I am not at all surprised that anti-Catholic bigots are turning to Locke for inspiration. He is one of the gravediggers of Western Civilisation.
By Jonathan Culbreath
It is Nancy Pelosi, not Archbishop Cordileone, who reflects the true spirit of Christian care in the City of St. Francis. For the Catholic Church to continue to thrive here, we need a leader who opens the church’s doors to all, not a small-minded man who locks out his political adversaries.
What are the origins of these and so many other examples of anti-Catholic discrimination, which seem to be reaching new heights of fervor in recent years? The common conservative narrative, that America is falling prey to a radical aberration from the founding principles of American classical liberalism, is an attractive explanation, to be sure. Yet today, on the 390th birthday of John Locke, I suggest we need only look as far as John Locke himself, one of the foremost defenders of the type of society that “welcomes people of all political backgrounds and all faiths.”
For whatsoever some people boast of the antiquity of places and names, or of the pomp of their outward worship; others, of the reformation of their discipline; all, of the orthodoxy of their faith — for everyone is orthodox to himself — these things, and all others of this nature, are much rather marks of men striving for power and empire over one another than of the Church of Christ.
Locke’s stipulations about the chief characteristics of the true Christian Church contain many such not-so-subtle hints about which churches do not meet his requirements: i.e. the Catholic Church. With the same censorious tone that one recognizes in the pages of the San Francisco Examiner, Locke ruthlessly condemns those churches who teach “that faith is not to be kept with heretics,” or “that kings excommunicated forfeit their crowns and kingdoms”; or “who upon pretence of religion do challenge any manner of authority over such as are not associated with them in their ecclesiastical communion.”