Matt C. Abbott
December 7, 2010
Is Sarah Palin anti-Catholic?
By Matt C. Abbott

No. In fact, even though Palin is Protestant, she's actually more Catholic, morally speaking, than Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Pat Quinn and Father Michael Pfleger combined.

But Joe Murray, executive director of the Rainbow Sash Movement, a group of homosexual activists that claims to be Catholic (and whose public endorsement of Bishop Gerald Kicanas for USCCB president may have been what torpedoed his election), writes on his blog:

    'The larger question that needs to be asked is why Palin is attacking [President] Kennedy's position now. Reasonable people could conclude that this [was] an ill-disguised attempt at pitting Catholics against Evangelicals, and, yes, even Baptists, for political reasons. I believe Palin is trying to use faith to manipulate voters by demeaning her political opponents as less religious than she is.

    'Palin faults Kennedy for not 'telling the country how his faith had enriched him.' With that line, she challenges Kennedy's integrity, and his faith. I question Palin's motivations, especially in a society that sees religious diversity as a problem rather than a gift. I would challenge Sarah Palin to clarify her attack on the memory of Jack Kennedy, because from where I sit it appears to be anti-Catholic.'

Look, I don't think it's a stretch to conclude that President Kennedy wasn't exactly the best example of a faithful Catholic.

Archbishop Charles Chaput delivered an address on March 1, 2010, in which he stated:

    'Fifty years ago this fall, in September 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy, the Democratic candidate for president, spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. He had one purpose. He needed to convince 300 uneasy Protestant ministers, and the country at large, that a Catholic like himself could serve loyally as our nation's chief executive. Kennedy convinced the country, if not the ministers, and went on to be elected. And his speech left a lasting mark on American politics. It was sincere, compelling, articulate — and wrong. Not wrong about the patriotism of Catholics, but wrong about American history and very wrong about the role of religious faith in our nation's life. And he wasn't merely 'wrong.' His Houston remarks profoundly undermined the place not just of Catholics, but of all religious believers, in America's public life and political conversation. Today, half a century later, we're paying for the damage.'


So, no, I don't think Palin's criticism of President Kennedy is necessarily off base.

As I wrote in my Feb. 21 column, I do have my differences with Palin, but she's not anti-Catholic. The left detests her primarily because she's a female Republican who's not pro-abortion and pro-sodomy.

And that's a good thing.

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He has been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR and WLS-TV in Chicago, and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at

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