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How to Confront Anti-Catholicism

Tim Staples

Catholic Answers Director of Apologetics and Evangelization Tim Staples answers a caller who asks what we can do to counter rampant anti-Catholicism both in the media and in our everyday lives.


Host: Hey, Shawn.

Caller: Hi gentlemen, how are you guys?

Host: Good. Hey, you were our first caller at the church hall on our live launch day, weren’t you?

Caller: That’s correct.

Host: I remember you Shawn, welcome back.

Caller: My question is, a few days ago the New York Times, our so-called paper of record, printed a full-page ad, sponsored by an anti- religious organization, entitled “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church.”

Tim: Oh yes.

Caller: This ad was not only slanderous statements and outright lies about our faith, but a cartoon caricature of a Catholic prelate that seriously reminded me of the cartoon pictures I remember seeing in history that took place in Europe prior to the Holocaust, the anti-semitic ones. Now we know as Christians we are being singled out, because later a different organization tried running an ad entitled “Why Quit Islam,” and which the Times refused to print. As Christians, how should we go about confronting Catholic bashing like this?

Tim: Yeah. Well, I think you’re doing it right now, Shawn, by shining a light on it. And I think first and foremost that’s what we need to do, is expose this stuff. You know, we’ve got to let people see, if we don’t stand up and speak–because listen, Shawn, as you’re saying this, we have untold hundreds of thousands of people all over the United States right now that are listening to us, and they’re saying, “You’ve got to be kidding me. They’re doing this?” Some people are learning about this. It’s so egregious, it’s so outrageous, the double standard and the way Catholicism is just being persecuted.

I mean, I’ll throw out another example: Piers Morgan, who has a late night television sort of news interview show, I think he’s on CNN, is it?

Host: Yeah. I forget which–he’s sort of the the de facto successor to Larry King. He’s a mixed-up Catholic.

Tim: Oh yeah, he’s a mess. But he outright comes out and says, you know, when he interviewed Kirk Cameron about homosexual marriage, “If you are not in favor of homosexual marriage, you are a bigot,” and he comes out and says it. So all Catholics who are who are practicing Catholics in union with the Church: “You are a bigot.” The Pope: bigot. All the bishops in the United States: bigots. This is what’s going on, and we’ve got to shine a light on it and say, “Look people, listen, even if you are a radical left-winger, or whomever you are, can you see what is happening here? That people are being persecuted simply for saying what they believe?”

This is my religious belief, this is my belief when it comes to natural law, not even talking about Catholicism, but I believe homosexual actions are contrary to natural law. You know, we don’t need a Bible to tell us this. And yet, if you say that, you are a bigot, you are belittled, and more and more it’s coming from the biggest bully pulpit in the United States, and that is from the White House and the administration. More and more are, you know, setting the stage for anyone who disagrees with them to be subject to the Bill-Maher-kind-of nonsensical attacks.

And so we’ve got to shine a light on it. You know, I am one who believes in boycotts, absolutely I do. I believe that, you know, when companies come out and and do things like this, I will boycott; but most importantly, I think it’s us shedding light on it. It’s shouting it wherever we can, it’s being bold, it’s standing up and being proud of our Catholicism, proud of what we believe in, and we’ve got to be willing to take the hit. So we gotta be willing to stand up and say, you know, “Marriage is between one man, one woman.” This goes back to Adam and Eve, long before there was the United States of America, we’re talking about what all of the religions of the world have believed for 5000 years, I mean we’re not the extremists here.

And I think if we shed light on this, and we preach it, we shout it from the rooftops and everywhere we go, I think more and more reasonable people are gonna be able to make the right conclusion. I think the bottom line is, we have been quiet the last 40-50 years, we have been silent, and now the the sleeping giant, I believe, Patrick, is beginning to awake.

Host: As Canada, so the rest of the world, in some ways. I’m thinking of evangelical pastor Stephen Boisson, up in Alberta, was forbidden from expressing his moral opposition to homosexuality by this, you know, kangaroo court called the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal. Sounds cuddly, doesn’t it? Now, after seven years he was acquitted, but that’s seven years of his time, anxiety, bandwidth, money, and so on. So we have to get out of our slumber, our deep sleepwalk days are over.

Tim: And if I could add this: how many times have we heard–and I know we’re getting away from the the caller’s actual question, but I think all of these things are are related, but– we’ve all heard the myth that “How is allowing this man to marry this man over here, what does that have to do with you? how is that affecting you?” You know, and that’s the way it’s been portrayed forever, “You are a bigot trying to keep these two men or these two women from marrying when it has nothing to do with you.” But we’re learning today, aren’t we, exactly what all of us have been shouting for years now, is that when you change the law on the nature of marriage, what comes next is then what you can say and what you can’t say about marriage. What comes next is what’s taught in schools, what’s allowed to be taught in schools, what you’re allowed to say, and and the state police coming down on you when you contradict. And what will their cry be? “Well, it’s legal! It’s legal! So you can’t say that.”

Host: As Cardinal O’Connell used to say, “The law is the great teacher.” Shawn in Temecula, good man, good call, thanks for joining us once again.


For more tips on dealing with anti-Catholicism in practice, see Trent Horn’s article, “Keeping Anti-Catholics Off-Balance.”

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