Trump Dumps Pope.
Has it occurred to anyone else that Donald Trump’s attack on Pope Francis has happened in South Carolina–a state not known (errmm) for its love of Catholics?
After all, this is the state where the Bob Jones crowd protested the visit of John Paul II in 1987, and when Pope Paul VI died a certain famous fundamentalist said, ““Pope Paul VI, archpriest of Satan, a deceiver and an anti-Christ, has, like Judas, gone to his own place.”
Could it be that Donald Trump is stirring up the old fires of anti-Catholicism in the USA?
One only has to read Philip Jenkins’ The New Anti Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice to realize how deeply seated anti-Catholicism is in the USA and how close beneath the surface it is even today.
Certainly if a presidential candidate wanted to score points with a certain type of South Carolinian two days before the primary, that would be a good way to do it. Furthermore, if he wanted to point out (which I have no doubt he will) that Bush and Rubio are committed Catholics, then the Donald will have no qualms in doing so.
Rosman comments on the politics of immigration and Catholicism more fully here.
Make no mistake. The crowd psychology that Trump is stirring up is very frightening. The mantra of “make America great again” is used to pump up an ugly kind of nationalism. This nationalism is fueled by blaming others for what is wrong. The “others” must always be the outsiders–the immigrants, the Muslims, and whoever the leader tells the crowds are the enemy. Once it’s decided who the enemy is then they must be scapegoated and got rid of. It’s simple. Its ugly and it is as old as Cain.
Call me paranoid, but I feel like this is going to a bad place fast.
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