What should Catholics think of Sen. Joseph McCarthy?

I can’t say the average American remembers McCarthy fondly these days.

He was right.

Unfortunately, he was woefully unprepared to expose such a massive Conspiracy. I’m not even sure that he fully understood the extent of the problem.

Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies https://www.amazon.com/dp/1400081068/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_TgzQCb2TTZ3CC


There is no official “Catholic” position on Joe McCarthy, any more than there is an official “Catholic” position on Donald Trump.

Catholics are free to think what they like about Tail Gunner Joe. Given that he has been dead for longer than I have been alive, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about him. Might say a prayer for his soul.


I am neither Catholic nor American but this is what I would say to him McCarthy - man-made hell.is something neither of us can stop nor prevent even though it is commendable to do so. People as a society are.drawn to their own made.demons, Communism will get its sacrifices everywhere it goes.
McCarthy was another Don Quijote. Still worth a try even if you fail. Yes I pray for him even we if we belong to different denominations and nations. He guessed the danger but did not find the remedy imho.

He fell into good favor with the Kennedys. I believe Bobby even worked for Senator Joe McCarthy. I don’t think McCarthy was perfect, I do think we need to balance out the negative image that he has come to have with the positive, like we would any historical figure. Some of this is covered in his wikipedia bio: JFK in fact defended him and he hung out with the Kennedy klan some…

In the early 1950s, being accused of being soft on communism, a lot of people from Radio Free Europe lost their jobs. This was unfair I think. If McCarthy had anything to do with this. I disagree:

But some would say his accusations of communists in the US government were vindicated by the Verona project and this was decades after he died, this info was declassified:

So, basically, whole books and movies too, address McCarthy. I always read both sides. He was only one senator so possibly limited in what he could do but over all, my impression is positive.

But it takes a lot of study, if he went after homosexuals as the wikipedia entry indicates, I’m not really into pursuing that kind of agenda though those were different times.

To think he was probably a Senator for only around 10 years I believe. Even his death can lend some to conspiratorial theories.

Anne Coulter seems to be a big defender of McCarthy, maybe one of her books is even largely devoted to him, at least, some of her columns and I’ve watched her interviewed at youtube over here analysis of Joe McCarthy.

So, all I am saying, is I look at both sides, with Senator Joe McCarthy, it’s easy to get caught up in a lot of negativity said about him.

P.S. @maxirad , that link you post is a bit to an obscure website. I’ve found, sometimes, if I post something from a largely unknown website, it seems it is often questioned. I’m not doubting the credibility of that information at all. They do seem to cherry pick that which was said about being “gay” and which was found to largely lack any credibility.

That’s why I’m not posting things from some articles that claim McCarthy has vindicated… at least, from his looking for communist acts but they are out there and they are not really “fringe, fringe” websites. Not Alex Jones, not that far out.

JFK definitely defended Joe McCarthy, that’s not hard to understand, whatever one thinks of both of them. JFK probably holds quite a bit of weight with me, even with some conditions per his own private life.

Those who bear the truth, or seek to expose the truth, are always vilified by the reigning establishment.


Catholics will be as split in their opinions on this topic as they will on any other political issue. To me, he represents that faction which thrive on a martyrdom complex and are always looking for a minority to blame for what’s wrong with 'Murica. There seems to be enough divisiveness these days though without rehashing all the woes in American politics the last 100 years.


Before Senator McCarthy, the FBI warned the government.

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A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, the EWTN documentary about Saul Alinsky, did acknowledge McCarthy’s “excesses.” However, the film insisted that McCarthy “was basically correct” regarding his concerns about Communist infiltration.


McCarthy was not excessive. If anything, history shows that some known Communists could not be prosecuted. That evidence would have to come from sources that were secret at the time.


In addition to going after suspected Communists, McCarthy also persecuted gay men and lesbians in the Federal Government. Historian David K. Johnson has written a book about it, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government (University of Chicago Press, 2006). According to the blurb on the dust jacket:

The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. But while the famous question, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: “Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?”

Historian David K. Johnson here relates the frightening, untold story of how, during the Cold War, homosexuals were considered as dangerous a threat to national security as Communists. Charges that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations were havens for homosexuals proved a potent political weapon, sparking a “Lavender Scare” more vehement and long-lasting than McCarthy’s Red Scare. Relying on newly declassified documents, years of research in the records of the National Archives and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the vibrant gay subculture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us inside the security interrogation rooms where thousands of Americans were questioned about their sex lives. The homosexual purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and pushed many to suicide.

The fact that McCarthy did something that ruined the lives of thousands of innocent people and caused many to commit suicide would seem to be clear evidence that he was excessive.


Lest we forget that one of America’s most prominent anti-communists was none other than Servant of God Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.


It’s a bit unfair to blame McCarthy alone for the fact that people committed suicide, when society in general also treated gay people like pariahs in those days. People committing suicide were doing so because they felt their lives would be ruined when the truth about their orientation was revealed. Furthermore, many of them had been living a lie their whole lives and probably were indeed potential security risks because they could be blackmailed. Joe McCarthy did not create that situation. Society did. And people who lied about themselves in order to fit into society helped create it too. Joe McCarthy was just the visible symptom of the underlying situation. He capitalized on a situation that already existed for his own political gain.

Of course when the gay person killed himself, society would say it was because he was a “pervert” and probably mentally unstable to begin with or he wouldn’t have ended up in that situation.

Those who were open and honest had nothing to fear from McCarthy. Of course, they probably didn’t have government jobs either because they would have failed their security clearance forms. And they might have to fear being gay-bashed to death by their neighbors or by law enforcement.

I’m glad that you recognize how important it is for gay people to be open and honest about their sexual orientation instead of being in the “closet”. Because so many LGBT people have come out of the closet in the last several decades and people discovered that they have co-workers and family members who are gay, we are no longer the pariah’s we used to be. That’s a positive change in society in my opinion.


Lest we forget that one of America’s most prominent anti-communists was none other than Servant of God Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.

And your point is… what exactly?

Servant of God Fulton Sheen was credible and not throwing accusations around with all the abandon of a two-year-old with Spaghetti-Os. He also wasn’t looking down the barrel of official Senate censure for having taken a $20,000 bribe from a Pepsi executive to get sugar rationing lifted prematurely and latched on to the Communist issue to save his political hide. And he sure as heck didn’t go tilting windmills against the Army to help his attorney get a friend preferential treatment after being drafted into the army.

Servant of God Fulton Sheen didn’t set the anti-Communist movement back ages for being a crashing boor who was out for his own self promotion. No, that was all on McCarthy.

Really – If Joseph McCarthy hadn’t existed, Stalin would have found it convenient to have invented him.

He understood the great evil of communism and he fought against it. Perfectly? No. Political grandstanding at times? Yes. But he was a true cold-warrior, and we are all in debt to people who actively fought communism.

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What do your accusations have to do with documented Soviet activity in the US? Really confused here…

Not a Communist here but I’m wondering what exactly you find that is greatly evil in Communism?

Is it the atheistic ideology or the economic theory of it, or both?

He was right about Soviets infiltrating the government (Stalin even had moles in the Manhattan project). Too bad he accused everyone but the actual spies.

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They really cannot be separated, but I would say both. I could provide a more extensive list

A) state imposed atheism
B) the need to destroy all existing institutions
C) the denial of the dignity of an individual
D) the denial of the right to property
E) the lack of subsidiarity
F) the destruction of the family
G) the collectivization of agriculture

I could probably think of more, those are at the top of my list.
To all, please save your claims that these features are not necessitated by the economic system. We are talking about communism. These features are all described in the writings of Marx and Lenin, and they are common to every communist state that has existed.