Anti-Catholic Bigotry at Texas A&M

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Filipe Castro, a professor of maritime anthropology at Texas A&M, earned his fifteen minutes of fame when a number of disturbing posts on his Facebook account were published by conservative media outlets. Most of the posts contained graphic descriptions of Republicans meeting violent, gruesome ends. Among the most lurid—and we apologize for the disturbing image—is this gem:

I always though [sic]  this was going to have a normal end, with trump having a heart attack on top of his daughter and crushing her with his fat, and Kushner having to try to resuscitate her (for the money) from drowning in trump’s vomit of Pepsi and half-chewed chicken nuggets, swallowed in big chunks… and now the democrats are going to get him reelected.

A man who has such thoughts obviously isn’t well—let alone a man who publishes them for the edification of his friends and family.

Maniacally anti-conservative academics are hardly news. What’s surprising is that Professor Castro’s employer appears to be taking the matter seriously. Texas A&M’s Office of Risk, Ethics, and Compliance has launched an investigation regarding their aberrant anthropologist. And rightly so. Seeing as Professor Castro also repeatedly expressed delight that Republicans had contracted Covid-19, for instance, any right-of-center student would naturally feel unsafe in his classroom.

 

Yet the media have not yet revealed the numerous anti-Catholic remarks Professor Castro made on social media. Sources at Texas A&M have shared more screenshots with Crisis Magazine in order to expose his religious bigotry.

For instance, in a post from October of 2018, Professor Castro referred to Archbishop Charles Chaput as “another disgraceful fascist.” He went on to opine: “This is how I see the Catholic Church: always with the Pinochets and Videls and the Mussolinis and the Hitlers… and around here, with Bush and Trump and the KKK.” (National Socialists and the Ku-Kluxers are, of course, both notoriously anti-Catholic.)

Responding to an August 11 tweet by Bishop Thomas Tobin, who sarcastically questioned Joe Biden’s commitment to the Catholic Faith, Professor Castro replied: “Yes, Bishop Thomas Tobin, and we are coming for you.”

Referring to a different news article announcing that the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia would be converted back into a mosque, he declared: “Make the last rabbi eat the last priest and then hang him with the entrails of the last imam. We all would prefer if there were no mosques, no churches, no synagogues, just libraries and museums. And ethnic restaurants.”

In a post on July 14, he mused about burning down a Catholic Church: “I want to watch the comet, but the Catholic compound (st. something) is covering the horizon… and I have matches, but I don’t have gasoline.”

In a July 2 post about Father Theodore Rothrock, who referred to Black Lives Matter as “maggots,” Professor Castro said of Catholic priests: “When they are not [expletive], they are sucking up to the rich and powerful, and when they are not [expletive] or sucking up to the rich and powerful, they are blessing the Nazis. It has been like this for 1500 years.” (We will not publish the screenshot, given its graphic nature.)

In an April 6 post presumably related to Catholics’ calls to resume public Masses, he suggested: “They all want to go to church next Sunday, eat their god, or whatever they do. I think that they should all be allowed to go,, but before they do they should sign a paper and give up the right to a ventilator.”

In a caption on an article of a cloud formation over Europe that bore some resemblance to Our Lord, Professor Castro mused: “Italy: a picture of Christ, going home to Rome after a hard day spreading the virus over retirement homes in Lombardia.”

Commenting on an article about Pope Francis, Professor Castro wrote (in Portuguese): “After 1500 years of sociopaths, gangsters, rapists, fascists, murderers, etc., having a normal pope is so much fun.”

And, addressing calls by students—particularly Catholics—that he be reprimanded for his grotesque Facebook posts, he declared: “Apparently they don’t want me to burn their churches and beat priests with a 2×4. I am OK for the churches: arson is a crime and I am afraid of the police. Not beating the priests with 2x4s, however, is something I cannot promise…”

Professor Castro also made further obscene, slanderous, and blasphemous remarks about Catholic priests, the Virgin Mary, and even Jesus Christ which we cannot repeat here. Believe me, they get much, much worse.

One can make too much of a single, small-time academic sounding off on social media. Yet Filipe Castro has been at it for at least two years. While I didn’t have access to any earlier posts, it’s hard to believe he only picked up this hobby in 2018. Yet only now is Texas A&M doing something about it—and, then, only after a demonstration by some courageous students!

So, yes, he’s only one academic. But he’s also one of 3,500 at Texas A&M. If students were able to access his Facebook, no doubt many of his colleagues were aware of his repugnant posts. Why didn’t anyone dob him in? Why didn’t anyone go to the human resources department and say, “Professor Castro is obviously a virulent anti-Catholic bigot. I’m concerned about his ability to treat our Catholic students fairly. At the very least, he’s a huge liability to the school…”?

I’ll tell you why, though you already know: because they don’t care, and they know their colleagues don’t, either. Anti-Catholicism really is the last acceptable prejudice. There can be no doubt about it.

In another Facebook post, Professor Castro complained that his Catholic students didn’t display “Christian love” by complaining about his bigotry. Speaking of hypocrisy, his rebuke certainly falls more into the category of victim-blaming, the cardinal sin of the progressive Left.

But let’s be clear: lecturers at public, taxpayer-funded institutions like Texas A&M do not have the right to wantonly insult their students, their religious tradition, or their faith-leaders. As for his critics, neither the Constitution nor the Bible demands they sit idly by and watch as he insults them, their Church, and their God.

Crisis Magazine is certainly not trying to “cancel” Professor Castro. We do, in fact, believe that he deserves mercy—yes, even love. But this wasn’t a one-time mistake. It’s a long pattern of increasingly violent anti-Catholic and anti-conservative prejudice. If he really doesn’t see anything wrong with what he’s done, and if he has no intention of changing his behavior, then Texas A&M may—must—end its relationship with him.

More important is Texas A&M itself. All Catholics have a duty to ensure our brothers and sisters in their student body are free to practice the Faith without fear of discrimination by their professors. So, I urge our readers, especially those in Texas, to contact Texas A&M and demand to know how the repugnant tweets of their faculty members went unaddressed by the administration for all these years.

And we should all thank the brave students who are working to expose this injustice at Texas A&M. While hatred for the Church continues to spread among the political, cultural, and economic establishment, we’re finding more and more young Catholics willing to stand up and fight for our Holy Mother Church. That is enough to give one hope.

[Photo credit: Grindstone Media Group/shutterstock.com]

Michael Warren Davis

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Michael Warren Davis is the editor of Crisis Magazine. He is a frequent contributor to The American Conservative and the author of The Reactionary Mind (Regnery, 2021).

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