Know Nothings indifferent to Religion

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER XXIV (3) start of chapter

Many who joined this organisation had not the excuse, the bad excuse, of fanaticism for their conduct. Lust of power was their ruling passion; to trample their opponents under foot, and secure everything to themselves, their animating motive. If they could have attained their ends through the Catholic body, they would have employed every art of wile and seduction in the hope of securing their co-operation; but as they deemed it more to their advantage to assail and blacken the Catholics, they accordingly did assail and blacken them to the satisfaction of their dupes. For religion—any form of religion—they did not care a cent; probably they regarded it as so much venerable superstition and priestcraft—a very excellent thing for women and persons of weak mind, but not for men; at any rate, men of their enlightenment. Members of no congregation, these defenders of the faith never 'darkened the door' of a church or meeting-house, and save, like the sailor who did not know of what religion he was, but was 'd——d sure he was not a Papist,' entertaining a blind prejudice against Catholicity, they were as ignorant of Christian belief as any savage of Central Africa.

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