From the Catholic Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, in a speech to the Canon Law Association of Slovakia:
In general, Catholics have thrived in the United States. The reason is simple. America has always had a broadly Christian and religion-friendly moral foundation, and our public institutions were established as non-sectarian, not antireligious.
Wow. Talk about historical revisionism. Until the last 50 years or so, Catholics were the victims of blatant discrimination and hatred in this country — and that animosity came almost exclusively from Protestant Christians. It isn’t non-believers calling the RCC the “whore of Babylon,” it’s Christians.
During the time of our founding, the Protestant churches of the day were often furiously opposed to the new Constitution because it banned religious tests for office and thus would allow even a “Papist” — the then-current term for Catholics — to hold public office. This argument was made at the state ratifying conventions by some anti-federalists, most of whom were hardcore Protestants.
Prior to that, when the original colonies were quite specifically and officially Christian, being a Catholic could get you thrown in jail in many states. In Puritan Massachusetts, it could get your fined, jailed, exiled and even killed. Nearly all the original colonies had provisions in their charters explicitly forbidding Catholics from holding office. Both Virginia and Massachusetts for a long time banned Catholics from even living in those states. The entire nativist movement of the 1830s and 1840s was fueled by anti-Catholic bigotry.
Chaput is absolutely clueless about American history.