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A reason to drag yourself to church

Sign advertising drag service at Brighton church

Dan O'Brien spotted this sign in front of the Brighton Allston Congregational Church on Washington Street in Brighton Center today.

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Voting closed 17

It will never not amuse me that the Congregationalists are on the leading edge of acceptance.

These churches were established by the Puritans and Pilgrims who executed Quakers, who legalized the execution of Catholic priests, and chased women out of the Colony for reading the Bible. The Dudleys and the Adamses (Sam &John) were virulently anti-Catholic. The Congregationalist population of colonial Massachusetts were genocidal slaveholding religious extremists, but now their current iteration is the most chill trinitarian denomination going!

Congregationalists were amongst the first (that I remember) trinitarian churches in Mass. to fly the rainbow flag. Of course, the Unitarian Universalists lead the way, but Congregational churches were quick on the gay marriage market even before the 2004 Goodridge decision.

Voting closed 17

He certainly did not see Catholicism as an ideal expression of religious observance. But virulently anti-Catholic seems strong. Add that what he saw as Catholicism is not what we see today. Nor was Adam's in any way a precursor to the nativism and bigotry represented by the KKK where Catholics were concerned.

Adams also was looking at a religion that was closely similar to the aristocratic and monarchical government that were rejected in the formation of both the Articles of Confederation and The Constitution. Considering that the Papal States effectively made Catholicism a supra nation-state, that made Catholicism automatically suspect to a newly formed nation where aristocracy was seen as at best a problem, if not an evil in political structures. By supra nation-state I'm referring to the nation-state of The Papal States, where the Pope was nominally the king, cardinals were (and still are) called Princes of the Church, and where there were archbishops, bishops, mongesniors, priests, etc., all seemingly parallel in monarchical and aristocratic organization.

Given that the idea of a nation composed of individual states, all of which were nominally democratic, without even symbolic heads of state (i.e., kings, etc.), I can see how Adams might have perceived Catholicism (or any other medieval structured religion) as potentially a weakness in maintaining democratic-republican governance.

While this resembles the anti-Catholic bigotry that existed in the KKK, and was heard in the anti-immigrant bigotry during the tremendous European immigrations to the US, I don't believe that they are the same. In the late 1800s, especially after the Civil War, the US had over a 100 years of developing traditions of democratic-republican structure (very imperfectly of course). Another aspect of that anti-Catholic bigotry is that Rome was on record as "anti-American." In a late 19th century published catechism, with the nihil obstat and imprimatur, the authors, "Americanism" is condemned. If i remember correctly the condemnation was based on the extreme materialism of American culture even at that time.

So I disagree with the description of John Adams as virulently anti-Catholic.

Voting closed 16

John Adams was the most generous non-Catholic contributor to the fund for building the first Catholic cathedral in Boston (Church of the Holy Cross, later Cathedral, mk. 1).

Voting closed 8