By Kenneth C. Barnes

Winner, 2017 Ragsdale Award

A well timed learn that places present issues—religious intolerance, immigration, the separation of church and nation, race kin, and politics—in ancient 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 lady sitting on a seven-headed beast, protecting a golden cup “full of her abominations,” and meant to symbolize the Catholic Church.

Propaganda of this sort used to be universal in the course of a national surge in antipathy to Catholicism within the early 20th century. This hostility used to be in particular extreme in principally Protestant Arkansas, the place for instance a 1915 legislations required the inspection of convents to make sure that monks couldn't preserve nuns as sexual slaves.

Later within the decade, anti-Catholic prejudice hooked up itself to the crusade opposed to liquor, and whilst the us went to struggle in 1917, suspicion arose opposed to German speakers—most of whom, in Arkansas, have been Roman Catholics.

In the Nineteen Twenties the Ku Klux Klan portrayed Catholics as “inauthentic” american citizens and claimed that the Roman church was once attempting to take over the country’s public faculties, associations, and the govt. itself. In 1928 a Methodist senator from Arkansas, Joe T. Robinson, used to be 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 finally lessened, prejudice used to be back obvious with the 1960 presidential crusade, received by means of John F. Kennedy.

Anti-Catholicism in Arkansas illustrates how the dominant Protestant majority portrayed Catholics as a feared or despised “other,” a phenomenon that was once fairly robust in Arkansas.

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