Now I saw in my dream, that as Christian toiled up a steep road in the evening, he came to a city set on a hill, and there was a great church there, and Christian quickened his weary pace to seek rest. As he entered a hall he met a man with shorn head.
DR. IVY: Good evening, friend. What a convincing costume! The stage lights are operating again. We’ve added another circuit. Will you be through with the play rehearsal in time to drop in on the bowling?
CHRISTIAN: But sir, I thought this was a house of worship—have I come again to Vanity Fair?
DR. IVY: I beg your pardon, I thought you were in the cast of Dark Pilgrimage. The sanctuary is open for meditation. This is the fellowship hall. Glad to have you watch the bowling, though. It’s a match for the championship—the Men’s Bible Class against the Usher’s Association.
CHRISTIAN: A Bible class at the game of bowls? Do you thus redeem the time in evil days? And do you speak of stage plays in this place?
DR. IVY: You seem tense, friend. Perhaps we should talk this over. Here, step into our counseling room.
Now as I dreamed, I saw Christian enter a darkened room and lie upon a couch. Dr. Ivy began to converse concerning Christian’s childhood, but Christian forthwith fell asleep. After a time Dr. Ivy left him. When Christian awakened he sought to leave, but hearing shouts, he entered a hall where men rejoiced at sport.
DR. IVY: There you are! The match is nearly over. This is the league champion about to roll. Has five consecutive strikes. Watch his follow-through! There it is! A strike!
CHRISTIAN: Would that such zeal were found among pilgrims to the celestial city! Alas, like Joash at the bed of Elisha, we smite but thrice when we should strike again and again till the victory is gained.
DR. IVY: The last one—a seventh strike! The ushers defeat the Men’s Bible Class! What a victory!
Now in the tumult Christian slipped away and traveled on singing this song: When saints fellowship at bowling pins, Their mirth may cover many sins; But guttered are their life-score tallies Who seek the Kingdom first in alleys!
ROME AND THE PRESIDENCY
Your pitiable editorial (Feb. 1 issue) in opposition to the election of a Catholic president … gives to an intelligent reader a picture undoubtedly more clear than you realize of your own psychological status.… It has been said that prejudice, hatred, bigotry—all synonymous—are definite indications of, at the very least, incipient mental illness.
Now, to be sure, you meet in advance … the to-be-expected interpretation of your views as “Romish smear.” The very fact that you do so may well indicate your guilt feelings, which, even though they were suppressed, probably instigated and accompanied the writing of your editorial. Well … I think you will find that few Catholics who try to imitate Christ will even remotely attempt to “smear” you. ELIZABETH J. MUNNEGLE Providence, R. I.
Your [editorial] is a direct affront to the teaching of Christ and his Church.… You must be a follower of Henry VIII who is described in history as a murderer, adulterer, hangman, brute, and savage, and the most inhumane monster that ever cursed the earth.
St. Paul, Minn.
I am a Roman Catholic, a voter who had no idea of voting for Sen. Kennedy … but on second thought the writer and hundreds and hundreds of other Roman Catholics may accept your challenge re the verbal garbage dished out by one of your barfly pinks.
New York, N. Y.
How stupid can you get—one should be told to vote for the man, not his religion. St. Petersburg, Fla.
You poor, bewildered thing.
• CHRISTIANITY TODAY is glad to reflect the views of its (growing number of) Roman Catholic readers, as well as of Protestant clergy and laity, on the issue of a Roman Catholic in the White House.
YOU ARE TO BE CONGRATULATED FOR YOUR STAND AND FORTHRIGHT PRESENTATION WHICH IS SO HELPFUL IN DEVELOPING A REALIZATION THAT THE CHURCH OF ROME WILL BE JUDGED … BY ITS PRACTICES RATHER THAN BY ITS TEACHING.
WILLIAM H. WORRILOW, JR.
Please let me compliment you.… Protestants and all others who do not give allegiance to the Pope must unite as one to see that no Roman Catholic occupies the White House.
BYRON O. WATERMAN
Baptist and Congregational Parish
Greene, R. I.
We are a hundred per cent with you in the position which you take. The rapidly growing power of Rome in our country is one of the greatest menaces to the fundamental principles of separation of church and state, and liberty of conscience and freedom of speech and of the press. Wherever Rome has the power these disappear. Already the press, radio, and television are under virtual censorship, and the truth about the papacy is deleted from our histories and textbooks.
Unfortunately many Protestant leaders have gone soft, and are blind to the dangerous trends.
W. C. MOFFETT
Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
I commend [the editorial] as a … fair, courageous, and timely presentation of the truth. No doubt mud, brickbats, and what-not have already been hurled your way. Continue the good work. Our prayers are with you.
Free Methodist Church
Morgantown, W. Va.
I am in agreement.… It is illogical for Protestants to vote themselves into second-class citizenship by voting for a Catholic U. S. president. A Protestant cannot work for the government in Spain. I read that a Protestant in Spain cannot be employed at a U. S. military base in Spain. Since these conditions exist today, one does not need to go back to the Middle Ages to find injustice under Catholic rule or domination.
I am a Catholic.… As long as a man is morally and physically capable of assuming the duties of a high office, that is all that matters.
Rochester, N. Y.
The history of the Catholic hierarchy … is so black that it makes me see red.…
A Catholic President could be subject to take orders from the Vatican, or perhaps be excommunicated and disgraced.
T. F. SHANKEL
San Francisco, Calif.
I agree and go farther because he has pledged his first allegiance to the Pope of Rome and would be dictated to by him and if he didn’t obey he would be excommunicated and that is what every Catholic fears.
This type of thing can only do harm to our country. May God forgive you.
LEWIS B. EATES
I want to express my sincere appreciation. I wish that every voter in these United States could be provided with a copy of that editorial.
A. PRESTON GRAY
I feel the printing of such editorials is a direct approval by you of intolerance, prejudices, and false ideas against the Catholic church.
I also feel it would be well for all concerned to sit down and take note of your own teachings and beliefs and to leave governmental problems up to the people who have shown themselves capable.
Informed Protestants as the author stated would do well to disregard your magazine before they are filled with the uncharitableness which was written into every word of the editorial. Informed Protestants would also do well to become a little more informed about Catholicism before they write material which strays so far from the Truth.
(MRS.) NEAL R. OLSON
St. Louis, Mo.
It was encouraging to read … that one publication was courageous enough to take a position against election of a Roman Catholic as President.
After reading in the press announcements by [Episcopal and Methodist bishops] that there was no reason why a Roman Catholic wouldn’t make a good president of the United States, I thought perhaps I should re-evaluate my faith and that my limited historical understanding of the Reformation was in error and we should all become Roman Catholic converts.
(MRS.) HOMER C. STEVENS
The Vatican, if I may inform you, has no intention and no need to control the United States because it is the head of an organization which strives for spiritual goals, not material goals.
I would like to question your reference to a foreign, earthly power.… In the Roman Catholic Church the Pope is well versed in philosophy and God’s teaching and he is in charge of interpreting this. In fact, he is similar to the President of the United States, whose function it is to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
(MRS.) JOHN MAGINOT
The Catholics [also] have alert and well planned thinking to see that the successor to J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI will be a Catholic.
It would pay the Protestants to become very concerned as to the preponderance of the number of Catholics appointed to West Point and Annapolis recently. The Catholic politicians who make these appointments are appointing nothing but Catholics.
F. C. ANDERSON
You rendered again a most essential service to America by calling our attention to the actual meaning of bigotry; it has always been the enemy of Christ, of America, and of freedom everywhere. I accept your dictionary’s definition of a bigot as “one who is obstinately and irrationally, often intolerantly, devoted to his own church, party, belief or opinion … unreasoning attachment to one’s own belief.”
As you point out it is the classic technique of bigotry to call every critic a bigot (if not anti-Semitic). For example, could it not be the same unscientific evaluation by the Roman Catholic hierarchy which condemns Galileo’s scientifically sound position in one century and birth control in another? Does this same religion not practice, while it condemns it, birth control in its most unholy form by outlawing the marriage of its own priests and nuns? Has it not been humanly ruled, falsely ruled, that God’s divine command “Be ye fruitful and multiply” does not apply to a certain class? What unbiblical, therefore unethical, error this is! What a defeating of human happiness and what encouragement to unnatural sex practice! And in the name of infallible “truth”!
Then comes the Roman Catholic attempt to muzzle American doctors and citizens, denying us our American constitutional right of freedom of speech on this subject of planned parenthood. Even the Presbyterian President of the United States whom I deeply respect has fallen for this blackout of freedom of speech and religion by denying government agencies abroad the right of freedom of speech in this area. How dare we aid such unscientific religious bigotry in the name of American freedom or Christian ethics? This could be like Rome’s condemnation and persecution of the great Roman Catholic Galileo for espousing the Copernican truth that the sun, not the earth, is the center of our planetary system.
And secondly, what sort of un-American bigotry is it in Rome, New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Los Angeles that makes it wrong for Roman Catholic Americans everywhere to enter the Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian or Episcopal churches? Is the aim to protect Romanists from God’s holy truth lest they defect? This is how it appears, and this is as un-American as any Russian containment of human beings by threat and reprisal.…
These two forms of bigotry Americans dare not encourage by silence if constitutional America is to be America instead of Spain, Colombia or Russia: 1. The religious bigotry that denies freedom of speech about the scientifically and morally acceptable information about birth spacing to married couples. 2. The bigotry that denies freedom of religion to Roman Catholic American citizens.
ROBERT W. YOUNG
North Presbyterian Church
BAPTIST AUTHORITY AND POWER
In regards to the new book by Paul M. Harrison, Authority and Power in the Free Church Tradition, I have a few comments I feel impelled to make. You are quite right in your review (Dec. 21 issue) to predict this book may “explode among Baptists.” However, for the sake of the many non-Baptist readers I would like to clarify one or two points touched on in your review. 1. In the American Baptist Convention which I serve as a minister there is complete autonomy for the local church. We are not told in any way what we have to do, either in matters of church polity, or in our missionary giving. Obviously, any American Baptist church would want to support to the fullest of their ability American Baptist missionary projects, and they are encouraged to do so, but not forced or coerced in any way. While American Baptists are a part of the National Council of Churches, none of our Unified Budget goes to its support. Only the churches which designate funds (as ours does) for National Council support, have their money used for this purpose. A Baptist church is not dictated to by any agency in the selection of a pastor; much needed help is offered by our State Conventions in the area and the wise church will use this help, but they are in no way forced to accept it. Our State and National Societies exist only to provide central cooperative agencies through which our Baptist witness may be more effectively communicated. They are the servants of the churches and their officers are elected at our annual Conventions. 2. The implication that our seminaries are trying to turn out “wholly loyal Alumni” is misleading.… To have “disloyal” ministers in churches, who will eventually either pull the entire church out of the denomination, or will split the church is very poor economy for any denomination. American Baptists saw this happen not in merely hundreds of cases but in over a thousand. This type of thing will breed denominational loyalty!
E. ALEXANDER LAMBERT
North Topeka Baptist Church
I still believe … that the local churches in the early period of Christianity were independent and interdependent. There is no difficulty today in the Baptist denomination with regard to the independency of the local church. Our denominational agencies are taking care of work which is cooperative and in that way we show that we still are interdependent. There is no difficulty with the method of work today. Difficulties arise when individuals in the agencies forget that they are supposed to be servants of the local churches and not their masters.
Northern Baptist Seminary
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.