


The Church of the Servant-girls

Was it for this--that prayers like these
Should spend themselves about thy feet,
And with hard, overlabored knees
Kneeling, these slaves of men should beat
Bosoms too lean to suckle sons
And fruitless as their orisons?

Was it for this--that men should make
Thy name a fetter on men's necks,
Poor men made poorer for thy sake,
And women withered out of sex?
Was it for this--that slaves should be--
Thy word was passed to set men free?


As everyone knows, the "society lady" is not an independent and
self-sustaining phenomenon. For every one of these exquisite,
sweet-smelling creatures that you meet on Fifth Avenue, there
must be at home a large number of other women who live sterile
and empty lives, and devote themselves to cleaning up after their
luckier sisters. But these "domestics" also are human beings;
they have emotions--or, in religious parlance, "souls;" it is
necessary to provide a discipline to keep them from appropriating
the property of their mistresses, also to keep them from becoming
enceinte. So it comes about that there are two cathedrals in New
York: one, St. John the Divine, for the society ladies, and the
other, St. Patrick's, for the servant-girls. The latter is
located on Fifth Avenue, where its towering white spires divide
with the homes of the Vanderbilts the interest of the crowds of
sight-seers. Now, early every Sunday morning, before "Good
Society" has opened its eyes, you may see the devotees of the
Irish snake-charmer hurrying to their orisons, each with a little
black prayer-book in her hand. What is it they do inside? What
are they taught about life? This is the question to which we have
next to give attention.

Some years ago Mr. Thomas F. Ryan, traction and insurance magnate
of New York, favored me with his justification of his own career
and activities. He mentioned his charities, and, speaking as one
man of the world to another, he said: "The reason I put them into
the hands of Catholics is not religious, but because I find they
are efficient in such matters. They don't ask questions, they do
what you want them to do, and do it economically."

I made no comment; I was absorbed in the implications of the
remark--like Agassiz when some one gave him a fossil bone, and
his mind set to work to reconstruct the creature.

When a man is drunk, the Catholics do not ask if it was long
hours and improper working-conditions which drove him to
desperation; they do not ask if police and politicians are
getting a rake-off from the saloon, or if traction magnates are
using it as an agency for the controlling of votes; they do not
plunge into prohibition movements or good government
campaigns--they simply take the man in, at a standard price, and
the patient slave-sisters and attendants get him sober, and then
turn him out for society to make him drunk again. That is
"charity," and it is the special industry of Roman Catholicism.
They have been at it for a thousand years, cleaning up loathsome
and unsightly messes--"plague, pestilence and famine, battle and
murder and sudden death." Yet--puzzling as it would seem to
anyone not religious--there were never so many messes, never so
many different kinds of messes, as now at the end of the thousand
years of charitable activity!

But the Catholics go on and on; like the patient spider, building
and rebuilding his web across a doorway; like soldiers under the
command of a ruling class with a "muddling through" tradition--

Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.

And so of course all magnates and managers of industry who have
messes to be cleaned up, human garbage-heaps to be carted away
quickly and without fuss, turn to the Catholic Church for this
service, no matter what their personal religious beliefs or lack
of beliefs may be. Somewhere in the neighborhood of every
steel-mill, every coal-mine or other place of industrial danger,
you will find a Catholic hospital, with its slave-sisters and
attendants. Once when I was "muck-raking" near Pittsburgh, I went
to one of these places to ask information as to the frequency of
industrial accidents and the fate of the victims. The "Mother
Superior" received me with a look of polite dismay. "These
concerns pay us!" she said. "You must see that as a matter of
business it would not do for us to talk about them."

Obey and keep silence: that is the Catholic law. And precisely as
it is with the work of nursing and almsgiving, so it is with the
work of vote-getting, the elaborate system of policemen and
saloon-keepers and ward-heelers which the Catholic machine
controls. This industry of vote-getting is a comparatively new
one; but the Church has been handling the masses for so many
centuries that she quickly learned this new way of "democracy,"
and has established her supremacy over all rivals. She has the
schools for training the children, the confessional for
controlling the women; she has the intellectual machinery, the
purgatory and the code of slave-ethics. She has the supreme
advantage that the rank and file of her mighty host really
believe what she teaches; they do not have to listen to
table-rappings and flounder through swamps of automatic writings
in order to bolster their hope of the survival of personality
after death!

So it comes about that our captains of industry and finance have
been driven to a more or less reluctant alliance with the Papacy.
The Church is here, and her followers are here, before the war
several hundred thousand of them pouring into the country every
year. It is no longer possible to do without Catholics in
America; not merely do ditches have to be dug, roads graded, coal
mined, and dishes washed, but franchises have to be granted,
tariff-schedules adjusted, juries and courts manipulated, police
trained and strikes crushed. Under our native political system,
for these purposes millions of votes are needed; and these votes
belong to people of a score of nationalities--Irish and German
and Italian and French-Canadian and Bohemian and Mexican and
Portuguese and Polish and Hungarian. Who but the Catholic Church
can handle these polyglot hordes? Who can furnish teachers and
editors and politicians familiar with all these languages?

Considering how complex is the service, the price is extremely
moderate--the mere actual expenses of the campaign, the cost of
red fire and torch-lights, of liquor and newspaper
advertisements. The rest may come out of the public till, in the
form of exemption from taxation of church buildings and lands, a
share of the public funds for charities and schools, the control
of the police for saloon-keepers and district leaders, the
control of police-courts and magistrates, of municipal
administrations and boards of education, of legislatures and
governors; with a few higher offices now and then, to flatter our
sacred self-esteem, a senator or a justice on the Supreme Court
Bench; and on state occasions, to keep up our necessary prestige,
some cabinet-members and legislators and justices to attend High
Mass, and be blessed in public by Catholic prelates and

You think this is empty rhetoric--you comfortable, easy-going,
ultra-cultured Americans? You professors in your classic shades,
absorbed in "the passionless pursuit of passionless
intelligence"--while the world about you slides down into the
pit! You ladies of Good Society, practicing your "sweet little
charities," pursuing your "dear little ideals," raising your
families of one or two lovely children--while Irish and
French-Canadians and Italians and Portuguese and Hungarians are
breeding their dozens and scores, and preparing to turn you out
of your country!

God's Armor

You remember "Bishop Blougram's Apology," Browning's study of the
psychology of a modern Catholic ecclesiastic. He is not unaware
of modern thought, this bishop; he is a man of culture, who wants
to have beauty about him, to be a "cabin passenger":

There's power in me and will to dominate
Which I must exercise, they hurt me else;
In many ways I need mankind's respect,
Obedience, and the love that's born of fear.

He wishes that he had faith--faith in anything; he understands
that faith is all-important--

Enthusiasm's the best thing, I repeat.

But you cannot get faith just by wishing for it--

But paint a fire, it will not therefore burn!

He tries to imagine himself going on a crusade for truth, but he
asks what there would be in it for him--

State the facts,
Read the text right, emancipate the world--
The emancipated world enjoys itself
With scarce a thank-you.
Blougram told it first
It could not owe a farthing,--not to him
More than St. Paul!

So the bishop goes on with his role, but uneasily conscious of
the contempt of intellectual people.

I pine among my million imbeciles
(You think) aware some dozen men of sense
Eye me and know me, whether I believe
In the last winking virgin as I vow,
And am a fool, or disbelieve in her,
And am a knave.

But, as he says, you have to keep a tight hold upon the chain of
faith, that is what

Gives all the advantage, makes the difference,
With the rough, purblind mass we seek to rule.
We are their lords, or they are free of us,
Just as we tighten or relax that hold.

So he continues, but not with entire satisfaction, in his role of
shepherd to those whom he calls "King Bomba's lazzaroni," and
"ragamuffin saints."

I wander into a Catholic bookstore and look to see what Bishop
Blougram is doing with his lazzaroni and his ragamuffin saints
here in this new country of the far West. It is easy to acquire
the information, for the saleswoman is polite and the prices fit
my purse. America is going to war, and Catholic boys are being
drafted to be trained for battle; so for ten cents I obtain a
firmly bound little pamphlet called "God's Armor, a Prayer Book
for Soldiers." It is marked "Copyright by the G. R. C.
Central-Verein," and bears the "Nihil Obstat" of the "Censor
Theolog." and the "Imprimatur" of "Johannes Josephus,
Archiepiscopus Sti. Ludovici"--which last you may at first fail
to recognize as a well-known city on the Mississippi River. Do
you not feel the spell of ancient things, the magic of the past
creeping over you, as you read those Latin trade-marks? Such is
the Dead Hand, and its cunning, which can make even St. Louis
sound mysterious!

In this booklet I get no information as to the commercial causes
of war, nor about the part which the clerical vote may have
played throughout Europe in supporting military systems. I do not
even find anything about the sacred cause of democracy, the
resolve of a self-governing people to put an end to feudal rule.
Instead I discover a soldier-boy who obeys and keeps silent, and
who, in his inmost heart, is in the grip of terrors both of body
and soul. Poor, pitiful soldier-boy, marking yourself with
crosses, performing genuflexions, mumbling magic formulas in the
trenches--how many billions of you have been led out to slaughter
by the greeds and ambitions of your religious masters, since
first this accursed Antichrist got its grip upon the hearts of

I quote from this little book:

Start this day well by lifting up your heart to God. Offer
yourself to Him, and beg grace to spend the day without sin. Make
the sign of the cross. Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost, behold me in Thy Divine Presence. I adore Thee and give
Thee thanks. Grant that all I do this day be for Thy Glory, and
for the salvation of my immortal soul.

During the day lift your heart frequently to God. Your prayers
need not be long nor read from a book. Learn a few of these short
ejaculations by heart and frequently repeat them. They will serve
to recall God to your heart and will strengthen you and comfort

You remember a while back about the prayer-wheels of the
Thibetans. The Catholic religion was founded before the Thibetan,
and is less progressive; it does not welcome mechanical devices
for saving labor. You have to use your own vocal apparatus to
keep yourself from hell; but the process has been made as
economical as possible by kindly dispensations of the Pope. Thus,
each time that you say "My God and my all," you get fifty days
indulgence; the same for "My Jesus, mercy," and the same for
"Jesus, my God, I love Thee above all things." For "Jesus, Mary,
Joseph," you get three hundred days--which would seem by all odds
the best investment of your spare breath.

And then come prayers for all occasions: "Prayer before Battle";
"Prayer for a Happy Death"; "Prayer in Temptation"; "Prayer
before and after Meals"; "Prayer when on Guard"; "Prayer before a
long March"; "Prayer of Resignation to Death"; "Prayer for Those
in their Agony"--I cannot bear to read them, hardly to list them.
I remember standing in a cathedral "somewhere in France" during
the celebration of some special Big Magic. There was brilliant
white light, and a suffocating strange odor, and the thunder of a
huge organ, and a clamor of voices, high, clear voices of young
boys mounting to heaven, like the hands of men in a pit reaching
up, trying to climb over the top of one another. It sent a
shudder into the depths of my soul. There is nothing left in the
modern world which can carry the mind so far back into the
ancient nightmare of anguish and terror which was once the mental
life of mankind, as these Roman Catholic incantations with their
frantic and ceaseless importunity. They have even brought in the
sex-spell; and the poor, frightened soldier-boy, who has perhaps
spent the night with a prostitute, now prostrates himself before
a holy Woman-being who is lifted high above the shames of the
flesh, and who stirs the thrills of awe and affection which his
mother brought to him in early childhood. Read over the phrases
of this "Litany of the Blessed Virgin":

Holy Mary, Pray for us. Holy Mother of God. Holy Virgin of
Virgins. Mother of Christ. Mother of divine grace. Mother most
pure. Mother most chaste. Mother inviolate. Mother undefiled.
Mother most amiable. Mother most admirable. Mother of good
counsel. Mother of our Creator. Mother of our Savior. Virgin most
prudent. Virgin most venerable. Virgin most renowned. Virgin most
powerful. Virgin most merciful. Virgin most faithful. Mirror of
justice. Seat of wisdom. Cause of our Joy. Spiritual vessel.
Vessel of honor. Singular vessel of devotion. Mystical rose.
Tower of David. Tower of ivory. House of gold. Ark of the
covenant. Gate of heaven. Morning Star. Health of the sick.
Refuge of sinners. Comforter of the afflicted. Help of
Christians. Queen of Angels. Queen of Patriarchs. Queen of
Prophets. Queen of Apostles. Queen of Martyrs. Queen of
Confessors. Queen of Virgins. Queen of all Saints. Queen
conceived without original sin. Queen of the most holy Rosary.
Queen of Peace, Pray for us.


For another five cents--how cheaply a man of insight can obtain
thrills in this fantastic world!--I purchase a copy of the
"Messenger of the Sacred Heart", a magazine published in New
York, the issue for October, 1917. There are pages of
advertisements of schools and colleges with strange titles:
"Immaculata Seminary", "Holy Cross Academy", "Holy Ghost
Institute", "Ladycliff", "Academy of Holy Child Jesus". The
leading article is by a Jesuit, on "The Spread of the Apostleship
of Prayer among the Young"; and then "Sister Clarissa" writes a
poem telling us "What are Sorrows"; and then we are given a story
called "Prayer for Daddy"; and then another Jesuit father tells
us about "The Hills that Jesus Loved". A third father tells us
about the "Eucharistic Propaganda"; and we learn that in July,
1917, it distributed 11,699 beads, and caused the expenditure of
57,714 hours of adoration; and then the faithful are given a form
of letter which they are to write to the Honorable Baker,
Secretary of War, imploring him to intimate to the French
government that France should withdraw from one of her advances
in civilization, and join with mediaeval America in exempting
priests from being drafted to fight for their country. And then
there is a "Question Box"--just like the Hearst newspapers, only
instead of asking whether she should allow him to kiss her before
he has told her that he loves her, the reader asks what is the
Pauline Privilege, and what is the heroic Act, and is Robert a
saint's name, and if food remains in the teeth from the night
before, would it break the fast to swallow it before Holy
Communion. (No, I am not inventing this.)

I quoted the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, and pointed out how
deftly the Church has managed to slip in a prayer for worldly
prosperity. But the Catholic Church does not show any
squeamishness in dealing with its "million imbeciles", its
"rough, purblind mass". There is a department of the little
magazine entitled "Thanksgiving", and a statement at the top that
"the total number of Thanksgivings for the month is 2,143,911." I
am suspicious of that, as of German reports of prisoners taken;
but I give the statement as it stands, not going through the list
and picking out the crudest, but taking them as they come,
classified by states:

GENERAL FAVORS: For many of these favors Mass and publication
were promised, for others the Badge of Promoter's Cross was used,
for others the prayers of the Associates had been asked.

Alabama--Jewelry found, relief from pain, protection during

Alaska--Safe return, goods found.

Arizona--Two recoveries, suitable boarding place, illness
averted, safe delivery.

British Honduras--Successful operation.

California--Seventeen recoveries, six situations, two successful
examinations, house rented, stocks sold, raise in salary, return
to religious duties, sight regained, medal won, Baptism,
preservation from disease, contract obtained, success in
business, hearing restored, Easter duty made, happy death,
automobile sold, mind restored, house found, house rented,
successful journey, business sold, quarrel averted, return of
friends, two successful operations.

And for all these miraculous performances the Catholic machine is
harvesting the price day by day--harvesting with that ancient
fervor which the Latin poet described as "auri sacra fames". As
Christopher Columbus wrote from Jamaica in 1503: "Gold is a
wonderful thing. By means of gold we can even get souls into

The Holy Roman Empire

The system thus self-revealed you admit is appalling in its
squalor; but you say that at least it is milder and less perilous
than the Church which burned Giordano Bruno and John Huss. But
the very essence of the Catholic Church is that it does not
change; semper eadem is its motto: the same yesterday, today and
forever--the same in Washington as in Rome or Madrid--the same in
a modern democracy as in the Middle Ages. The Catholic Church is
not primarily a religious organization; it is a political
organization, and proclaims the fact, and defies those who would
shut it up in the religious field, The Rev. S. B. Smith, a
Catholic doctor of divinity, explains in his "Elements of
Ecclesiastical Law":

Protestants contend that the entire power of the Church consists
in the right to teach and exhort, but not in the right to
command, rule, or govern; whence they infer that she is not a
perfect society or sovereign state. This theory is false; for the
Church, as was seen, is vested Jure divino with power, (1) to
make laws; (2) to define and apply them (potestas judicialis);
(3) to punish those who violate her laws (potestas coercitiva).

And this is not one scholar's theory, but the formal and repeated
proclamation of infallible popes. Here is the "Syllabus of
Errors", issued by Pope Pius IX, Dec. 8th, 1864, declaring in
precise language that

The state has not the right to leave every man free to profess
and embrace whatever religion he shall deem true.

It has not the right to enact that the ecclesiastical power shall
require the permission of the civil power in order to the
exercise of its authority.

Then in the same Syllabus the rights and powers of the Church are
affirmed thus:

She has the right to require the state not to leave every man
free to profess his own religion.

She has the right to exercise her power without the permission or
consent of the state.

She has the right of perpetuating the union of church and state.

She has the right to require that the Catholic religion shall be
the only religion of the state, to the exclusion of all others.

She has the right to prevent the state from granting the public
exercise of their own worship to persons immigrating from it.

She has the power of requiring the state not to permit free
expression of opinion.

You see, the Holy Office is unrepentant and unchastened. You, who
think that liberty of conscience is the basis of civilization,
ought at least to know what the Catholic Church has to say about
the matter. Here is Mgr. Segur, in his "Plain Talk About
Protestantism of Today", a book published in Boston and
extensively circulated by American Catholics:

Freedom of thought is the soul of Protestantism; it is likewise
the soul of modern rationalism and philosophy. It is one of those
impossibilities which only the levity of a superficial reason can
regard as admissable. But a sound mind, that does not feed on
empty words, looks upon this freedom of thought only as simply
absurd, and, what is more, as sinful.

You take the liberty of thinking, nevertheless; you feel safe
because the Law will protect you. But do you imagine that this
"Law" applies to your Catholic neighbors? Do you imagine that
they are bound by the restraints that bind you? Here is Pope Leo
XIII, in his Encyclical of 1890--and please remember that Leo
XIII was the beau ideal of our capitalist statesmen and editors,
as wise and kind and gentle-souled a pope as ever roasted a
heretic. He says:

If the laws of the state are openly at variance with the laws of
God--if they inflict injury upon the Church--or set at naught the
authority of Jesus Christ which is vested in the Supreme Pontiff,
then indeed it becomes a duty to resist them, a sin to render

And consider how many fields there are in which the laws of a
democratic state do and forever must contravene the "laws of God"
as interpreted by the Catholic Church. Consider for example, that
the Pope, in his decree Ne Temere, has declared that all persons
who have been married by civil authorities or by Protestant
clergymen are living in "filthy concubinage"! Consider, in the
same way, the problems of education, burial, prison discipline,
blasphemy, poor relief, incorporation, mortmain, religious
endowments, vows of celibacy. To the above list, as given by
Gladstone, one might add many issues, such as birth control,
which have arisen since his time.

What the Church means is to rule. Her literature is full of
expressions of that intention, set forth in the boldest and
haughtiest and most uncompromising manner. For example, Cardinal
Manning, in the Pro-Cathedral at Kensington, speaking in the name
of the Pope:

I acknowledge no civil power; I am the subject of no prince; I
claim more than this--I claim to be the supreme judge and
director of the consciences of men---of the peasant that tills
the field, and of the prince that sits upon the throne; of the
household of privacy, and the legislator that makes laws for
kingdoms; I am the sole, last supreme judge of what is right and

Temporal Power

What this means is, that here in our American democracy the
Catholic Church is a rebel; a prisoner of war who bides his time,
watching for the moment to rise in revolt, and meantime making no
secret of his intentions. The pious Leo XIII, addressing all true
believers in America, instructed them as to their attitude in

The Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and
government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation,
protected against violence by the common laws and the
impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without
hindrance. Yet, though all this is true, it would be very
erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought
the type of the most desirable status of the church, or that it
would be universally lawful or expedient for state and church to
be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that
Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying
a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the
fecundity with which God has endowed His Church .... But she
would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to
liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and patronage of the
public authority.

Accordingly, here is Father Phelan of St. Louis, addressing his
flock in the "Western Watchman", June 27, 1913:

Tell us we are Catholics first and Americans or Englishmen
afterwards; of course we are. Tell us, in the conflict between
the church and the civil government we take the side of the
church; of course we do. Why, if the government of the United
States were at war with the church, we would say tomorrow, To
hell with the government of the United States; and if the church
and all the governments of the world were at war, we would say,
To hell with all the governments of the world .... Why is it that
in this country, where we have only seven per cent of the
population, the Catholic church is so much feared? She is loved
by all her children and feared by everybody. Why is it that the
Pope has such tremendous power? Why, the Pope is the ruler of the
world. All the emperors, all the kings, all the princes, all the
presidents of the world, are as these altar boys of mine. The
Pope is the ruler of the world.

You recall what I said at the outset about Power; the ability to
control the lives of other men, to give laws and moral codes, to
shape fashions and tastes, to be revered and regarded. Here is a
man swollen to bursting with this Power. Dressed in his holy
robes, with his holy incense in his nostrils, and the faces of
the faithful gazing up at him awe-stricken, hear him proclaim:

The Church gives no bonds for her good behavior. She is the judge
of her own rights and duties, and of the rights and duties of the

And lest you think that an extreme example of ultramontanist
arrogance, listen to the Boston "Pilot", April 6, 1912, speaking
for Cardinal O'Connell, whose official organ it is:

It must be borne in mind that even though Cardinals Farley,
O'Connell and Gibbons are at heart patriotic Americans and
members of an American hierachy, yet they are as cardinals
foreign princes of the blood, to whom the United States, as one
of the great powers of the world, is under an obligation to
concede the same honors that they receive abroad.

Thus, were Cardinal Farley to visit an American man-of-war, he
would be entitled to the salutes and to naval honors reserved for
a foreign royal personage, and at any official entertainment at
Washington the Cardinal will outrank not merely every cabinet
officer, the speaker of the house and the vice-president, but
also the foreign ambassadors, coming immediately next to the
chief magistrate himself.

Incidentally, it may be mentioned that when a royal personage not
of sovereign rank visits New York it is his duty to make the
first call on Cardinal Farley.

Knights of Slavery

Such is the worldly station of these apostles of the lowly Jesus.
And what is their attitude towards their brothers in God, the
rank and file of the membership, whose pennies grease the wheels
of the ecclesiastical machine? His Holiness, the Pope, sent over
a delegate to represent him in America, and at a convention of
the Federation of Catholic Societies held in New Orleans in
November, 1910, this gentleman, Diomede Falconio, delivered
himself on the subject of Capital and Labor. We have heard the
slave-code of the Anglican disciples of Jesus, the revolutionary
carpenter; now let us hear the slave-code of his Roman disciples:

Human society has its origin from God and is constituted of two
classes of people, the rich and the poor, which respectively
represent Capital and Labor.

Hence it follows that according to the ordinance of God, human
society is composed of superiors and subjects, masters and
servants, learned and unlettered, rich and poor, nobles and

And lest this should not be clear enough, the Pope sent a second
representative, Mgr. John Bonzano, who, speaking at a general
meeting of the German Catholic Central-Verein, St. Louis, 1917,

One of the worst evils that may grow out of the European war is
the spreading of the doctrine of Socialism, and the Catholic
Church must be ready to counteract such doctrines. We must be
ready to prevent the spread of Socialism and to work against it.
As I understand, you have a society of wealthy people in St.
Louis ready for such a campaign. You have experienced leaders who
are masters in their kind of work. They are always insistent to
show that this wealth was and is in close touch with the Church,
and therefore it will not fail.

This, you perceive, is the complete thesis of the present book,
which therefore no doubt will be entitled to the "Nihil Obstat"
of the "Censor Theolog.", and the "Imprimatur" of "Johannes
Josephus, Archiepiscopus Sti. Ludovici." No wonder that the
"experienced leaders" of America, our captains of industry and
exploiters of labor, are forced, whatever their own faith may be,
to make use of this system of subjection. A few years ago we read
in our papers how a Jewish millionaire of Baltimore was
presenting a fortune to the Catholic Church, to be used in its
war upon Socialism. The late Mark Hanna, the shrewdest and most
far-seeing man that Big Business ever brought into power, said
that in twenty years there would be two parties in America, a
capitalist and a socialist; and that it would be the Catholic
church that would save the country from Socialism. That prophecy
was widely quoted, and sank into the souls of our steel and
railway and money magnates; from which time you might see, if you
watched political events, a new tone of deference to the Roman
Hierarchy on the part of our ruling classes. Today you cannot get
an expression of opinion hostile to Catholicism into any
newspaper of importance. The Associated Press does not handle
news unfavorable to the Church, and from top to bottom, the
politician takes off his hat when the Sacred Host goes by. Said
Archbishop Quigley, speaking before the children of the Mary

I'd like to see the politician who would try to rule against the
church in Chicago. His reign would be short indeed.

Priests and Police

And how is it in our national capital, the palladium of our
liberties? As a means of demonstrating the power of the church
and the subservience of our politicians, the Catholics have
invented what they call the "Cardinal's Day Mass": An elaborate
procession of high ecclesiastics, dressed in gorgeous robes and
jewels, through the streets of Washington, accompanied by a small
army of policemen, paid by non-Catholic taxpayers. The Cardinal
seats himself upon a throne, and our political rulers make
obeisance before him. On Sunday, January 14, 1917, there were
present at this political mass the following personages: Four
cabinet members and their wives; the speaker of the House; a
large group of senators and representatives; a general of the
army and his wife; an admiral of the navy and his wife; the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court and his wife, and another Justice of
the Supreme Court and his wife.

And understand that the church makes no secret of its purpose in
conducting such public exhibitions. Here is the pious Pope Leo
XIII again, in his Encyclical of Nov. 1, 1885:

All Catholics must make themselves felt as active elements in
daily political life in the countries where they live. They must
penetrate, wherever possible, in the administration of civil
affairs; must constantly exert the utmost vigilance and energy to
prevent the usages of liberty from going beyond the limits fixed
by God's law. All Catholics should do all in their power to cause
the constitutions of states and legislation to be modeled on the
principles of the true Church.

And following these instructions, the Catholics are organized for
political work. There are the various Catholic Societies, such as
the Knights of Columbus, secret, oath-bound organizations, the
military arm of the Papal Power. These societies boast some three
million members, and control not less than that many votes. The
one thing that you can be certain about these votes is that on
every public question, of whatever nature, they will be cast on
the side of ignorance and reaction. Thus, it was the influence of
the Catholic Societies which put upon our national statute books
the infamous law providing five years imprisonment and five
thousand dollars fine for the sending through the mail of
information about the prevention of conception. It is their
influence which keeps upon the statute-books of New York state
the infamous law which permits divorce only for infidelity, and
makes it "collusion" if both parties desire the divorce. It is
these societies which, in every city and town in America, are
pushing and plotting to get Catholics upon library boards, so
that the public may not have a chance to read scientific books;
to get Catholics into the public schools and on school-boards, so
that children may not hear about Galileo, Bruno, and Ferrer; to
have Catholics in control of police and on magistrates benches,
so that priests who are caught in brothels may not be exposed or

You are shocked at this, you think it a vulgar jest, perhaps; but
during a period of "vice raids" in New York I was told by a
captain of police, himself a Catholic, that it was a common thing
for them to get priests in their net. "Of course," the official
added, good-naturedly, "we let them slip out." I understood that
he had to do that; for the Pope, in his "Motu Proprio" decree,
has forbidden Catholics to bring a priest into court for any
civil crime whatsoever; he has forbidden Catholic policemen to
arrest, Catholic judges to try, and Catholic law-makers to make
laws affecting any priest of the Church of Rome. And of course we
know, upon the authority of a cardinal, that the Pope is "the
sole, last, supreme judge of what is right and wrong." He has
held that position for a thousand years and more; and wherever
you consult the police records throughout the thousand years, you
find the same entries concerning Catholic ecclesiastics. I turn
to Riley's "Illustrations of London Life from Original
Documents," and I find in the year 1385 a certain chaplain, whose
name is considerately suppressed, had a breviary stolen from him
by a loose woman, because he has not given her any money, either
on that night or the one previous. In 1320 John de Sloghtre, a
priest, is put in the tower "for being found wandering about the
city against the peace", and Richard Heyring, a priest, is
indicted in the ward of Farringdon and in the ward of Crepelgate
"as being a bruiser and nightwalker." That this has been going on
for six hundred years is due, not to any special corruption of
the Catholic heart, but to the practice of clerical celibacy,
which is contrary to nature, a transgression of fundamental
instinct. It should be noted that the purpose of this
transgression, which pretends to be spiritual, is really
economic; it was the means whereby the church machine built up
its power through the Middle Ages. The priests had children then,
as they have them today; but these children not being recognized,
the church machine remained the sole heir of the property of its

The Church Militant

Knowing what we know today, we marvel that it was possible for
Germany to prepare through so many years for her assault on
civilization, and for England to have slept through it all. In
exactly the same way, the historian of a generation from now will
marvel that America should have slept, while the New Inquisition
was planning to strangle her. For we are told with the utmost
explicitness precisely what is to be done. We are to see wiped
out these gains of civilization for which our race has bled and
agonized for many centuries; the very gains are to serve as the
means of their own destruction! Have we not heard Pope Leo tell
his faithful how to take advantage of what they find in
America--our easy-going trust, our quiet certainty of liberty,
our open-handed and open-homed and hail-fellow-well-met

We see the army being organized and drilled under our eyes; and
we can read upon its banners its purpose proclaimed. Just as the
Prussian military caste had its slogan "Deutschland ueber Alles!"
so the Knights of Slavery have their slogan: "Make America

Their attitude to democratic institutions is attested by the fact
that none of their conventions ever fails in its resolutions to
"deeply deplore the loss of the temporal power of Our Father, the
Pope." Their subjection to priestly domination is indicated by
such resolutions as this, bearing date of May 13th, 1914:

The Knights of Columbus of Texas in annual convention assembled,
prostrate at the feet of Your Holiness, present filial regards
with assurances of loyalty and obedience to the Holy See and
request the Papal blessing.

On June 10th, 1912, one T. J. Carey of Palestine, Texas, wrote to
Archbishop Bonzano, the Apostolic Delegate: "Must I, as a
Catholic, surrender my political freedom to the Church? And by
this I mean the right to vote for the Democratic, Socialist, or
Republican parties when and where I please?" The answer was: "You
should submit to the decisions of the Church, even at the cost of
sacrificing political principles." And to the same effect Mgr.
Preston, In New York City, Jan. 1, 1888: "The man who says, 'I
will take my faith from Peter, but I will not take my politics
from Peter,' is not a true Catholic."

Such is the Papal machine; and not a day passes that it does not
discover some new scheme to advance the Papal glory; a "Catholic
battle-ship" in the United States navy; Catholic chaplains on all
ships of the navy; Catholic holidays---such as Columbus Day--to
be celebrated by all Protestants in America; thirty million
dollars worth of church property exempted from taxation in New
York City; mission bells to be set up at the expense of the state
of California; state support for parish schools--or, if this
cannot be had, exemption of Catholics from taxation for school
purposes. So on through the list which might continue for pages.

More than anything else, of course, the Papal machine is
concerned with education, or rather, with the preventing of
education. It was in its childish days that the race fell under
the spell of the Priestly Lie; it is in his childish days that
the individual can be most safely snared. Suffer little children
to come unto the Catholic priest, and he will make upon their
sensitive minds an impression which nothing in after life can
eradicate. So the mainstay of the New Inquisition is the
parish-school, and its deadliest enemy is the American school
system. Listen to the Rev. James Conway, of the Society of Jesus,
in his book, "The Rights of Our Little Ones":

Catholic parents cannot, in conscience send their children to
American public schools, except for very grave reasons approved
by the ecclesiastical authorities.

While state education removes illiteracy and puts a limited
amount of knowledge within the reach of all, it cannot be said to
have a beneficial influence on civilization in general.

The state cannot justly enforce compulsory education, even in
case of utter illiteracy, so long as the essential physical and
moral education are sufficiently provided for.

And so, at all times and in all places, the Catholic Church is
fighting the public school. Eternal vigilance is necessary; as
"America", the organ of the Jesuits, explains:

Sometimes it is a new building code, or an attempt at taxing the
school buildings, which creates hardships to the parochial and
other private schools. Now it is the free text book law that puts
a double burden on the Catholics. Then again it is the unwise
extension of the compulsory school age that forces children to be
in school until they are 16 to 18 years old.

And if you wish to know the purpose of the Catholic schools, hear
Archbishop Quigley of Chicago, speaking before the children of
the Mary Sodality in the Holy Name Parish-School:

Within twenty years this country is going to rule the world.
Kings and emperors will pass away, and the democracy of the
United States will take their place. The West will dominate the
country, and what I have seen of the Western parochial schools
has proved that the generation which follows us will be
exclusively Catholic. When the United States rules the world the
Catholic Church will rule the world.

The Church Triumphant

The question may be asked, What of it? What if the Church were to
rule? There are not a few Americans who believe that there have
to be rich and poor, and that rule by Roman Catholics might be
preferable to rule by Socialists. Before you decide, at least do
not fail to consider what history has to tell about priestly
government. We do not have to use our imaginations in the matter,
for there was once a Golden Age such as Archbishop Quigley dreams
of, when the power of the church was complete, when emperors and
princes paid homage to her, and the civil authority made haste to
carry out her commands. What was the condition of the people in
those times? We are told by Lea, in his "History of the
Inquisition" that:

The moral condition of the laity was unutterably depraved.
Uniformity of faith had been enforced by the Inquisition and its
methods, and so long as faith was preserved, crime and sin was
comparatively unimportant except as a source of revenue to those
who sold absolution. As Theodoric Vrie tersely puts it, hell and
purgatory would be emptied if enough money could be found. The
artificial standard thus created is seen in a revelation of the
Virgin to St. Birgitta, that a Pope who was free from heresy, no
matter how polluted by sin and vice, is not so wicked but that he
has the absolute power to bind and loose souls. There are many
wicked popes plunged in hell, but all their lawful acts on earth
are accepted and confirmed by God, and all priests who are not
heretics administer true sacraments, no matter how depraved they
may be. Correctness of belief was thus the sole essential; virtue
was a wholly subordinate consideration. How completely under such
a system religion and morals came to be dissociated is seen in
the remarks of Pius II, that the Franciscans were excellent
theologians, but cared nothing about virtue.

This, in fact, was the direct result of the system of persecution
embodied in the Inquisition. Heretics who were admitted to be
patterns of virtue were ruthlessly exterminated in the name of
Christ, while in the same holy name the orthodox could purchase
absolution for the vilest of crimes for a few coins. When the
only unpardonable offence was persistence in some trifling error
of belief, such as the poverty of Christ; when men had before
them the example of their spiritual guides as leaders in vice and
debauchery and contempt of sacred things, all the sanctions of
morality were destroyed and the confusion between right and wrong
became hopeless. The world has probably never seen a society more
vile than that of Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries. The brilliant pages of Froissart fascinate us with
their pictures of the artificial courtesies of chivalry; the
mystic reveries of Rysbroek and of Tauler show us that spiritual
life survived in some rare souls, but the mass of the population
was plunged into the depths of sensuality and the most brutal
oblivion of the moral law. For this Alvaro Pelayo tells us that
the priesthood were accountable, and that, in comparison with
them, the laity were holy. What was that state of comparative
holiness he proceeds to describe, blushing as he writes, for the
benefit of confessors, giving a terrible sketch of universal
immorality which nothing could purify but fire and brimstone from
heaven. The chroniclers do not often pause in their narrations to
dwell on the moral aspects of the times, but Meyer, in his annals
of Flanders, under date of 1379, tells us that it would be
impossible to describe the prevalence everywhere of perjuries,
blasphemies, adulteries, hatreds, quarrels, brawls, murder,
rapine, thievery, robbery, gambling, whoredom, debauchery,
avarice, oppression of the poor, rape, drunkenness: and similar
vices, and he illustrates his statement with the fact that in the
territory of Ghent, within the space of ten months, there
occurred no less than fourteen hundred murders committed in the
bagnios, brothels, gambling-houses, taverns, and other similar
places. When, in 1396, Jean sans Peur led his Crusaders to
destruction at Micopolis, their crimes and cynical debauchery
scandalized even the Turks, and led to the stern rebuke of
Bajazet himself, who as the monk of St. Denis admits was much
better than his Christian foes. The same writer, moralizing over
the disaster at Agincourt, attributes it to the general
corruption of the nation. Sexual relations, he says, were an
alternation of disorderly lust and of incest; commerce was nought
but fraud and treachery; avarice withheld from the Church her
tithes, and ordinary conversation was a succession of
blasphemies. The Church, set up by God as a model and protector
of the people, was false to all its obligations. The bishops,
through the basest and most criminal of motives, were habitual
accepters of persons; they annointed themselves with the last
essence extracted from their flocks, and there was in them
nothing of holy, of pure, of wise, or even of decent.

God in the Schools

But that, you may say, was a long time ago. If so, let us take a
modern country in which the Catholic Church has worked its will.
Until recently, Spain was such a country. Now the people are
turning against the clerical machine; and if you ask why, turn to
Rafael Shaw's "Spain From Within":

On every side the people see the baleful hand of the Church,
interfering or trying to interfere in their domestic life,
ordering the conditions of employment, draining them of their
hard-won livelihood by trusts and monopolies established and
maintained in the interest of the Religious Orders, placing
obstacles in the way of their children's education, hindering
them in the exercise of their constitutional rights, and
deliberately ruining those of them who are bold enough to run
counter to priestly dictation. Riots suddenly break out in
Barcelona; they are instigated by the Jesuits. The country goes
to war in Morocco; it is dragged into it solely in defense of the
mines owned, actually, if not ostensibly, by the Jesuits. The
consumos cannot be abolished because the Jesuits are financially
interested in their continuance.

We have read the statement of a Jesuit father, that "the state
cannot justly enforce compulsory education, even in case of utter
illiteracy." How has that doctrine worked out in Spain? There was
an official investigation of school conditions, the report
appearing in the "Heraldo de Madrid" for November, 1909. In 1857
there had been passed a law requiring a certain number of schools
in each of the 79 provinces: this requirement being below the
very low standards prevailing at that time in other European
countries. Yet in 1909 it was found that only four provinces had
the required number of elementary schools, and at the rate of
increase then prevailing it would have taken 150 years to catch
up. Seventy-five per cent of the population were wholly
illiterate, and 30,000 towns and villages had no government
schools at all. The government owed nearly a million and a half
dollars in unpaid salaries to the teachers. The private schools
were nearly all "nuns' schools", which taught only needle-work
and catechism; the punishments prevailing in them were "cruel and

As to the location of the schools, a report of the Minister of
Education to the Cortes, the Parliament of Spain, sets forth as

Book of the day: