Acton Institute Powerblog

The demonization of the Covington Catholic school boys

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Sadly, it is becoming increasingly challenging to hold and freely express unpopular or unconventional ideas in the United States. If possible legal sanctions are not yet a reality, the social environment is increasingly hostile toward those who dare not pray according to the gospel of political correctness.

In recent weeks, we had numerous examples of how media-fueled intolerance is slowly replacing the law of the land or, at least, making the fundamental freedom of expression fall by the wayside.

Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, was a victim of vile attacks related to her religious beliefs. For the overwhelming majority of the established media and the social justice warriors’ mob, working in a Christian school that maintains, to be redundant, Christian values, is reason enough to be subject to scorn and public humiliation. And the Pence family has been in a similar situation before. At the beginning of 2017, the liberals melted down after finding that the vice president only has meals with other women if his wife is also present.

Over the weekend, a group of Catholic students attending the March for Life in Washington, many of them underage, were subject to a “high-tech lynching” (to use Justice Clarence Thomas’ famous phrase) led by the liberal media and many personalities on the right. They were accused of mocking an old Native-American vet. The truth was wildly different as a Reason writer showed. Unfortunately, among the first to push the boys into the fire was the Diocese of Covington to which the boys’ school belongs. The Bishop Roger Foys’ spokesperson, condemned the boys. It seems that at such times the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ are quickly forgotten, even by those who are dedicated to preserving them.

We are not in good times to be Christians.

The left has proven itself to be an expert when it comes to moral lynching; see the case of two notorious justices of the Supreme Court Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. The former was accused of being a womanizer Uncle Tom and the latter had his reputation destroyed due to allegations that he was a serial rapist. In both cases, the circus created by the liberal press was no higher than the role the rule of law assassins played by the Democratic senators under the excuse that all survivors must be believed. They follow the millennial principle of Roman law; if one disagrees with the defendant, the defendant is guilty until proven innocent.

Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono, both Democrats, have decided to innovate and have been questioning Catholic nominees about their religion.

Unfortunately, this procedure is not exclusive to the left. Neoconservatives emulate the same behavior when they find it convenient, especially when it comes to ensuring control over the GOP.

Anti-Semitism has also been used to shame political enemies. It was the right-wing Jacobins led by Bill Kristol who accused Pat Buchanan of a completely baseless anti-Semitic streak. Anti-jewish bigotry accusation has been constantly applied by the neocons against all who refuse to obey them. That was the case of Russell Kirk — accused of anti-Semitism by Midge Decter — and of other conservative firebrands like Joseph Sobran and Paul Gottfried. The latter is continuously accused of being the intellectual father of the anti-Semitic alt-right, although he is a practicing Jew.

Where are the accusations of anti-Semitism against the NYT, Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC (which, by the way, employ many neoconservatives)? I do not see any of these media outlets denouncing the Democratic Party’s association with the notoriously anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan. If silence means complicity, surely the whole established media is Farrakhan’s complicit.

The power game and name-calling left deep wounds on the American right. Nowadays, hardly any self-proclaimed conservative reads the texts of the razor-tongued H.L. Mencken because neoconservatives purged him for being a German enthusiast during World War I and, therefore, not a friend of the liberal democracy. Even Kirk, who practically invented conservatism in the United States, is now a marginal figure.

All this shows the deplorable state of the current political debate —on the political left and the right. The two groups are deeply convinced that anyone who goes against the consensus they represent is “unAmerican” and does not represent “what this country stands for.”

In a resounding speech on the floor of the Senate, Margaret Chase Smith proclaimed that the right to express unpopular ideas is the core of Americanism. At a time when so many accuse and are accused of not sharing American values, these words should be repeated daily.

Photo credit: YouTube Screenshot.

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Silvio Simonetti Silvio Simonetti is a Brazilian lawyer, graduated in international affairs from the Bush School at Texas A & M University. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute. Silvio loves history and the Catholic Church.

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