Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nationally Syndicated Columnist: "Those @#$% Catholics Even Worse Than The @#$% Jews!" [UPDATED]

[NB: I'm appending to this piece a caveat, for what it's worth. Evidently, The Catholic League is calling for Stiehm's dismissal from Creators Syndicate as a result of her worthless and stupid column. I want to distance myself from that in a public way. I think she should be engaged, disproven, shamed, and pilloried for her bigotry and unreasonableness. But I am a bit off the trend of getting people fired for failing public discourse because I think that such actions themselves represent an equally egregious failure of the same.] 

Yep, you read the headline right.

That is, effectively, the upshot of this wild screed by Jamie Stiehm in U.S. News and World Report.

F'realz. Don't believe me? Writing about Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's recent grant of an injunction protecting the Colorado-based Little Sisters of the Poor (L.S.P.) from enforcement of the H.H.S. Mandate through the imposition of penalizing fines while they pursue a case in federal court alleging the Government's "accommodation" still requires them to violate their conscience, Stiehm laments:
She cray-cray, as the kids say.
Sotomayor's blow brings us to confront an uncomfortable reality. More than WASPS, Methodists, Jews, Quakers or Baptists, Catholics often try to impose their beliefs on you, me, public discourse and institutions. Especially if "you" are female. [...]
Catholics in high places of power have the most trouble, I've noticed, practicing the separation of church and state. The pugnacious Catholic Justice, Antonin Scalia, is the most aggressive offender on the Court, but not the only one. Of course, we can't know for sure what Sotomayor was thinking, but it seems she has joined the ranks of the five Republican Catholic men on the John Roberts Court in showing a clear religious bias when it comes to women's rights and liberties. We can no longer be silent about this. Thomas Jefferson, the principal champion of the separation between state and church, was thinking particularly of pernicious Rome in his writings. He deeply distrusted the narrowness of Vatican hegemony.


All that's lacking is an accompanying illustration by Thomas Nast. Substitute "Republican" for "Democrat" here and the primitive Irishman with some sort of hateful portrayal of a Latina and you're on point with Stiehm's rhetoric.
Democratic party?! Remember those days?
I'm not the only one reminded of Nast. Deacon Greg Kandra over at Patheos had a similar reaction:
I would have a hard time not finding hate, dislike or malice in Stiehm’s essay.
Rather than taking issue with one justice’s opinion, or attempting to dissect the legal thinking behind it, Stiehm takes the bigot’s way out: it’s because she’s Catholic, dammit, and you know how those Catholics are.
I find Jamie Stiehm’s essay objectionable and offensive—as a Catholic, but also as a journalist. It comes perilously close to hate speech, and betrays an attitude toward Catholicism that harkens back to the crude cartoons of Thomas Nast and the anti-Catholic nativism of the 19th century.
But Stiehm is maybe just hanging in with what is becoming a trend of socially-acceptable anti-Catholic bigoted bashing.

Witness MSNBC announcing (and I quote): "This latest threat to the nation's Health Care law... these ladies:"


A clear and present danger.
And a mighty threat they appear, don't you think?

Of course, MSNBC wouldn't just go and designate the L.S.P. such a noteworthy threat to the very lives of women without a fair-minded discussion of the issue! No! They went ahead and assembled a diverse and worthy panel consisting of Planned Parenthood President Celine Richards and former Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean. I guess Father Thomas Reese was unavailable?

Meanwhile, as Stiehm laments "that Sotomayor's stay is tantamount to selling out the sisterhood" and wans that "sisterhood is not as powerful as it used to be, ladies," my head continues to swim in the topsy-turvydom of a culture where "a Colorado nunnery" (as Stiehm calls it) is conceived as more of a threat to women than Planned Parenthood -- which Stiehm says "stemmed from [Margaret] Sanger's larger vision of women's health for all of us" but really stemmed from Sanger's vision of "a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring."

UPDATED

Elizabeth Scalia has a very fine fisking of the article online here. Check it out!

Also, check out Frank Weathers doing how he do, and bringing in Chuck Norris to get a piece of the action!
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