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Friday, July 15, 2011

Some Things Don't Change

Some things don't change.

In late 1600's England

The Declaration of Indulgence and the Test Act

Charles II's proclamation in 1672, suspending by his royal prerogative the penal statutes against Nonconformists (known as the Declaration of Indulgence), was seen by many Members of Parliament as evidence of both the King's sympathy for Catholicism and his preference for absolutist rule.

Their opposition was so fierce that Charles II was forced to cancel it in 1673 and instead to agree to Parliament's Test Act. This required all those wishing to hold office to swear an oath to the King and the Protestant English Church and to sign a declaration denying the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.

Charles II's younger brother and the heir to the throne James, Duke of York, made his Catholic faith publicly known later that year and resigned all his offices under the terms of the Test Act.

In late 1600's America:
The history of the Catholic Church in America, however, has much deeper and less triumphant roots. Most American Catholics are aware that the spirit of New England's North American settlements was hostile to Catholicism. But few are aware of the vigor and persistence with which that spirit was cultivated throughout the entire colonial period. Few Catholics realize that in all but three of the 13 original colonies, Catholics were the subject of penal measures of one kind or another during the colonial period. In most cases, the Catholic Church had been proscribed at an early date, as in Virginia where the act of 1642 proscribing Catholics and their priests set the tone for the remainder of the colonial period.

Even in the supposedly tolerant Maryland, the tables had turned against Catholics by the 1700s. By this time the penal code against Catholics included test oaths administered to keep Catholics out of office, legislation that barred Catholics from entering certain professions (such as Law), and measures had been enacted to make them incapable of inheriting or purchasing land. By 1718 the ballot had been denied to Catholics in Maryland, following the example of the other colonies, and parents could even be fined for sending children abroad to be educated as Catholics.

In the decade before the American Revolution, most inhabitants of the English colonies would have agreed with Samuel Adams when he said (in 1768): "I did verily believe, as I do still, that much more is to be dreaded from the growth of popery in America, than from the Stamp Act, or any other acts destructive of civil rights." (3)

The New York government’s recognition of “gay marriage” has caused a religious town clerk to resign because she cannot in good conscience sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that those who cannot recognize “gay marriages” should not hold those positions.

“When you enforce the laws of the state, you don't get to pick and choose the laws,” the governor said at a July 12 press conference. “You don't get to say, ‘I like this law and I'll enforce this law, or I don't like this law and I won't enforce this law’ -- you can't do that.”

“So if you can't enforce the law, then you shouldn't be in that position,” Cuomo said, according to the New York Daily News.

There's really no problem.

It's just that Catholics and other Christians aren't allowed to hold elective office.
That's all.

If they can't swear to the oath of office, then.... well, what else would you expect?

1 comment:

Estase said...

I have recently seen conservative blogs touting the virtues of Oliver Cromwell. Oliver frickin' Cromwell, for the love of Mike! Both the political left and the political right continue to have adherents who equate Catholicism with tyranny.