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Posted: 6/18/2003 10:42:22 AM EDT

Yes, even if we are respected less than gun owners, I am a Roman Catholic in the Diocese of Phoenix and a member of the Knights of Columbus.


www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/0615jenkins0615.html

Catholicism final target for bashers

Bigotry toward faithful still widely accepted

Special for The Republic
Jun. 15, 2003 12:00 AM


After the horrors of Sept. 11, Americans feared an outbreak of violent bigotry against Arabs and Muslims. As one Massachusetts school prepared for its Halloween celebration that year, teachers watched carefully for any costumes that might indicate racist feelings.

Since no such issues arose, the staff could relax and enjoy the evening. A panel of teachers then gave the "most comical costume" award to a group of three boys, two of whom dressed as pregnant nuns, the third as their priest and impregnator.

Now, everybody knows that high schoolers can behave obnoxiously, but what is amazing about this affair is that no adult thought that the display might conceivably be taken as offensive. That one incident says a great deal about anti-Catholic sentiment in modern America. It is not so much that anti-Catholicism is the most dangerous or most virulent form of bigotry, but rather that this kind of hostility is so ingrained as to be invisible.

Throughout American history, many ethnic and racial groups have been targeted for abuse and persecution. Against this tragic background, it may sound odd to claim any kind of victim status for Roman Catholics, when many of the wealthiest and most powerful Americans belong to that church.

Yet anti-Catholicism does demand our attention, as the oldest and persistent prejudice in American history, the idea that came in with the Pilgrims and never quite went away. Historian John Higham has described anti-Catholic bigotry as "the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history." But also, anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice.

Though other prejudices exist and flourish, they are publicly condemned. If someone utters racist words, or desecrates a mosque or synagogue, that person may face criminal charges, and may be excluded from public life. Remember what happened when Trent Lott regretted that a segregationist party lost an election more than 50 years ago.

Most Americans care deeply about opposing racism and prejudice, and they make sure that words carry consequences. But when Catholic issues are concerned, things are different.

When playwright Tony Kushner dismisses Pope John Paul II as a "homicidal liar" who "endorses murder," nobody expects that performances of his Angels in America will be picketed by armies of angry Catholics. Nor does anyone expect mass protests when the cable channel Showtime presents the play Sister Mary Explains It All, which portrays the Catholic religion as the domain of the emotionally immature, the repressed and the fanatical.

In fact, when Catholics demonstrate against films or art exhibits that they find deeply offensive, the news media condemn the protests as outbreaks of Catholic intolerance. Even in the most extreme cases - remember the infamous Piss Christ, the photo by Andres Serrano of a crucifix submerged in a jar of the artist's urine? - objections are treated as an unacceptable violation of artistic freedom and free speech.

The lesson is simple: If you object to anti-Catholic rhetoric, that proves you must be an ignorant Catholic stuck in the days of Torquemada and the Inquisition.

The problem is not that plays, films and art exhibits so often trample on Catholic sensibilities, but rather that they act in a way they would not if any other group is concerned. Just try mounting an art exhibit in which sacred symbols of other religions are smeared with filth and excrement - on a Star of David, for instance, or a copy of the Koran.

Imagine a play or exhibit that mocked a venerated figure like Martin Luther King, or that made fun of a celebrated victim of hate crime, like Matthew Shepard. The thought is ugly enough, but just suppose that some obnoxious writer did create a parody titled Matthew Explains It All.

Such a play would not be produced, and would not survive the tidal wave of protests. Cable television companies would know better than to revive it. In this instance, unlike the anti-Catholic works, protesters would not be advised just to "lighten up," to "get over it." Some things are too important to make fun of - but not, apparently, the religion of a quarter of Americans.

As with any kind of bias or prejudice, the label of anti-Catholicism can be misused. In years gone by, we can find cases when church leaders who were quite justifiably criticized by the media responded that the attacks were anti-Catholic.

Obviously, it is not anti-Catholic to speak out against abuses within the church, or to demand sweeping reforms where they are necessary. But recently, we have seen an astonishing upsurge in bigoted attacks on the most cherished institutions of Catholicism. If all religious and ethnic groups are to be treated even-handedly with such contempt, that would at least be fair, but nobody suggests (or wants) such an outcome. As it is, the tolerance of widespread anti-Catholicism is evidence of a really disturbing double standard.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:56:57 PM EDT
Courtesy of Monty Python's Meaning Of Life...


There are Jews in the world.
There are Buddhists.
There are Hindus and Mormons, and then
There are those that follow Mohammed, but
I've never been one of them.

I'm a Roman Catholic,
And have been since before I was born,
And the one thing they say about Catholics is:
They'll take you as soon as you're warm.

You don't have to be a six-footer.
You don't have to have a great brain.
You don't have to have any clothes on. You're
A Catholic the moment Dad came,

Because

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

Let the heathen spill theirs
On the dusty ground.
God shall make them pay for
Each sperm that can't be found.

Every sperm is wanted.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood.

Hindu, Taoist, Mormon,
Spill theirs just anywhere,
But God loves those who treat their
Semen with more care.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood!

Every sperm is useful.
Every sperm is fine.
God needs everybody's.
Mine! And mine! And mine!

Let the Pagan spill theirs
O'er mountain, hill, and plain.
God shall strike them down for
Each sperm that's spilt in vain.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite iraaaaate!

Link Posted: 6/18/2003 7:09:51 PM EDT
BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAH!!!!

Hang that bishop high I say!
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 6:16:38 PM EDT
Bring the Bishop out to Casa Grande for the Shoot!
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 12:43:38 PM EDT
As a country we don't care what religion you are. But if your religion allows you to commit crimes and feel good about it then our laws will take care of you just like everyone of us other filthy bastards. I have had too much of this I'm better than you crap.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 12:32:18 AM EDT


Good read tfod, thanks.



Link Posted: 6/25/2003 11:32:44 AM EDT
tfod, Vivat Jesu!
erich
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 1:14:45 PM EDT


Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

Albert Einstein
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:23:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 2:27:03 PM EDT by The_Macallan]

Originally Posted By innocent_bystander:
A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.

What would a man need to be "educated" in in order to be ethical?

Jesus was a great teacher. Would he be qualified to teach ethical behavior? Could such ethics be taught by Jesus WITHOUT reference to God?

And what "social ties" are there that aren't ultimately (and originally) derived from principles founded upon religious beliefs?




Originally Posted By innocent_bystander:
Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

Albert Einstein

Would being restrained by "social ties" (peer pressure) or "education" (indocrination) or the "fear of punishment" (blackmail) and "hope of reward" (profit) during life be any better?

Is peer pressure, personal profit and pleasure a better guide to ethical behavior than trying to live according to Christian principles?

Albert Einstein knew physics. Ethics? Mmmmmm... not any more than anyone else I suppose. And certainly not in the same league as someone like Thomas Aquinas (for example). Al should stick to physics.

Link Posted: 6/25/2003 3:04:32 PM EDT
Jesus who? I'm not superstitious.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 5:11:43 PM EDT
Hmm Innocent im starting to like you more and more.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 7:06:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 7:07:36 PM EDT by The_Macallan]

Originally Posted By innocent_bystander:
Jesus who? I'm not superstitious.

You ask "Jesus who?" in a thread about a Christian religion? I'm not ignorant.

<­BR>
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