Early New England’s Anti-Catholic Fanaticism

Bradley J. Birzer, Catholic World Report: Maryland had not been the only place harboring anti-Catholic feelings in the colonies. Indeed, every colony had some form of anti-Catholic law, except for Pennsylvania. The farther north one journeyed, the stronger the anti-Catholicism became. As early as the 1640s, for example, the New England colonies had passed a law that a man could enter a congregation only if armed with his weapon and firearm, in case of a Catholic or Indian attack. Along the same lines, men exited Sunday service in scouting formation, securing the area for the defense of the women and children. When New England militia went into battle during the War for Independence, their war cry was “No king, no popery!” As General John Sullivan of the Continental Army had claimed, the Quebec Act, which gave rights to Canadian Catholics, was the “most dangerous to American Liberties among the whole train.” Should the Catholics gain power, he continued, “no God may as well exist in the universe.” Full article is here.