Christianity in the World Today
The most potent organizational foe of Roman Catholic infractions in the United States today is the group known as Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Its leaders and backers include some of the most influential men in American Protestantism.
POAU first won widespread recognition in 1947 with its “Manifesto” which warned that the Roman Catholic hierarchy was trying to divide state-supported public schools into sectarian school systems sustained out of public revenue. Its warning was prompted by devotion to a constitutional principle which provides that religious and governmental functions stay clear of each other.
Two years later Paul Blanshard, the special counsel for the POAU, followed up the warning. His book raised a cry which is still ringing in bookstore cash registers. American Freedom and Catholic Power in its original edition sold 240,000 copies and was the most vigorous revelation of Roman Catholic plans and principles ever to come before the American public. The book still is selling at the rate of about 300 copies a month.
A Ten-Year Review
This month the POAU reviewed the accomplishments and the frustrations of the past ten years. Tacked on to its “balance sheet” were three questions which organization leaders said should be addressed to every Catholic candidate for the United States presidency or vice presidency.
Is the POAU against the Catholics as a whole?
Blanshard himself took another look at the situation in American Freedom and Catholic Power, 1958 edition, scheduled for publication March 12. He carefully restated the POAU policy of not being against Catholicism per se, but only as the church hierarchy would tend to violate the Constitution. ...1
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