Thursday, February 15, 2007

Anti-Catholicism Permeates American Politics at Highest Level

Catholic News Agency (

NEW YORK (CNA) – The second of two bloggers hired by the John Edwards U.S. presidential campaign resigned Feb. 13, following continued pressure from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights over anti-Catholic comments posted on the Internet.

Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights President Bill Donohue told the Associated Press Feb. 13 that in his mind the issue is now closed...

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: But the issue is not closed for The Catholic Knight. I've no wish to pick on the John Edwards campaign, as I'm sure he's just as much a victim of this as we all are. So while the Catholic League may be able to close the matter on the John Edwards campaign itself, the topic of anti-Catholicism in American politics is still wide open as far as I'm concerned. As I wrote in a previous story, and as I documented in an article on the SPLC, anti-Catholicism has always played a significant role in American and British politics, and that role is becoming more (not less) significant in recent times. There is a difference, however, in the rise of modern anti-Catholicism, and that is it's general desire to be discrete.

In centuries past, anti-Catholicism took the form of what we would call "Protestant Fundamentalism" today. Though the term "Fundamentalist" wasn't really a part of the 19th century religious lexicon, the type of conservative Protestantism that was common back then, would eventually come to be called that by the 1920s. The anti-Catholicism associated with this type of religion is usually characterized by a common misunderstanding of certain Catholic beliefs and a fervent paranoia of the pope. Usually, this type of anti-Catholicism is attached to a speculative role it's adherents attach to the Catholic Church in end-times prophecy. Thus the pope is viewed to be the Antichrist (or some associate of his), and the Catholic Church is identified as "Mystery Babylon" of the Book of Revelation. This particular type of anti-Catholicism has been on the decline for the last 50 years, but still does exist in some Evangelical circles. Consequently, with the Republican Party finding it's conservative base among Evangelicals, there are some Fundamentalist anti-Catholic forces still at work in the GOP.

Fortunately, the type of anti-Catholicism associated with Protestant Fundamentalism is on the decline, but in it's place a new anti-Catholicism has rushed in to fill the void, and that is the rise of liberal anti-Catholicism. This new and rising form of anti-Catholicism is just as militant as the first, if not more so. The premise behind this bigotry is a general hatred toward anything that stands for moral absolutes. Thus, the moral teachings of the Catholic Church are an anathema to these types, and those who stand for them are characterized as "ignorant hate-filled bigots." Certainly, the pope qualifies for such a designation, due to his strong stand against war, abortion and gay-marriage. For the liberal anti-Catholic, the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic -- meaning one who doesn't believe or practice the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. Consequently, liberal 'Catholic' politicians like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Nanci Pelosi have become the "little darlings" of those who adhere to this form of anti-Catholicism, primarily because they consistently take positions against the moral teachings of the Church. These politicians, in their view, epitomize the "plight of poor Catholic souls, trapped in a religion stuck behind the times." What is frightening is just how much influence these liberal anti-Catholic bigots are getting within the upper echelons of the Democratic Party. This recent flap over the John Edwards campaign is just the tip of the iceberg. Those resigning from his campaign are by no means the last to hold such views. If anything, their resignation simply tells other liberal anti-Catholics to keep their mouths shut -- thus making them harder to detect and expose.

In my recent post on this same topic in British government, I pointed out the one and only effective method Catholics can use to fight this rising anti-Catholic bigotry in our political system...

Catholic Americans would do well to resolve themselves to the following realities...

  1. The US and UK are Protestant nations, and they will always be anti-Catholic in nature regardless of secularizing trends. If anything, secularization will make them more anti-Catholic and not less.
  2. Anti-Catholic bigots will always be able to obtain positions of high authority and influence in the US and UK specifically because of their anti-Catholicism, just as anti-Semites will always be able to obtain positions of high authority and influence in Arab nations specifically because of their anti-Semitism.
  3. No amount of compromise and pandering will ever satisfy the anti-Catholic elites running the US and UK. To them, the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic -- i.e. "one who doesn't follow the faith."
  4. No matter how many Catholics there are in the US and UK, there will always be anti-Catholic bigots (veiled or open) running things. They cannot be beaten. They can only be frustrated.
  5. The best way to frustrate a bigot is to continue to be exactly what he hates. Catholics need to start listening to the pope, attending mass regularly, and reading the Scriptures as well as the Catechism. Nothing will drive them more crazy than that. When you drive them crazy, their hidden prejudice will start to show, and then we can at least identify them.

To that I would like to add, that once they're identified, they can be exposed and properly shamed. But that can't happen, until Catholics are willing to be 100% Catholic, and put their attachments to our hedonistic culture behind them.