Anti-Catholicism in Colonial America


Is there any books that covers Anti-Catholicism in America, that deals from the Colonial Period to the present?

  1. The Persecuted Become the Persecutors!

One of the many tragi-comic ironies of the Protestant Revolution is the fact that even persecuted Protestants failed to see the light:
“Often the resistance to tyranny and the demand for religious freedom are combined, as in the Puritan revolution in England; and the victors, having achieved supremacy, then set up a new tyranny and a fresh intolerance.” (123:222)

“Multitudes of Non-Conformists fled from Ireland and England to America; . . . What is amazing is the fact that, after such experiences, those fugitives did not learn the lesson of toleration, and did not grant to those who differed . . . freedom . . . When they found themselves in a position to persecute, they tried to outdo what they had endured . . . Among those whom they attacked was . . . the Society of Friends, otherwise known as Quakers.” (92:207)

In Massachusetts, for successive convictions, a Quaker would suffer the loss of one ear and then the other, the boring of the tongue with a hot iron, and sometimes eventually death. In Boston three Quaker men and one woman were hanged. Baptist Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts in 1635 and founded tolerant Rhode Island (92:208). To his credit, he remained tolerant, an exception to the rule, as was William Penn, who was persecuted by Protestants in England and founded the tolerant colony of Pennsylvania. Quakerism (Penn’s faith) has an honorable record of tolerance since, like its predecessor Anabaptism, it is one of the most subjective and individualistic of Protestant sects, and eschews association with the “world” (governments, the military, etc.), whence lies the power necessary to persecute. Thus, Quakers were in the forefront of the abolition movement in America in the first half of the 19th century.

  1. Catholic Maryland: The First Tolerant American Colony

A. Patrick O’Hare

“Catholics . . . were the first in America to proclaim and to practice civil and religious liberty . . . The colony established by Lord Baltimore in Maryland granted civil and religious liberty to all who professed different beliefs . . . At that very time the Puritans of New England and the Episcopalians of Virginia were busily engaged in persecuting their brother Protestants for consciences’ sakes and the former were . . . hanging `witches’.” (50:300-01)

B. Martin Marty §

“Baltimore . . . welcomed, among other English people, even the Catholic-hating Puritans (8) . . . In January of 1691 . . . the new regime brought hard times for Catholics as the Protestants closed their church, forbade them to teach in public . . . but . . . the little outpost of practical Catholic tolerance had left its mark of promise on the land.” (9)


Dosdog: Thank you for posting these websites. Some the most vehement anti-Catholic statements I have heard have come from those who rely heavily on “The Martyrs Mirror” as their source of information about the Holy Roman Catholic Church.


You are welcome LSG - you may want these links too
Killing For Your God
Oliver Cromwell was deemed a moderate because he massacred only Catholics and Anglicans, not other Protestants. This Puritan general commanded Bible-carrying soldiers, whom he roused to religious fervor. After decimating an Anglican army, Cromwell said, “God made them as stubble to our swords.” He demanded the beheading of the defeated King Charles I, and made himself the holy dictator of England during the 1650s. When his army crushed the hated Irish Catholics, he ordered the execution of the surrendered defenders of Drogheda and their priests, calling it “a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches.”

Ukrainian Bogdan Chmielnicki was a Cossack Cromwell. He wore the banner of Eastern Orthodoxy in a holy war against Jews and Polish Catholics. More than 100,000 were killed in this 17th-century bloodbath, and the Ukraine was split away from Poland to become part of the Orthodox Russian empire.

The Inquisition and Early Protestantism in Spain
Anti-Catholic pamphleteers and historians have grossly exaggerated the numbers, asserting that millions died at the stake. The actual numbers are far less, 3,000 to 5,000 during the Inquisition’s 350 year history as stated in the 1994 BBC/A&E special program, "The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition… though these fiery deaths were quite real and regrettable, they pale in comparison to the 100,000 witches burned to the stake in Protestant Germany, and the 30,000 in Britain over the same centuries… and of course with the modern atrocities of the real millions killed by Hitler and Stalin in a few years…

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