Letter To The Editor: History Gives Perspective
Published: February 5, 2009
To the Editor:
As Archbishop Gregory spoke at the recent pro-life rally at the state Capitol, I wonder if anyone realized that behind him was a statue of U.S. Sen. Thomas E. Watson, a publisher/politician who was one of the most rabid anti-Catholic and racist political figures in Georgia history. During the first quarter of the twentieth century, he was behind anti-Catholic legislation such as the “Convent Inspect Bill” which required annual inspection of all convents because he alleged they were commonly known to be houses of vice. He put up posters on trains warning citizens of the evils of Catholicism. He vigorously opposed all anti-lynching laws and encouraged the lynching of black men thought to have committed crimes.
It is before the statue of this man that an African-American Catholic bishop spoke on the sanctity of all human life and the inherent dignity of every person. It is in remembering our past that we can appreciate our progress and consider the challenges that lay before us.
Msgr. Terry W. Young, Jackson