PROTESTANTISM AND THE ELECTION.
To toe Editor. g IEj _I think the time has come when Protestants, as such, should be as wide awake to their own interests politically as are their very affectionate brethren of the Roman faith. Sooner or later a gigantic straggle will take place between the two parties for political supremacy,and already the Roman skirmishers are in the field. Here in Wakanui we have two videttes of St Peter feeling the political pulse—one of them the real Catholic representative, the other only allowed to go up so that a red herring may be drawn across the scent; but he, poor fellow, will get no support whatever from Catholic ballot papers. V ites are too valuable to be thrown away upon him. The real Catholic candidate (Mr Joseph Ivess) his, 1 with the customary liberality of the Jesuits when they have an end of their ■ own to serve, thrown a sop to the electors of Wakanui, in the shape of a promise to - vote for Bible reading in schools. This promise he made with a great show of liberality, and a casual visitor to Ashburton, listening to Mr Ivess making this premise and knowing him to be a Catholic, would have set him down as a man prepared to defy his church, .and sacrifice himself on the alter of Liberalism, using || *the traditions of the church and the pre- : judices of his training to raise the holy fire. But men v.ho have watched Mr Ivess’ career in Ashburton cannot be so gulled. A very casual glance down the Wakanui roll will show several hundreds of names upon it that bear a Milesian and Catholic stamp on every letter, and with Bishop Redwood’s manifesto before his mind’s eye, the reader of the roll cannot fail to come to the correct conclusion in regard to who will be the receivers of those votes. To Mr O'Reilly they certainy will not be given. If the Roman Church fails in any of her schemes, it is not usually for want of wit, zeal, energy, forethought, careful management, and judicious shepherding of her flock. Her whole history shows this, and we are now getting an evidence of her ability in this election. Not a Catholic who could by any chance be held to be entitled to a vote but has been placed upon the roll, and a study of the roll will show that by far the largest majority of the really working men who there appear are men professing the Catholic faith. I like to see this ; I like to see people in earnest in everything, and it speaks volumes for the Catholics that so many of their creed have recognised their political duty to their church, and have taken advantage of the opportunity recent legislation has given them to grasp political power. But it is different with the Protestant working men. Hundreds of them have stood idly by, and remain unregistered, thus standing powerless to aid their own cause when the time comes. Now, it may bo asked, -why should I raise this question just at this time, and try to introduce an element into the election that has no right to be there. Gladly would I have refrained from doing so, had T been satisfied that Mr Ivess did not seek to enter Parliament on the shoulders of his coreligionists, and on the ticket of State aid for denominational schools, for to secure this is the be-all and end-all of Catholic political effort at this moment. If they nan secure a majority of votes in the House, and legalise the voting of money to aid Catholic or other denominational schools, then their end is gained, and so soon as that is done wo find a host, of Roman emissaries in the field in the shape of Catholic teachers and Catholic schools built and endowed by the State. The “ Godless ” education so howled down hy the Catholics may he a terrible crime against the souls of the children, but m this eve of reason wo are past the stage when one penny should be voted for the subsidising of any religion whatever. I have repeatedly asked myself “ Whore are the Orangemen at this juncture?” What have they boon about that s.o inanv of the Catholics have got upon the roll and so few Orangemen ? Have the follower’s of tho Prince of Orange dropped down to the sad position of fancying that they have only to contend against a horde of wild Irishmen armed with pick-handles, and planted in tiro line of an Orange procession ? If so, then the sooner they hand in the charter of their existence and burn their sashes the better. Any fool with a
good muscle can do that sort of fighting, but it wants men like the 'cute and farseeing leaders among the Catholics to look after strengthening their cause on the roll, to putting up an ambitious man for a candidate who makes a show of very unnatural Liberalism (for a Catholic) to win the votes of weak-kneed Protestants, and to further strive after popularity by bidding for it with speeches made out of leading articles from Reynolds’ Newspaper, boiled down to suit the palates of a gaping New Zealand crowd. The other Catholic candidate, put up in a joke, and carrying on a farcial candidature, just plays into the hands of the Catholic party, and serves to throw dust in the eyes of the electors. Depend upon it if the Catholic host is successful in sending Joseph Ivess to Parliament, when the denominational question comes to be discussed the worthy man will be found voting with the side favorable to his Church. If he does not do so, then he is not loyal to his conscience as a Catholic, and is worse than a traitor.— Yours, etc., Lutheran.
[For continuation of reading matter see first page.]
Permanent link to this item
PROTESTANTISM AND THE ELECTION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 503, 28 November 1881
PROTESTANTISM AND THE ELECTION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 503, 28 November 1881
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.