Matthews: Catholic Church a haven for conservative bigots, or something

posted at 11:40 am on February 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Say, did Chris Matthews make this complaint when Barack Obama won the Catholic vote in 2008 by a 54/45 margin? Naaaah:

SCOTT WHITLOCK: Hi, Mr. Matthews, my name is Scott Whitlock. I’m with the Media Research Center and-

CHRIS MATTHEWS: What’s the Media Research Center?  

WHITLOCK: Uh, we write about liberal media bias. 

[Matthews visibly sighs and looks irritated. Audience laughs.]

MATTHEWS: Earlier tonight, you were talking about Nixon and the Southern Strategy and bigotry and things like that you and you said, quote, “If you’re really anti-gay, you become a Catholic now.” [Audience laughs.] I was wondering if you were saying that bigots become Catholic now and if you wanted to expand or apologize for that? [Audience laughs.]

MATTHEWS: I think there are people who have chosen to convert to the Catholic faith because they don’t like the liberal positions taken by their sectarian groups. That’s a fact. So, you can write that down. No, you can write that down. 

WHITLOCK: So, you’re saying Catholicism is drawing bigots? Is that what you’re saying?

MATTHEWS: I’m saying that some people who are bigoted against gay people have changed religions. Yes. You got it right.

As a Catholic, I’m a little bemused by this argument.  Almost all Christian denominations oppose same-sex marriage, and Catholics aren’t the most vocal on that point, at least not uniformly.  Of all the larger Christian denominations, Catholics are the most liberal in terms of voting record, not the most conservative; Democrats are much more competitive among Catholics than among Protestants and especially evangelicals. As an active member of a Catholic parish, I can assure you that it’s much more liberal than any workplace in which I have ever worked.

There seems to be a lot less hesitation in the national media to indulge in attacking Catholics, especially on ludicrous and unsupported allegations like Matthews’.  I think we see pretty clearly where the bigotry originates, and, well, I’m writing that down.

Update: Yes, I’m very well aware that Matthews is Catholic, which makes this even more bizarre.


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