Sunday, March 28, 2004


Kevin Drum says:
In an odd twist, at the same time that Americans have gotten over their anti-Catholic bigotry of days past the Catholic Church itself has become far more politicized.

This isn't as nearly as true as Kevin states - there were parts of the Catholic church and related organizations that were always very politicized. And, in the cities where Catholics were more dominant - New York, Boston - Catholics were very powerful and politically active. In some ways much more so than today.

But, I do think it's true that Catholics in this country seem to have to a large degree forgotten the past. It is definitely true that overall, and in many places to an extreme degree, Catholics were genuinely a persecuted religious minority. And, as a religious minority they well understood the importance of the separation of Church and State. Sadly, this is much less true.

There's also increasing overlap between Catholics and Protestants, with many of the "old battles" completely forgotten. In this country, Catholicism no longer seems to be something completely distinct from Protestantism, but rather simply yet another flavor of Christianity. Papal authority, iconography, etc... - all the prior divisions - seem to have been replaced mostly by the standard issues in the culture wars. The overall divide seems to less be between different denominations and more between liberals and conservatives.

Jack Kelley, formerly of USA Today, is a Catholic, but he's an evangelical Charismatic Catholic, which made him fit right in with conservative Protestants in a way which would have hardly seemed possible 50 years ago.