Monday, February 12, 2007

On hating Roman Catholics

Everyone is persecuted at some point. Now it's the Catholics' turn.

The most elegant description of anti-Catholicism I have read is John Highham's: "the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history." That surgically precise diagnosis is quoted in The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice by Philip Jenkins (Oxford, 288 pages, $26).

Jenkins is a chaired professor of history at Penn State and has written 15 previous books, several of them involving the Catholic Church and Christianity in general....

Jenkins examines the phenomenon slowly, methodically, tracing its long history and its European origins, its often-disguised currency among orthodox liberals, the Church's treatment in novels, movies, television and the mainstream press. The array of issues on which anti-Catholicism can flourish today in the United States. is very powerful - feminism, homosexuality, contraception, abortion are at the top of a longer list....

Next - persecution of secularism.


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