Catholic World News

Times op-ed compares anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim sentiment

September 18, 2012

A New York Times op-ed has compared contemporary concerns about Islam to anti-Catholic sentiments of earlier generations.

“The view that members of a religious minority are not to be trusted — that they are predisposed to extremism, disloyalty and violence; resist assimilation; reproduce at alarming rates, and are theologically compelled to impose their backward religious laws on their adopted home — is not new,” writes Doug Saunders. “From the 19th century on, distrust, violence and, eventually, immigration restrictions were aimed at waves of Roman Catholic immigrants.”

“As late as 1950, 240,000 Americans bought copies of ‘American Freedom and Catholic Power,’ a New York Times best seller,” Saunders continued. “Many Americans shunned such views, but some liberals did not. Mr. Blanshard’s book was endorsed by the likes of John Dewey and Bertrand Russell, and respected scholars like Seymour Martin Lipset, Reinhold Niebuhr and Sidney Hook debated Catholics’ supposed propensity toward authoritarianism.”

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  • Posted by: John Chrysostom - Sep. 19, 2012 9:12 PM ET USA

    There are some notable differences between the groups. The media is fond of stating that a tiny percent of the billion Muslims are terrorists. Yet numerous studies show that even here in the United States about 1/3 of Muslims accept the idea that those who reject Islam for another faith deserve to be killed. The Catholic Church never taught this, even during the days of the inquisition (which is greatly magnified from reality in most history books)..

  • Posted by: unum - Sep. 19, 2012 8:04 AM ET USA

    The left, led by the group thinking "intellectuals" at the NYT, fails to distinguish between the militant terrorists that use Islam as an excuse for their geopolitical goal of destruction and conquest and the "peaceful" form of Islam. They minimize the Muslim threat by portraying the terrorists as a "few bad apples" in a peaceful religion. But, the "good apples" in Islam are silent, and the media wages a constant propaganda campaign to sell "peaceful Islam" to America. I wonder why?

  • Posted by: rpp - Sep. 18, 2012 1:50 PM ET USA

    "Catholic radicals carried out a deadly wave of terrorist attacks in the United States". Wow. The audacity of asserting anarchists and communists were Catholic is mind blowing. And do so in an effort to minimize the clear fact that Muslims *around the world* and modern anarchist and communist movements, like Occupy and the Democratic party, are not dangerous is illogical thinking. The conclusion that Muslims *are* assimilating is without foundation. Only those who give up their faith can do so.