Letter: No place for anti-Catholicism; remove Blaine Amendment now

Stephen O’Brien (Letters, Feb. 21) gets only one thing right in his letter regarding the Blaine Amendment — the delegates to Alaska’s Constitutional Convention did not seem to realize what they were getting with it.

The Blaine Amendment has a clear history of anti-Catholicism. Wednesday’s column by Michelle Theriault Boots did a somewhat decent job of tracing that history as it relates to the immigration of a large number of Irish, German and Italian Catholic immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century, but it omitted the fact that anti-Catholicism has a long history on our shores. 

“Sectarian” was a code word for “Catholic.” Catholics were barely tolerated in most of the colonies. The one Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence couldn’t even vote.

Yes, we have struggled to find the correct application of the First Amendment over the years, but the wording found in the Blaine Amendment was never required by the establishment clause. A number of states have never even had it in their constitutions. 

HJR1 would eliminate this language and for that, I support it.

— Kristina Johannes