Race Prejudice and Discrimination: Readings in Intergroup Relations in the United States

By Arnold M. Rose | Go to book overview

a new basis of antagonism to Catholicism during the 1940's. Thus far this feeling seems to be based largely on a disagreement with the creed and practices of the Catholic Church, but gradually it also seems to be acquiring an overlay of racism and other typical characteristics of intergroup conflict, such as economic and political discrimination. The following selections offer three out of many possible points of view toward this new conflict: (1) a leading Protestant's statement concerning the practices of the Catholic Church believed to be dangerous; (2) a Catholic, priest's criticisms of what are believed to be errors in the writings of Protestant clergyman like Fey and Oxnam and of laymen like Blanshard;1 (3) two scholars summary of the ideology and legal status of the separation of church and state in the United States. ]


8(a). Can Catholicism Win America?*

Harold E. Fey

In addition to the war, many long-term forces are uniting. to move this nation toward cultural unity. All the land within our seabound continental frontiers has been occupied. Mass immigration has been ended. The day is not far distant when all our people will speak one language. Thus the American melting-pot is granted its greatest opportunity. So powerful agencies combine to speed the processes of integration. Universal education, universal conscription, the universal radio, the universal motion picture, the universal press--all these foster a more homogeneous community. And dominating them all is universal government, from whose expanded social embrace no one can escape. Before the united impact of such forces the walls of ancient separations are rapidly crumbling.

What will this new American culture be like? Is secularism to determine its character? Can Protestantism recover the prominent position in molding American culture which it held before the great waves of Catholic immigration swept across this continent? Or is this once Protestant nation destined to pass into another and different cultural phase under the religious and social preponderance of the Roman Catholic Church?

____________________
*
From The Christian Century, 61 ( November 29, 1944), 1378-80. Copyright 1944 by The Christian Century. Reprinted by permission of The Christian Century.
1
Paul Blanshard, American Freedom and Catholic Power ( Boston: Beacon Press, 1949). The most complete Catholic answer to this book is Father George H. Dunne's Religion and American Democracy ( New York: The American Press, 1949).

-66-

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