Catholic Nuttiness? No, Due Respect For The Pope
- By Warner Todd Huston
I have avoided commenting on the death of Pope John Paul the Second this week for the main reason that I am not a Catholic. In fact, I have always considered myself somewhat anti-Catholic as have so many Americans historically. While I am not a fear monger against the Catholic Church as many of my ancestral fellow Americans have all too often been, I have to honestly say I am not a big fan of Catholic tradition and dogma. More often than not I just shake my head in bemusement at Catholics.
Furthermore, I am against an overarching organized Priesthood, tending to feel as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and so many other famous American founders felt on the matter. Historically, Priests have more often been a menace than a boon to the people of a nation as the European history our Founders were so steeped in so obviously proves.
As with most countries America has a few dark spots in it’s past. And concerning one of those spots we must admit that American anti-Catholicism has often gone horribly overboard. From the 1700′s to the 1900′s laws were passed to discriminate against Catholics and they were often barred from public office. In 1928 American citizens even destroyed the career of a fine candidate for the presidency when they used anti-Catholic fear mongering against New York Democrat Al Smith, a reform minded candidate who would probably have made a fine president. (The old canard that Smith would be a puppet in the hands of the Pope was a common claim. It was even ridiculously claimed that Smith would build a tunnel from the White House to the Vatican in Rome so that the Pope could better control the USA… a tunnel thousands of miles long, in 1928, yet.) The Catholic question was even still alive as a concern all the way up to the time that John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960, though he was successful in defusing it as a negative issue…………..
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