So I went and saw The Lone Ranger for Aleteia and, for better or worse, came out of the theater with this song in my head.

Sorry about that. It won’t happen again.

Anyway, as I noted in my review, The Lone Ranger has got some problems, but in the end, my family found it entertaining. And I assure you, despite what some critics have suggested, when my ten old walked out of the theater, he didn’t hate America, white people, or capitalism. He just thought the guy with the bird on his head was nuts and that the horse was hilarious. The whole thing reminds me of last year’s John Carter. Critics savaged that film and it didn’t do very well at the box office, but once I got around to seeing it, it wasn’t really THAT bad. Same story here.

Maybe I just feel a little empathy with The Lone Ranger and all the undeserved bad press he’s getting because, when you think about the old west, we Catholics weren’t fairing too well in the public opinion back in those days either. In one of his many editorials for the United States Catholic Miscellany, the first Catholic newspaper published in the U.S., Bishop John England wrote:

I found what I was altogether unprepared for; that in many of our states, a Roman Catholic, though legally and politically upon a level with his fellow citizens, was however to be looked upon, by reason of his religion, as in some degree morally degraded. I found that it was by no means considered a want of liberality, on the part of Protestants, to vilify the Catholic religion, and to use the harshest and most offensive terms when designating its practices; but that if a Catholic used any phrase however modified, which even insinuated any thing derogatory to the Protestant religion, he was marked as a shocking bigot.

Bishop England wrote that in 1826. But if you trade out the word Protestants for something like Secularists or Atheists or Abortionists or a few other –ists, it sure seems like not that much has changed, huh? Oh well, Jesus saw it all coming from a long way off. “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” he once said, “Rejoice and be glad.” Well, you heard the Lord everybody, don’t worry about all those verbal slings and arrows. Cowboy up and put a smile on your face.

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