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Ann Coulter draws criticism for apparent anti-Catholic tweet

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Ann Coulter has a reputation for saying bombastic things and the tweet she sent Wednesday is probably her most offensive yet.

The tweet was fired off in response to David Limbaugh’s criticism of Pope Francis’ views on economics and climate change, which put the pontiff at odds with many conservatives. Francis is in the U.S. for a five-day visit, which includes an Oval Office meeting with President Obama Wednesday.

Coulter’s tweet is not only offensive to some, but factually inaccurate. Maryland, for example, was founded as a refuge for Catholics. The Declaration of Independence had a Catholic signer, Charles Carroll of Maryland. Although Catholics were only 1.6 percent of the American population during the Revolution, they played leading roles for the American side.

The first major territorial acquisition of the U.S. was the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Among the territories absorbed was the French-speaking Catholic city of New Orleans.

Since independence, there have been two major anti-Catholic political movements in America. The first was theKnow Nothing Party in the 1850s, which was a response to Irish immigration. The second was the revived Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, which featured an anti-Catholic component in addition to its hatred of blacks.

Today, Catholics are single largest Christian denomination in the country at 23 percent. The Catholic population is seen as a key swing vote, as their political preferences tend to mirror of those as a country as a whole.

Presumably, Coulter wasn’t trying to win any of them over when she sent her tweet.

Kevin Boyd is a general correspondent for The Hayride and an associate policy analyst at the R Street Institute. His work has been featured at IJ Review, The National Interest, Real Clear Policy, and the Washington Examiner. You can follow him on Twitter @kevinboyd1984
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