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Know-Nothing Bigotry in Philadelphia


There have been smarter Know-Nothings than cartoonist Tony Auth of the Philadelphia Inquirer. But his cartoon of April 20 shows an anti-Catholic bigotry about the nation’s highest court, the Supreme Court, that rivals the most fabled bigotries of the Know-Nothings. Incidentally, it also promotes a most unconstitutional religious test for public office.

The argument of the Majority was based exclusively on reason and the law, not on faith and not on religion — neither Protestant, nor Catholic, nor Jewish. The Majority carefully describes the rare procedure that is now banned, and if that procedure is not cruel and unusual punishment, perpetrated upon a human individual, with its own distinctive DNA, then what is?

It is hard to believe that the four dissenting justices actually approve of the procedure, as medically described. Being a bedside witness of such a grisly procedure must be difficult for any humanist to bear.

But even in the light of cold, clinical reason such a procedure seems beyond the pale of civilized practice.


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