Shari Song, the Democratic candidate who ran for a state senate seat in the state of Washington, recently illustrated how she reacts to bigotry. Her tolerance for intolerance is stunning. The man she ran against, Mark Miloscia, was the victim of rank anti-Catholicism, and she  took it in stride.

Mark Miloscia is a former Democratic state legislator in Washington who switched to the Republican party because of his dismay with the way Democrats treat people of faith. The former Southerner had no idea just how hateful some in his former party are, but now he knows.

Some Democratic operatives tried to whip up anti-Catholicism by posting a doctored photo of Miloscia on a website: it showed him dressed as a bishop holding a rosary, including captions that depicted him as a stooge for the Vatican. The inscription alongside the doctored photo read as follows:

“Republican Mark Miloscia came from the Deep South…with plenty of baggage.

“‘Mississippi Mark’ has always worn his church on his sleeve. Rather than represent the people of Federal Way, he has best represented the people of The Vatican.”

Below this statement was a list of six positions attributed to him, including one that said, “Lobbyist for the Catholic Church.”

 It’s a throwback to the days when the Know Nothing Party of the 19th century challenged the loyalty of American Catholics, portraying them as giving their allegiance to Rome, not the nation.

Instead of condemning this bigotry, the best Song could do was to say that the website was “a little bit misguided.” She literally defended those responsible for this anti-Catholic statement saying, “I don’t believe they are anti-Catholic or intended it to be that way.” So just what would it take, Ms. Song, for you to brand someone anti-Catholic?

One Democratic activist tried to walk it back, saying, “A couple of local Democratic legislative district members got together and did it on their own. I don’t know all the names of who’s involved….We’ve had to talk to them to try to get them to fix it.” Nice to know this guy was comfortable giving advice to strangers. More important, the local media continued to miss the many facets of this remarkable story.

There’s more. On October 22, Song and Miloscia were at an event hosted by the Federal Way Mirror, the local newspaper. Held at the Twin Lakes Country Club, stacks of the anti-Catholic flyers were placed on a table set aside for each candidate’s literature; they were placed alongside Song’s material. Neither she, nor anyone from her staff, objected.

Public officials who cannot honestly represent all the people have no legitimate role to play in a democratic society. The Catholic League is happy to report that the anti-Catholic campaign waged against Miloscia failed; he has been elected to the state senate seat in Washington that he was vying for.

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