Misuse of "Anti-Catholicism" Documented
And Some Suggestions Made
And Some Suggestions Made
Peter Pike (as quoted by Dave Armstrong) wrote:
Calling someone an anti-Catholic is like calling someone an anti-semite. The connotations are the same, and Armstrong fully knows that.Dave Armstrong responded:
Sheer nonsense. As I've stated a million times now, including to Pike, I use the term simply as meaning one who thinks Catholicism is not a Christian system. Period. End of story. And I wrote a paper years ago documenting how many historians and sociologists use the term in this way (though I agree it can have other applications also)[link to paper omitted]I respond:
Now, if I am incorrect and Pike thinks that Catholicism is a fully Christian belief-system, every bit as legitimately Christian as any other brand of Protestantism (that disagrees with other brands on particulars), he can say so, and I will acknowledge that he is not an anti-Catholic. As far as I understand he is, but perhaps I am mistaken.
Now, either Dave didn't notice or Dave chose to ignore that Mr. Pike wrote: "The connotations are the same ... ." Dave's response of (in essence): "But I mean something else," is not a reasonable response. Dave knows the connotations and uses the term anyway.
Dave, you know full well it's an inflammatory label. So please - stop making excuses.
You've received numerous complaints about it from those you so label, so you cannot plead ignorance.
P.S. And there are also self-serving reasons for you to limit your use of such inflammatory labels.
1) Overuse Weakens the Negativity of "Anti-Catholic"
When someone brings up documents like "The Aweful Disclosures of Maria Monk," (link) you may want to assert that she was an Anti-Catholic in order to cast aspersions on her testimony regarding the extreme wickedness of the convent in which she lived. If, however, you just mean she is in the same class as Dr. White and Mr. Pike, the force of your negative labeling will be significantly abated.
2) Using a Narrow Definition may Prevent Arguably Legitimate Use of the Term
Furthermore, if you limit yourself to the definition you provided, you may be unable fairly to call Mrs. Monk an Anti-Catholic, as she does not give any indication of asserting that "Catholicism is not a Christian system." Likewise, if you limit yourself to your narrow definition, you will not be able to call many legitimate Catholic-hating Atheists and Agnostics "Anti-Catholics" because they would probably fully agree with you that "Catholicism is a Christian system."
3) You Look Foolish, Asking Us to Believe Something You Don't as a Prerequisite to Avoiding your Label
Your standard that: "Catholicism is a fully Christian belief-system, every bit as legitimately Christian as any other brand of Protestantism" is not even something that you hold to. You don't believe (assuming you bought Ben16's recent comments) that Catholicism is "as legitimately Christian" as "other brand[s] of Protestantism" (let's overlook the grammatical irregularity). You believe that Roman Catholicism is MORE legitimately Christian than at least some of the "other brand[s] of Protestantism." At least, I think you do. If you don't, please say so, because more than a few people are leavingi their "brand of Protestantism" for "Roman Catholicism" because they believe it is more legitimately Christian. If you don't share their view, please say so.
4) Finally, Applying the Same Standard to your Beliefs would Produce a Result You Wouldn't Like
If I'm correct about what you believe than you have set yourself up as an "Anti-Protestant" (using the reasoning you yourself provided, but applied in reverse to "any other brand of Protestantism"). I don't suppose you'd like to be called an Anti-Protestant (though who knows), so perhaps you could try not to call Dr. White and Mr. Pike "Anti-Catholics," even if you feel your reasoning is legitimate, based on placing yourself in their shoes.