First off, my Tip of the Hat to some recent, cool converts to Catholicism. They just makes me want to say to non-Catholics (as Colbert would say): I Am Catholic (And So Can You!)!
Robert H. Bork: You may not remember him, but he was up for being a Supreme Court Justice but was rejected for being pro-life. Today he is a very active author of pro-life and pro-common sense legal philosophy. Get his books – especially Slouching Towards Gomorrah! Bork was originally a Protestant. And while I’m at it, here’s a Tip of the Hat to the only decent justices we have on the Supreme Court today (Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and I guess Kennedy). They all happen to be Catholic!
Francis Beckwith: Okay, so this is more a reversion than a conversion to Catholicism. Beckwith was raised a Catholic but left. After rising through the ranks of evangelicalism to become the president of the Evangelical Theological Society, he realized the truths of his Catholic Faith while still holding dear his evangelical spirit and returned to the Catholic Church. He recently published a book called: Return to Rome – Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic.
Dr. J. Budziszewski: An evangelical Christian and author of many profound books on the philosophy of law. He is a professor at the University of Texas. His books include The Revenge of Conscience and (the book I’m reading now) Written on the Heart – The Case for Natural Law. If you like politics, religion, and philosophy, this guy is for you! Furthermore, when he was still an evangelical he co-wrote a book about contraception and an attempt among Protestants to live without them.
Fr. Louis Boyer: A little older, he was a French Lutheran who converted to Catholicism in the early 20th century. He went on to become a priest, writing many superb books (read them! Get Liturgical Piety and The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism – classics!) on theology. He even went on to become a major player at the Second Vatican Council (rest assured, he was one of the good guys).
General William Rosecrans: Okay, not so recent. After converting because “it was the only logical thing to do,” Rosecrans would win key victories for the North during the Civil War. Had he accepted Lincoln’s invitation to be his running mate in the 1864 election, he would have been America’s first Catholic president after Lincoln’s assassination – and I’m sure the anti-Catholics would still be raving about some papal plot to take over America! In any case, his conversion brought about the conversion of his brother who became a priest and then the Archbishop of Columbus, Ohio!
G.K. Chesterton: When asked why he converted to Catholicism, he said plainly: “To get my sins forgiven.” Truly there is nothing like going to Confession and walking away having been told by Christ, your sins are forgiven. Apart from Confession there is simply a hop in one’s heart that their sins are forgiven. Confession gives us certainty. He does point out the odd fact that very rarely do Catholics themselves help others to convert! “There is many a convert who has reached a stage at which no word from any Protestant or pagan could any longer hold him back. Only the word from a Catholic can keep him from Catholicism.” Catholics tend to be horrible evangelizers – they are bad at speaking the truths of their Faith. In other words, they’re just lucky Catholicism can speak for itself!
Honorable Mentions: Dr. Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Sir Alec Guiness (that’s right, Obi Wan is Catholic), Dorothy Day, Malcolm Muggeridge, Dr. Peter Kreeft (my favorite author), Thomas Merton, Walker Percy, Edith Stein, J.R.R. Tolkien (the Lord of the Rings is Catholic!), and of course, John Wayne!
Wag of the Finger! This goes out to all those U.S. Catholic politicians who need to be excommunicated!
I’m just going to list some off: Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy (they say there are many “Kennedy Catholics” but very few “Catholic Kennedys”), and Tom Daschle. Daschle in particular irks me as he will be the head of the health department which is supposed to protect life, not purge it from existence! These “pro-choice” Catholics must be dealt with!
The coverts make we weep for joy – these Catholics just make me weep.