The Deacon's Bench

It seems some forms of prejudice die hard. Like anti-Catholicism:

Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback said rival Mike Huckabee should apologize for a supporter’s “prejudiced whisper campaign” against him for being Catholic.

Huckabee issued a statement Tuesday night that didn’t apologize for the remarks but said they were neither approved nor condoned by his campaign. He said he was glad that the supporter had issued his own apology and clarification.

The supporter, a pastor in Windsor Heights, Iowa, had sent an e-mail to Brownback supporters pointing out that Huckabee is an evangelical Protestant and Brownback is not. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, is an ordained Baptist minister.

“I know Senator Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002,” Rev. Tim Rude, pastor of Walnut Creek Community Church, wrote in the e-mail. “Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the governor’s.”

In the e-mail, Rude calls Huckabee “one of us.”

Evangelical Protestants have a history of suspicion toward Catholics, although it has lessened significantly in the decades since the National Association of Evangelicals warned against electing John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, to the presidency in 1960.

Issues such as abortion have brought the faiths closer, although some suspicion remains.

I can only imagine the outrage that would ensue if this sort of campaign had been waged against Barack Obama because he’s black, or Joe Leiberman because he’s Jewish.

Photo: Sen.Sam Brownback, by Charlie Neibergall/AP

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