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15 December 2015 @ 06:48 am
Other faiths  
A recent article on the history of anti-Catholic feeling in America has reminded me: Hating Muslims can be like hating Jews or hating Catholics.

The Jewish image is obvious: swarthy, hook-nosed, after our money and our women…Trump could probably repurpose some of the old Der Stürmer illos.

But not all of those who worry about “Islamofascism” are prone to that sort of stupidity. Some (Eric Raymond, Bruce Bawer, the late Christopher Hitchens) worry about a repressive, sex-hating theocracy, which many Muslims favor.

In 1949 there was a best-selling book called American Freedom and Catholic Power, by Paul Blanshard. It said that the organized power of the Catholic hierarchy was oppressing us. As Freud put it, the paranoid is never entirely mistaken. At that time, all movies were what would now be G-rated. (There was an effort to ban The Moon Is Blue for using the word virgin without following it with “Mary.”) One could go to jail for selling a book with the F-word in it, let alone pictures of the act it represents. The law even reached into our bedrooms (inefficiently of course): In most jurisdictions, even married couples were forbidden birth control and the use of alternate apertures. (Maybe that was when we needed a Defense of Marriage Act.) The Catholic Church was most responsible for maintaining those rules.

We got over it. We didn’t ban Catholic immigration or burn the churches, but we now are far less oppressed. I don’t think we’re going back. We can let Muslims continue to immigrate, encourage the aspects of Islam that support love and justice (which of course Catholicism also had all along), and never have to have a book about American Freedom and Muslim Power.

Thanx to [personal profile] twistedchick for the link.
Avram Grumer: Post-It Portraitagrumer on December 16th, 2015 06:56 am (UTC)
The weird thing is the US has no shortage of home-grown Christian repressive sex-hating theocrats. Many of ’em are even Protestant!