The Freedom of “Bigotry” (3)

The reason why the man who will not help elect a Roman Catholic president for these United States of America should not be called a bigot is that the Roman Catholic Church, to which this president would be obliged to be loyal, denies all the rest of the faiths and religions in our land their freedom. 

This must not be overlooked. 

We hear so much about the fact that the religious issue should not be dragged into this political campaign and election. It is not as simple as all that. This issue was never raised when nominees with other faiths ran for the office of president. We do well to ask then as to just exactly why it should be raised now. And the answer is that it is the peculiar stand of this Roman Catholic Church that there should be no separation between church and state, that the Roman Catholic faith is the only faith that has a right to exist, and all others must be kept de facto until they wither away and die out with the death of its members. 

Last time we showed this from several quotations of books used in the Roman Catholic schools and colleges. We would suggest for some interesting reading the article on page 8 of the October 27, 1958Christianity Today entitled, “If the U.S. Becomes 51% Catholic.” The quotations we gave last time may be found quoted there with a commentary on their significance. There you will also find this final quotation, “Suppose . . . that the Constitutional obstacles to prosecution of non-Catholics have been legitimately removed and they themselves have become numerically insignificant: What then would be the proper course of action for a Catholic State? Apparently, the latter, State could logically tolerate only such religious activities as were confined to the members of the dissenting group. It could not permit them to carry on general propaganda nor accord their organizations certain privileges that had formerly been extended to all religious corporations, for example, exemption from taxation.” This, mind you, is taught at the college level in the text book, Catholic Principles of Politics, by Ryan and Boland. Speaking of constitutional obstacles being legitimately removed—and I suppose that means, first of all, getting a Roman Catholic president to work for this goal—it becomes evident what goal the Roman Catholic Church has in mind. Regardless of what Senator Kennedy may now say about his loyalty, or lack of it, to his church, his church has very definite aims also about our country. And it must have, for one of its doctrines is that the Pope is the only rightful head of the state as well as of the church. 

Are we, are all other churches to be subjected to taxation upon our church buildings, parsonages and schools? What a tremendous load this will be for a nonprofit organization! What a higher budget will be required of us, and how much of our pay check will not be available to finance the cause of God’s kingdom here below. And that is only one item. No propaganda means no schools for our children, no seminaries to train ministers, no mission activity, in fact no freedom of religion. 

Let us understand that this position of the Roman Catholic Church makes the religion of one of the candidates for the office of president of the United States a real issue. And that is not bigotry then when one, fearful of losing the freedom of religion guaranteed us by the same Constitution which the Roman Catholic Church to put it mildly desires to have changed, votes against a candidate who, as a member of that church, is obliged to work for that end. 

For the third time we say, this is not meant for political propaganda. And we are not writing these things to gather votes for a candidate to whose church doctrines we certainly cannot ascribe. We will proceed to prove that this is the case, that is, that we are not making political propaganda and that we are interested only in walking in His fear in these matters. 

Were we politically interested in these articles, we would surely urge you to be sure and go out and cast a vote against. this threat to the Church of Christ and either to vote for the other candidate or else stay home and do not vote at all. We do no such thing! 

Well, we do no such thing with one important exception. We strongly admonish approximately half of our readers not to vote at all. Knowing that the Democratic Party far outnumbers the Republican Party and that to advise some of our readers not to vote at all is to give the supporters of Senator Kennedy a large advantage, we do so nevertheless. 

Why? 

Because the Fear of the Lord demands it, and, as we wrote before, God and the Church always come before the State. We ought to obey God rather than man. And therefore, not concerned about consequences, personally, politically pr nationally, we point all our women readers to the Word of God which in clear and simple language forbids them to vote at all in this national election. O, indeed, the flesh of the members of God’s Church cries out and insists that now above all these women must vote to make sure that we do not get a Roman Catholic President. Many who did not take the time before, and were not interested in these matters, will now consider it their solemn duty before God to vote this time. And sad to say, many church leaders will lead their flocks in the wrong direction and admonish them to vote against this tide of Roman Catholic subjection and rule. 

But turn a moment to a few passages from Holy, Writ. 

Take first of all that well-known instruction of the Apostle Paul to Timothy in I Timothy 2:11-13, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” We would have you note, first of all, that Paul writes, “nor to usurp authority over the man.” And in the second place, let us note the reason for all this, “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” That word “nor” is important because it indicates that Paul is speaking of a separate matter distinct from teaching when he speaks of usurping or exercising authority over the man. He does not say, in other words, But I suffer not a woman to teach and to usurp authority over the man. That could mean that through teaching she would usurp authority over the man. That is true. In that way a woman can indeed usurp the position of the man, relegate him to the background and exercise rule over him. But by saying “nor to usurp authority over the man” Paul makes a distinctly new thought. Even those who do not teach are forbidden to usurp authority over the man, and usurping authority over him in any way and by any means is strictly forbidden. 

There are arguments raised against this stand, to be sure. Some will argue that this means that the woman shall not exercise authority over the man in the church, but in the state she may do so. And indeed, we are told that this may very well be the case this year. It is estimated that some two million more women will be voting in our national election than there will be men. The women, then, have it in their power to decide who will be our next president, and the men will have to like it and submit to the wishes of the women. But is it true that this text refers only to the church? Paul’s reason for forbidding the women to teach or to usurp authority is that the man was first formed and then the woman. This is not some relationship in the church but in society. And Sarah is commended by the Spirit in Holy Writ in I Peter 3:6 for obeying Abraham and for calling and considering him to be her lord. Peter in the first part of this chapter tells the women to be subject to their own husbands. This is not something that they must observe simply in their church life. This applies to every phase of their life. And Paul makes a point of it to Timothy that Eve was first in the transgression when she heeded not the lordship of her husband and took it upon herself to answer the devil instead of referring him to Adam. Whether we like to admit it or not, God created the woman in a position of subjection to man. She was created for man and not man for her. 

This does not mean that he may do with her as he pleases. He is her lord, but he has God over him as his Lord. It means as Paul writes in Ephesians 5:23 that the husband is the head of the wife, and that means that God gives him the right to rule her in love. It means that she can show love to him only by submitting to that rule. 

Then again, the argument is raised that the woman will vote even as her husband will. She will only underscore his vote and not militate against it. Does that change things? She may not be exercising authority over her husband in that she does not go contrary to his wishes, but she has assumed the right to rule over other men and has made herself equal to her husband. This position Scripture denies her. Be she unmarried or married, she never becomes man’s equal in the sphere of authority. Men may give her that right and that place, but God never does. God did not even create them at the same time, as He did male and female among the animals. Adam was first created and then Eve. And after the fall God gave express instructions to the woman in Genesis 3:16. We read, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be unto thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” If you please, the woman is not simply told that her desire shall be unto her husband, but she is expressly told that he shall rule over her. That is much broader than simply in regard to conception and bringing forth of children. It refers to her whole life. 

And the woman who has no husband is not by virtue of that fact either the equal of man, nor is she superior to him in the field of authority, so that the unmarried women may rule married and single men. If God has ordained, and He has, that the married woman be subject to man and that he rule her, the unmarried, who in that respect live an abnormal life, does not by virtue of this abnormal or exceptional position receive the God-given right to usurp the authority of man. Paul says to Timothy, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man.” He is not speaking of husbands and wives here but of men and women in general. 

We have more to say on this and will; D.V., continue next time. Therefore look up in His fear such passages as I Corinthians 14:34Ephesians 5:22-33Colossians 3:18I Peter 3:1-5I Corinthians 11:3-9 to mention a few. They deny woman this right, and nowhere in Holy Writ can you find a text that positively demands or even advocates it. In His fear the women will refrain from doing evil and will leave the whole cause of His kingdom to God in the confidence that He will cause all things to work together for His Church’s good. 

—J.A.H.