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Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

old things and new

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Sep 29, 2005

Released during last summer's presidential campaign, the cartoon Hydra above is compounded of Justices Antonin Scalia, William Rehnquist, and an eerily Polynesian version of Clarence Thomas. Appearances to the contrary, it did not issue from the Ku Klux Klan, or the Aryan Nation, or the Alabama Volksbund for Racial Purity. Planned Parenthood produced this as part of its "Choice Chick" video. It's OK for the Left to make foes into monsters, you see.

I was pleased, by contrast, to get an e-mail alert from Rev. Donald Wildmon's American Family Association with this title: "Urge President Bush To Appoint Another Scalia or Thomas." The message reads:

Very soon, President Bush will appoint another justice to the Supreme Court. This will be the most important nomination to the court in decades, perhaps ever. President Bush pledged in his campaign to appoint another justice in the mold of Scalia or Thomas. Urge him to keep that promise.

Viewed against the sectarian religious and racial suspicion in place forty years ago in the U.S., this is a remarkable accomplishment. Wildmon is a Methodist minister based in Tupelo, Mississippi. In 1965, the notion of a Mississippi protestant's endorsing two Catholics -- moreover, one unmistakably Italian and one unmistakably black -- is all but unthinkable. In fact, Scalia and Thomas would be regarded as caricatures of the Romish threats to the American Way of Life.

They still are. But notice what's happened. It's the evangelical Protestants whose minds and hearts have opened, who have conscientiously re-examined their sectarian antipathies in the light of Christian moral teaching and who have made room for former adversaries -- and not only made room for them, but urged that they serve as models for the Supreme Court justices they want. By contrast, it's the radical Left that uses the Church of Rome as a bogey, employing all the sinister trappings of papal tiaras and cassocked monsignori and whispered plans for subversion.

If one of the Great Haters of the 1960s -- a Robert Shelton or a George Lincoln Rockwell -- were to come back to life, where would he recognize a kindred spirit: in the promptings of the white Methodist minister from Mississippi, or in the comic book grotesqueries of Planned Parenthood?

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