An ape-like Catholic nun is sewing together church and state. Get it? Thomas Nast not-to-subtle message is that American Catholics wanted to destroy the sacred system of separation of church and state. Indeed, a quick way to signal your anti-Catholic bona fides was to declare your support for separation. Note, too, the simian Irishman sneering at Liberty who is chained to a bucket of “fraudulent votes.” Protestants accused Catholics of wanting state money to subsidize Catholic schools, which did happen in New York City but rarely elsewhere. The more common fight: Catholics resisted Protestant attempts to force Catholic school children to read the King James version of the bible, which they viewed as a “mutilated” translation.
Source: Thomas Nast 1870