Bingham and the Catholic Church
Like most Protestants during the nineteenth century, Bingham wasn’t crazy about the Pope. In 1870, he denied the charge that he wanted to “persecute Rome on account of the peculiar religious notions” of the Vatican, which was an odd way of defending yourself against religious bias. He said in the same speech that, in contrast to his belief in “free governments, free churches, free schools, free Bibles, and free men,” Catholic doctrine was “an attempt to fetter the freedom of conscience; it is an attempt to fetter the freedom of speech; it is an attempt to fetter the freedom of the press.” Despite his distaste for the Holy See, Bingham held that “religious belief, of whatever character, ought to be tolerated, that error itself ‘may be tolerated’ in the words of [Jefferson] ‘where reason is left free to combat it.’”
I guess this is my Easter message, though that wasn’t my intent when I started writing this post.