Before It Was Islam, It Was the Papists

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Recently Pat Robertson made some comments noting that Islam isn’t just a religion. It’s a political system bent on world domination. This argument seemed vaguely familiar to me.  Then I remembered where I’d seen it before. Below, I take Robertson’s comments and only slightly modify them so as to be recognizable to Robertson’s intellectual ancestors of 19th-Century America:

ROBERTSON:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have to recognize that Catholicism is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant on domination of the world. And it is meant to subjugate all people under Papist law. In the Catholic propaganda, it says it very clearly: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. No one is saved outside the Roman Church. You are either under the thumb of the Pope, or you are damned. There is no middle ground. Now, that’s the way they think.”

“Now, sure, over here, you’ve got Popery light and you’ve got all these various things, but the idea is we don’t want just accommodation, we want to take over and we want to impose Papist law on you. And before long, ladies are going to be wearing mantillas in Church and clutching rosary beads and they’ll be forcing people to confess sins to priests while building guilded temples to the Whore of Babylon to replace our modest republican churches.  And next thing you know, bishops are going to be allowed to try Bible-loving Christians for heresy and you’ll be burning people at the stake and so on and so forth. That’s Rome. We don’t want that here in America. If they don’t like it here in America, then let them go to Italy, to Mexico, to Poland, to all those wonderful nations with the swarthy peoples who are scarce more than apes.”

I could also throw in some of the other “arguments” of the time:

They’re coming to get you!

1. “If the Papists ever get control of our government, the Pope will ride down Pennsylvania Avenue on a white horse and take up his throne in the White House.”

2. “Every priest is an agent in a global conspiracy to subject all governments to the Pope in Rome. And Irish priests are the most conspiratorial of all!”

Thank goodness for the Ku Klux Klan!  Enemy of Popery!

Note: In case they remove it from the tubes of the interwebs, here are Robertson’s original remarks:

ROBERTSON:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have to recognize that Islam is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant on domination of the world. And it is meant to subjugate all people under Islamic law. In the Quran, it says it very clearly. There are two spheres. One is the Dar al-Harb, which is the realm of war. The other is Dar al-Islam, which is that part that’s under submission to Islam. There is no middle ground. You’re either at war or you’re under submission. Now, that’s the way they think.

Now, sure, over here, you’ve got Islam light and you’ve got all these various things, but the idea is we don’t want just accommodation, we want to take over and we want to impose Sharia on you. And before long, ladies are going to be dressed in burqas and whatever garments they would put on them, and next thing you know, men are going to be allowed to have wife-beating and you’ll be beheading adulterers and so on and so forth. That’s Saudi Arabia. We don’t want that here in America. If they don’t like it here in America, then let them go to Saudi Arabia, to Kuwait, to Yemen, to all those wonderful nations around the Middle East.

11:27 am on September 4, 2010
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