To the Editor:
In the October 1992 issue, a number of letter writers responding to George Weigel’s “The New Anti-Catholicism” [June 1992], appear eager to downplay the phenomenon itself as part of American history. Indeed, they seem to argue that to the extent to which anti-Catholicism has existed in America, Catholics have deserved it, because of what was done to Jews by Catholics over the course of European history.
With regard to the former point, I would invite them to revisit the question. In actual fact, American Catholic and American Jewish immigrant experiences have been quite similar in this country, beginning with disenfranchisement in the colonial period and continuing through social, educational, and economic discrimination right up to the present. If anything, Catholics have borne the brunt more often of physical attacks (in at least one case a virtual pogrom), perhaps only because of their larger numbers.
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