LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
AM I BEING CONTROVERSIAL OR AM I RIGHTFULLY SHAMING YOU?
I aim to be crystal clear: I will be unapologetic when it comes to defending my beliefs and everyone’s right to social justice.
And if you are one of the ones who can’t see past their own brainwashed, bigoted, cloudy lenses, then go spew your bullshit elsewhere.
I was recently attacked on my personal Facebook page for being raised Catholic and continuing to identify as such as an adult. Anti-Catholicism is absolutely one of the “last acceptable prejudices” in the US.
The Ku Klux Klan is still teeming with Anti-Catholic sentiment.
In 1928, anti-Catholic hysteria led to Al Smith’s defeat for presidential candidacy. This mass-hysteria evolved from a rumor that if elected, the Pope would move into the White House and take American citizenship away from Protestants. Which is not only absolutely absurd, but false.
But that was in 1928, you might say. True. It was.
It’s nearly 2016–what’s changed, really?
Here’s a little-known fact about the majority of Catholics: It’s part of our heritage, you dickheads. I am a 4th generation Irish-Catholic American. My great-great-grandparents emigrated here from Northern Ireland during the potato famine.
I shouldn’t even HAVE to explain that.
To gang up on someone, anyone, and openly harass them solely based on that individual’s religious beliefs is, in fact, bigotry. No matter what their religion is. No matter what you’ve heard about it on late-night TV. No matter how funny it may seem to you to.
This behavior has become so accepted that it’s now trendy to “Catholic-bash.” I’ve been present at many a dinner table, full of people who know I’m Catholic, who still just cannot help themselves.
Let me ask you something: Would we do this to someone who was, say, Jewish? Or Muslim? Or a Jehovah Witness?
Then why in the hell are you doing it to us?
It’s a topic that’s been “burning a hole in my notebook,” so to speak, since it’s been happening MY ENTIRE LIFE.
It’s fucking UNACCEPTABLE and it needs to STOP.
Why do you care if I accept every facet of my religion? Do you ask the same of someone who’s Protestant or Muslim? How is it your business if I don’t believe in confession or in the church’s beliefs on contraception?
I didn’t have to search for long, for two minutes to be exact, before I found over 25 web sites dedicated to their hatred of Catholics. These included forums, blogs and not surprisingly, other religious web sites. (And just so I’m clear, I’m a huge supporter of Pope Francis. My parents raised me to be open-minded and accepting, and loving, much like Pope Francis preaches.)
The most disturbing thing I ran across was a sermon by Pastor Deacon Fred from Iowa named, “Why Do Catholics Worship Mary?” And within this sermon were quotes like:
“Catholics are so darn stupid.”
“Catholics are mentally sick.”
“They are so dad gum ignorant.”
“Sooner or later we’re bound to bump into a hell-bound Catholic.”
Other sites had names such as, “God Hates the Catholic Church!” and “50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church.”
I realize that I’m breaking my “journalism code” in these letters. However, when I only have one other staffer here at SLM, it’s simply a side effect. Lines get blurred. I’m not afraid of anyone. I want to shake things up. I want to challenge people to look at things from a new perspective and realize their own failings. This article is MEANT to shame certain people.
I have to say that I warned you with the title that I was going to get controversial. My husband just asked me, “Why are you letting this bother you? Type in any group with the word HATE after it and you will find a myriad of web sites dedicated to it.”
My response? “Yes. But people are aware of racists and racism, anti-Semites and Antisemitism along with anti-Islam or anti-Muslim sentiments; but is the mass public aware of the extent to which anti-Catholicism occurs? Probably not.”
My husband then went on to ask, “Don’t you think that the Catholic Church deserves to be ridiculed for the way that they handled the child molestation issue?”
How am I to respond to this? Do I agree with or condone what happened?
Do you know how it felt and still feels to be a Catholic when the news broke about this? We were embarrassed, ashamed, mortified, disgusted—shall I go on?
I responded, “Would you ask a Muslim friend of yours if they felt that their church deserved to be ridiculed for the extremist groups out there, like ISIS?”
My husband: “It’s not the same thing.”
And our conversation ended there.
Islamic extremists are killing people and raping women and I don’t feel that their ENTIRE church ought to be ridiculed or denigrated for an extremist group’s behavior. I guess the difference lies in the fact that with the Catholic-molestation scandal, these things were happening IN THE CHURCH and then covered up by members of the clergy.
My Parish was not among one of the ones that this behavior occurred in.
We are always taught to be sensitive and helpful and careful when speaking about the Muslim/Islam community, as well as other religions that aren’t exactly the norm over here in the US.
::CHIRP…CHIRP:: (Those are crickets.)
There are frequent vandalism attacks on Catholic Cathedrals—defacement, graffiti, etc. I would consider that to be a hate crime. But it seems that I’m alone in this.
I would NEVER, EVER, get up in someone’s face and demand that they quote scripture to me and then go on to make outlandish attacks on their religion.
Sit back and remember how many Catholic people you’ve probably offended recently. And, in all honesty, shame on you. Go join a neo-Nazi party where you belong. (And in case you don’t “history, bro,” one of the items on Hitler’s To-Do list was to assassinate the Pope. Along with murdering 6 million Jews, he also murdered 3 million Polish Christians and Catholics, with a total tally of 11 million. The Catholic Church was considered to be one of Hitler’s most pernicious opponents during WWII.)
Peace and love,
SLM Editor in Chief,
Kelly FITZHARRIS Coody
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