In 1906, Britain's Liberal party nominated man of letters Hillaire Belloc to stand for election as an MP in Salford. It was a throwaway nomination - Belloc was a French immigrant to the UK, only recently naturalized, and he was a Catholic running in an area that was heavily Methodist and that had never gone Liberal. Rather than trying to work around his religion,
as his campaign manager had advised, Belloc took the
occasion of "papist" taunts to make a memorable point.
According to literary journalist William Bryk, Belloc announced to a "packed hall" of constituents:
"Gentlemen, I am a Catholic. As far as possible, I go to Mass every
day." He reached into his pocket, pulled something out, and told them, "This is a rosary. As far as possible, I kneel down and tell these
beads, every day. If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that He has spared me the indignity of being your representative!"
An "absolute silence" was soon ended when the crowd "exploded with
applause." Belloc won, first as a Liberal MP then as an independent candidate.
On an added note, I HIGHLY Reccomend Belloc's Cautionary Verses. It includes such old favorites as "Jim, Who Ran Away From His Nurse and Was Eaten By a Lion." The Illustrations are also mildly twisted.
I got my copy at Powell's Books in Chicago-- I checked Amazon, It looks like it's out of print, so good luck finding it.
But in terms of warped children's literature, Belloc really belongs right up there with Edgar Gorey. =)