Sunday, September 17, 2017

The KKK’s war on Catholics

A Ku Klux Klan member salutes during an American Nazi Party rally
The Klan is known mainly for its racism, but it also long harboured a virulent strain of anti-Catholicism

During its 1920s heyday the Ku Klux Klan was unremitting in its hostility towards Catholicism. As one Arkansas member put it, the loyalty of Catholics was “across the sea and the religion they profess is a foreign religion … the quicker we invite them to go back to the other side of the big pond the better it will be for us”. A typically rabid editorial in one of the Klan’s many periodicals – with the suitably sinister headline “To Your Guns!” – hammered the point home to its readership: “Drop not your fiery cross but carry it over vale and hill till pagan Roman Catholicism is expelled from our fair and free American life forever.”

The Klan pursued a goal of what it termed “100 per cent Americanism” and Caleb Riley explained why this made detestation of the Pope obligatory: “I am an Anglo-Saxon white man, and so constituted and trained that I cannot conscientiously take either my politics or my religion from some secluded ass on the other side of the world.” A Klan member from Mississippi was more succinct: he had no time for “that old dago by the Tiber”.

The fantastical allegations came thick and fast. Every time a Catholic father had a son he would add a rifle to the arsenal stored in the basement of his local church. It paid to be prepared for the great Catholic insurrection that was sure to come. After all, who could fail to notice that two antique cannon at Georgetown University in Washington were pointed directly at the Capitol Building? Worse yet, the Pope had already bought lands close to DC and was planning a “million-dollar mansion” from which he could mastermind the overthrow of the government.  (more...)

Strangely related:

If you're gonna hate, hate together

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