Although he “grew up as a socialist republican in Belfast,” and believes “there is also much about the Catholic Church’s teachings to rage against,” Kevin Rooney argues in The Backwardness of Catholic-Bashing that
the current animosity to all things Catholic manifests itself in ways that are far from healthy. So while many of the exponents of this popular new breed of anti-Catholicism would certainly consider themselves liberal, their treatment of the church is anything but.
Writing on the left-libertarian site Spiked, he condemns the censoriousness (here meaning to desire to censor), hypocrisy, and ignorance of his peers. For example,
Talk to any practising Catholic or ‘ethnic’ Catholic on this subject, and within minutes they will give you a shocking example of ignorance from their own friends and intellectual equals that would rarely be displayed in discussions of politics, the arts, etc. . . .
To display such ignorance about Islam these days would be described as racism — but when it comes to Catholicism it is perfectly okay. . . . [O]therwise intelligent people seem to have carte blanche to be ignorant and prejudiced when it comes to Catholicism.
It’s only going to get worse. Even Catholic pessimists like me have been surprised at how quickly the hooting and howling has become an acceptable expression of public piety, with its overt bigotry unrebuked by those who otherwise consider themselves the keeper’s of national discourse. As Rooney mentions, no one would be allowed to speak of Islam like this without censure.