The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice by Philip Jenkins

By Philip Jenkins

Anti-Catholicism has an extended background in the USA. And as Philip Jenkins argues within the New Anti-Catholicism, this virulent pressure of hatred--once notion dead--is alive and good in our country, yet few humans appear to discover, or care. an announcement that's noticeable as racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, or homophobic can hang-out a speaker for years, writes Jenkins, however it continues to be attainable to make adversarial and vituperative public statements approximately Roman Catholicism with out worry of significant repercussions. Jenkins shines a mild on anti-Catholic sentiment in American society and illuminates its factors, taking a look heavily at homosexual and feminist anti-Catholicism, anti-Catholic rhetoric and imagery within the media, and the anti-Catholicism of the tutorial international. For newspapers and newsmagazines, for tv information and in video clips, for significant publication publishers, the Catholic Church has come to supply a grossly stereotyped public villain. Catholic critiques, doctrines, and person leaders are usually the butt of harsh satire. certainly, the proposal that the church is a dangerous enemy of ladies, the belief of Catholic misogyny, is often accredited within the information media and in pop culture, says Jenkins. And the hot pedophile priest scandal, he indicates, has revived many historical anti-Catholic stereotypes. It used to be acknowledged that with the election of John F. Kennedy, anti-Catholicism in the United States was once useless. This provocative new booklet corrects that phantasm, drawing cognizance to this crucial factor.

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Extra info for The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice

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As Communism and international power politics occupied center stage in post-war American life, leftists denounced the Catholic Church as a sup­ porter of global reaction. This served as a useful rhetorical counterpoint to the Red-baiting that was becoming prevalent in the American media. If the right denounced tyranny in the Soviet Union, then the left could gain sympathy by attacking dictatorial and clerical Spain, or the reactionary Vatican. As conservative Peter Viereck argued in 1953, “The Elders of Zion were used by Father Coughlin’s Social Justice to frighten reactionaries.

This observation about classic literature would be of only historical interest, if strikingly similar imagery of conspiracy and secret murder had not ap­ peared more or less overtly in much more recent portrayals of Catholic misdeeds, including modern films such as The Godfather III or Stigmata. 7 Obvious analogies exist between the British traditions of anti-Cathol­ icism and the common Continental theme of anti-Semitism. In both in­ stances, the imagined outside enemy subverts accepted standards of decent behavior, including through sexual contamination; he operates clandestinely in order to take over and destroy the decent Christian soci­ ety; and he is a sinister cosmopolitan.

From the first establishment of the Church on American soil, the whole issue of being an “American Catholic” seemed to involve a contradiction, even an oxymoron. How could the subject of one regime—especially with such exalted claims to divine authority— simultaneously be the citizen of another? Speaking in 1959, Harry Tru­ man himself asserted that Catholics could scarcely be trusted in the high­ est office because “[Catholics] have a loyalty to a church hierarchy that I don’t believe in. ”45 Also troubling was the belief that a specific religious institution had unique access to revealed truth.

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