Is anti-Catholicism on the rise?

Anti-Catholicism is considered acceptable by many elite opinion leaders.

Last week, 43 Catholic organizations, including Franciscan University and Ave Maria University — two schools that stopped offering health coverage because of the president’s health care plan — filed lawsuits against the Obama administration for infringing on their religious freedom.  Even the University of Notre Dame, a school that bestowed an honorary degree on the president in 2009, joined its Catholic brethren in their fight.

Similar to the the media’s decision to not report on the half-million or so protesters who attended the March for Life rally this past January, outlets like ABC, NBC, and CBS — all of whom spent hours on end drooling over a 30-year-old law student — have largely ignored what has become the largest legal defense of religious liberty in American history.

“Evidence of big media’s bias against religion is beyond dispute,” writes columnist Cal Thomas. Noting the countless number of attacks on Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, Thomas concludes that “any faith attached to a conservative agenda is to be ridiculed, stereotyped and misrepresented [by the media].  Islam is a notable exception.”

Case in point: political commentator and comedian Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” recently skewered the Catholic Church when he showed a picture of the Virgin Mary between the legs of a nude woman.  It’s not the first time he’s done something offensive, and it certainly won’t be the last.  But according to the Catholic League, who is demanding an apology for the stunt, Mr. Stewart has a long history of slamming Catholicism in particular.  In the past, he has compared the pope to the grand wizard of the KKK, questioned whether or not Mary and Joseph had oral sex, and claimed that a Norwegian gunman who killed over 70 innocent people was simply living out his Christian faith.

Not everyone is offended by Stewart’s words, however.  Sandi Villarreal, associate web editor for the left-leaning Christian website Sojourners, thinks Christians should simply turn the other cheek when others mock the Church.  I don’t disagree with her sentiments entirely; religious Americans should be lighthearted about certain issues.  But there is a difference between self-deprecation and allowing oneself to be persecuted.  When Catholics let others make fun of what they believe in on a regular basis, they act as enablers, and become complicit in the culture’s acceptance of values antithetical to the ones preached by Jesus Christ.

Not long ago, ABC decided to air a program originally entitled Good Christian Bitches. Though the show changed its name and was canceled due to low ratings, it proved Cal Thomas’s point about the media’s double standard when it comes to religion.  Could you imagine a sitcom entitled Angry Muslim Clerics or Cheap Jewish Rabbis? Such programs would be offensive, especially to members of the Islamic and Jewish faiths.  The media, however, trashes the teachings of the 1.2-billion-member Catholic Church on a daily basis.

Studies show that even in the sports world those who stand up for their faith are essentially blacklisted.  The outward expression of Tim Tebow’s beliefs made him a primary target for Saturday Night Live.  Manny Pacquiao, after coming out against President Obama’s decision to support same-sex unions, was labeled a “bigoted boxer” for defending the “Church’s cruel, undue dictates” on sites owned by ESPN and Yahoo.  A similar thing happened to Nebraska’s assistant football coach Ron Brown.  Jen Floyd Engel, a columnist for Fox Sports, perhaps emboldened by the president’s endorsement of same-sex unions, lashed out at him for expressing his views on homosexuality.

It’s not that people shouldn’t be able to voice disagreement over certain topics.  After all, it would be great to see Rep.  James Clyburn debate Princeton Professor Robert P. George on whether or not gay marriage is actually a civil rights issue. But when Nick Kristof of The New York Times calls Pope Benedict “crazy,” and when the media applauds Joe Biden for dissenting from the Catholic Church on same-sex marriage, one can’t help but notice the overwhelming amount of animosity directed towards those who uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Standing up for ideas that are unpopular can be difficult and unfashionable. And it may even get you labeled uncool. According to Victor Davis Hanson, being “cool” allows one to do things inside a bubble, free from the political criticism faced by the rest of us.  Those who are perceived as cool — President Obama, George Clooney, Occupy Wall Street, the Kennedys, and Apple — are rarely disparaged, says Hanson, even though they may misspeak about Polish death camps, earn enough money to put them in the rarified air of the 1%, pollute the environment and abuse women.  The eternally uncool, on the other hand — the bumbling George Bush, the uber wealthy Mitt Romney, the racist Tea Party, the sexist Catholic Church, and greedy Big Oil — have to wallow in the scrutiny of the national media when they do something as trivial as misspell the word America.  “Cool,” Hanson believes, “is now America’s holy grail.” It “allows the elite and the rich not just to pursue and enjoy nice things, but to damn others who do the same.”

The Catholic Church, with its teachings on marriage, contraception, sex, and gender roles, would appear to be the ultimate “uncool” institution.  It preaches humility instead of boastfulness, obedience to a higher power instead of to oneself, prayer and community service instead of material success, and patience instead of immediate gratification.  But being unpopular doesn’t mean you need to change your message. Jesus, after all, wasn’t welcome everywhere he went. Yet today, the Church He founded has grown to become the largest religion in the world.

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22 thoughts on “Is anti-Catholicism on the rise?

  1. Canisius says:

    Who cares what you think, that kike Stewart mocks us, the govt comes after us, what don’t you understand,, I pray for purging civil war where the NY Times building is burned to ground and replaced with a Catholic Cathedral

  2. Sandy says:

    The Catholic Church is under attack for many reasons. One, it claims the superiority of men over women. Secondly, it claims superiority over other religions while covering up the sexual abuse of children for centuries. Thirdly, it claims to help the poor while amassing trillions of dollars in assets. Fourth, it attempts to breach the separation of Church and State in this country, which is a cornerstone of our Constitution, a Constitution that is admired all over the world. Fifth, it’s a secret society with all kinds of pagan rituals. Sixth, it is a religion run by old men who fear the loss of power over the masses. That should cover it for now.

    1. Curious says:

      Sandy, SADLY you know NOTHING of the Blessed Catholic Church. Sadly, you know NOTHING of the constitution and the separation of church and state. Do yourself a favor and read actual original writings of our founding fathers and not the c-ap that the progressives have incorrectly taught in our school systems for years. Trying to change history and original intention does not make TRUTH. You site nothing more than the very TIRED propaganda your very liberal friends spew. Would not surprise us if you are paid in someway by Sorros, or at least your views have been formed by his anti-Catholic paid for organizations. Educated yourself. Thomas Jefferson spoke of the wall, and it wasn’t keeping God out of our government. It was keeping the government out of our religions, our Churches. Again, read original writings, not those rewritten by progressives trying to suit therir beliefs while leaving out important parts of writings and sometimes actually changing the wording. You will then better understand the REAL constitution. God bless

  3. Carl says:

    “If you world hates you because of me, remember that it hated me first.” Christ have already explained this to us so it should come as no surprise. Just keep praying!

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