I caught most of the Justice Sunday webcast earlier this evening, during which the Catholic League's William "Christ-hating Jews control Hollywood" Donohue waxed enthusiastic about the Catholic/Evangelical alliance against creeping secularism. DLC blogger Ed Kilgore notes a certain irony here, by way of the following quote:
I recognize no power in the institutions of my church to interfere with the operations of the Constitution of the United States or the enforcement of the law of the land. I believe in absolute freedom of conscience for all men and in equality of all churches, all sects, and all beliefs before the law as a matter of right and not as a matter of favor. I believe in the absolute separation of church and state.
Roman Catholic Supreme Court nominee John Roberts defending himself from vicious secularists? Actually, Al Smith, Roman Catholic presidential candidate, defending himself in 1932 against Protestant ministers who feared he'd be taking orders from the Vatican. Now, Smith's answer strikes me as a great one (for all the good it did him), but Kilgore's probably on to something when he suggests that this attitude would today be viewed "as 'secular humanist,' 'anti-Catholic,' and 'anti-Christian.' It's clear that poor Al Smith, were he resurrected today and lifted to public office, would again suffer persecution from the same people, but for the opposite reasons."