Machen on Roman Catholic Indoctrination

anti-catholicismSince the Christian school advocates are invoking Machen, here is one more relevant quotation that may clarify his views on American liberty and how it affects folks from different faiths even if they happen to be in the Protestant majority. Since Machen refers in the following to debates over public education, the quotation may also shed light on why he admired the Dutch Calvinist day schools.

The attack upon tolerance in America is appearing most clearly in the sphere of education. The Oregon school law, it is true, with its provision that children should be taken by brute force from their parents and delivered over to the tender mercies of whatever superintendent of education happens to be in power in the district where they reside, will probably be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. And the Nebraska language law, which made literary education a crime, was thrown out by the same tribunal. But the same ends may well be accomplished by indirect means, and if the Sterling-Reed Bill is passed by Congress, we shall have sooner or later that uniformity of education under the control of the state which is the worst calamity into which any nation can fall.

Against such tyranny, I do cherish some hope that Jews and Christians, Roman Catholics and Protestants, if they are lovers of liberty, may present a united front. I am for my part an inveterate propagandist; but the same right of propaganda which I desire for myself I want to see also in the possession of others. What absurdities are uttered in the name of a pseudo-Americanism today! People object to the Roman Catholics, for example, because they engage in “propaganda.” But why should they not engage in propaganda? And how should we have any respect for them if, holding the view which they hold — that outside the Roman church there is no salvation — they did not engage in propaganda first, last, and all the time? Clearly they have a right to do so, and clearly we have a right to do the same. . . .

Does this mean, then, that we must eternally bite and devour one another, that acrimonious debate must never for a moment be allowed to cease? . . . . There is a common solution of the problem which we think ought to be taken to heart. It is the solution provided by family life. In countless families, there is a Christian parent who with untold agony of soul has seen the barrier of religious difference set up between himself or herself and a beloved child. Salvation, it is believed with all the heart, comes only through Christ, and the child, it is believed, unless it has really trusted in Christ, is lost. These, I tell you, are the real tragedies of life. And how trifling, in comparison, is the experience of bereavement of the like! But what do these sorrowing parents do? Do they make themselves uselessly a nuissance to their child? In countless cases they do not; in countless cases there is hardly a mention of the subject of religion; in countless cases there is nothing but prayer, and an agony of soul bravely covered by helpfulness and cheer. (From “The Relations between Christians and Jews,” in Selected Shorter Writings, pp. 419-20)

60 thoughts on “Machen on Roman Catholic Indoctrination

  1. If you’re curious, the United States Supreme Court cases to which Machen seems to be referring are Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925) and Meyer v. Nebraska (1923).

    In Meyer v Nebraska, 262 US 390 (1923), an instructor at a parochial school was facing a criminal penalty for teaching a ten-year-old child to read in German. The Nebraska state law forbade the teaching of any topic in any language other than English to children who had not yet passed the Eighth Grade. The law was binding on all schools, public and private. The Court struck down the law. The full text of the opinion is here: http://supreme.justia.com/us/262/390/case.html

    In Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 US 510 (1925), the Oregon law mandated that all children receive an education at public school. The Society of Sisters was one of many private schools and corporations that challenged the law. Machen correctly predicted that the Court would strike down the law. The full text of the Court’s opinion is here: http://supreme.justia.com/us/268/510/case.html

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  2. Hart, when you gonna learn? Your readers are obsessed with the contemporary. We don’t care about history. Ever noticed which posts are the least commented on? The ones where you go and bring up all of that history. We don’t care what Machen says about day schools (unless and except that he confirms our position).

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  3. By the way, how am I supposed to have the attention span to read your entire lengthy quotes with that advertisement for the lattest TKNY book flashing at me from up in the corner?

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  4. History has revealed that this Nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, however, with a multitude no longer clothed with The Word of God, we, who follow The Christ, The Only Word of God, are being forced to be naked in The Public Square. Let us not forget that although The Blessed Trinity Is a Great Mystery, The Holy Spirit, The Only Spirit of Love Between The Father and The Son, Is unitive and creative, thus what divides us is what keeps us from being in communion with Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Without a final authority, there can be no cohesiveness of belief, without a cohesiveness of belief, there can be no cohesiveness of Faith as we, rather than The Word of God, declare what is Good according to what our own conscience dictates.

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  5. Nancy,

    What do we do when Popes and Councils err? What do we do when they err on defining what the gospel is? What do we do when Scripture and the Church disagree? Sloganeering is not thinking through difficult issues.

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  6. Also notice how Nancy shifts from the Church to pitting the Word of God against our own consciences. There’s a missing link there. This is like a game of hide the pea.

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  7. Erik, Christ would not Found His Church and not ensure that The Word of God remain consistent. Christ Has Revealed Himself to His Church, in the Trinitarian relationship of Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and The Teaching of The Magisterium.

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  8. Not to mention that consciences are not all equal, as a well-formed conscience is a conscience that is in communion with Christ.

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  9. This isn’t the best place to put forth “well-formed conscience” arguments to buttress your case.

    Just sayin’
    😀

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  10. Nancy,

    So says you (and the Pope). Pretend for a minute that not everyone here is Roman Catholic. How do you persuade us of these things? Your approach seems rather fideistic.

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  11. cold up here brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, that’s okay as my allergies to trees and grass are dampered by the frost

    sorry you have to work on a stat holiday

    no rest for the totally depraved…

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  12. Erik: the AMT is awesome in Canada.

    A few times a year a rich client tried to duck taxes by putting $200,000 in their retirement fund, maybe the equivalent of your IRA (our RRSP) up here, and that was no go, Chief.

    One time a junior came to me and said he told the client he was getting a $30,000 refund, but he forgot about the AMT and instead the client owed $14,000. He wasn’t sure if he should tell the partner about the situation.

    I told him to go with his well-formed conscience and he went home and sat in a fox hole until he was sure there was no more danger of immediate termination.

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  13. Nancy used the following words:
    Only, Only, unitive, communion, One, cohesiveness, cohesiveness, cohesiveness.

    Then her “final authority” is triumphant over “our own conscience.” It’s the Borg apologetic.

    Then consider all her capitalized words that are not normally capitalized. A yearning for lots of specialness? Rarely does writing style itself so thoroughly display a particular perspective.

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  14. Erik, you mean when the man behind the plexiglass platform tells us “… and it was barley season.”

    and then repeats BARLEY SEASON 5 times, louder each time till he’s screaming it at us?

    with no context besides his meds ran out…

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  15. Eric, have you read the Gospel account of The Baptism of Christ? Do you honestly believe that Christ would be Baptized into a Church that was not His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and then tell us to follow Him? Is it not reasonable to assume that Christ would not lead us astray?

    BTW, when chatting on a blogpost, I would suggest The Law Of Capitalization need not apply.

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  16. Erik, Christ Was the first to be Baptized by both Water and The Holy Spirit into His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Now rather than deflect my question, will you please answer it?

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  17. It’s amazing that for all the apologetic effort put forth by newly minted prot-Catholics, THE principled reason for becoming RC is; ‘wouldn’t it have made sense that God would’ve left us a sole church that we could identify……….’ The rest of the apologetic effort is just convenient pretense; the tradition and the lexicon, historical survey driven by a hermenuetic of continuity and coherence, same for internal documents but with the added; ‘commitment’ of continuity/reform without rupture’. How this avoids Freudian wish fulfillment is anybody’s guess. There’s LOTS of things I wish were according to my desires and thoughts but its Gods word that declares ‘His ways are not my ways’ and ‘there is a way that seems right unto a man’. And that’s before we ever address the inconvenient truth that Wallis and Kung are more honest representatives of the Vat II spirit, than anything the trads have put forth, not withstanding the whole 6 months some have in the fold.

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  18. There is only One Word of God, The Truth of Love, and One Spirit of Love Between The Father and The Son in The Perfect Communion of Love that Is The Blessed Trinity. There is no division in Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, because it is through, with, and in Him, that The Body of Christ exists. “No one can come to The Father except through Me.” – Jesus The Christ

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  19. “Mikelmann, you mean I am not me?”

    You are Borg. Resistance was futile.

    I’m staying with my hypothesis. If you used lower-case letters throughout you’d be a pantheist. With the caps you are RCC. Nicely done. But you’re too much like someone we would just make up.

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  20. “Nancy”,

    I’m with Mikelmann. I’ll need some more biographical information to continue. I’m not into arguing with fake Catholics. The real ones are amusing and frustrating enough.

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  21. Sean, amazing indeed. As if the Bible isn’t full of circumstances where we, if it were up to our sense of things, wouldn’t have done it that way. Just think of how much easier it would have been if the first king of Israel were David, not Saul. But I suppose RCs are not paying attention to the Bible. Why should you when you have “inerrant” tradition?

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  22. “THE principled reason for becoming RC is; ‘wouldn’t it have made sense that God would’ve left us a sole church that we could identify……….’”

    NO, the principled reason for becoming RC is NOT philosophic or rational.
    And we kNOw that because mind you, we are chiefly philosophers (and rationalists/opportunists).
    So there ya go.
    Trample on your consciences – well formed or not by Scripture – and sign up now.
    Neither will your CtC celebrity status be DOE on experience, so relax, kick back and just bask in it.

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  23. D.G. Hart, the denial of The Filioque, is the source of all heresies, for there is only One Word of Perfect Love, and thus only One Spirit of Perfect Unitive and Creative Love Between The Father and The Son, in The Communion of Perfect Love that is The Blessed Trinity.

    Our Call to Holiness, is a call to Love, which is why, from The Beginning, God created man and woman, to live in communion with The Blessed Trinity as a reflection of Love, and thus participate in God’s Creation. When a man and woman are joined together as husband and wife, it is Love which is unitive and procreative, that creates a new Family.

    We no longer have to wander in the desert in search of a place to lay our weary heads, for The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.

    There is no division in Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, for in order to be Catholic, one must be in communion with Christ’s Church. ( Catholic Canon 750) This does not change the fact that through a false ecumenism, many who have left His Church spiritually, have been allowed to remain within His Church physically, causing chaos and confusion as they lead many astray. The Charitable Anathema has always existed for the sake of Christ, His Church, all who will come to believe, and those prodigal sons and daughters who, hopefully, will return to The Fold.

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  24. Nancy D., keep insisting. Maybe you’ll get feeling back in your stomping foot and pounding fist next week. But you’re not pope and your pope calls me a brother. Are you a SSPXer?

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  25. Machen: “We would not indeed obscure the difference which divides us from Rome. The gulf is indeed profound. But profound as it is, it seems almost trifling compared to the abyss which stands between us and many ministers of our own Church. The Church of Rome may represent a perversion of the Christian religion; but naturalistic liberalism is not Christianity at all.”

    Machen didn’t have to deal with the Callers. Likewise, “First Things” is not “Called to Communion”. The former is far more elegant.

    Charles Erdman was not Jason Stellman.

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  26. “First Things” is not “Called to Communion”. The former is far more elegant.

    For sure, Neuhaus had a brain and ability to work with people outside of his views.

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  27. All, I suppose it would be hard to talk with someone who would accuse you of stomping your feet and pounding your fist, whenever you were simply defending Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. All are welcomed into His Church, as long as they desire to abide in The Word of God as He Has revealed Himself to His Church in the Trinitarian relationship of Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and The Teaching of The Magisterium. Regarding the elect, “to whom much has been given, much more will be expected.”

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  28. Erik, you mean since it is true that there Is only One Word of God, there can only be One Truth of Love?

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  29. Erik, the rules of capitalization do not apply to one’s imagination, that does not change the fact that without a final authority, there can be no cohesiveness of belief, without a cohesiveness of belief, there can be no cohesiveness of Faith, and thus rather than following The True God, The God of our Salvation, Who desires that we overcome our disordered inclinations, including our disordered sinful inclinations, so that we are not led into temptation, but rather, sin no more, no longer clothed with The Word of God, you will end up naked, every man, a mini god.

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  30. Personally, I’m really enjoying this Nancy character that has been introduced into the Old Life movie. She’s the evangel of unity while being both judgemental and ethereal. And now we are naked mini-gods.

    I wonder if she lives in Alexian Village.

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  31. Mikelmann, no doubt when one is discriminating between that which is true, and that which is not true, one must make a judgement. Making a judgement does not change the fact that there is only One True God, and only One Truth of Love, thus The Language of Love comes from God. Since it is true that The Language of Love comes from God, and God creates out of Love, through Faith and Reason we can know that every son and daughter of a Human Person, can only be a Human Person, and God did not create us according to sexual desire or orientation because that would be in direct violation of His own Commandment regarding lust and the sin of adultery. One cannot be a follower of Christ, and deny Christ, The Way, The Truth, The Life (Light) of Love, simultaneously.

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  32. That’s a tautology, Nancy, but you do make it sound like so much more.

    Imagine a first date with Nancy. She holds it together without being dissolved into the mystical One, and you think it went OK. The next day she’s somehow gotten your email and Facebook passwords, your cat is dead, and she pulls into your driveway with a U-Haul and all her stuff.

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  33. Mikelmann, what you just said makes no sense, whereas the fact that there can be no division in a communion of persons united as One Body in Christ, makes perfect sense.

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  34. ” what you just said makes no sense, whereas the fact that there can be no division in a communion of persons united as One Body in Christ, makes perfect sense.”

    Erik, you may be on to something with your Richard reference. The above from Nancy is stylistically quite distinct from her earlier offerings and formally looks like just the kind of thing Richard would say.

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  35. Mikelmann, it is through, with, and in Christ, that The Body of Christ, His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, exists. Communion with Christ, is not a matter of degree. You are either with Christ, or anti Christ.

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