During the coming presidential campaigns the possibility of a Roman Catholic nominee will again occupy the attention of the country. The politicians will calculate whether the solid Catholic vote will overbalance the number of Protestants who may bolt their party. The fate of Al Smith will be recalled.
But conditions are different now from those of 1928. Roman Catholics have elected a record number of governors; their political power has greatly increased. Then too, several periodicals have made soundings and have reported that anti-Catholic feeling is on the wane. Protestants who oppose the election of a Romanist have been and are going to be called bigots; and some Protestants will vote for a Catholic nominee just to show how broad-minded they are.
But is it bigotry to oppose the election of a Roman Catholic for president? What is bigotry? The dictionary defines a bigot as one who is obstinately and irrationally, often intolerantly, devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion; and bigotry is said to be unreasoning attachment to one’s own belief. Is then opposition to the election of a Roman Catholic bigoted?
Well, first of all, this opposition is certainly not unreasoning. The past history and present practice of the Roman church illustrates its acceptance of the policy of persecution and oppression. The Protestants do not base their opposition merely on the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve nor on the Pope’s efforts to raise a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth. There are current events in Colombia, Spain, Italy, and Quebec. Where the Romanists are strong enough, they persecute; where less strong, they oppress and harass; where they are in the minority, they seek special privileges, government favor, and more power. ...1
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