Saturday, February 25, 2012

What War on Religion?

Regarding the recent attacks on the Catholic Church, Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, made this observation;

"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square."

One supporter of so-called, same sex marriage wrote than the Archbishop's remarks were a pompous prediction and "gaseous, inflated rhetoric".

However, if blogger Erika Christakis had her druthers, Catholic Bishops would be sitting in jail today. Writing in Time, Christakis says the Bishops should " willing to spend some time in jail in protest..." over Obama's birth control mandate.

Christakis also writes,

"Our social contract requires that we must occasionally stomach government policies that offend and outrage us.

Later in the hit piece, she praises Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela for having been willing to pay the price for their convictions. Oddly, she didn't expect MLK to stomach government policies that offended and outraged him. When one of her heroes fights against an injustice, she's offering praise and adulation. Let a Catholic Bishop stand up for what he believes and Christakis wants him jailed.


If one wants to see landslide Republican victories this fall, I'd say having the current administration locking up Catholic bishops would pretty much do the trick.

In spite of the fact that one Time writer looks forward to the imprisonment of Catholic leaders, fellow Time writer, Jon Meacham says there is no 'war on religion'.

Writer Philip Jenkins would beg to differ. I recently purchased his book The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice. gives this description of Jenkin's book;

"Anti-Catholicism has a long history in America. And as Philip Jenkins argues in The New Anti-Catholicism, this virulent strain of hatred--once thought dead--is alive and well in our nation, but few people seem to notice, or care.

A statement that is seen as racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, or homophobic can haunt a speaker for years, writes Jenkins, but it is still possible to make hostile and vituperative public statements about Roman Catholicism without fear of serious repercussions. Jenkins shines a light on anti-Catholic sentiment in American society and illuminates its causes, looking closely at gay and feminist anti-Catholicism, anti-Catholic rhetoric and imagery in the media, and the anti-Catholicism of the academic world. For newspapers and newsmagazines, for television news and in movies, for major book publishers, the Catholic Church has come to provide a grossly stereotyped public villain.

Catholic opinions, doctrines, and individual leaders are frequently the butt of harsh satire. Indeed, the notion that the church is a deadly enemy of women, the idea of Catholic misogyny, is commonly accepted in the news media and in popular culture, says Jenkins. And the recent pedophile priest scandal, he shows, has revived many ancient anti-Catholic stereotypes.
It was said that with the election of John F. Kennedy, anti-Catholicism in America was dead. This provocative new book corrects that illusion, drawing attention to this important issue.

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