Tag Archives: blogs against theocracy

Erick Erickson, Presbyterian, tells some Catholics they’re not actually Catholic

I know one trait of right wing authoritarians is that they are both utterly clueless concerning other people’s worldviews and utterly without a fragment of doubt concerning their own rectitude and worthiness, but this is shocking even for a rightwing blowhard like redstate.com’s Erickson.

In Which A Presbyterian Defends the Pope

Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)
Sunday, July 12th at 9:49AM EDT
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Kathleen Kennedy Townsend says Obama represents Catholic Americans better than the Pope.

Now, I may just be a good PCA Presbyterian headed out the door to church this morning, but I’ve got to make a few points on this.

1. I don’t know that a Kennedy knows anything about the Catholic church in reality. Sure, they know they are supposed to show up and go through the routine, but just because someone goes to church does not make them a Catholic, let alone a Christian.

2. Saying Obama represents Catholic Americans better than the Pope is like expressing shock over Richard Nixon becoming President because no one you know voted for him.

3. Does anyone really think a lady whose family is more known for rehab, rape, and Mary Jo Kopeckne than anything else can opine credibly on this issue?

I thought not.

Oh, one more — if the Pope praised abortion rights, tomorrow Newsweek and Ms. Townsend would be supporting him for President.

In order to provide the full context, that is, literally, the entire post, including the title. That title is written in the style of subtitle of a text from the 15th or 16th century, another period when people of different religions were particularly fond of telling each other how wrong they were, particularly this guy.

I’ve written before that I’m not Catholic, but where does this guy get off?

I especially like this line: “but just because someone goes to church does not make them a Catholic, let alone a Christian.” What’s with the “let alone a Christian” phrase?

If someone is Catholic, they are, by definition, Christian. This line seems to separate the two into different categories.

This is, yet again, another example of the unreflective arrogance and tone deafness that is proving such a success for the Republican party.

Update: can you believe this pearl of wisdom from a frequent commenter?

The Catholic Church is a little like the Republican Party.
mbecker908 Sunday, July 12th at 11:44AM EDT (link)
No discipline.

In any rational theological world the Kennedy family – along with every elected Democrat who professes to be a Catholic – would be summarily excommunicated.

Update II: You knew it wouldn’t be long before something like this was dredged up:

When you’re the Antichrist, even the Pope has to meet with you…
bs Sunday, July 12th at 12:39PM EDT

Or this:

I think what she said was a hate crime against Catholics
[W]ould she say Obama is a better Muslim Leader than Mohammed?
Doc Holliday Sunday, July 12th at 12:40PM EDT

Update III: It’s funny that, for all their ranting about “cafeteria Catholics,” stem cells and “the sanctity of life,” no one brings up the church’s opposition to the death penalty.

You see, according to the rightwing authoritarians at redstate.com and elsewhere, you’re a cafeteria Catholic if you support the right to choose or stem cell research, but if you deviate from the church’s teachings on the death penalty, you’re just exercising your free will.

Another case of do as I say and not as I do. It’s all right for some to ignore Catholic doctrine regarding death penalty and still be real Catholics while at the same time condemning others who deviate from other aspects of church doctrine.

If you don’t understand the logic or if it seems, y’know, like bullshit, then you’re just an over educated elite snob and probably a fake Catholic. After all, who’s a bigger authority on real and fake Catholics than Erick Erickson and all the other hypocritical rightwing authoritarians?

Update IV: another redstate.com”card-carrying Calvinist Presbyterian,” the one who called Obama the “Antichrist” in the comment quoted above, concern trolls for those poor Catholics.

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The US is *not* a christian nation

This post is in honor of Blog Against Theocracy 2009.

Obama recently drew some heat for saying that we’re no longer just a christian nation. I would have said we never were, but I’m glad he at least acknowledged this much.

We’ll probably never stop hearing conservatives and republicans, as well as some moderates, liberals and democrats, claiming that “this is a christian nation.” But that doesn’t mean they’re right. Of course, they’re very, very wrong.

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Why the big deal? Because there’s an insidious “but some animals are more equal than others” tone to this assertion, especially since it usually comes, and comes most shrilly, from people on the authoritarian rightwing side of the room.

I’m not catholic, in fact, I’m second generation lapsed catholic. But I was baptized and while I have no end of criticisms for the catholic church, there’s a certain brand of catholic bashing that comes from conservative protestants that really riles me. It’s not that I feel some need to defend the dogma or theology of catholicism.

No. It’s a reaction to perceived anti catholic bias, by which I mean ancient anti immigrant, bigotry. The Know-Nothings and the KKK were often as much anti catholic as racist. Al Smith lost in his bid for the presidency because enough “real Amer’cuns” believed he was a slave to Rome. Kennedy had to practically genuflect to protestant ministers to allay the same fear. I’ve actually heard people these days claim catholics aren’t christian.

This is a round about way of saying that the notion of America as a “christian nation” was not too long ago much more narrowly interpreted. It was a way to exclude certain groups of people who were not considered real Americans. And, when I hear people on the right loudly and belligerently assert that “we’re a christian nation,” I hear echoes of that same tone.

It’s a way to exclude not only people of other faiths, but also people who don’t believe in any religion. It’s a subtle way to ascribe to them – to me and so many others – second class citizenship, as if to say “we’ll tolerate your presence, at least just barely, but you’d better keep quiet if you know what’s good for you.”

Well, screw that. America is not and never was a christian nation. The founders were mostly deists who had the wisdom to keep government free from religion, basing our constitution instead on enlightenment ideals regarding humanity and equal rights for all.

So, the next time you hear someone casually state that we’re a christian nation, think about the undertones of such an assertion. The fact that someone like Pat Buchanan gets so worked up* when challenged on the issue says a lot about how important it is to contend.

* I know I’ve seen video of Buchanan totally losing it when some other guest on a cable chat show contends otherwise, but haven’t been able to find it. If anyone knows of a link…


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