In order to come to symbolic comprehension of the Catholic-Protestant antithesis one must compare two paintings: the Birth of Venus by Botticelli and American Gothic by Grant Wood. The Birth of Venus follows a pagan pattern, but every sensitive person will perceive that this is a Christian Venus, surrounded by a hardly perceptible glow of sensuality, yet expressing a real synthesis of Eros and Agape, earthly and divine love. She is a "baptized" Venus. The painting of Grant Wood shows us a very Protestant American farmer and his wife with a white, Gothic wooden church in the background.The man holds in his hand a pitchfork with painfully pointed prongs. His balding pate, his thin lips, his clean spectacles no less than his prim and severe wife at his side frightened no less a man than Albert Jay Nock.The outcry of bigots which could be heard at the end of the 19th century that the Democratic Party in New York stood for "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion" was somehow not without substance when we translate this accusation with "Joie de vivre, Catholicism and Individualism." To our ears, at least, the reverse — "Prohibition, Protestantism and Prostration" — hardly sounds more attractive.This is by no means an "original theory", but a thesis alluded to by D. H. Lawrence and Everett Dean Martin, who emphasized the fact that Americans have tried to flee the Middle Ages, but never "thought themselves out of them."
Erik Kuenheldt-Leddihn, Liberty or Equality