For John, BLUF: Muslim immigrants will, like Roman Catholics 60 years ago, eventually meld into our culture and be happy, productive fellow citizens.
After Mr Saunders describes current fears and gets past his innuendo about the Internet and the "Right" he gets into his historic example.
The view that members of a religious minority are not to be trusted — that they are predisposed to extremism, disloyalty and violence; resist assimilation; reproduce at alarming rates, and are theologically compelled to impose their backward religious laws on their adopted home — is not new. From the 19th century on, distrust, violence and, eventually, immigration restrictions were aimed at waves of Roman Catholic immigrants.Maybe it is quibbling, but Anti-Catholicism in America goes back beyond the beginning of the 19th Century, but yet in the middle of that 19th Century we had a Roman Catholic sitting as the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.
As late as 1950, 240,000 Americans bought copies of “American Freedom and Catholic Power,” a New York Times best seller. Its author, Paul Blanshard, a former diplomat and editor at The Nation, made the case that Catholicism was an ideology of conquest, and that its traditions constituted a form of “medieval authoritarianism that has no rightful place in the democratic American environment.”
Catholics’ high birthrates and educational self-segregation led Mr. Blanshard and others — including scholars, legislators and journalists — to warn of a “Catholic plan for America.”
Not having been raised in Lowell, but, for a while, in South Jersey, I know about being a religious minority—six Roman Catholic families in a Township of about 2,800 people. There were no ugly scenes, but you knew you were different. That said, I was not scarred for Life. Far from it—I sensed the fact that we were united as Americans in certain beliefs and customs.
The point is, if we believe in our Constitution (and Declaration of Independence) and can maintain our way of life, Muslim immigrants will find a way to become like the rest of us here, some God fearing and some God denying, but all working toward a more perfect union and individual freedom.
Regards — Cliff
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