Anti-Catholicism in Entertainment
Father Martin is the author of several books, the latest of which is called "The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything." His bestselling memoir "My Life with the Saints" was named one of the "Best Books of 2006" by Publishers Weekly. He also wrote "A Jesuit Off-Broadway: Center Stage with Jesus, Judas and Life's Big Questions," which was named one of Publishers Weekly's "Best Books of 2007."
Question: Why do you believe we have an anti-Catholicism problem in the entertainment industry?
James Martin: On the one hand are people who say that anti-Catholicism is just as bad and anti-Semitism or homophobia or racism. It’s not clearly. It’s not as virile and not as prevalent. On the other hand are people that say it doesn’t exist at all, but it does basically. I think a lot of portrayals of nuns and priests on TV and in the movies are stereotypical. You know post sex abuse crisis frequently when you see a priest show up on a TV cop show you know he is usually a pedophile. Nuns are usually portrayed as like ninnies basically or stupid. I mean I would say here are women who kind of built the Catholic healthcare system in the United States and ran universities and but when they come on TV they’re portrayed as being idiots basically, so there are some subtle anti-Catholicism in that. I think you know you hear people taking potshots at priests for being celibate or being pedophiles or being insane or whatever, so I think there is a lot of stuff that slides by you know on TV and in the movies that would never be allowed to happen with other groups. You know if you portrayed a rabbi or an Imam like that people would rightfully complain, but in a way I think because we live in a largely Protestant culture I think because of the sex abuse crisis and I think because of you know some suspicion about the Vatican and Catholic theology in a sense, anti-Catholicism is more acceptable. In fact, one person once called it the last acceptable prejudice, so it’s there, but I think we need to keep in sort of a context exactly what that means. It’s not a virile as some other stereotypes are, but it is present.
Question: Has it gotten better or worse over the past decade?
James Martin: I think it has gotten worse because of the sex abuse crisis. I think things are said about priests and celibacy which are stereotypes, so you take a very small population of priests who have committed these crimes then you magnify it and you say well that applies to all priests and you know I read stuff in mainstream newspapers and on TV and you hear jokes and things like that. As priest myself who keeps his vows, it’s offensive. And I often say to people: would you say this about rabbis? Would you say this about Imams? The answer is no, but somehow people think because of the sex abuse crisis it’s okay to stereotype all Catholics. All Catholics are like this, all Bishops are like this, all priests are like this-- which would never fly for any other religious group, so I just think it’s basically unfair.
Recorded on March 26, 2010
Anti-Catholicism is not as bad as some other prejudices are in our culture, but it is present.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.