The Fight With Rome

[The Rev. Justin Fulton was a Baptist minister in Boston whose crusade against "Rome" began with a book published in the 1850s during the Know-Nothing movement. In the 1880s he resumed the struggle with more popular success, resigning from the pulpit in 1887 to devote all his energies to the anti-Catholic cause. He wrote many anti-Catholic texts, including Washington in the Lap of Rome and Woman in the Toils of Rome. The work from which this excerpt is taken appeared in 1889, the same year as Connecticut Yankee. Relying on familiar stereotypes about priests and monasteries and so on, his rhetoric is far more sensationalist than Hank's. But his treatment of "Romanism" as unAmerican and opposed to "the progress of free thought" nonetheless has affinities with the way MT's novel presents "the Church."]

From "Italy as It Was and America as It May Be"

The America that is to be is not the cramped, priest-ridden, Bible-hating and pope-loving country that Romanists dream it will be. There is an outlook for freedom left. God never made these beauteous plains, these towering forests, these lovely groves, these golden landscapes, to be the heritage of serfs and vassals.

Let Americans protect the home from the inroads of the priest and they will not furnish such numerous contingents to convents and monasteries, which are the curse of humanity, the schools of laziness, the sinks of obscenity, of vices and crimes. The corpses which are so continually discovered there are there to attest it.

We owe it to our children to adopt an amendment to the constitution which shall forbid appropriations for the benefit of any institution under sectarian control or for any religious or non-religious sect. All ecclesiastical property shall be held in trust by a board of trustees numbering not less than five members of the congregation owning or donating the property. No property shall be exempt from taxation except it belong to the state or nation. All new voters shall be able to read and write. Unless such an amendment be passed, Rome will hold the republic in her grasp. The ballot is not free. Romanists are slaves of a foreign master.

The plan is thus outlined to subvert our free institutions and to papalize America: "Send over the surplus population of Europe. They will come with foreign views and feelings and will form a heterogeneous mass, and in the course of time rise and overthrow the republic."

Keep such facts before the people, and there will be a coming out from Rome or a coming out against Rome. I would not be an alarmist. The republic cannot afford to forget the peril: 1. In free immigration, which is bringing to America the scum of Europe. 2. The surrender to Rome through marriage, in which children are given to Rome. 3. The constant inculcation of fertility, ostensibly to carry out the Biblical injunction but really to increase political power. 4. The influence of the women's rights craze, which is giving our school interests over the Roman Catholics.

It is my hope that Americans will wake up and determine that America shall be ruled by lovers of the Bible and of humanity. Before the progress of free thought can be checked there must be a total surrender to Rome of the God-given rights won by the blood of our sires and brothers. The pulpit is free, the press unmuzzled, the church as a rule is in line with God's purpose. Then let us resist what cursed Italy, and keep America for God and the brotherhood of man.

SOURCE: The Fight With Rome, by Justin D. Fulton (Marlboro, Mass: Pratt Brothers, 1889)

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