"John Calvin was the virtual founder of America." -- Leopold von Ranke
Tim Rude [sic], a preacher at a church in Windsor Heights, Iowa, used electronic mail to contact protestant clerical supporters of Sam Brownback writing, "Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002. Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the Governor's", and that Huckabee is "one of us."
Brownback's people correctly identified this as a "prejudiced whisper campaign" and wanted a complete disavowal from Huckabee. They this did not receive, and they were told, they were whiners.
After this came to light, Rude had this to say, "But I do apologize for my statements because it could be taken as anti-Catholic which isn't the case at all". "All I was trying to say is that Protestants should vote for Protestants".
Whispering campaigns are what the Republicans do best. Their 19th late century standard of "rum, romanism and rebellion", the klan campaigns against Smith in the twenties, an attempted coup against Franklin Roosevelt, rumors that Roosevelt was a jew and Eleanor way too friendly with the coloreds ... Roosevelt, Truman, Stevenson and Kennedy being communists...really it is hard to fully complete this sentence, and all this before Rove.
The term "recovering Catholic" is often used by those with no religion, and here, we see, by protestant converts. The often irrational hatred shared by atheists and "evangelicals" apparently has a common hysterical basis. Common repudiation for a common enemy can build alliances.
Baptist minister Huckabee will not chastise and recognize this sort of bigotry. The origin of protestantism has to be justified by recriminations of catholicism for their own justification of being, while catholicism needs not comment on protestantism at all. In catholic churches it is extremely rare for a mention of protestants and their myriad of other beliefs (heresies). I doubt the same is true of those communities stemming from calvinism and the american frontier would have a similar benign treatment for catholicism in their houses of worship.
Huckabee will win those "religious" voters. Brownback converted to what he believes to be the one true faith. This may be excellent for his soul, but detrimental and foolhardy to his candidacy.
A higher polling Giuliani, with a greater name recognition, will also be a target of this sort of off camera campaigning. A practicing catholic will not be welcomed by the "republican base", only ex-catholics need apply. The Republican party is no place for catholics and perhaps for any christians at all.
The first democrats to leave the party for the republicans were the klansmen supporters of senator Cotton Tom Heflin of Alabama. Those southerners who stayed were yellow dog democrats, for even though the catholic Al Smith would be the candidate, they would vote for him none-the-less. This was twenty years before Strom Thurmond ran an insurgency other party candidacy and before the remainder of the bigoted South left after Johnson's civil rights commitments twenty years beyond that. "I'd vote for a yellow dog if he ran on the Democratic ticket", was the cry of loyal southerners in the 20s. I certainly would have.
And where do the republicans have their electoral strength?, without electoral fraud and chicanery? The white bigoted south and the mormon west. Rove and Bush showed themselves in 2000 with their act at Bob Jones. There will be more of the same. Is Sam Brownback Don Quijote in some chimerical manner? Rude is right: protestant republicans will not knowingly vote catholic.
Being a baptist, mason and klansman was a successful triumvirate formula in the 1920s for political success. Hugo Black, for one, rode it to the Senate and the Supreme Court. For those who come from the southern states and many other places, there is no penalty for anti-catholicism. The press does not care. American mythology says the issue was resolved with John Kennedy, and how many catholics have been president since his landslide?
Here is an exercise in logic to show how reasonably plausible and truthful the claim is: substitute catholic with some other term, such as black, female or jewish and have the statements continue with grammatical and lexical agreement. E.g. "But I do apologize for my statements because it could be taken as anti-black which isn't the case at all. All I was trying to say is that whites should vote for whites", or "Frankly, as a recovering Jew myself ". See, no possible bigotry there.
The US Constitution says there will be no test for religion. Now England had a Toleration Act of 1689 which allowed non-conforming protestants rights. Their also was a Test Act of 1672 ( "An act for preventing dangers which may happen from popish recusants" ). The oath for the Test Act of 1672 was:
"I,________ , do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantion in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of the bread and wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsovever."
In 1829 the Catholic Relief Act ended penal laws against non-irish catholics. Tony Blair flirts with the old faith but cannot yet commit to it. This is a foundation and background of english america. There remains a lingering and malignant animus, and it refuses to be called out. This is not recognized in american society, instead we have the propagation of the black legend of the inquisition and spanish catholicism. Catholicism remains suspect. Rude and the republicans know when they hold a winning card. They have anteed and will call and raise.