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

By Arnold M. Rose | Go to book overview

the liberal Protestants? They are so broad in their views and so thin in their convictions that their feet are generally planted firmly in the air. Professor F. O. Matthiessen of Harvard is typical of the men of good will who reject authority but are too anemic in their thinking to make definite judgments. He rejects Communism but feels that he can work along with Communists.

To all Protestants and to Jews as well, the Catholic Church stands up before the world today with all the authority of Christ before Pilate.

The question of Pilate to the authoritative Christ is being asked again: "Thou art then a king?" and the answer comes back: "Thou sayest it: I am a king. This is why I was born and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth."


8(c).The Ideal of Separation of Church and State 3870 *

Alvin W. Johnson and Frank H. Yost

Separation of the church from the state was the prevailing condition in the early years of the Christian church, both from principle and from necessity. The government was hostile. The church sought to fulfill, in spite of an inimical society, what it considered a divine mission.

Not until the time of Constantine did church and state become united; for the most part they have continued so for sixteen centuries. A union of church and state has been considered the normal relationship in most of Christendom and by the great majority of peoples.

Where church and state are united, pressing issues concerning religious liberty have no opportunity to arise. Toleration may prevail, but toleration, however benevolent, is not liberty. Where toleration is not granted, the alternatives are escape by flight or utter submission with suppression of conscience.

Large numbers of colonists came to America to live in a freer atmosphere than toleration gives, or to escape some form of religious persecution. They represented a wide variety of nationalities and cultures. Except in New England, there was no area where believers in any form of religion within the Christian fam-

____________________
*
From Separation of Church and State in the United States ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1948), 256-62. Copyright 1948 by the University of Minnesota Press. Reprinted by permission of the University of Minnesota Press.

-79-

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