"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

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Anti-Catholicism from Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews, the MSNBC commentator, is apparently a self-hating Catholic, because he commented recently that anti-gay bigots are attracted to the Catholic Church:

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Earlier tonight, you were talking about Nixon and the Southern Strategy and bigotry and things like that you and you said, quote, “If you’re really anti-gay, you become a Catholic now.” [Audience laughs.] I was wondering if you were saying that bigots become Catholic now and if you wanted to expand or apologize for that? [Audience laughs.]
MATTHEWS: I think there are people who have chosen to convert to the Catholic faith because they don’t like the liberal positions taken by their sectarian groups. That’s a fact. So, you can write that down. No, you can write that down. 
AUDIENCE MEMBER: So, you’re saying Catholicism is drawing bigots? Is that what you’re saying?
MATTHEWS: I’m saying that some people who are bigoted against gay people have changed religions. Yes. You got it right.

I guess this kind of rhetoric is acceptable at MSNBC.   I can't help thinking that some guy got fired from ESPN for what was either a casual joking slur or else a pure accident in referring to the Knicks point guard, Jeremy Lin's Chinese-Taiwanese heritage.   And I can't help thinking that a similar sentence about Muslims would elicit a firestorm of protest (can you imagine Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann's reaction if Charles Krauthammer, for instance, uttered a sentence like "If you're really anti-semitic now, you become a Muslim").

But, once again, I guess it's OK to denigrate Catholics.  

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