Noted historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. called anti-Catholicism the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people. In this toxic climate of the politics of 2016, candidates tear one another apart with almost childish statements. One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The political discourse always has entailed some ad hominem remarks, and dirty tricks are part of the territory.
However, in the midst of the name-calling, one begins to detect that old anti-Catholic bias as it manifests itself in the subtleties appealing to people’s fears and ignorance. One can understand if this is coming from individuals who lack an educational background or are fed information from unfounded fears; but, please, today? After the Kennedy years?
I’m old enough to remember when John F. Kennedy had to appear in Houston at a ministers’ convention. There, he assured them if he were elected president the pope would not direct the presidency of the United States from Rome. If you asked any Catholic, he or she would have told you as much. No one asked Kennedy if the pope gave him permission to heroically serve in World War II. I guess when your faith forms you as a responsible citizen to defend your country, it doesn’t matter that you are Roman Catholic.
Read more at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.