||Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and
Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed|
Kill A Catholic For God And Country?
By: Dale Recinella
An esteemed jurist from New York once reflected on our human condition saying,
“Negligence is in the air.” Perhaps, if he had lived in a prison in the Bible belt, he might have commented, “Anti-Catholic hatred is in the air.”
We all know where it comes from: the Reformation of 500 years ago. Founders of the new Christian religions justified their departure from the unity of western Christianity under the Pope by alleging that the successor to St. Peter was the anti-Christ and that the Church founded by Jesus was the biblical beast of Revelation. I’m told that such claims were in the original confessions of faith of the Lutherans, the Presbyterians and the Anglicans. The Scotch-Irish who settled America’s Deep South imported these wildly erroneous notions, sixteenth century European political slogans masquerading as theology.
Unfortunately, the presses of Catholic hate are still running.
The trophy for most notorious Catholic hate publisher has long been held by Chick Publications. Their comic book series demonizing the Popes and their tracts filled with blatant, absolute falsehoods about the Roman Catholic faith are supposed to be banned from many prisons. That means the material cannot come in through the chapels. Yet, it is reported to pour in through the mailrooms, especially in Spanish. Anyone who naively believes that such acidic hate speech is not a serious issue needs to spend a few minutes with Christian convicts who have been fueled into a simmering rage at Catholics because of the virulent lies fed to them through Chick Publications.
Some of the more mundane assaults may be protected by the fringes of the First Amendment. Americans tend to give religious groups the right to lie rather than turn our courts into arbiters of theological truth.
So, for example, The Sword of the Lord, which bills itself as an independent Christian publication and is prominently displayed in some prison chapels, can falsely and maliciously mock the Roman Catholic Pope and Catholic tradition as “denominational fantasy” and attack the Eucharist. Such tripe contributes to the anti-Catholic atmosphere, but there’s not much we can do to prevent it.
We must stop the new level of anti-Catholic written hate speech inside prisons, however, as evidenced by The Secret Terrorists. This diabolical book, purportedly written by a Bill Hughes, is identified as a publication of Truth Triumphant Ministries with post office boxes in Tangerine and Eustis, Florida. Mr. Hughes, if that’s really his name, manifests his cowardice by not providing any means for readers to contact him directly.
Any reader with an ounce of academic sophistication will immediately recognize this book as sewage with a binding. There is no ISBN and not a smidgen of truth appears anywhere in its pages. Yet, this despicable manifesto, which all but explicitly rouses the passions of patriotism to take up arms against the true enemy of the United States, is being read by men in prisons, some with violent histories and legendary lack of impulse control.
Who is this enemy that Mr. Hughes claims has put “the United States in more danger today than she has ever been”?
According to his moronic drivel, the real enemy is a “secret terrorist organization” called the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church, especially the Jesuits. With lies and perversions that exceed all conceivable bounds of fantasy without malice, Mr. Hughes purports to document his outrageous claims that the Roman Catholic Church was behind the World Trade Center attack and is the terrorist organization that threatens the survival of America.
Civil rights lawyers might argue over whether such a hateful, incendiary book should be allowed in a free and decent society.
But can anyone conceive of any reason why such vile, abominable material, copyrighted in 2002 and clearly intended to mobilize post-9/11 violence against Catholics in America’s south, should be allowed inside our prisons?
First published: The Florida Catholic, January 22, 2004
© 2004 Dale S. Recinella & The Florida Catholic.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
No further reproduction or republication without prior written permission.
I Was In Prison
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This ezine is targeted for people involved in prison ministry or in stopping the death penalty, we think you will find helpful information for people who are undecided about capital punishment, for those who have never experienced the inside of a jail or prison, and for those who feel called to participate through prayer and adoration.
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Dale S. Recinella
, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella
, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and
Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed