Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Roberts Confirmation and Anti-Catholicism in the United States

I've meant to comment for quite some time on this article since mid-September but due because of my schedule I have waited until now. However, the topic is still fresh in noteworthiness here in America, as it has been since the United States' founding over 200 years ago. What are the place of Catholics, especially active Catholics in tune with their moral conscience based in a foriegn state? As Catholics we believed in this day in age that we have forever banished the question: "As practicing Catholic, is a person fit to hold office?"

With the media these days, much of it filled with anti-Catholic sentiment, I guess we cannot. Entertainment is set on bashing traditional Catholicism even more than the media in their pathetic satire, so much so that Viacom (parent company of Comedy Central) recently banished one South Park episode titled "Blood Mary" that first aired on the eve of the Immaculate Conception, the Catholic feast day honoring the Virgin Mary. This kind of tasteless satire is both demeaning and rude. Not mention, it's happened countless times in one form or another throughout recent years from the Pope picture-tearing on live television during on Saturday Night Live by Sinéad O'Connor, which has since also been bannished from public viewing altogether like the one South Park episode, to being the butt of jokes on the priesthood scandals—something that should not be joked lightly about.

However, this is not what I came to comment about today. I wanted to comment on the Christopher Hitchens opinion article Catholic Justice: Quit tiptoeing around John Roberts' faith from The curt words of Hitchens in his labasting of good Catholics, stating simply:
If Roberts is confirmed there will be quite a bloc of Catholics on the court. Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas are strong in the faith. Is it kosher to mention these things? The Constitution rightly forbids any religious test for public office, but what happens when a religious affiliation conflicts with a judge's oath to uphold the Constitution?
Now that John Roberts has been confirmed and Samuel Alito has been nominated to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, must we hear this nonsensical ideological garbage again? Hitchens continues to insinuate later in his piece that through the actions of the Catholic Church in the child abuse scandals and the Church's teachings on abortion and evolution (which he both clearly and fervrantly disagrees with) that Church (and its members) is solely political in nature. Hitchens must realize that moral teachings WILL collide with political issues from time to time and that does not mean there will be any resulting double allegiance issues, which worried the WASP's during the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy, our first Catholic president. This new round of insuations in merely more anti-Catholic sentiment popping up in Supreme Court issues.

Hitchens even goes so far to equate Opus Dei, an organization that Supreme Court Antonin Scalia (a Catholic) is a member of, to that of the Ku Klux Klan, a totally outrageous notion that should not be given the time of day in consideration. What does it then? Because it is "cool" to bash Catholicism.

Well, I think Scalia put it best when he addressed a group of the Knights of Columbus (which protected the Church in the South decades ago from Klan anti-Catholic violence) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana: "Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world." Amen. Give me Scalia any day over a bucketful of contemptable liberals.

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