Steve Chapman on Majorities and Religious Bullying


SeaDave / Foter

The United States was founded mostly by Protestants and remained overwhelmingly Protestant for many decades, a fact Protestants did not want Roman Catholics to forget. When Catholics began arriving here in large numbers in the middle of the 19th century, they found that in public schools the majority religion was pervasive and inhospitable.

In the 21st century, American Catholics no longer have to worry about official discrimination and disrespect. That's especially true on the United States Supreme Court, whose nine justices include six Catholics—and no Protestants. But the Puritans didn't come to America seeking religious freedom; they came seeking the chance to force their religion on others rather than have other religions forced on them. Likewise, the lesson five of the Catholic justices apparently have learned from history is not that the minority should be protected by the Constitution, writes Steve Chapman. It's that it's good to be in the majority.