Inside Catholic on "Catholic Anti-Americanism"
Please take the opportunity to read Joe Hargrave's latest piece at Inside Catholic:
Inevitably, writing for a blog called "The American Catholic" will force you to think long and hard about the relationship between Catholic and American ideals. When I began blogging there a year ago, I held to certain prejudices found among Catholic traditionalists and progressives alike -- prejudices that amounted to what I would describe as a romantic anti-Americanism: a belief that America, in conception and realization, is inherently incompatible with the Catholic Church.(Hat tip: The American Catholic)
According to this view, America's intellectual roots in Enlightenment thought, Puritan jurisprudence, capitalism, and liberalism are responsible for a number of problems facing American Catholics, making us particularly vulnerable to anti-Catholic tendencies such as political and economic individualism or defiance of authority, including Church authority. As both a liturgical traditionalist and a recovering leftist, the appeal of a contrary, romantic anti-Americanism was strong.
But a closer look at the Catholic experience in the United States, as seen from the perspective of both American Catholics and the papacy, challenges that world view. As it turns out, this kind of anti-Americanism, whether it comes from "throne and altar" traditionalism or the anti-capitalist Left, has no basis in either. It is a failed hypothesis for many reasons; here I will present three...
[Read the whole thing]