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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fr. Tyler: America Oppresses Catholics, History Indicts Protestants

Father Tyler in Rapid City marks Guy Fawkes Night with the provocative contention that the Catholic persecution against which Fawkes was rebelling is on a par with the intolerance American Catholics face today:

The Gunpowder Plot was the attempt of desperate men to be allowed the freedom to practice the faith demanded of them by their conscience.

I do not condone terrorism. I do not think blowing up the British Parliament was a good idea. It is helpful, however, to consider what drives a man to consider such extreme action. England claimed to permit a great deal of "tolerance" towards Catholics in those days. It is a mantra almost identical to the message of tolerance we hear today. By my estimation, this country tolerates faithful Catholics about the same way that England did in 1605 [Fr. Tyler Dennis, "Thumbing My Nose at England," Prairie Father, 2010.11.05].

As a member of the 1.6% minority of declared atheists in this country, I am perhaps insufficiently sensitive to the intolerance experienced by the largest Christian denomination in America and in the world. So let me ask you, pious readers: do you find the practice of your faith (Catholic or otherwise) so oppressed in America that you could be driven to Fawkesian rebellion?

The religious oppression wrought by King James leads Fr. Tyler to declare it "impossible to have a good grasp of history and remain a Protestant." Hmmm... wind the clock back a hundred years from King James, and don't we find the men of the Catholic Church engaged in such earthly corruption as to drive any conscientious historian out of the Catholic faith as well? Demand a history free of fallen men and earthly excess, and no church 'scapes whipping.

I think that was Luther's point (I'll check with my wife: she's studied history... and she's still in Lutheran seminary). None of us well acquit the institutions and faiths we represent. None of us are worth following. The only man for the faithful to follow (cue that preacher from the Old Time Gospel Hour) is a certain carpenter and fisher of men from Nazareth.


  1. IMHO Comparing tolerance levels in America to those at the end of the 16th century in England is laughable at best. I find it striking that the Father would claim to not condone terrorism yet consider the foiling of that same terrorism "notorious". It is this same attitude that has subjected Great Britain to these type of terrorist attacks throughout the 20th century.

  2. Anyone not paying attention will be victimized. If Catholics are the analogue, South Dakota is next. Jackley, et.al. have a mandate to stifle dissent, lock up persons of color, and persecute same-sex unions.

    Be very afraid.


  3. American Oppresses Catholics?!? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha

    Someone ought to tell that to the US Supreme Court that they run. Jesus doesn't give a rip about Catholics, Lutherans, or whatnot - they are merely man's inventions to divide man, to establish conflict, or to subjugate.

  4. The Priest is actually (mis)quoting Blessed John Henry Newman ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Henry_Newman ) It is from an essay on the development of Christian doctrine, where he argues that the development of Christian doctrine should be looked at from the view point of history ( http://www.newmanreader.org/works/development/index.html ) It is very long, very heady, requiring multiple readings of just the introduction for me to try and figure out what he was trying to say. I think maybe he was fed up a little with theologians of the time ignoring the past 1800 years of doctrinal development.

    Here in D.C., I have yet to encounter any Catholic intolerance, but maybe it exists more in Rapid City?

    Joe Nelson

  5. Maybe he's been watching a show on cable TV called Amazing Facts (sponsored by a Christian Group of the same name, which also is on the internet), which says, explicitly, every show, that the Catholic Church and/or the Pope is the Antichrist. Or he's been listening to Jimmy Swaggart (also on TV, Radio, and Internet), which says that Catholicism is paganism, and they're all going to hell.


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