"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The New York Times' Anti-Catholic Bigotry Comes Out of the Closet

Bill Keller, the former editor of the New York Times, has written an article today that essentially says that the Republicans running for President who are Christians are members of a bizarre cult that correct-thinking Americans (read:  East Cost liberal elites) should be suspicious of.   It's getting a lot of criticism in the conservative blogosphere (see here) so I'll just address the points that hit close to home.   About Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania Senator who is running (albeit far back) for President, he writes:
Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are all affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity, which has raised concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction.
Santorum, of course, is a practicing Roman Catholic.  I cast no aspersions against Evangelicals, but since when did Roman Catholicism become a "fervid subset of evangelical Christianity"?   And since when did it become appropriate for editors and columnists at the "paper of record" to opine that a candidate's Catholicism should raise "concerns about their respect for... the separation of fact and fiction"? 

Keller goes on to note that he was raised Catholic himself.   The unspoken point of this admission is that, though raised Catholic, once he became a sentient adult, and a member of the educated liberal elite, he put aside such childish things.   Okay, well, it's not so unspoken.   Here's more Keller:

Every faith has its baggage, and every faith holds beliefs that will seem bizarre to outsiders. I grew up believing that a priest could turn a bread wafer into the actual flesh of Christ.

You can almost hear the sneering condescension as Keller maligns an article of faith -- transubstantiation -- that more than a billion Catholics believe around the world, and that is believed by nearly 80 million of his fellow Americans.   This is bigotry, plain and simple, and if he'd said something similar about Muslims he'd be out of a job.  

But the most offensive thing to me is the palpable sense that Keller simply thinks he's smarter than the rubes who still believe in Catholicism.   The Catholic Church I attend has as parishioners judges, doctors, lawyers, engineers, business owners and executives, architects, professors, teachers.   And, oh, by the way, it also has both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans.   Are they all stupid for their beliefs, Mr. Keller?   Where exactly did you go to school?   What are your credentials?  

Oh, I see, he went to Pomona College in California, graduating with a B.A. in 1970.   Good school, don't get me wrong:  it ranks right up there with Bowdoin in Maine and Carleton in Minnesota and Davidson in North Carolina.   A nice little liberal arts school.   I might have gone to one too if I hadn't been able to get into a better place.   Anyway, the New York Times Company
website makes no mention of any honors at Pomona, and Keller has no graduate degrees, although he apparently did some kind of management program at the Wharton School in his early 50s.
Meanwhile, my wife's uncle, a Roman Catholic priest, had a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and was Phi Beta Kappa.   And Tim Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, where Keller lives and works, also has a Ph.D.  

And Santorum, that lay Catholic weirdo, has a B.A., an M.B.A., and a J.D.  

And Michelle Bachmann (that evangelical weirdo), has a B.A., a J.D., and an L.L.M.

I'm just sayin'.   Both sides can play at this game.  


Oh, by the way, does anyone recall Keller writing articles about how we must "question" Joe Lieberman's "mysterious" or "bizarre" beliefs as a member of a "fervid subset" of the Jewish faith when he was the Democrat's nominee for Vice-President in 2000?   I didn't think so.   Lieberman, a good man and a true patriot, is an observant Orthodox Jew, keeps a kosher home, and observes Shabbat.   I suppose a lot of Americans (liberals) might view that as "suspect" too, but I don't suppose that Keller or anyone else would write that in the New York Fucking Times.    Not good for business.   Meanwhile, evangelical Christians are among the most solid supporters of Israel in America, a fact which I doubt gets mentioned much in the NYFT.

As you can tell, this sort of anti-Catholic bigotry really gets the Regular Guy steaming.

1 comment:

  1. As a believing Catholic I found his comments pathetic & sad. He has no faith & he is proud of the fact? I think he needs to explore his "dark night of the soul" & keep his misery to himself.
    Actually having faith in transubstantiation is no more bizzarre than the likelihood that earth is the only inhabited planet,& that global warming is
    a Gore generated scam just to point out the obvious.