A New York Times piece purporting to defend Catholics and Muslims, actually smears Catholics in the process.
Here’s the line in question “In the years after World War I, Catholic radicals carried out a deadly wave of terrorist attacks in the United States“.
I wrote the author:
Can you tell me what you mean by “Catholic radicals” ? Any sources, links, etc would be appreciated. – Jose
Jose, I’m referring to the 1920 Wall Street bombing — – which was the largest act of domestic terrorism until Oklahoma City – – and to the 1919 bombing campaign, in which at least 42 targets were bombed. And I could add the assassination of president William McKinley. These acts were all committed by immigrants from Roman Catholic countries. (emphasis mine – Jose) Of course, their radicalism had nothing to do with the everyday beliefs of Catholic immigrants…. but that’s exactly the point, then as now.
Thanks for the response!
In your piece you refer to them as “Catholic radicals”, are you redefining Catholic to mean “from a Catholic country” ? Respectfully, that’s a bit of a stretch considering there are Coptic Christians living in Muslim nations. Are we to refer to them as Muslims too?
“their radicalism had nothing to do with the everyday beliefs of Catholic immigrants”
Their radicalism had nothing to do with Catholicism, period! A tenuous connection to national origin does not equal theological terror on par with current events in Libya and Egypt.
Thanking you in advance for removing the line of “Catholic radicals” from your piece.
He still hasn’t written me back, and I harbor no illusions of him editing his piece at the behest of one man writing him, but more Catholics and intellectually honest people of all faiths need to stop smears and lies when the opportunity arises.
I checked in with my friends on FB familiar with anarchist history and the modern anarchist movement . Yes you read that correctly, I really do champion diversity!
Two people responded, both agreed that anarchism at the time was atheistic and secular, both agreed that Catholicism didn’t appear until far later in United States history with the introduction of Ammon Hennacy and Dorothy Day. A quick google search for “anarchism and atheism” also yields evidence supporting their claims.
Bottom line, his piece should read “In the years after World War I,
immigrant radicals carried out a deadly wave of terrorist attacks in the United States.” because the common thread wasn’t their Catholic faith , but rather their immigrant status nor was their faith their motivation! There are more inaccuracies in the piece but this one was just the most glaring. I couldn’t sit idly by and not do a thing, I sat idly by and typed up a blog post! So dear readers, please join me in asking Mr. Saunders and the NYT to edit his piece. It’s the intellectually honest thing to do.
Update: 9/19/2012 My friend @SooperMexican points out “even immigrant is not accurate – the dude who killed McKinley was a native born American!”
I’ve edited my blog entry to reflect this.