A Catholic in the White House?: Religion, Politics, and John by T. Carty

By T. Carty

In keeping with a variety of students and pundits, JFK's victory in 1960 symbolized America's evolution from a politically Protestant kingdom to a pluralistic one. The anti-Catholic prejudice that many blamed for presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith's crushing defeat in 1928 ultimately appeared to were triumph over. even though, if the presidential election of 1960 used to be certainly a turning aspect for American Catholics, how can we clarify the failure of any Catholic--in over 40 years--to repeat Kennedy's accomplishment? during this exhaustively researched examine that fuses political, cultural, social, and highbrow heritage, Thomas Carty demanding situations the belief that JFK's profitable crusade for the presidency ended many years, if now not centuries, of non secular and political tensions among American Catholics and Protestants.

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Episcopalian lawyer Charles Marshall, the Christian Century, and the New Republic challenged Smith to explain Catholic dogma that contradicted the separation of church and state. Most prominent liberals, such as columnist Walter Lippmann and philosopher John Dewey, endorsed Smith’s independence from clerical dictate. These liberals considered support for Smith a sign of tolerance and repudiation of religious bigotry. Many racial and religious minorities viewed Smith’s candidacy as a symbol of the nation’s diversity.

The White House head cook, an Irish American, voted for Smith and felt compelled to confess Protestant America or a Nation of Immigrants? 43 ‘‘The Established Halls of Washington and Rome’’: James Farley and Joe Kennedy in the 1930s and 1940s One American Catholic, Joe Kennedy, did not proudly boast of loyalty to Al Smith. In an April 1929 letter to Hoover’s secretary of the navy Charles Francis Adams, Kennedy claimed to have voted Republican in 1928. ’’ This shocking admission that a prominent Catholic Democrat voted against Smith’s presidential bid may merely demonstrate Kennedy’s penchant for using blandishments to secure political allies in government.

With a staff of 125 individuals, this Klan organ spread vicious anti-Catholic propaganda that depicted Smith as a drunkard and a pawn of Catholic clerics who sought to repress American freedoms. The publication’s political cartoons mimicked nineteenth-century illustrator Thomas Nast’s graphic depictions of Catholic bishops menacing innocent Americans through manipulation of public schools and Irish politicians. 7 The publishers claimed a circulation of 360,000. Michael Williams, editor of the lay Catholic magazine Commonweal, estimated that one hundred anti-Catholic newspapers published three to five million copies weekly during the 1920s.

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