The Two Despotisms — Catholicism and Slavery — Their Union and Identity.
August 30, 1858.
The Alton Democrat has found a new indorser of Douglas. The Catholic Tablet -- one of the most bigoted and ferocious of the journals devoted to the interests of the Holy Mother -- the Church of Rome -- comes to his aid; and in a labored article exhorts its readers to work earnestly and continually for his support. We expected as much. The union, for ten years past, between popery and the slavery propaganda in the United States has been so intimate, and, we must say, so profitable, that we have no reason to suppose the Senator's quarrel with President would break it up. They have mutually grown strong by the alliance; and it is in the nature of men to hold fast by what brings them honor and emolument, either in the Church or State.
When the old principles of the founders of the Republic and the farmers of the Government were departed from by the Democracy -- when the teachings of Jefferson, of Madison, of Jackson, of Webster, of Clay and Benton, were set aside as obsolete, as unworthy of the progress of the Democratic party; an when the crudities and insanities of Calhoun took the place of their humane and patriotic maxims, Catholicism, another form of despotism which has been transplanted to American soil, struck hands with the new doctrines that were promulgated, and since that time Popery and Slavery have been the hard masters of the American people. Everywhere, from Maine to Texas, Catholicism, when it desired to encroach upon the great principle which lies at the basis of our government -- when it would attack the common school system upon which the stability and virtue of the State depend -- when it would thrust its communicates into places of patronage and power -- when it would proscribe and beat down Americans because they were born on American soil, and because they would not yield allegiance to those of Rome -- everywhere it has appealed in vain. There is not to-day more than an infinitesimal fraction of Roman Catholic voters who do not profess the Democratic faith, and who do not bow to the usages and support the candidates of the Democratic party. In fact, so marked and emphatic is the truth of what we state, that in our larger cities, and in those localities where Catholicism is most formidable, Catholics make up the rank and file -- the wheel horses and leaders of the bogus Democratic strength -- and their churches, to all practical purposes, are as much the nurseries of Democracy as of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, or of hatred to the Protestant Bible and the Protestant faith.
In return for this service which the slavery propaganda have rendered the Pope, the Democratic party has had the full benefit of the Catholic strength, in every contest which it has waged against the principles of free government. When the Missouri compromise -- that crowning glory of the life of the patriotic CLAY -- was broken down, with hardly an exception Catholic citizens held up their hands and raised their voices in loud approval of the traitorous act. When Kansas was dragooned by the bloody borders of Western Missouri, and the myrmidons of the Federal power gathered from the most disreputable places in the South, no token of disapproval came from the Catholic people or the Catholic press. The men whose lives were poured out on that blood stained soil were New Englanders and Protestants in their opinion, fanatics and freedom shriekers -- heretics -- and they deserved the fate they met. And now, in this tremendous contest going on in the nation, wherein the Republican and American parties on one side are endeavoring to uphold the purity and preserve the humanity of the American Constitution, as the fathers wrote it, and wherein, opposed to them, the sham Democracy are seeking to ingraft upon it the dogma that slavery may take possession of and blight all the Territories (and hereafter all the States) without the authority and in defiance of the local law, almost to a man the members of the Roman Catholic Church — particularly those who owe their birth to Ireland are arrayed side by side with the nullifiers and disunionists of the South. These are facts that none can gainsay, that none dare deny.
The lesson from all these facts is a plain one. The alliance, so mighty for evil, must be opposed by an alliance more powerful for good. When two despotisms combine for the purpose of crushing out that freedom which all true Americans hold dear, there must be a combination of those who will work to conserve the glorious work which the fathers wrought. When the party which is attempting the propagation of slavery by fire and the sword -- the weapons with which, from time immemorial, the Church has punished heretics -- gets its death wound, the ascendancy of Catholicism goes with it. We must not hope to beat them in detail, because their forces are so intermingled that their separation is impossible. They have been lovingly wedded in life; let them not be separated in death!
We make no attack on any man's religion. To have and enjoy any form of faith is every man's right. We war upon that politicoecclesiastical establishment which is in this country not more the guide to Heaven than the high road by which Democratic politicians travel into office by which the country lapses toward a despotism from which it will never be released. Irish Democracy and Irish Catholicism are one and the same thing.