By Kenneth C. Barnes
Winner, 2017 Ragsdale Award
A well timed examine that places present issues—religious intolerance, immigration, the separation of church and nation, race relatives, and politics—in historic context.
The masthead of the Liberator, an anti-Catholic newspaper released in Magnolia, Arkansas, displayed from 1912 to 1915 a picture of the Whore of Babylon. She used to be an immoral girl sitting on a seven-headed beast, keeping a golden cup “full of her abominations,” and meant to symbolize the Catholic Church.
Propaganda of this kind used to be universal in the course of a national surge in antipathy to Catholicism within the early 20th century. This hostility was once specifically severe in mostly Protestant Arkansas, the place for instance a 1915 legislations required the inspection of convents to make sure that monks couldn't hold nuns as sexual slaves.
Later within the decade, anti-Catholic prejudice connected itself to the crusade opposed to liquor, and while the USA went to struggle in 1917, suspicion arose opposed to German speakers—most of whom, in Arkansas, have been Roman Catholics.
In the Twenties the Ku Klux Klan portrayed Catholics as “inauthentic” american citizens and claimed that the Roman church used to be attempting to take over the country’s public faculties, associations, and the govt. itself. In 1928 a Methodist senator from Arkansas, Joe T. Robinson, was once selected because the working mate to stability the price ticket within the presidential crusade of Al Smith, a Catholic, which introduced additional attention.
Although public expressions of anti-Catholicism ultimately lessened, prejudice was back obvious with the 1960 presidential crusade, gained via John F. Kennedy.
Anti-Catholicism in Arkansas illustrates how the dominant Protestant majority portrayed Catholics as a feared or despised “other,” a phenomenon that used to be relatively powerful in Arkansas.
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