There’s nothing that unites people like a common enemy, and enemies are often rooted in fear. Enemies often pose threats to us for whatever reason–we fear losing power, losing a loved one, or even simply feeling inferior. However, there is safety in numbers, so when there’s a common enemy, people need to stick together.
In America, we have many common enemies (though we don’t necessarily liek to talk about it because “everyone is equal” (HAHAHA YEAH RIGHT!)). During the first world war, it was Germany. The second world war we pretty much hated anything Asian, and post-9/11, the enemy was anyone remotely Arab-looking (Airport profiling, anyone?).
However, one common enemy has stuck with us through it all, and that enemy is: The Catholic Church. Why do they pose such a threat, you might ask? Well currently the threat is with its refusal to fund Planned Parenthood, but I won’t get into that now [in fact, it is my opinion that as their own religious entity, they have the right to do with their funds what they wish, but, like I said, I won’t get into it].
America was founded on rebellion–good, old-fashioned, rule-breaking. The enemy a that point was the British. They represented a hierarchical, monarchical, rule-based society. And let’s be real, folks, we weren’t having it. Catholicism is all of that, and more. Hierarchical (priests, cardinals, the Pope), monarchical (followers listen to the Pope’s “infallibility”), and rule-based (i.e. sins, mortal sins, Catholic guilt, etc.). Plus, there was a time when the Catholic Church would bleed their members dry for funds, and America’s never been to keen on that either.
Though the Maria Monk account is absurd, what’s not absurd is the reasoning behind it being written. Protestant pastors at that time saw Catholicism as a huge threat to society. Catholicism was anti-American. It was anti-Protestant. It was anti-everything-good-‘ole-Christian-America-stands for. Writing a false account in the name of God and freedom is not half as absurd when you start to see Catholics in the eyes of the writers. Not arguing that “Maria Monk” was in the right (or whomever her sources actually were), but from “her” perspective, The Pope is Hitler, and Catholics are Nazis. Wouldn’t you want to do everything in your power, false or not, to take down “Hitler?” Just a thought.