Re: Schooled

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PAPIST DUPE!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:08 PM
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It's always been my impression that modern American Catholics are less likely to evangelize and more likely to view their denomination as one into which a person is born rather than recruited. It could be an impression skewed by growing up where I did, however, where Catholics were very much a marginalized minority.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:09 PM
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where Catholics were very much a marginalized minority

That's interesting. I wonder how often Catholics are likely to come from "white ethnic" groups that were also likely to be marginalized, and, if likely, whether that plays a similar role.

I have inexplicable pro-Catholic Church leanings, although the one Mass I attended was interminable, and way more groovy than I expected.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:13 PM
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This extends to higher education too, I think. I teach at a Catholic university, and we certainly seem to have a much higher proportion of conservative Muslims (judging by their dress) than the general, not-very-cosmopolitan population of the area. This does seem to involve the combination of a shared comfort with socially conservative lifestyles and a conscious push for tolerant ecumenicism that Becks diagnoses. Apparently, back in the day we had a very high proportion of Jewish students for similar reasons.


Posted by: JWP | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:14 PM
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2: American Catholics are like Sunnis in Iraq: We know we are the majority, and are a bit vexed that others won't acknowledge that (except on days like St. Patrick's Day).

You wait until Pope Ratzinger shows up in the States. Even the TV newspeople are going to be a bunch of reverential Catholics.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:17 PM
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You're born a Catholic and it's almost impossible to quit. Any decent church would have gotten rid of B by now, for example, but she's still Catholic. The Lutheran and Episcopalian churches are similar -- you're part of the Church whether you want to be or not.

The adult-baptism born-again churches have a different philosophy -- you have to positively join the church as a conscious adult. You can fail or refuse to join, and you also can be expelled and shunned. This produces a tight knot of fanatics, often in schismatic groups, plus a lot of sinful ex-Christians in the honky-tonks, plus a lot of people continually backsliding and repenting and backsliding again.

One of my brothers was born again, and he had the worst conflicts with my devout Lutheran mother. His sinful siblings recognized that they weren't saved, but Mom didn't.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:22 PM
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There were a number of conservative Muslims at my Catholic college precisely because of the single-sex dorms and the more socially conservative lifestyle espoused by the administration.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:24 PM
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I think it's been discussed here before, but the This American Life ep. "Shouting Across the Divide" has a good because horrifying story of the treatment of a Muslim fourth grader in public school soon after September 11th, and how it led to, among other things, her parents splitting up.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:25 PM
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I wonder how often Catholics are likely to come from "white ethnic" groups that were also likely to be marginalized

There was actually a fair amount of Catholic inter-ethnic haterating, back in the day. Many Italian folks of my pop's generation have really, really awful stories of Irish nuns basically beating the shit out of them in school. I'm guessing it's because the Irish at that time had recently been granted entry to Whitedom and needed to prove their bona fides.

He got his revenge by marrying a blondie named Margaretmary.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:27 PM
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My sister and I like to say that we were raised "culturally Baptist". My Dad was raised Baptist and left as a teenager (to become an atheist/Unitarian), but we still got a lot of the moralism. Mom was raised Unitarian and continues to believe in the Great Something.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:28 PM
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In Minnesota there was a big battle between Irish Americanizing Catholics and German traditionalist Catholics. The effects are felt to this day and the traditionalists have a newspaper here ("The Wanderer") which feuds with the bishops and archbishops.

The heroic resistance to Prohibition here was led by German and Polish Catholics, with some help from Al Capone's people.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:31 PM
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Lutheran and Episcopalian churches are similar

Not my experience at all.

He got his revenge

A Sicilian, then?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:31 PM
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I went to an all boys Catholic (Jesuit) high school in San Francisco. We had a Black Student Union, a Hispanic Student Union, and an Irish Student Union. Don't know what the Italians did.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:32 PM
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12: You've been expelled? Perhaps you pushed them farther than even they could endure.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:33 PM
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Catholics are the best.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:37 PM
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You've been expelled?

Ah, no. I didn't realize that's what you meant.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:38 PM
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Catholics are the most accepting of darker peoples such as the Lur. They end up regretting it, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:40 PM
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The heroic resistance to Prohibition here was led by German and Polish Catholics, with some help from Al Capone's people.

I note that Andrew Volstead himself represented the very place where you live, you hypocritical cur.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:42 PM
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Thinking about it a bit more, one thing that might be going on is that Catholicism is, of course, extremely diverse, and Catholic institutions correspondingly have a lot of experience building tolerant relationships among strong and divergent religious cultures; that experience can be extended beyond Catholicism to include other religious groups. (Yeah, I know the current pope never got the memo on that.) It's something that people often complain about in bad faith, but it's actually true that the ostentatiously religious can face a lot of prejudice in the broader society. But a liberal Catholic who has had to learn how to work productively with the Opus Dei crowd (or vice versa) will have no trouble acting politely to mere Wahabbis.


Posted by: JWP | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:43 PM
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He was a Norwegian Lutheran, though, and was voted out of office almost immediately. He was also supposedly accused of being a Communist by one of his opponents.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:44 PM
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6: You're born a Catholic and it's almost impossible to quit.

This is creeping me out. I was raised a Catholic, not born one, thank you very much. I can quit any time I want.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:46 PM
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I think its incorrect to equate religion with morality. It implies that morality can only be gotten from a deity when in fact morality can be derived solely from reason.

There is nothing amoral about a public education just because it fails to promulgate a religious message, any more than a religious education is necessarily unreasoned.


Posted by: TenTenTwo.com | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:47 PM
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A Sicilian, then?

Nope!

Now I am scarred for you have caused me to remember that all my Irish relatives called me "the skinny guinea" and I had no idea it was a slur until I was in college.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:48 PM
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We know we are the majority

In America, yes, IIRC; where I grew up, no way. I heard the words "papist" and "idolater" used as sincere condemnations when I was a child.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:49 PM
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Finding a Catholic school in Austria is not hard, but as a non-Catholic with a Catholic family (and that kind of includes the children, "laut Vertrag") I have been nothing but impressed with the verve, and plain sass of the one to which we sent our son and in September shall send our daughter to. It may be Catholic, but it is cool, gets kids taught and makes mincemeat of inequalities. I have an 8 year old who knows the meaning of vive la difference, and he's only just started on French.

So, yeah, I'll buy.

Give me Catholic schools with catholic principles any day.


Posted by: Austro | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:52 PM
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Austro!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:53 PM
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Catholics are the best.

Ogged can afford to be magnanimous now that he knows he outnumbers us.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:54 PM
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21: Once baptised, you can't opt out. No Limbo for you. It's Heaven or Hell, and my money's on Hell.

Purgatory, like the planet Mercury, is at risk of abolition at the moment.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:54 PM
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Judaism is the religion where you're born that way and it's almost impossible to quit. It's kind of a racial identity as opposed to a religion. Hence Jewish atheists, Jew-Bu(ddhist)s, etc.

BTW, Catholics seem to get some mileage from analogizing anti-Catholic beliefs to racial prejudice. I think saying that the Catholic church is papist is a perfectly reasonable doctrinal critique. Protestants have a major and legitimate beef with Catholic theology and shouldn't have to pussyfoot around it.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:54 PM
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In America, yes, IIRC

I don't think that's right. A plurality, I guess: this chart puts Catholics at 24%, or less than half of all Protestants.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:55 PM
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Oudemia: At least you were thin, wop.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:55 PM
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building tolerant relationships among strong and divergent religious cultures

That might be part of it, but I think it's more just that within a community where doing weird things because God said so (ashes on the forehead, no meat on Fridays during Lent, dorms having priests-in-residence and chapels) is a normal baseline, the hop to doing slightly different weird things (headscarves, praying, not eating pork) because God said so isn't really a big jump.

Also, almost no proselytizing.

21: Emerson's right, though. You hear of 'lapsed Catholics' in a way that you don't hear 'lapsed Assemblies of God.' (And as far as the religion is concerned, short of excommunication, you're still part of the church; you're just misbehaving.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:57 PM
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Judaism is the religion where you're born that way and it's almost impossible to quit. It's kind of a racial identity as opposed to a religion.

Not the only one.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:57 PM
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Many Italian folks of my pop's generation have really, really awful stories of Irish nuns basically beating the shit out of them in school.

From what I've heard they did this to Irish people too, so it might not be ethnic prejudice.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:58 PM
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Catholics are the best.

Huh. Usually you talk about your preferences by exclusion, rather than inclusion.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:58 PM
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I know what PGD does every November 5
http://www.daeschner.com/pope_burning.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:58 PM
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29: Eh, among some, maybe. But I'm going to guess that most aren't prepared to give a philosophical and theological defense of the differences and that 'idolator' boils down to 'The Bible Answer-Man told me they worship saints.'

30: Largest single denomination, though a minority among Christians.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 1:59 PM
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wop

A word I had never even heard until college! Along with the "k" word for Jews. I heard them in a movie.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:00 PM
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My public school(s) (and ogged's, I imagine) was (were) inclusive as all get out, accepting all faiths, creeds, colors and hairstyles and, upon noticing that not all income brackets were well represented, busing some of those sort of people in from afar long after mandatory busing had been ended.

My public school(s) were also well funded, featuring highly motivated, intellectually curious students, excellent teachers who'd been there for decades, and committed, activist parent communities intent on bringing a diverse community together in a common spirit of working towards high educational achievement.

What, your public school wasn't like that? Should've lived in a tonier suburb, sucker.

In all seriousness, I fucking hated my school. All the above is true, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:01 PM
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38. don't forget "dago"


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:01 PM
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38: "The Godfather"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:02 PM
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How do you know these are Italian tires? Dago in the sun, dago in the rain, and when they get a flat dago wop-wop-wop.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:03 PM
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30: Largest single denomination, though a minority among Christians.

I've been clicking around on that site: Jeebus, you people put up some big fucking numbers. Adherents per church seems to be around 400 for most; for Catholics, it's 2400. Why aren't you people running the Christian Right? What is wrong with you?!?!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:03 PM
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Hm. I have a non-Catholic friend who went to a Catholic grade school, and it really scarred her. There were frequent references to the fact that she (and a couple of other kids) weren't Catholic, and hence were damned/bad people of some variety, and a nearly soul-crushing level of obedience strictly for the sake of obedience.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:03 PM
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You hear of 'lapsed Catholics' in a way that you don't hear 'lapsed Assemblies of God.' (And as far as the religion is concerned, short of excommunication, you're still part of the church; you're just misbehaving.)

Sigh. Yes, so they tell me. It's a contingent historical fact, I'm saying! I resent it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:03 PM
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I can quit any time I want.

Yeah, right. I've heard that before.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:04 PM
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You hear of 'lapsed Catholics' in a way that you don't hear 'lapsed Assemblies of God.'

I like to describe Snark as a "lapsed Unitarian." It's true, too!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:05 PM
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42.---That may be the sweetest racist joke I've ever heard.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:06 PM
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41: School Ties I think.



Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:07 PM
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Why aren't you people running the Christian Right? What is wrong with you?!?!

Why isn't John Kerry running the country? Insufficiently fucking crazy !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:07 PM
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43: The bigger question is why the hell Catholics are putting up with the Christian Right, given that it's not only the politico-religion of man-raping dogs, endless wars, and ethnic discrimination, but that half of their leaders spend the time they're not fellating Rove denouncing Catholics.

Oh, right. Abortion.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:07 PM
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48: My dad's told me that joke since I was a kid. (My mom's family's Sicilian, and he doesn't get along with my in-laws, so it might not be that sweet, but still. Funny!)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:08 PM
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and ogged's, I imagine) was (were) inclusive as all get out

Ha ha.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:09 PM
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'idolator' boils down to 'The Bible Answer-Man told me they worship saints.'

The anti-catholic tropes I know from childhood also characterized as idolatry the graven image of the Son of Man on the Cross, and also the veneration of images of Mary.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:09 PM
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I suspect that parochial schools in general became much more diverse -- and included a much larger percentage of cheerfully inclusive schools like the ones Becks talks about -- when white flight made parochial schools the de facto public schools for much of the (non-black) nation.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:10 PM
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I'm going to guess that most aren't prepared to give a philosophical and theological defense of the differences

I think a lot of evangelical Protestants do get the basic distinction -- that Protestantism allows believers direct access to grace through their personal encounter with the Bible/Jesus, while the Catholic church in one way or another mediates it through the Church hierarchy. It's a pretty basic and pretty simple difference, and was the foundation of Catholic power in Europe for well over a thousand years. That's easy to forget in America because we were founded after Europe basically moved past the religious wars.

Catholic theology has changed a lot since people were burned at the stake for translating the Bible from Latin, but the basic difference remains.

I think a lot of attitudes toward these things among secular people are based on an unexamined assumption that nobody could take the actual underlying religious beliefs all that seriously, so it must just be ethnic identity.

You can see the difference with new religions, like Scientology -- very few people are born into that, you have to go against social prejudice to join, so you know that people in the cult must actually believe the stuff. So it would be very scary to have a Scientologist president, even though I'm not sure the beliefs of Scientology are objectively more outlandish than some other religions.

Anyway, I sympathize, since if you start to think about what it would mean for other people to actually take religious beliefs seriously you quickly reach the conclusion that many of your fellow citizens might be crazy.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:10 PM
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51: Well, I didn't want to push, but I'm fine with you leading a religious Left, too.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:10 PM
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My favorite anti-Italian/anti-Catholic joke was told to me by the son of a very prominent right-wing nutter politician. The son was my college boyfriend for about a year. It's barely even a joke: So what's the Pope doing when he makes the sign of the cross on his balcony? [say the following while making the sign of the cross with a sort of extra flourish] All you dagos get off my lawn!

It was a favorite of his mormon grandfather.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:11 PM
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52.--I'm sort of like oudemia in that I've never heard anybody use those words (without its being an obvious anarchronistic joke). So, for me, "dago wop-wop-wop!" is almost an onomonopoetic joke.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:11 PM
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also characterized as idolatry the graven image of the Son of Man on the Cross, and also the veneration of images of Mary

Let's not get the Shi'a started.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:13 PM
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53.--So you were part of that less-than-one-percent "Multi Racial/Ethnic"? Man. It must suck to be an Ethnic.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:14 PM
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59: There's also an Italian airforce joke about the helicopter blades going wopwopwopwopwop.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:14 PM
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53: I take it back, racist.

(Got worried my high school was just as bad, looked it up: no! It's only 66% white! And nearly 10% black! In your face, New Trier!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:14 PM
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It must suck to be an Ethnic.

Dunno, I loved the place.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:17 PM
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only 66% white

Your school was a bad neighborhood? Explains your poor impulse control, probably.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:17 PM
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Huh:

Wop is a American English pejorative ethnic slur for a person of Italian descent. It is derived from the Neapolitan word "guappo", meaning a person who flaunts an overbearingly cocky and swaggering attitude; synonymous with thug. The word defines those who belong to the Guapperia o "Camorra", a criminal organization similar to the Sicilian Mafia located mostly in the province of Campania (an Italian Province) and its capital Naples, Italy.

I always assumed it was some sort of acronym.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:18 PM
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The anti-catholic tropes I know from childhood also characterized as idolatry the graven image of the Son of Man on the Cross, and also the veneration of images of Mary.

This makes me laugh, because about ten or so years ago, my grandmother's church was renovated to include, among the stained glass windows and marble baptismal font, this gigantic wooden carving of really what should have been called To Infinity and Beyond Christ, this sort of figure rising toward heaven like a superhero.

The carving replaced the crucifix and my grandmother was not at all happy about it, both because it was sort of ridiculous and because 'not having a crucifix in the church is some fool Protestant thing.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:18 PM
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Jackmormon, Mormons say that Mormonism sometimes skips a generation, so you might not want to have kids.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:19 PM
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I'd just like to note that in 56 I managed to troll major religions, plus secular people, plus Scientologists. I thought for sure I could offend somebody.

But nothing. I pulled my punches too much -- should have removed all the qualifiers and made the whole thing shorter.

How about: you secular types are too blinkered and ignorant to see why the Protestants are right to hate the Catholics! But I don't blame you, since all religions are as crazy as Scientology!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:20 PM
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The Chosen People get uppity in secular societies. Soon he willbe telling you that Jesus had it coming to him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:22 PM
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My school actually had a lower proportion of white students than than the state average, a higher proportion of black students than the state average, sent 91% of students to college in 2007, had 14 national merit scholarship finalists, and just barely managed to let me graduate. Beat that!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:23 PM
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Correlation or causation? I say that that all was because of Sifu, and Sifu alone.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:25 PM
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So the Jewish family have this son who at 14 is showing signs of not wanting to go the synagogue or join the family business. This worries them and they approach the rabbi. The rabbi decides to set a test for the potential prodigal. Before the son comes home from school he puts three items on the kitchen table: A Bible, a 50 Pound note, and a bottle of whisky. He explains to the parents that should the son walk in and take the Bible, then he is interested in religion and could still become a rabbi. It he takes the money, he has the makings of a businessman, and if he takes the whisky, then, well, steps would have to be taken.
The son walks in and takes a look at the table, flips through the Bible and tucks it under his arm to read later. He lifts the 50 pound note to the light and folds it into his back pocket. The whisky bottle is opened, sniffed, coughed at and also carried away for later....

The parents look at the rabbi, who raised hss eyes to heaven and says: Ach, he's going to be a roman catholic priest.


Posted by: Austro | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:26 PM
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I meant to say: Austro!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:26 PM
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I know someone who says that when she used to go visit her preacher grandfather in WV when she was little, he would give her a cigar box full of rosaries to play with. Eventually she asked him where they came from and he said, "These are my trophies."


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:28 PM
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So a Franciscan and a Jesuit are walking down the street when a yuppie guy comes up to them and asks, "Fathers, what novena should I say to get a BMW?" The Franciscan squints, confused, and asks "What's a BMW?" The Jesuit asks, "What's a novena?"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:29 PM
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SCMT!


Posted by: Austro | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:31 PM
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75. Your grandad was the grand keagle?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:31 PM
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58: There's a cleaned-up version that I used to love when I was a teenager, with this punch line: "The Pope? No, he wasn't blessing me. He said, 'Hey! You! Get down on the ground and clean up those peanut shells, throw them in the trash, and get the hell out of here!'"


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:34 PM
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He wasn't my grandfather. I think he was just a regular hellfire-preaching baptist minister, and he made his ex-catholic converts turn over their rosaries. Also, once when my friend had, for the first and understandably last time, admitted she'd done something wrong and apologized, her grandmother fell to her knees and yelled "Take her now, lord! Take her now!"


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:37 PM
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I was hoping for some clarification on how he came by his "trophies".


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:39 PM
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...he made his ex-catholic converts turn over their rosaries.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:42 PM
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A priest, a rabbi, a minister and a nun walk into a talent agent's office ....


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:43 PM
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Taking off on what PGD has talked about, maybe my strongest prejudice as somebody raised in a UCC household is against Catholics. And the thing is, I actually think this prejudice has some merit. The Protestant emphasis on private interpretation -- and the Catholic prohibition thereon -- has big ramifications outside the religious context. I almost want to say, "you know, the Know-Nothings were onto something."


Posted by: Pliggett Darcy | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:45 PM
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84: The Protestant emphasis on private interpretation....

The problem is that the Protestants privileged the Bible, and the Bible is a godawful mess.

I love the early humanist / Protestant period, but those people had no idea what kind of horrible things would happen when common folk started reading the Book of Revelation as a guide to contemporary history.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:49 PM
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people had no idea what kind of horrible things would happen when common folk started reading

Which is why one needs both priests and the electoral college.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:51 PM
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85: Yeah, but the Protestant position taken to its logical conclusion -- read, "my position" -- is one that rejects bibliolatry.


Posted by: Pliggett Darcy | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:52 PM
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White People Like Love my high school.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:52 PM
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The Protestant emphasis on private interpretation -- and the Catholic prohibition thereon -- has big ramifications outside the religious context.

And yet, the worst of the Christian goofs are (generally) not the Catholics. The Catholics are clear on the fact that comprehending the truth is difficult, and requires study and effort. Some strains of Protestantism get into trouble when they deny this.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:57 PM
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Clearly, the problem with both religions is that they take the Bible a little too seriously. Trouble is unavoidable once you do that.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 2:58 PM
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66: Huh. I'm probably pwned, but does that make "WithOut Passport" a backronym?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:01 PM
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My high school was pretty rad:

Enrollment at the opening of the 2006-07 school year is 1359 (Pre-K: 30, K-5: 486; 6-8: 352; and 9-12: 491). Of the total, 636 are U.S. citizens, 195 are host-country nationals, and 528 are of other nationalities. Of the U.S. enrollment, 286 are dependents of U.S. Government direct-hire or contract employees, and 350 of either U.S. business and foundation employees or other private U.S.
citizens.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:02 PM
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We were raised Catholic—which for some years in my childhood included daily Mass during Lent—but my parents were committed to public education as well, so the Catholic school life was a mystery. All I knew about students at the nearest Catholic High School was that they supposedly got a better education, more sex, and more and better drugs. (Also: the school's name was Rice, so our cheer at sporting events began, "What comes out of a Chinaman's ass?...")


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:05 PM
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88: How could they not, when Dar Williams is an alum?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:05 PM
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93: Yeah, I didn't go to Catholic school either. Both of my brothers went K-8, at which point they were allowed to choose. Brother S went to public high school and Brother L went to a fancy-pants Christian Brothers academy (in Sir Kraab's hometown!).
I was never sent since by the time I was old enough to go to school my mother decided that no nuns were teaching anymore and the folks who were couldn't get hired by the (pretty fancy) public school district. I grew up much, much better behaved than either of my brothers.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:10 PM
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Let me just preface all this by saying that I'm currently an atheist, though I grew up Catholic, regularly attending mass and even was an altar boy. I attended public school and a Catholic university, and am currently 4 out of 7 on sacraments.

I was lead to believe that the main beef Catholics have with Calvinist Protestantism is the elitism of the whole venture, namely that there is some fixed quantity of "saved" people in the world and everyone else is hellbound. The logic used to prop this up didn't help matters ("How do I know if I'm one of the saved?" "You're part of this church, and we're all saved"). Additionally, the inquiry-ending pronouncement of evangelicals seemed to piss off the truth-seeking educated Catholics.

Incidentally, growing up Irish on Long Island means that most of the ethnic jokes I know are about Italians. We had two RC churches in my small town, one overwhelmingly Irish, the other Italian.


Posted by: Cain | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:28 PM
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I learned all these enthic jokes about Poles growing up, and it confuses the hell out of me. It's not like there were a lot of Polish people in my town, or like there was any other anti-Polish sentiment; they seemed to have become the designated mockable stereotype by default, or by some kind of opaque process divorced from any kind of class resentment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:31 PM
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We had two RC churches in my small town, one overwhelmingly Irish, the other Italian.

Interestingly, this wasn't true of the churches in my area (Monmouth Co., NJ), but it was true of the country clubs and the beach clubs. The Irish had their own and the Jews and Italians shared.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:32 PM
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You're born a Catholic and it's almost impossible to quit.

A stereotype, yes, but flatly untrue. My dad not only quit, but quit to become a conservative evangelical. To this day he's one of the most anti-RC Christians I personally know. He's also the only conservative protestant I know who didn't like The Passion. It was too Catholic, he said - all about the death and nothing about the resurrection. "Their crosses still have him up there," was how he put it.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:36 PM
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My dad not only quit, but quit to become a conservative evangelical.

Was this in RI?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:38 PM
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And yet, the worst of the Christian goofs are (generally) not the Catholics. The Catholics are clear on the fact that comprehending the truth is difficult, and requires study and effort. Some strains of Protestantism get into trouble when they deny this.

You see, this sort of explains why I was attracted to Anglicanism in adulthood. You've got formal doctrine, but no one really cares whether you subscribe to it or not, as long as you participate in the liturgy and the sacraments. The church maintains the conceit of mediated salvation, but it also maintains a studied ambiguity about the possibility of salvation outside the church ("we can't pretend to understand the mystery of salvation in its entirety", or something like that), and it defines "the church" pretty broadly.

Best example of this: our normally mild-mannered priest denounced the Left Behind series from the lectern, saying its view of the Rapture was a "false teaching". Mind you, he had to explain what the series was beforehand, on the assumption that most of his parishioners would never have heard of it.

I still find myself uncomfortable with the doctrine of apostolic succession (having drunk Presbyterianism with mother's milk, I remain convinced that it is the form of ecclesiastical organization most in harmony with a liberal democratic political order), but otherwise the via media between the extremes of RC orthodoxy and Lutheran or Reformed protestantism suits me fine. My sister refers to my church as "Catholic Lite: All the Ceremony, None of the Guilt".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:39 PM
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Was this in RI?

Upstate New York. Still a very heavily Catholic area, though - my public high school was overwhelmingly Irish and Italian.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:41 PM
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stras, in order to quit being a Catholic you have to get them to take you off their rolls. Katherine did this when she converted to Judaism. Otherwise they consider you sort of lapsed. They might not approve you to be a godparent, but they still count you as a Catholic. Your Dad may have given up on the Roman Catholic Church, but she didn't give up on him.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:41 PM
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Your Dad may have given up on the Roman Catholic Church, but she didn't give up on him.

So another non-profit pads its membership lists. Shock and surprise.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:44 PM
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I'm not actually converted yet, on account of I am lazy, but yes, you do have to UNSUBSCRIBE from the parish where you were baptized.


Posted by: katherine | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:45 PM
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Also, the liability to hellfire never disappears. Baptizing you was your father's mistake. No limbo for you. Damned.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:47 PM
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101: KR, what do you mean by "apostolic succession?' Only really hard-core Anglo-Catholics believe in an absolutely unbroken link from the apostles. For most people the laying on of hands by a bishop in an ordination, for example, signifies that the Church is catholic, i.e. universal, and not confined to a particular congregation, that we are members of a broader body.

My Rector got pretty firm when Fred Phelps was supposed to picket us. She said, "the idea that God hates anyone is blasphemy." That's not a word we hear often.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:47 PM
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105 makes me think that being a Catholic is like being on a poorly maintained listserv.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:52 PM
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I took Emerson more to be referring to the famous stereotype of "Catholic guilt," which is supposed to keep every Catholic ever born consciously identifying as a Catholic, regardless of how the church bureaucracy officially counted them.

My uncle - brother of my dad - also quit Catholicism, to become Episcopalian. My vague understanding is that this seemed to upset my grandmother more than my dad's defection, although for years I could never tell the difference between Episcopalians and Catholics anyway.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:53 PM
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106: No limbo for anyone, Emerson. Virgil's burning in Hell forever - just like he deserves!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 3:54 PM
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Brother L went to a fancy-pants Christian Brothers academy (in Sir Kraab's hometown!).

Ah, yes, the CBA. Referred to, of course, as the CB Gay.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:00 PM
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There was no majority ethnicity at my high school. But individual classes were rarely as diverse as the school as a whole.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:00 PM
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111: Ha! Yes -- we called it that, too. Those boys were naughty and had expensive drugs (since many, many of them were from Rumson).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:02 PM
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Wobegon is ethnically very diverse indeed. Not just Norwegians, but Danes, Swedes, and Finns. Both Catholic and Lutheran Germans. And a sprinkling of Anglo-Saxons and Irish, and even a few Poles and Czechs, and some Dutch. And then the French-surnamed persons too. I could go on and on.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:14 PM
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107: there is a strong form and a weak form of apostolic succession. The weak form is pretty much inherent in the episcopal form of ecclesiastical organization: the bishops govern the body of the faithful.

The ECUSA attenuates this element somewhat with a more participatory structure (and does not recognize a monarch at is head, obvs.), but still maintains a distinction between members and bishops, which neither the presbyterian or congregational forms recognizes (Methodists are a bit of a hybrid in this regard).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:16 PM
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107: there is a strong form and a weak form of apostolic succession. The weak form is pretty much inherent in the episcopal form of ecclesiastical organization: the bishops govern the body of the faithful.

The ECUSA attenuates this element somewhat with a more participatory structure (and does not recognize a monarch at is head, obvs.), but still maintains a distinction between members and bishops, which neither the presbyterian or congregational forms recognizes (Methodists are a bit of a hybrid in this regard).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:21 PM
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BTW, if any lapsed Catholic wants to feel good about h/h apostasy, or if anyone who is as bigoted as I am wants to have h/h prejudices confirmed, watch the Frontline program on sexual abuse in the Catholic church, which is easily locatable on the Frontline website. It's enough to convince you that the doctrines of in persona Christi and transubstantiation have led directly to the abuse. That's a self-conscious exaggeration, but still.


Posted by: Pliggett Darcy | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 4:26 PM
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Catholic schools are the worst for homophobic bullying - teachers bully students and also ignore or support homophobic bullying of students by students. And Catholic schools are the worst for supporting LGBT teachers, or rather failing to support.

And it was a Catholic school that fired an unmarried teacher a couple of years ago because she decided not to have an abortion, and thus her unashamed pregnancy was setting a bad example to the children she was teaching, who needed to learn that if you get pregnant outisde marriage, the proper Catholic thing to do is have an abortion, repent, confess, be absolved. Not to have the baby.

I'd never let any child I was responsible for go to a Catholic school. I want them all closed down.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 6:31 PM
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Ah, this young man left public schools in *Stockton* and now goes to my alma mater, I bet.

There were a lot of non-Catholics who went there 25 years ago, too. It's pretty laid back, religion-wise, and probably the best academic-ish school in Stockton. I wouldn't jump from a Muslim kid going there to a social trend, were I that particular reporter.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-31-08 10:23 PM
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