Double Standards Continue as Anti-Catholicsm Remains and”Acceptable”Prejudice

The New Yorker Magazine recently published a hateful essay by playwright Paul Rudnick. I will not reproduce the venom here. However I would like to post excerpts from the Untied States Conference of Bishops Website. You can view the whole article Here: USCCB Full Article

Here are excerpts of that article followed  by a few of my own comments:

The New Yorker, the magazine of urbane Americans, proves once again that anti-Catholicism still lurks in U.S. society. This time it’s in an article by the playwright Paul Rudnick, who seems to get his kicks by bashing religion. It is bizarre that someone who uses his literary skills to decry prejudice and stereotyping of gays opts to indulge his own prejudice against another group, Catholics….Rudnick’s recent rap on Catholics comes in snide remarks about religious sisters in “Fun With Nuns,” in the July 20 issue of the New Yorker. …Apparently the editors, who even are heralding the essay on the New Yorker Web site, don’t find any problem with Rudnick’s gratuitous slam: “Nuns can be dictatorial, sexually repressed, and scary—and therefore entertaining.” Nor did they bother to edit out a remark about which nuns should be “f…able.” ….

Historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. once noted that anti-Catholicism is  “the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people.” Anti-Catholicism also has been called the “anti-Semitism of the liberal.” It seems on the rise now….
Last week, the USA Today Faith & Reason blog was rampant with anti-Catholic comments in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s ground-breaking encyclical on the economy “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in truth”). Because the blog has a “Report Abuse” button…. some of the initial offensive remarks are gone. Yet more than a week later, [comments] can still be read asking if you spell pope with “one or two ‘o’s,” advising the pope to do something that’s unprintable here and ought to be unprintable in a family newspaper’s blog, remarking that “someone needs to give the pope his meds” and opining that “the pope is disgusting and sickening,” adding for good measure, “Catholic is DISGUSTING.” Even more slurs and canards to be found on the Website, including “I guess the Vatican is finally going public with its plot to control the world.”At least USA Today can be blamed only for not keeping up with its obligation to watch what bloggers post. The New Yorker, on the other hand, despite its history of fine literary criticism, intentionally runs Rudnick’s comments and even boasts of them on its Web site.

So there it is, the ugly face of bigotry. But I ask you, would anyone dare to speak this way about a Jews, Muslims, African Americans, Latinos, et. al.? Do you see the double standard?  Most of this ugly and hateful speech gets a pass in the media and entertainment world. Part of it is that we Catholics aren’t the type to take to the streets in protest.
But in an odd sort of way I want to say that I am glad to belong to a Church that is so hated by the world. It means we stand for something and are not simply going to compromise and be silent as the world chooses to go morally insane. And the world hates us for this. Did not Jesus promise hatred and persecution: If the world hates you know that it hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own, but I have called you out of the world and so the world hates you.   No pupil is greater than his teacher, If they have hated me they will hate you too. (John 15:18-20) And Jesus also warns us, “Woe to you if all people speak well of you, for it was in this way that they treated the false prophets. (Luke 6:26).  So in a way I am glad to be in good company, with Jesus. If we were a compromising, equivocating Church the world would welcome us. As it is they hate us and I suspect they are so angry because deep down inside they know we are right.

Despite my paradoxical peace in the face this hatred I DO want to finish by what I consider to be a necessary rebuke: Shame on you Paul Rudnick for speaking  of our religious sisters as you did. Shame on you for your scurrilous and hypocritical attack.  And shame on all those who wrote hate-filled things about our Holy Father and our Holy Faith at USA Today Blog. Shame on all of you and remember, God is watching.

Here is a video that gives the full context of John 15 and the Scripture quotes I listed above.

3 Replies to “Double Standards Continue as Anti-Catholicsm Remains and”Acceptable”Prejudice”

  1. Put aside the persecution complex for a moment. Was Paul Rudnick actually raised Catholic and did he attend Catholic schools during a certain time in history? Was he punished once too often? At one point in history, corporal punishment appeared to be an acceptable part of Catholic education. He does identify himself as gay so he could have been subject to bullying at an earlier time in a heterosexual environment. When I went to Catholic school, there was this male student who was picked on all the time because he was “different.” It later turned out he was gay. There are not too many other autobiographical details out on Rudnick, so one can’t confirm whether the article is “pay back” for perceived mistreatment at the hands of Catholic institutions or clergy. I think it’s healthy to be angry (for a while) at bad treatment or injustice, but one has to forgive and move on. If Rudnick’s choosing to remain angry, then he’s to be pitied more than anything else.

    1. It is not a “persecution complex” as you describe it to observe a double standard. I will simply reiterate: no one would get away speaking like this of the Muslims, Jews or most other groups. All your rationalizations of Rudnick’s bad behavior do not excuse it. You seem willing to invent a whole story on his behalf to excuse this bad behavior. Jasmine, what he did was wrong. To drop the F Bomb is potty mouthed and horrifying when applying it to our good sisters who have been the butt of jokes and extreme stereotypes for years. It is especially reprehensible to apply sexual disrespect to women who have chosen virginity for the sake of the Kingdom. If the sisters ever were as a group the militant disciplinarians they are portrayed to be, they are not that today and have not been that for decades. He is wrong to have written this and you are wrong to attempt any excuse of it. Maybe he is angry and maybe I should pity him for that, but I will not excuse his behavior and I will continue to point out the double standard in our much of our media and entertainment world.

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