Tuesday, 28 October 2014

In defence of 'sectarianism' and anti-Catholic prejudice

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Above is an anti-Catholic cartoon published recently in America, depicting a Catholic politician who is currently standing or 'running' for office.

As a Catholic I want to say very clearly that I think 'sectarianism' should be perfectly allowable and even reasonably respectable in a free society - Catholicism is a creed  to which people are free to object, as is Islam or Buddhism or belief in holistic medicine. People have prejudices against liberalism, conservatism, socialism, vegetarianism and many other systems of ideas. So?

I took the cartoon from my Facebook friend (a sacred bond) and co-religionist, Tim Stanley, who blogs about anti-Catholicism here.

Note that the cartoon points out that the politician in question comes from the deep South. There is a strong prejudice against people from the American South on the part of the Northerners. Southerners are the sin-eaters for Americans and are often written off as stupid, rustic, fundamentalist hicks and, above all, racist, racism being the unforgivable sin in modern America. This attitude is exemplified by an American who told me, 'I hate Southerners because I hate racists.' I replied that I hated racism but I didn't hate racists. 'I hate racists', he said firmly and afterwards I realised it was he who was the racist. 

19 comments:

  1. Wow! This is harkening back to some good old fashioned American anti-Catholic propaganda. It's almost worthy of the kind of stuff common in the 19th century that led up to the infamous burning of the Ursuline Convent.

    I guess this kind of bigotry really isn't ever going to die.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing

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  2. As another Catholic this kind of Potomac shuffle just reminds me of JFK's attempt to separate bigots from the honestly fearful,telling the assembled Methodist ministers that no Pope would ever tell a U.S. President what to do and of course no Minister would ever tell a citizen which way to vote..

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  3. His opponent must be quite desperate. As a Catholic and Southern Lady this
    ad makes me want to get a chance to vote for Mr Miloscia. God Bless Him and
    God Bless You.
    Lady Vigilant

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  4. The Democrats are going back to their old campaigns of the late 19th and early 20th century. The Catholic baiting is an old favorite and the "vote or die" campaigning in the Carolinas would make you think the country elected a Klansman to the Presidency. The worst part of all of this is that their core constituency would vote for anything with a D behind it. War, unemployment, devalued currency, concentration camps.

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  5. Yes, I was reminded of JFK as well; I thought he had settled this issue of loyalty once and for all. After all, the Catholics should be close to the hearts of conservatives: anti-abortion; sanctity of marriage, etc. But I forgot: anti- capital punishment too. I guess Catholics are not quite Old Testament enough for the Tea Party. Too merciful, especially those who believe in the social gospel. damn, socialialists, the whole lot. Ban them! Burn them!
    marc

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    Replies
    1. Yes I agree, but with the changing demographic from WASP,s to Hispanics I think in the coming decade the Catholic vote will only rise, and of course there's always going to be the Irish.

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    2. I thought Pat Buchanan standing for president with nary a word of anti-Catholic objection from the right settled the issue but abortion and homosexual marriage were not issues in Kennedy's day.

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    3. By the way, the Tea Party protests were about low taxes, not about capital punishment or other social issues.

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  6. I think the term "sectarianism" is a bit of journalistic propaganda. The BBC uses it to draw moral equivalence between Islamic aggressors and their mainly Christian victims. It was used so much in the reports on the East Timor crisis, that I was amazed to learn that at the heart of the conflict was the fact that the East Timorese are Catholics, and that the "crisis" was that the neighbouring Muslims decided to try a little practice-jihad. NOt a single word of this reality was breathed throughout the entirety of the crisis by the BBC or their imitators.

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  7. You're conflating two different things - objecting to a creed is fine, sectarianism - the systematic discrimination against groups - isn't.

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    1. I certainly agree that this kind of discrimination against groups is unpleasant but I was talking about the cartoon which was aimed at one politician not a group and I think rough and tumble in politics is no bad thing. I admire how 18th century American politics can be.

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    2. Funnily enough, I don't think that cartoon would have been considered acceptable in the late 18th century in America. They were convinced secularists and the Virginia Statute said there should be no religious test for public office'. That means you shouldn't bring religion into an election, in any way, positive or negative.

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    3. Massachusetts had an established church till the 19th century. So did several states. Blasphemy was illegal. I wrote about how the early USA was not secularist here: http://pvewood.blogspot.ro/2014/12/the-us-constitution-and-christianity.html

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  8. "By the way, the Tea Party protests were about low taxes, not about capital punishment or other social issues." By the way, Tea Party standard-bearers like Rand Paul routinely ally themselves with right-wing social positions that belie their "government off our backs" cant, but thanks for trying.

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  9. Yes, another way of saying you support religious freedom and freedom of expression.
    Sectarian implies a kind of bigotry which you don't profess - eg not mixing with other religions or deliberately inciting hatred.

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    Replies
    1. I am not sure it necessarily implies those things but I don't like disliking or discriminating against religious or ethnic groups or religious hated. The Holy Spirit is active even in false religions.

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  10. More on the Tea Party....
    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120065/midterms-are-exploding-myths-anti-wall-street-tea-party-republicans

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    1. The Tea Party is not relevant to the subject being discussed.

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