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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Catholic Conspiracy Theorists and the Fake Tocqueville

The New American, the publication of the John Birch Society, reports on a group of Catholic conspiracy theorists who want Trump to investigate a plot by President Obama and others to overthrow Pope Benedict and replace him with Pope Francis.
The Catholic quintet began their missive to President Trump with the famous quote attributed to French historian Alexis de Tocqueville: “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” 
“While we share your stated goal for America,” they write, “we believe that the path to ‘greatness’ is for America to be ‘good’ again, to paraphrase de Tocqueville. We understand that good character cannot be forced on people, but the opportunity to live our lives as good Catholics has been made increasingly difficult by what appears to be a collusion between a hostile United States government and a pope who seems to hold as much ill will towards followers of perennial Catholic teachings as he seems to hold toward yourself.”
Not only is the theory farfetched (to put it mildly) but the Tocqueville quotation is fake.  As this blog has pointed out over and over, Tocqueville never wrote any such thing.