Publication: The Humanist
Author: Blanshard, Paul
Date published: November 1, 2010
Language: English
PMID: 24075
ISSN: 00187399
Journal code: GTHU

Writing just before the election, it is probably too early to assess properly the immense and confusing phenomena in the presidential campaign that are covered by the phrase, "the religious issue." Before the nominating conventions I was ready to say that both newspapers and broadcasting companies were revealing unusual and refreshing courage in facing church-state issues.

After the conventions there was a steady deterioration in the level of the literature for and against the candidate who happens to be a Catholic... It was easier to preserve a reputation for tolerance by staying out of it and repeating sanctimonious clichés about every man's right to worship where he pleased. This led to a great deal of hypocrisy as well as extremism, including such claims as: (1) all anti-Catholicism is fundamentally ethnic prejudice; (2) the pope would take over the White House if a man named Kennedy should move in; and (3) you're a bigot if you raise the religious issue but I am not.

- Paul Blanshard, "Cowboy Evangelists and Catholic Bishops"

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