Within hours of Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he would resign, social media websites exploded with a variety of hate-filled screeds, all in 140 characters or less.
"Resignation via slitting your wrists in a bathtub please," wrote the appropriately named "Morally Bankrupt" at @snaisy. And this was one of the nicer comments that included calls for the resigning pontiff to die, get shot, and other colorful acts that can't be written here.
Along with these strange, almost delirious commentators, came serious journalists like Soledad O'Brien, and Piers Morgan, who have already started conspiracy theories about the Pope's resignation.
"As a Catholic, I'm not buying this. Popes don't just quit because they're tired. What's going on here?" tweeted Piers Morgan. Soledad O'Brien quickly followed up her agreement. For two well-known journalists engage in idle speculation in public is irresponsible, but such irresponsible behavior is common. After all, when Pope Benedict XVI was elected Pope, BBC news had been calling him a Nazi within minutes of his election, and the man hadn't done anything yet.
If, in the future, "Papal Truthers" becomes a thing, you know where it started.
At the birth of the United States, there had been five "intolerable acts" made by the British against the American colonies. One such act had been to blockade Boston harbor -- which was death to a port city such as Boston. Another such act had been to give Canadian Catholic freedom of religion. After the election of Catholic John F. Kennedy to the Presidency, America has declared itself accepting of Catholics in the country. With commentary like this, from nationally known journalists and from common folk alike, Americans should be asking themselves if it has truly moved on from it's anti-Catholic roots.