Tom Tancredo, (R-Colorado) Agrees With Theory Alleging Catholic Church Plot
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 03:35:04 PM EST
Anti Semitic conspiracy theory holds that Jews control the world through cunning, intelligence, and financial manipulation. Meanwhile, one strain of American anti-Catholic conspiracy theory posits a less exalted strategy for control - a "human wave" attack in the form of a plot by the Catholic Church to establish cultural dominance in the US by flooding the US borders with immigrants ( need I say they're predominantly Catholic ? )

Now first of all, the method of the alleged plot might evoke, for some, "human wave" attacks, by indigenous populations mounting typically futile resistance against technologically superior invading colonial powers during the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries. Such usually ineffective tactics were often viewed as proof that human life was valued less by allegedly "primitive" cultures than by invading European and Western colonial powers, and resonances of such culturally chauvinistic attitudes certainly survive up to this day.

The idea of a "Catholic Wave" attack on American Protestant cultural dominance is actually rather silly - the Catholic Church may indeed hatch plots and schemes for all we know, but Occam's Razor suggests the simplest explanation :  Mexicans cross the border into the US in search of jobs, and their Catholic religious beliefs are quite incidental. The incentive is financial.

But, that won't stop Tom Tancredo. As Max Blumenthal narrates, in a post on his blog :

During a July 19th appearance on American Family Radio, anti-immigration movement figurehead and potential 2008 GOP presidential candidate Rep. Tom Tancredo of Littleton, Colorado, made his anti-Catholic sentiments explicit. Responding to a caller's suggestion that Catholics have a surreptitious plan to cultivate political hegemony in the US by ushering in waves of Catholic immigrants across open borders, Tancredo lays into Catholics and concluded that the caller "does have a point."

Max Blumenthal pegs anti-Catholic sentiment in the US to southern Baptism:
white nationalism is one of the most powerful currents guiding the anti-immigration movement. But there is another, less understood factor in their motivations, particular among the movement's base in the Southern Baptist-dominated South: anti-Catholic resentment.
But anti-Catholicism in America ranges beyond the sphere of Baptism, and perhaps the most virulent strain can be found in American Pentacostalism. The following excerpt - from a story by The Detroit News originally run in December 2005 - provides an illustration:
When a Genesee County Circuit judge sentenced Joseph Hanas to a year in a Christian residential outreach program for a minor drug offense, the troubled 19-year-old and his family welcomed the idea of getting professional help for his addiction. Instead, Hanas said officials at the program, run by a local Pentecostal church, told him his religion, Catholicism, was witchcraft and he had to convert to the Pentecostal faith or he would go to prison. Hanas refused and ultimately served jail time. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in U.S. District Court in Detroit. Sentencing Hanas to the Inner City program violated his First Amendment rights to practice his religion, the suit contended. The lawsuit seeks to overturn the conviction.
It might be hard to guage the prevalence of such attitudes but another notorious case - from July 2005 - illustrates another apparent case of religious discrimination practiced by an entity receiving funding from the state of Mississippi :
A local Christian adoption agency that receives funds from the sale of Mississippi's Choose Life specialty car tags will not consider Catholics as adoptive parents.
Notable examples of anti-Catholicsm can also be found in the "A Beka" homeschooling curriculum, as Rethinking Schools Online reports :
Descriptions of contemporary life in European countries that are primarily Roman Catholic frequently include derogatory statements about the Church: "Almost all the children of [the Republic of] Ireland grow up believing in the traditions of the Roman Catholic church without knowing of God's free salvation." 28 A Beka's seventh grade world history book, for example, describes the early Roman church (before 500 A.D.) as "a monstrous distortion of Biblical Christianity." 29 Speaking of the Crusades, the text speculates that "if Christendom had succeeded with its crusades, distorted Christianity might have been imposed on all mankind." 30 In the chapter titled "The Age of Darkness," which is subtitled "Distorted Christianity, Holy Roman Empire, Renaissance," the author writes, "The papacy had always distorted Christianity. " 31 In all, the seventh grade book uses the term "distorted" or its variants 28 times in the six chapters in which its discussions of the Roman Catholic faith are most concentrated. Tenth graders using A Beka books are taught that "the doctrines and practices of the Roman church had digressed so far from Scripture that the church was compelled to keep its members from reading the Bible and discovering the truth." 32



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These people are crazy.  They would be hilarious if they were not so dangerous.

This is nothing new, though.  I read twenty years ago about some Baptist high school in Texas that scheduled a basketball game against a Catholic school, by mistake.

When they drove over for the game, and found out that their opponents were Catholic, they refused to play, forfeited the game, and put all their players and cheerleaders back on the cheese wagon.  And drove home.  Back to their dusty sagebrush ignorant, mean-as-hell heaven-in-Texas.

Twenty years ago, these "Christians" were far-out.  Now, they probably would be normal, middle-of-the-road, plain-old patriotic Republicans.

by Tom Neely on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 09:28:48 PM EST


For the radicals in all these groups to finally cut each others throats.....but unfortunately we don't have the luxury of waiting them out.  

Just out of curiousity...does anyone know how Michael Novak, George Weigel, John Neuhaus respond to all of this???

by tikkun on Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 02:25:25 PM EST

They won't comment because it does not help the overall far Right agenda (perhaps they might mention it in passing, but not much more).

For hypocrites such as Weigel, Neuhas and Novak politics is all about helping friends and hurting opponents. Hurting Tancredo too much harms someone who is an ally on what they consider more important issues.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 12:23:23 PM EST
Parent



the U.S. has a fantastic tradition of anti-Catholic thinking...is it any wonder that this kind of thinking would be part of current anti-immigrant sentiments? (and it is def. not confined to the Baptists)....

Here are some interesting stats in a report from the Martin Marty Center (june '06) on religious identities of Latin American immigrants in Chicago--

http://marty-center.uchicago.edu/webforum/062006/althoff_religiou s_identities.pdf#search=%22south%20american%20immigrant%20religio n%22

and more here on Latino immigrants in the U.S.:

http://www.facsnet.org/issues/faith/espinosa.php

Seems that, while many Latinos will identify as Catholic when they first arrive, there is a considerable percentage that are Charismatic Catholic.  Once here, many convert to Pentacostalism--the groups are easier to find than Charismatic Catholic groups. Latino Pentacostals are the largest group of Latino Protestants.  

From the Facsnet report:

"Aggressive proselytizing, the intense worship experience, healing, the emphasis on conversion, transformation, and increased leadership opportunities in the ministry have all contributed to the trend of "Pentecostalization" of the Latino church, Espinosa said. The emphasis on youth ministry and popular culture is another important draw to Latino Protestant churches."

It seems that most are more American in their religious thinking once they get here than they would be had they stayed in their home countries.  Isn't that odd?

Overall, though, I'm concerned about the anti-Catholicism that continues to run among so many folks who just don't understand Catholic thinking about images, prayers, the Pope, etc.  It's insidious and so many are so unaware of their deep-seated sentiments.  

by Tish Grier on Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 09:03:42 AM EST


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