Socialism and the Pope
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Communism of the Anabaptists than he was to the Real Presence imposture of the Catholics. His instinct to defend property, even though he possessed little, was greater than his desire to conquer Popery, even though his reason revolted at the Pope's claims. He deliberately trampled on his scruples, and brought his views on the Real Presence into line with those of Rome, from very fear of upsetting the rising Capitalist society.
Modern Protestants lack the intellectual audacity and integrity of Luther. Christianity is not to them, a challenge, but only a fashion. It is dead, current, and conventional: a thing accepted. They go to Church as the Romans, under Nero, went to the arena: to pose, strut, and chatter. A double conventionalism, and a surfeit of property self-interest, move them to endorse the Pope's attacks on Socialism and to identify even their Christianity with the absurdities of the Roman priestcraft and superstition. They parade their Sunday Christianity from the same motive as impels them to parade their week-day democracy and air their alleged standing in society every day, Sunday to Saturday inclusive. They pose, doze, and pray on Sunday; pose, prose, and prey from Monday till the following Sunday. The day of rest is a day for the recuperation of scoundrelism and usury. Property is the substance of their faith, and the verbiage of Christian piety is the reflected shadow of the substance. Protestant Christianity established is unwilling to identify Christianity with Socialism, because its big-business sensitiveness feels that this is giving a handle to the reckless outcasts who have not where to lay their heads.
Contemporary with Pius IX., and his property declaration of faith, was Dr. Guthrie, the famous Scottish preacher who ranked as a philanthropist. He flourished from 1803 to 1873. At the theological disruption of the Church in Scotland, Guthrie followed the renowned Dr. Chalmers, and raised the sum of £116,000 for providing manses for Free Church Ministers. He also pioneered the ragged schools. In his autobiography, he tells a story which illustrates the failure of the Church to give an adequate social and economic content to the word "Salvation."
Guthrie had paid a visit to a poor old woman in an Edinburgh Slum. He found it almost impossible to rouse her from her apathy. Finally she said, "Eh, Sir, if ye were as caulk and hungry as me, ye could think of nothing else."
This is a peace-time story against Capitalist Christianity or Christian Capitalism. Whichever you prefer to have, as noun and adjective. The hypocrisy remains the same. And here is a true war-time story, illustrative of the same hypocrisy.
During the great war, a minister of religion, in Lancashire, was asked at the conclusion of a recruiting speech, whether he believed Jesus Christ would have supported the prosecution of the war. On replying in the affirmative, he was asked whether he could conceive