Many Catholics fault America for her failure to properly recognize Christ in her founding and Constitution. Regardless of the anti-Catholic bias present in America from her inception, these Catholics say, it still remains that governments have an obligation to acknowledge Christ’s bride, the Church.
This is all true and good, but in 18th century America it simply wasn’t realistic. If the founders attempted to establish a Catholic nation, there would have been no nation at all. The anti-Catholic bias was so strong in America that no agreement could have ever been reached that permitted the religion any semblance of superiority.
So what’s the next best thing from a Catholic perspective? Freedom of religion, of course. Even though there is really no such thing as freedom of religion in the moral order, it is most certainly an acceptable route to take when ideal routes are in no way plausible. The results speak for themselves.
In less than 200 years, America was well on her way to becoming a Catholic nation. Conversions were occurring at an astronomical rate, and indeed had the pace continued for another decade or two, The United States of America would have been a de facto Catholic nation. Alas, right when Catholicism was at its American peak, Vatican II wrought complete havoc to everything Catholic, and the trends were all reversed.
When truth cannot possibly be given the place it deserves, the next best alternative is to ensure that truth has an equal footing with error. When this occurs, the truth will always win out. In a level playing field, the superior side will always destroy his opponent. Catholics must understand that the religion cannot be forced upon a populace, and the citizens of a nation must freely choose the truth.
Do not fault America for her original sin of Anti-Catholicism. She simply did the best with what she had to work with. There is a near perfect analogy with her problem of slavery. Something so deeply ingrained in her people’s hearts could not possibly be categorically denied. If it was, there would have been no nation. The American colonies would have never agreed to form any nation at all. Instead, the brilliant founders placed slavery on the “path to ultimate extinction.” A dazzling display of genius that was also manifested in her freedom of religion tenet.
Instead of bashing America for her inherited faults, let’s acknowledge her astounding goodness and commitment to permitting the truth to win out. God bless the USA.