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Anti-Catholic Bigotry



          Anti-Catholic bigotry has existed in the United States since the beginning of our country. It reared its ugly head in violence against Catholic churches in the 1830’s and in the 1860’s, in protests against the construction of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, in the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850’s, the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920’s, and when Al Smith ran for President in 1928, and again when John F. Kennedy ran for President in 1960. In the opinion of former New York Senator Pat Moynihan, “anti-Catholic nativism (prejudice) has even greater durability than racism and anti-Semitism in American life”. And, today it is the only acceptable or politically correct prejudice. Only recently it was evidenced in hearings of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on hearings for the confirmation of nominees for the U.S. Court of Appeals. A Catholic nominee was criticized for having deeply held religious beliefs (translate to anti-abortion beliefs). Years back there were signs that said No Irish Need Apply. Does this now mean that for judicial positions No Catholics Need Apply? Are our enemies morphing into a modern day Know Nothing Party?  Do we as Catholics have to sit back and accept this? Are American Catholics a mute, impotent minority? Are we as Catholics second-class citizens in American society and politics? The answer is a resounding NO. We as Catholic voters have the power to change things for the better through the ballot box. We are no longer a minority, but a significant and growing force in American politics. No one can be elected president without a majority of the Catholic Vote; our vote counts. And, politicians know this and will try to divide us. Don't let them do this.

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