i grew up in the suburbs of New Orleans, near Lake Ponchartrain, west of the city. The area was called Metairie, which I only recently learned is a French word for a small farm. My parents both also grew up in Metairie, closer to the city, in what is referred to as Old Metairie. It is hard to describe Metairie any other way but as a white flight suburb. Perhaps not in the old days, but certainly when I was growing up there.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but the notable residents that first come to mind are David Duke (who I always note, is really from Oklahoma) and Steve Scalise, who attended my high school at the same time I did, although I don’t recall him. Now our new Supreme Court nominee is from Metairie, and attended the church my parents both attended and where they were married.
It is a bit unusual to me that my old neighborhood seems to be the go-to place to find a certain type of conservative. By “certain type” of conservative I mean one that holds fairly extreme views, but somehow puts a less extreme face on it.
I also happen to remember our new Supreme Court nominees religious group. They were a sort of offshoot of the Catholic Church that seemed to pick up some bits from smaller christian denominations in the south. I mostly remember the “speaking in tongues” part. It seemed odd to me at time I heard about it (I was probably all of 10 years old) and still seems odd to me today.
It also seemed to put the mainstream Catholic church in a bit of a bind. This group (I remember it being called Charasmatic Renewal) was essentially making up new rules outside of the otherwise strict traditional Catholic church that would not be particularly popular with the mainstream. I knew priests who attended their meetings, skeptically. I remember one priest who was a family friend who spoke several foreign languages. He joked that when they started speaking in a language he could understand, he would be impressed. The church clearly didn’t want to lose such enthusiastic supporters, but certainly kept a close eye on what they were doing.
I guess there is lots more to be said about the private views of political actors, especially ones with lifetime appointments, but I will leave that to others. From the Guardian (UK):