Catholic League

Donohue: No Institution 'Has Less Of A Problem' With Sexual Abuse Than The Catholic Church

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue was a guest on yesterday's edition of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV where he was asked by guest-host Ed Berliner what Pope Francis could do to "clean up the Catholic Church" and put an end to the sexual abuse of children within the church.

Donohue responded that there was not much the Pope could do ... mostly because sexual abuse of children is not a problem in the church any more.

"This problem that took place," Donohue asserted, "was between approximately 1965 and 1985. That coincides with the sexual revolution and then the discovery of AIDS in '81."

"What I am saying," he continued, "is that this problem has largely been checked."

Declaring that other institutions, such as public schools, have a much worse problem with sexual abuse than does the church, Donohue said there was no problem for Pope Francis to even address.

"So what can this Pope do? About what? I mean, I don't know of a single institution which has less of a problem, proportionately speaking, today than the Catholic Church when it comes to the sexual abuse of minors":

Bill Donohue Thinks His 'Straight Is Great' Contingent Would Have 'Overwhelmed' Pride Parade

The day before Catholic League head and anti-gay activist Bill Donohue announced that he wouldn’t participate in the NYC Pride Parade even though organizers accepted his application to lead a “Straight Is Great” parade contingent, Donohue told conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg that the parade organizers are maneuvering to keep him out of the parade because they are afraid his “Straight Is Great” message will catch on and flood the parade: “They know what they’re opening the door to: what if instead of getting 100 people, what if I get 3,000 people? What if we begin to overwhelm their parade and vetoes their message?”

Donohue said that he withdrew from the parade because he didn’t want to attend required training sessions for all group leaders.

“Quite frankly, as a straight guy, I don’t go to gay training sessions,” Donohue said. “I think I’m pretty much an untrainable guy when it comes to this thing.”

For the record, those “gay training sessions” that NYC Pride convenes aren’t quite as exciting as they sound: “We hold March information and safety sessions, referred to as group leader trainings, so our participants are fully aware of rules and procedures come event day. These trainings address line-up times, check-in locations, our moment of silence, dispersal activity, NYPD safety policies, attire and vehicle/sound permits. It is imperative group leaders know this information.”

Catholic League's Bill Donohue Wants To Lead 'Straight Is Great' Contingent At NYC Pride Parade

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League announced today that the controversy over the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade’s ban on LGBT groups has inspired him to apply to march at the New York pride parade with a “Straight Is Great” banner.

Donohue told conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg that if his application is approved he will “bring a big wedding cake” to the pride parade, in what he seems to think would be a slight to LGBT people.

Donohue told Malzberg that he’s had his “last pint” of Guinness after the beer company dropped its sponsorship of the St. Patrick’s Day parade over its anti-gay policy, adding that he will burn his Guinness cap. “I’m going to go after Guinness big time, nonstop, relentlessly,” Donohue said, arguing that the company is “trying to stick it to Roman Catholics.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/17/14

  • Donald Trump has decided not to run for governor of New York. Gee, who could have seen that coming?
  • Bill Keller wants to debate Bill Maher.
  • Matt Barber's latest column is exactly what you'd expect from Matt Barber.
  • You too can now add your name to the World Congress of Families' "World Family Declaration."
  • Bill Donohue is calling for a boycott of Guinness, Heineken, and Sam Adams.
  • Gordon Klingenschmitt says it is the Palestinians who are the real occupiers in Israel.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/1/13

Donohue: Gay Marriage 'One of the Most Bizarre Ideas in History'

NewsMax TV interviewed Bill Donohue of the Catholic League yesterday where he spent most of the interview explaining that he, like the Catholic Church, has no problem with gay people as long as they are celibate or married to someone of the opposite-sex. After Donohue argued that the only purpose of marriage is procreation, host David Nelson asked him what he thinks then of married heterosexual couples who can’t have children.

Donohue said there is nothing sinful about that…since they will serve as “ready substitutes” who will raise kids whose parents have died.

He then launched into a tirade against same-sex marriage, which he said is wrong because it doesn’t have enough support from religious groups and called it “one of the most bizarre ideas in history.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/22/13

Bill Donohue Claims Story about Abandoned 'Gay Dog' Proves that Homosexuality is a 'Bonus'

We’ve heard a lot of the Religious Right complaining about “special rights” for gays, but Bill Donohue of the Catholic League is taking that charge to a whole new level. Donohue reacted to a story about a woman, Stephanie Fryns, who rescued a dog from a kill shelter after a Facebook posting reported that the dog had been abandoned “because his owner says he’s gay.” According to ABC, Fryns said “she saw Elton on an adoption website and had made plans to rescue him even before his story went viral.”

The posting came from a Facebook group “which tries to find homes for dogs in kill-shelters,” but Donohue said that the shelter was behind the posting and suggested it had an unfair bias in favor of gay dogs.

Donohue claimed that “the shelter is not exactly inclusive in its policies” and maintained that the story is proof that “being gay is not only a bonus for humans these days” but also “a definite plus for dogs as well.” “As for straights, the lonely and the disabled, that’s another story altogether,” he said.

In the state of Washington, a debate is currently raging over whether to expand the list of conditions legalizing euthanasia to include those who are not terminally ill, as well as those who are mentally disabled.

By contrast, this week in Tennessee a dog was rescued from being euthanized (one news outlet said he was being spared “the Gas Chamber”) because the condition driving the dog’s death was his alleged homosexuality (the owner was ticked when he saw his Fido hunch another male dog). For reasons that appear entirely reasonable, the gal who rescued the dog named him Elton.

The place where Elton was dropped, Euthanasia Jackson TN, encourages dog adoption, but it also promotes dog euthanasia. Not, however, in Elton’s case: the shelter has no stomach for putting dogs down on the basis of sexual orientation. It must be said, though, that the shelter is not exactly inclusive in its policies. To wit: Had poor Elton not been identified as a homosexual, his heterosexuality would not have been enough to save his hide.

The moral of the story is: Being gay is not only a bonus for humans these days, it is a definite plus for dogs as well. As for straights, the lonely and the disabled, that’s another story altogether.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/12/12

  • Bill Donohue says that "listening to [Joe] Biden discuss his Catholicism is getting weary." We say that listening to Dononhue discuss anything is getting weary.
  • Mitt Romney has secured the coveted Lindsay Lohan endorsement.
  • Gun Owners of America has endorsed Joe the Plumber.
  • Hobby Lobby Appreciation Day does not seem to be taking off like Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day did.
  • Finally, the Liberty Institute has now launched something called "Texas Values" which vows to "to stand for biblical, Judeo-Christian values by ensuring Texas is a state in which religious liberty flourishes, families prosper, and every human life is valued."

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/27/12

Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Once Again Rise to the Defense of Pedophile Priests

In another shameful episode of the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue apologism of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Donohue played down the crimes of a Catholic priest, who in August “pleaded guilty to four counts of producing child pornography and one count of attempting to produce child pornography using girls as young as 2 years old,” and the Bishop who was convicted yesterday of shielding the priest. “The case did not involve child sexual abuse—no child was ever abused, or touched, in any way by Father Sean Ratigan,” Donohue said. “Nor did this case involve child pornography.” Following Bishop Robert Finn’s conviction, Donohue claimed that the “chorus of condemnations targeting Bishop Finn” are “as unfair as they are contrived.”

Let’s get rid of some myths. Bishop Finn was not found guilty of a felony: he was found guilty of one misdemeanor, and innocent of another. The case did not involve child sexual abuse—no child was ever abused, or touched, in any way by Father Sean Ratigan. Nor did this case involve child pornography. Here’s what happened.

On December 16, 2010, a computer technician found crotch-shot pictures of children, fully clothed, on Ratigan’s computer; there was one that showed a girl’s genitals exposed. The next day Ratigan attempted suicide. The Vicar General, Msgr. Robert Murphy, without seeing the photos, contacted a police officer about this matter. The officer, after consulting with another cop, said a single photo of a non-sexual nature would not constitute pornography. After a few more of the same types of photos were found, an attorney rendered the same judgment: they were not pornographic.

Finn then asked a psychiatrist to evaluate Ratigan. The bishop was given the judgment of a professional: the priest was not a risk to children (he was diagnosed as suffering from depression). Finn then placed restrictions on Ratigan, which he broke. When it was found that Ratigan was again using a computer, upon examination more disturbing photos were found. Murphy then called the cops (Finn was out of town) and a week later Ratigan was arrested. Yesterday, Finn was found guilty of one misdemeanor of failing to report suspected child sexual abuse.

The Catholic League supports harsh penalties for child sexual abusers, and for those who cover it up. But it also supports equal justice for all, and given what we know of what is going on in many other communities, religious as well as secular, we find the chorus of condemnations targeting Bishop Finn to be as unfair as they are contrived.

As the New York Times reported, Father Ratigan “had taken hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls,” including on the playground at the school which employed him and some of the photos even “show girls’ genitalia through their clothing.” The school’s principal sent the Bishop a letter noting that Ratigan “put a girl on his lap on a bus ride and encouraged children to reach into his pockets for candy, and that parents discovered girl’s underwear in a planter outside his house.”

The case began when the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a charismatic parish priest who had previously attracted attention for inappropriate behavior with children, took his laptop computer in for repairs in December 2010. A technician immediately told church officials that the laptop contained what appeared to be pornographic photographs of young girls’ genitals, naked and clothed.

Father Ratigan attempted suicide, survived and was sent for treatment. Bishop Finn reassigned him to live in a convent and ordered him stay away from children. But Father Ratigan continued to attend church events and take lewd pictures of girls for five more months, until church officials reported him in May 2011, without Bishop Finn’s approval. The bishop was found guilty on the charge relating only to that time period.

Father Ratigan pleaded guilty in August to federal child pornography charges, and is awaiting sentencing.

Ms. Peters Baker told the judge in opening arguments that Bishop Finn had been given ample warning that Father Ratigan was a danger to children. She said that the priest had even admitted to Bishop Finn that he had “a pornography problem.”

The prosecutor said: “Defendant Finn is the ultimate authority. The buck does stop with him.”

In May 2010, the principal of the Catholic elementary school where Father Ratigan was working sent a memo to the diocese raising alarm about the priest. The letter said that he had put a girl on his lap on a bus ride and encouraged children to reach into his pockets for candy, and that parents discovered girl’s underwear in a planter outside his house. Bishop Finn has said he did not read the letter until a year later.

The prosecutor said the photographs discovered on Father Ratigan’s laptop in December 2010 were “alarming photos,” among them a series taken on a playground in which the photographer moves in closer until the final shots show girls’ genitalia through their clothing. Confronted with the photographs, Father Ratigan tried to commit suicide, but survived and was briefly hospitalized.

Anti-Gay Extremists Unite to Denounce US Embassy for Backing Czech LGBT Pride Festival

The US Embassy in the Czech Republic, as part of the State Department’s new LGBT rights initiative, is supporting a pride festival in Prague “to address discriminatory behavior based on sexual orientation and to promote a tolerant civil society and equal opportunities in the Czech Republic.” Already irate over Secretary Hillary Clinton’s speech on LGBT rights, American Religious Right activists joined their European, African and Latin American allies to denounce the Obama administration for “aggressively promoting the ‘gay’ agenda internationally” and leading a campaign of “cultural imperialism” [PDF]:

At the directive of the president of the United States, Washington is aggressively promoting the “gay’’ agenda internationally, including same-sex “marriage” and the stigmatization and marginalization of any who object to the same.

The Obama’s administration’s embrace of “same-sex marriage” has been overwhelmingly rejected by the American people. There have been 32 state referenda on marriage. In every one of them, voters endorsed the natural definition of marriage (a man and a woman). The North Carolina vote, on May 8, was 61% in favor of natural marriage.



It stands to reason, then, that anything which undermines the family – including changing the definition of marriage – is a breach of the State’s responsibility to protect this indispensable institution which precedes government and makes a stable and free society possible.

The Madrid Declaration of World Congress of Families VI (May 25-27, 2012) --which was unanimously adopted by more than 3,200 delegates from 72 countries --provides, in part: “We affirm the natural family to be the union of a man and a woman through marriage for the purposes of sharing love and joy, propagating children, providing their moral education, building a vital home economy, offering security in times of trouble, and binding the generations.”

Regarding “gay rights,” those caught up in this lifestyle have the same rights as other citizens. This does not include the “right” to force others to validate a lifestyle they find objectionable, for religious or other reasons. It also does not include the right of men to marry men and women to marry women.

The foregoing pseudo-rights do not advance human freedom and dignity but debase them.

We can not imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism than Washington trying to force approval of the “gay” agenda on societies with traditional values.

The list of signatories is mighty long, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay; Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Matt Barber; American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon; Catholic League’s Bill Donohue; Vision America’s Rick Scarborough; Rabbi Daniel Lapin; American Civil Rights Union’s Robert Knight; Concerned Women for America’s Janice Shaw Crouse; Pastor Jim Garlow; WND’s David Kupelian; TFP’s C. Preston Noell III; conservative activist Richard Viguerie; World Congress of Families’ Don Feder; Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell; Traditional Values Coalition’s Louis Sheldon and Andrea Lafferty; and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Paige Peterson.

Other activists like Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, Scott Lively of Defend the Family International and Sharon Slater of Family Watch International are also among the signatories, as is Mission America’s Linda Harvey, who believes people should refuse care for themselves and their children from openly gay doctors and nurses:

Another signatory was Yehuda Levin has claimed that gay marriage caused last year’s D.C. earthquake and linked gay rights to the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake:

The list even included former chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, who performs gay exorcisms:

Religious Right Slams Obama for Backing Marriage Equality

While gay conservative groups have come out attacking President Obama for endorsing marriage equality today, Religious Right groups have also started to berate Obama on the issue.

Tony Perkins of Family Research Council said Obama’s position has handed Mitt Romney “the key to social conservative support”:

The President's announcement today that he supports legalizing same-sex marriage finally brings his words in sync with his actions. From opposing state marriage amendments to refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) to giving taxpayer funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the President has undermined the spirit if not the letter of the law.

As demonstrated by yesterday's overwhelming vote in North Carolina, redefining marriage remains outside the mainstream of American politics, especially in the critical battleground states and among minority voters. In North Carolina, the amendment received more than 60 percent of the vote in majority-black counties.

Considering that ten of the sixteen battleground states have marriage amendments that could be overturned by the President's new policy position on marriage, today's announcement almost ensures that marriage will again be a major issue in the presidential election.

The President has provided a clear contrast between him and his challenger Mitt Romney. Romney, who has signed a pledge to support a marriage protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution, may have been handed the key to social conservative support by President Obama.

American Values head and former FRC president Gary Bauer claimed to be perplexed that Obama “is spending even one second of his time thinking about how and to radically transform the institution of marriage”:

The charade is finally up. We've always known that Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage. With every action he's taken, from court appointments to his rhetoric, he's been preparing the way to undermine traditional marriage. Obama's finally made that support explicit.

Every American who can't find work, whose home is under water or who can't afford to fill up his gas tank should be wondering why the president is spending even one second of his time thinking about how and to radically transform the institution of marriage. It's a political move meant to energize his left-wing base and distract Americans from his disastrous economic policies."

Bauer later commented in an email to supporters that Obama “may have just lost the presidency”:

President Obama just told ABC News that he now supports same-sex marriage. Surprised? Didn’t think so. Obama is no doubt hoping to energize his leftwing base. And he is betting this will help him to re-energize the youth vote this November. But in fact he may have just lost the presidency.

Attention Republican Party: Obama’s announcement is a chance for boldness. There are many Republicans who would rather not talk about this issue. But if the GOP confronts Obama over marriage, it could make him a one-term president. If Republicans allow Obama to exploit this issue, then it could prove decisive for him. Republicans need to remember that if their candidates can manage to win as much of the vote as the state marriage amendments have received in 31 states, they will win in a landslide in November.
...
Now look at North Carolina. It is considered a swing state. Obama won it by only 14,000 votes in 2008 – and it is a high priority for the Dems this year, which is why they are holding their national convention in Charlotte and why he has visited the state repeatedly. This morning Obama might be second guessing that Charlotte venue.

Voters in North Carolina passed a marriage amendment yesterday, making clear that marriage is one man and one woman. Obama, Biden and the entire media establishment opposed the amendment. Bill Clinton did robo calls opposing the measure. The voters felt otherwise by a 61% to 39% vote – a huge landslide and a record turnout. Current polls have Romney beating Obama in North Carolina by only two points! Governor Romney should look at the results of the marriage issue. He can win North Carolina by a landslide if he takes on Obama on this issue.

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage pledged to defeat Obama and warned, "God is the author of marriage, and we will not let an activist politician like Barack Obama who is beholden to gay marriage activists for campaign financing to turn marriage into something political that can be redefined according to presidential whim”:

President Obama has now made the definition of marriage a defining issue in the presidential contest, especially in swing states like Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Nevada. Voters in all these states, and over two dozen more, have adopted state constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. President Obama says that although he personally supports gay marriage, he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. However, that is completely disingenuous. His administration is already trying to dismantle the nation's marriage laws by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. All the state marriage amendments and laws are at risk under a president who actively wants to change the definition of marriage. NOM will work ceaselessly in these swing states and across the nation to preserve traditional marriage because it is profoundly in the public good to do so. God is the author of marriage, and we will not let an activist politician like Barack Obama who is beholden to gay marriage activists for campaign financing to turn marriage into something political that can be redefined according to presidential whim. The definition of marriage was already headed for the ballot in four states this fall; now it will be one of the defining issues of the presidential election. No state in this country has ever voted for gay marriage. Just yesterday North Carolina voters sent a clear message that America wants to preserve marriage. We intend to win the marriage debate this November.

The Traditional Values Coalition president Andrea Lafferty maintained Obama’s view on marriage equality displays his “radical ideology”:

This isn’t exactly a bold move by the president. Forced by Joe Biden’s big mouth, Obama had no choice left but to publicly embrace an agenda he has privately promoted for years.

I’ve been saying this for the last four years. Obama has always been in favor of homosexual marriage, but was forced to keep his enthusiasm at a distance for fear of offending the American public.

Obama needs new friends. His leadership has completely alienated Wall Street, financial investors, small businesses, soccer moms, and virtually every other constituency by pushing his radical ideology at a time when America needed principled leadership. Who better to appease than the LGBT community with tons of disposable income to fund his re-election campaign?

North Carolina just became the 31st state to affirm the sanctity of marriage. As if mainstream Americans needed any further reasons to reject Obama’s radical social agenda, we were most certainly reminded today.

Matt Smith of the Catholic Advocate said Obama’s support for marriage equality is part of “an anti-Catholic agenda”:

Once again, the President is spending time advancing an anti-Catholic agenda. Marriage was created long before any government came into existence. It is a settled issue in the eyes of the Catholic Church and should not be redefined.

First, the Obama administration takes away grant money helping victims of sex-trafficking over the Church refusing to refer the victims for abortions. Then the Obama administration violates our religious liberties by forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization as the President's health care law is being implemented. And now, should his advocacy for same-sex marriage succeed, Catholic institutions could be forced once again to violate our beliefs.

Many faithful Catholics were fooled by clever political rhetoric in 2008. This year, the anti-Catholic record of the Obama administration should inform their vote."

Rob Schenck of the Faith and Action commented: “Frankly, I question whether he really does in his heart-of-hearts. Maybe I'm naive, but, if I'm right, it's even worse, because it means he has surrendered a moral conviction for political expediency. Very wrong and very sad.”

Update: Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed said the announcement shows the President is “tone-deaf and out-of-touch with the time-honored values of millions of Americans”:

Four years ago 2008 Barack Obama promised if elected not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000, pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term — and made clear his support for traditional marriage. All those promises are now broken.

At a time of high unemployment and severe economic distress, President Obama chose the week he launched his re-election campaign to flip-flop on same-sex marriage.

Combined with his administration’s opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, it reveals a president who is tone-deaf and out-of-touch with the time-honored values of millions of Americans. This is an unanticipated gift to the Romney campaign. It is certain to fuel a record turnout of voters of faith to the polls this November.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League claimed Obama “has fully broken with his Christian moorings” and suggested he also favors polygamy:

In 1996, when Barack Obama was up for a state senate post in Illinois, he said he supported gay marriage. Eight years later, when he set his sights on the U.S. Senate, he discovered his Christian roots and said he was against it. In 2008, he said he was opposed to homosexuals marrying, but he also opposed a ballot initiative in California, Proposition 8, that affirmed marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman. In other words, his Christian roots were losing their grip. Since then he’s been “evolving.” Now the evolution is over and he has fully broken with his Christian moorings.

The president of the United States likes the idea of Tom and Dick marrying. He did not say whether he supports Tom, Dick and Harry marrying, or whether he is “evolving” in that direction. Perhaps he has to consult with his mentor on this issue, Mr. Joseph Biden of Delaware.

Yesterday, North Carolina voters affirmed marriage as being between a man and a woman. In the 32 times voters have been asked to decide this issue, they have voted 32 times to support traditional marriage. Gay rights advocates have never won.

President Obama will be hurt by this decision in the swing states. More than that, he has now made this cultural matter a major issue in the presidential campaign.

The time has finally come to pass a constitutional amendment affirming marriage as an institution reserved to the only two people who can naturally produce a family, namely a man and a woman.

NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher, now with the Culture War Victory Fund, writes:

On the one hand, morally this is good because lying to the American people is always wrong. President Obama has come clean that he is for gay marriage. Politically, we welcome this. We think it's a huge mistake. President Obama is choosing the money over the voters the day after 61 percent of North Carolinians in a key swing state demonstrated they oppose gay marriage. We now have clear choice between Romney and Obama, and we look forward to demonstrating in November that it's a bad idea for a national candidate to support gay marriage. Marriage is a winning issue for the GOP.

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon tells OneNewsNow:

[He] has finally come out of the closet, if you will, on the homosexual marriage issue. He's in favor of it. He always has been. The only reason he didn't say anything about it before the election last time is because he didn't want to hurt himself [politically].

President Obama, [in] his first year in office, had the homosexual activists to the White House for a dinner and he promised them he would be their 'champion' -- and so he is coming through for them on many different fronts, including the military, changing the military to allow open homosexuality there.

Jim Campbell of the Alliance Defense Fund said his endorsement “promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes”:

This shows that the Obama administration doesn’t understand the public purpose of marriage. Marriage–the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman–is the building block of a thriving society. It’s not something that politicians should attempt to redefine for political purposes. The president has spoken eloquently about how fatherless homes often hurt children and society. Today’s statement is a tragic contradiction that promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes.

Liberty Counsel Action released a statement [pdf] from chairman Mathew Staver, who said the country under Obama’s leadership is “headed to disaster”:

“The President has made the issues in this election very clear,” said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action. “Today, Governor Mitt Romney said he unequivocally supports natural marriage and opposes ‘marriage between people of the same gender,’ drawing a stark contrast in the upcoming election. For most voters, this election will now be an easy choice,” said Staver.

The decision by the President is not a surprise. He needs to appeal to his far-left base that helped propel him to the White House in 2008 but whose support has weakened in 2012.

“We are six months away from arguably the most critical national election in our lifetime,” said Mat Staver. “America is headed in the wrong direction: we are on the edge of a moral, financial, spiritual, and national security abyss. President Obama’s 2012 campaign slogan is ‘Forward.’ The Titanic was moving forward but headed to disaster. We need to change course.”

Catholic League’s Bill Donohue Cries out for Attention

Last Friday, PFAW Foundation president Michael Keegan invited Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to a public debate on arts censorship and religious liberty in light of the controversy over a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. The invitation still stands, and we look forward to a productive and substantive conversation with Bishop DiMarzio.

In the meantime though, the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue – who fancies himself a spokesperson for the church and, for that matter, all Catholic Americans – has issued us a self-serving challenge to debate him instead. In another century, a guy like Donohue might have challenged us to a duel. With his typical arrogance, Donohue writes (PDF):
Please be advised that I am in a win-win situation and you are in a lose-lose. If you say yes, you will lose the debate. If you say no, I will tell the entire world. I expect an answer by December 9, three weeks from today.
In fact, debating Donohue would be the lose-lose. Donohue is a press hound of the worst sort who feeds off contrived controversies. He has also demonstrated an utter inability to carry on a civil conversation with those who don’t agree with his distorted world view. Instead he engages in personal attacks and intellectually dishonest diatribes. It would be a mistake to provide any more oxygen to Donohue’s one-man outrage machine. So we won’t.
 
If anyone needs a reminder of Bill Donohue’s views, here are just a few of his “greatest hits”:
  • “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it… Hollywood likes anal sex... I like families. I like children. They like abortions.” – link
  • “It’s unfortunate that we have [progressive Catholics], I regard them as termites.” – link
  • “Why did this young man not object earlier? Why did he allow the ‘abuse’ to continue until he was 18? The use of the quotes is deliberate: the charge against the former priest is not rape, but rubbing. While still objectionable, there is a glacial difference between being rubbed and raped.” – link
  • “There is a huge difference between being groped and being raped, so which was it Mr. Foley? Second, why didn’t you just smack the clergyman in the face? After all, most 15-year-old teenage boys wouldn’t allow themselves to be molested. So why did you?” – link
  • “Gays were all of a sudden worrying if people would start aborting kids when they found out the DNA suggested the kid might be gay or God forbid, we'd run out of little gay kids, so all of a sudden, they became pro-life.” – link
  • “Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style.” – link
  • “What about the gook jokes? I want to know, why don't you have a sense of humor about gook jokes?” – link

 

Religious Right Abandons Brooklyn Museum Protests – Anti-Da Vinci Code Group and Pro-Censorship Artist Carry on the Fight

Last year, when the Smithsonian hosted “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” a groundbreaking exhibit exploring gay and lesbian themes in American art, the Religious Right unified in protest. Inspired by a CNSNews story titled “Smithsonian Christmas-Season Exhibit Features Ant-Covered Jesus, Naked Brothers Kissing, Genitalia, and Ellen DeGeneres Grabbing Her Breasts,” and egged on by the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, the campaign against the exhibit quickly gained the support of soon-to-be House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Within a day they succeeded in pressuring the Smithsonian to remove the most controversial work from the exhibit, David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly.

Last week, the exhibit opened at the Brooklyn Museum, famously the site of the Giuliani-fueled controversy over the 1999 “Sensation” show. Within days, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn sent a letter to the museum protesting the exhibit, and a small coalition of GOP elected officials followed up with a letter accusing the museum of “Christian-bashing.” New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser also weighed in, calling the Wojnarwicz work “a revolting piece of slime.”

However, the museum hasn’t budged in its support for the show, and the Right’s efforts to censor the work have mostly fizzled. Donohue himself has decided it’s not worth expending too much effort –instead simply issuing a statement reiterating his disgust with the exhibit and accusing Wojnarowicz of bringing about his own death from AIDS.

Left to fill the vacuum so far have been a far-right Catholic group inspired by a Brazilian fascist movement and an artist who was previously known for painting a heroic George W. Bush on horseback holding Osama bin Laden’s severed head.

On Sunday,America Needs Fatima, a campaign of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP), held a protest in front of the museum. TFP is a spin-off of a Brazilian movement that has been called “neo-fascist.” TFP’s foundational text is a treatise by founder Plinio Correa de Oliveira, which argues that the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and Communism have in their turn undone a natural order that must be restored. While the main American branch of TFP mostly focuses on anti-gay propaganda [pdf], America Needs Fatima is dedicated to organizing “anti-blasphemy” campaigns against targets like The Da Vinci Code, editorial cartoons and Madonna’s planned performance at the 2012 Super Bowl.

The other notable protest against the Brooklyn Museum has been that of Staten Island artist Scott LoBaido, who was thrown out of the museum after showing up with a painting of the museum’s director sitting on a toilet filled with green muck. LoBaido has been protesting art that he sees as blasphemous since at least 1999, when he was arrested for throwing horse manure at the Brooklyn Museum to protest the “Sensation” exhibit. His own work is not always negative, though. Along with his year-long project painting flags on rooftops across America, LoBaido has created fawning, heroic portraits of Ronald Reagan and of George W. Bush brandishing the head of Osama bin Laden.

 

Republicans Advocate Censorship Of New York Exhibit

On Friday, the Brooklyn Museum will begin hosting “Hide/Seek,” an exhibit about the experience of gays and lesbians in American art that provoked a firestorm of criticism from the Religious Right when it opened at the National Portrait Gallery last year. The New York museum has decided to include in its show A Fire in My Belly, the compilation of video work by the late artist David Wojnarowicz that was ultimately removed from the National Portrait Gallery show. Now, in what feels like a replay of last year’s drama at the Smithsonian, Republican politicians in New York are attacking the Brooklyn Museum for hosting “Hide/Seek” and Wojnarowicz’s work and demanding that it censor the exhibit.

The film A Fire In My Belly, a compilation of surrealist film footage exploring the suffering of people with HIV/AIDS, which was pulled from the National Portrait Gallery following complaints from Republican and Religious Right figures. While the Brooklyn Museum is defending itself from censorship proponents, Republican politicians are beginning to make threats against the museum. Republican state senator Andrew Lanza introduced legislation to have the government withdraw “all public funding of the museum”:

“It is outrageous for an institution that accepts funding from city, state and federal governments to display content that is so blatantly disrespectful and offensive to Christians during the holiday season,” said Senator Andrew Lanza. “Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for hatred and ignorance.”

Senator Lanza believes that the actions of the Museum are analogous to a hate crime. He is calling for all public funding of the museum to be withdrawn.

Rep. Michael Grimm, Councilman James Oddo, Councilman Vincent Ignizio, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, Assemblyman Lou Tobacco and Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro signed onto a letter condemning the exhibit:

In 1999, the Museum presented the shock art exhibit “Sensation,” which featured a painting of the Blessed Mother Mary surrounded by pornographic images and covered in elephant dung. This week, the Museum is opening another controversial exhibit, “Hide/Seek,” which will include a film featuring ants crawling over the image of Jesus on a crucifix – just in time for the Christmas season. This is not art, this is Christian-bashing. This is an outrageous use of taxpayer money by the nation’s second-largest art museum, and an obvious attempt to offend Christians on the eve of one of the holiest times of the Christian faith. … As I’m sure you’re aware, this sacrilegious film was pulled from an exhibit at the Smithsonian last year after House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor objected to the use of taxpayer dollars to show a film patently offensive to Christians. I respectfully request that you do the same.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, who led the charge to censor the Smithsonian exhibit, condemned the New York exhibit in a statement. “The fact is that the artist who made the vile video died of self-inflicted wounds: he died of AIDS,” Donohue writes. “The homosexual, David Wojnarowicz, hated the Catholic Church (had he lived by its teachings, he would not have self-destructed.”

For Arnold Lehman, there is no such thing as anti-Catholic art. Catholics who disagree are apparently too stupid to appreciate the complexities of these masterpieces. For example, in 1999 Lehman said it was not anti-Catholic for an artist to smear elephant dung and pornographic pictures on a portrait of Our Blessed Mother (he loved the “Sensation” exhibition). Now he says that a video featuring large ants crawling all over Jesus on the Cross is actually a statement about “human suffering and death.” Guess us stupid Catholics missed that one, too.



The fact is that the artist who made the vile video died of self-inflicted wounds: he died of AIDS. The homosexual, David Wojnarowicz, hated the Catholic Church (had he lived by its teachings, he would not have self-destructed). He once referred to Cardinal John O’Connor as a “fat cannibal,” and labeled the Catholic Church a “house of walking swastikas.” Sounds like the words of a bigot. But perhaps I’m too stupid not to understand that they were really meant to endear the artist to the Catholic community.

Bill Donohue Condemns Jeffress As A "Poster Boy For Hatred"

Last week we posted audio of Robert Jeffress, the prominent Rick Perry endorser who introduced the candidate at the Values Voter Summit, condemning the Roman Catholic faith as a “counterfeit religion” that represents “the genius of Satan” in a sermon last year. Jeffress linked the Catholic Church to a Satanic “Babylonian mystery religion” that worshiped a fish god and warned that Catholics will “miss eternal life” because of their religion’s supposed paganism:

Catholicism isn’t the only religion that has encountered hostility from Jeffress: he is best known for calling Mormonism a cult that is “from the pit of Hell.” He has argued that Hindus, Muslims and Jews are also destined for Hell.

Today, right-wing Catholic activist Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights released a statement slamming Jeffress for having “demonized” the Catholic faith. In 2008, Donohue called on John McCain to renounce one of his endorsers, John Hagee, who has a history of anti-Catholic rhetoric and once said that God sent Hitler to be a “hunter” of Jews. While McCain ultimately rejected Hagee’s endorsement, Perry has so far refused to disavow Jeffress:

Last Friday, Rev. Robert Jeffress, the Dallas pastor who introduced Gov. Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit, spoke derisively about the Mormon faith of Mitt Romney, making the case that “Mormonism is a cult.” Two days later, he chided Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as “false religions.”

Last year, Rev. Jeffress said the Roman Catholic Church was the outgrowth of a “corruption” called the “Babylonian mystery.” He continued, “Much of what you see in the Catholic Church today doesn’t come from God’s word. It comes from that cult-like pagan religion. Isn’t that the genius of Satan?”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue offered these remarks today:

Where did they find this guy? When theological differences are demonized by the faithful of any religion—never mind by a clergyman—it makes a mockery of their own religion. Rev. Jeffress is a poster boy for hatred, not Christianity.

Donohue Likens LGBT Rights Movement To Apartheid, Denies Ever Leading Pressure Campaigns

The Catholic League has rallied to the defense of their anti-gay allies the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family as a reaction to a campaign by LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates to have corporations drop out of the Charity Give Back Group, which sponsors the FRC and Focus. The Charity Give Back Group (formerly known as the Christian Values Network) allows customers to shop in a virtual mall and direct proceeds to CGBG affiliated groups, which led to complaints as a number of the CGBG’s charities are actually anti-choice and anti-gay political groups.

Yesterday, Bill Donohue joined Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, on his radio program Washington Watch. “Radical proponents of gay marriage have taken the culture war to the marketplace,” Donohue said in a statement on the CGBG controversy, charging them with declaring “economic war against any organization that embraces the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage.” He told activists: “If these extremists get their way, they will silence the Christian voice. Which is why the bullies must be defeated.”

Of course, it is ironic for the Catholic League to accuse “extremists” of trying to “silence” the voices of their opponents, seeing as that Donohue led the successful push for the Smithsonian to censor their exhibit on LGBT-themed art.

But the irony doesn’t end there.

During his interview with Perkins, Donohue denied that Religious Right organizations like the Catholic League or the Family Research Council lead similar pressure campaigns, saying “our side doesn’t do likewise,” continuing, “I don’t want people to say, ‘oh well you know Catholics and Protestants and Christians in general when we don’t get our way we try to do the same thing through retaliation,’ we do not.” He asserted, “we’re not asking companies, corporations to take sides in the culture war…we’re not asking for reprisal against those people with whom we disagree, we just leave the marketplace to itself.”

Donohue also warned Perkins that just as South Africa’s white minority held power for decades under the racist Apartheid system, supporters of gay rights can do the same in America:

If people don’t realize what we’re up against here, they may be a minority but you know it was a minority of people in South Africa who took away the rights of Black people. You can be a well-organized minority in this country here such as those on the left, gay and straight alike, and have a tremendous amount of influence if you have this lust and appetite for power.

While we already know that the Family Research Council backed pressure campaigns against companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds, the Catholic League under Donohue has led countless boycotts and pressure campaigns.

Here are some of the companies and programs that Donohue launched what he would call “retaliation” and “reprisal” campaigns against: Disney; 20th Century Fox; Wal-Mart; ‘The Golden Compass;’ Miller; Showtime, and CBS, which it promised to face the “biggest boycott in history” if CBS hired Howard Stern.

So remember, when LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates ask companies to drop out of a service that directs money to right-wing political organizations, it’s “economic war,” but when Religious Right groups lead boycotts and pressure campaigns against companies, they are simply standing up for their values.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: PFAW Applauds Ruling on Arizona Immigration Law.
  • Good As You: Of course NOM's misrepping Louis' role. It's the one constant of the Brown/Marinelli marriage.
  • Alan Colmes: Sarah Palin Encourages Donald Trump’s Birther Fantasies.
  • Towleroad: Catholic League Takes Out Full-Page Ad in NYT Blaming Priest Abuse on Homosexuality.
  • Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: As Bachmann Preps For Speech To Family Leader, Her Political Director Calls Group’s Claim About Gays ‘Absurd.’
  • Equality Matters: Linda Harvey: Day Of Silence Creates "Hitler Youth Product."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • PFAW asks Gingrich, Huckabee & Barbour to tell Bryan Fischer what the First Amendment really says.
  • Bill Donohue of the Catholic League reacts to the new play “The Book of Mormon.”
  • Peter LaBarbera uses Apple controversy to rant against “homo-fascism.”
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Catholic League Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 04/15/2014, 12:05pm
The Catholic League's Bill Donohue was a guest on yesterday's edition of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV where he was asked by guest-host Ed Berliner what Pope Francis could do to "clean up the Catholic Church" and put an end to the sexual abuse of children within the church. Donohue responded that there was not much the Pope could do ... mostly because sexual abuse of children is not a problem in the church any more. "This problem that took place," Donohue asserted, "was between approximately 1965 and 1985. That coincides with the sexual... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/25/2014, 1:35pm
The day before Catholic League head and anti-gay activist Bill Donohue announced that he wouldn’t participate in the NYC Pride Parade even though organizers accepted his application to lead a “Straight Is Great” parade contingent, Donohue told conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg that the parade organizers are maneuvering to keep him out of the parade because they are afraid his “Straight Is Great” message will catch on and flood the parade: “They know what they’re opening the door to: what if instead of getting 100 people, what if I get 3,000... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/19/2014, 5:10pm
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League announced today that the controversy over the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade’s ban on LGBT groups has inspired him to apply to march at the New York pride parade with a “Straight Is Great” banner. Donohue told conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg that if his application is approved he will “bring a big wedding cake” to the pride parade, in what he seems to think would be a slight to LGBT people. Donohue told Malzberg that he’s had his “last pint” of Guinness after the beer company dropped its... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/17/2014, 5:30pm
Donald Trump has decided not to run for governor of New York. Gee, who could have seen that coming? Bill Keller wants to debate Bill Maher. Matt Barber's latest column is exactly what you'd expect from Matt Barber. You too can now add your name to the World Congress of Families' "World Family Declaration." Bill Donohue is calling for a boycott of Guinness, Heineken, and Sam Adams. Gordon Klingenschmitt says it is the Palestinians who are the real occupiers in Israel. MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/01/2013, 5:37pm
Matt Gertz @ Media Matters: 60 Minutes Benghazi Report Takes A Huge Credibility Hit. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Defense Secretary Orders States To Provide Same-Sex Benefits To National Guard Servicemembers. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Catholic League’s Bill Donohue: ‘Intelligent People Normally’ Believe in God. Jeremy Hooper: Professional anti-gay would appreciate it if you stop stealing his English language; he owns it—it's his. Towleroad: Sally Kern Weighs in as Oklahoma Tribe Hosts Third Gay Marriage: 'I Find It Kind of Sad.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/31/2013, 3:10pm
NewsMax TV interviewed Bill Donohue of the Catholic League yesterday where he spent most of the interview explaining that he, like the Catholic Church, has no problem with gay people as long as they are celibate or married to someone of the opposite-sex. After Donohue argued that the only purpose of marriage is procreation, host David Nelson asked him what he thinks then of married heterosexual couples who can’t have children. Donohue said there is nothing sinful about that…since they will serve as “ready substitutes” who will raise kids whose parents have died. He... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/22/2013, 6:50pm
Jane Mayer @ The New Yorker: Is Senator Ted Cruz Our New McCarthy? Stephanie Mencimer @ Mother Jones: Tea Party Group Behind Saturday’s Gun Rallies Under Fire.   David Weigel @ Slate: The Most Misleading Number About the Tea Party and the Senate. Andrew Leonard @ Salon: Conservatives declare war on college. Eric Boehlert @ Media Matters: The Bush Years And What A ‘Lapdog’ Press Really Looked Like.  Aviva Shen @ Think Progress: House Republicans Strip Protections From LGBT Victims In New Violence Against Women Act. Mark Silk... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/31/2013, 5:30pm
We’ve heard a lot of the Religious Right complaining about “special rights” for gays, but Bill Donohue of the Catholic League is taking that charge to a whole new level. Donohue reacted to a story about a woman, Stephanie Fryns, who rescued a dog from a kill shelter after a Facebook posting reported that the dog had been abandoned “because his owner says he’s gay.” According to ABC, Fryns said “she saw Elton on an adoption website and had made plans to rescue him even before his story went viral.” The posting came from a Facebook group “... MORE >