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Frank Lautenberg
Counting Catholics in Congress -- an obsolete exercise
Counting Catholics in Congress -- an obsolete exercise

I purchased my copy of the 2014 Almanac of American Politics (only $90) Tuesday and immediately started browsing through the profiles of members of Congress. As always, I found myself focusing on the religion of the senators and representatives, a detail that isn’t always easy to find in official biographies. In particular, I was checking to see who was a Roman Catholic. This peculiarity originated in my Catholic childhood in the 1960s, when Catholics were still thought of (including by themselves) as an exotic minority group. At my Sacred Heart grammar school, the nuns and the textbooks overcompensated for this sense of marginalization by hyping the contribution of Catholics to...