Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Anti-Catholicism bigotry - alive and well!

Fortunately, I am not going to "drop everything" to read one of Candy's ridiculous online book selections. I wasted much of my summer last year doing that with the Samuel Gipp book. Besides I have real books by great authors to read and lessons to play for my own children who I want to expose to REAL literature and GREAT books.

Nonetheless, I wanted to add information to Kelly's great post and I came across this on the Catholic Answer's site. Let's just say Charles Chiniquy was a nut case conspiracy extremist in his day - and that no matter how things change, they always remain remarkably the same!

Those Conniving Jesuits!

Someone sent us a copy of "The Secret Terrorists," a thin paperback written by Bill Hughes. He runs a ministry called Truth Triumphant. It is based in Tangerine, Florida.

In anti-Catholic literature the Jesuits long have been scapegoats--worse, they have been conspirators. In the nineteenth century, for example, people such as Charles Chiniquy claimed that Jesuits were responsible for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The claim was believed by many who had a predisposition against the Catholic faith. Usually that predisposition was coupled with a deeply held belief that historical events were largely the result of conspiracies.

This thinking may have had roots in the widespread popularity of Masonic movements, which, with their secret handshakes and code words, were conspiratorial in structure. Nativist Americans participated in secret societies, and it made sense to them that people elsewhere in the world would operate on a similar basis.

"The Secret Terrorists" easily tops Chiniquy. Like Chiniquy, Hughes believes that Jesuits were behind Lincoln's death. He also believes they were responsible for much else.

Most people think that Timothy McVeigh was the mastermind of the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. Not really, says Hughes. "The Oklahoma City bombing was planned, carried out, and fully known by the Jesuits"--with the acquiescence, by the way, of "the government of the United States [and] the President." (Hughes notes that "Bill Clinton was a Jesuit.")

Remember the "Waco massacre"? Another Jesuit plot, as it turns out. "Everyone who goes along with the Jesuit plan for the world will be allowed to live, and those who do not will experience Waco!"

Needless to say, Lincoln was not the only president assassinated by the Jesuits. Count John F. Kennedy too. But these killings were minor compared to the carnage of World War II, which the Jesuits also instigated.

They even were responsible for the establishment of the state of Israel. This was done not out of any sympathy for Jews but to advance papal power: "With the Jews' return to Israel in Palestine the Jesuits hoped to cause such bloodshed in that part of the world that the world would cry out for a peacemaker to come to the region. And who would be that peacemaker? The pope of Vatican City, of course."

Okay, okay. Hughes, who belongs to some variant of the Seventh Day Adventists (he complains about the day of worship being moved from Saturday to Sunday), is a screwball. He sees an unhappy event and "knows" that the Jesuits were responsible for it. (They even sank the Titanic, he says.) What to do about him? Answer: Nothing.

Some people are immune to common sense. No amount of logic will change their minds. No catalogue of facts will alter their stance. The Archangel Gabriel could come down to straighten them out, and they'd tell him to mind his own business.

I have no idea how widespread Bill Hughes' outreach may be, but his is not the only organization that spreads such claptrap. I saw similar books at World Youth Day in Denver in 1993, and in the years since comparable nonsense has been distributed in mass mailings from several groups. Most of these have some connection with Adventism, but some do not.

Low-brow anti-Catholicism, which can be traced as far back as the English Reformation, has never disappeared. Most of it has matured into the anti-Catholicism you find on television and in popular magazines and even on the floor of the Senate. But there remain some of the earlier strains. That they still exist indicates that there still is a constituency for the old-style attacks on the Church.

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