Bill Donohue

The Disgraceful Bill Donohue

Say what you will about Bill Donohue, but the man never misses an opportunity to play the victim, even when the issue has nothing at all do with him or his mission and doing so is in disgracefully poor taste.

Take, for instance, this press release the Catholic League just put out:

According to The Australian, “dozens of bodies lined the streets” of three Christian villages in northern Nigeria. “Other victims of the weekend’s Muslim fury jammed a local morgue, the limbs of slaughtered children tangled in a grotesque mess.” Children were scalped, “most had severed hands and feet,” and “officials estimate that 500 people were massacred in night-time raids by rampaging Muslim gangs.” According to one eyewitness media account, “They then set homes on fire and attacked men, women and children. Many were decapitated.”

Now here is how CNN is reporting the story. “Gangs of machete-wielding Muslims have been blamed for the weekend slaughter of hundreds of Christian villagers in Nigeria, but analysts say it would be wrong to assume the conflict was rooted in religion.” Of course: When Muslims massacre Christians, religion never has anything to do with it.

“Some analysts,” the story continues, “believe the weekend slaughter was a revenge attack for the killing of around 150 members of the Hausa Muslim community by Christian mobs in Kuru Karama south of Jos, in January 2010.” Well, let’s see. Back in January, a U.N. media outlet reported that Muslim and Christian leaders in Kuru Karama, a predominantly Muslim village, “met to make a pact with the police to defend any attacks by outsiders.” But guess what happened? “Several hours later youths armed with machetes attacked the village.” And we know who likes machetes.

Donohue says "it’s time to stop viewing Muslim-Christian violence through the lens of moral equivalency" which apparently means that Muslims killing Christians in Nigeria is far, far worse than Christians killing Muslims in Nigeria.

If you read this Human Rights Watch report on the recent massacre, it says that hundreds of Christians were murdered by "Muslim men speaking Hausa and Fulani" and that "the attacks appeared to be in retaliation for previous attacks against Muslim communities in the area ... on January 19, more than 150 Muslim residents were killed in an attack on the nearby town of Kuru Karama."

This Human Rights Watch report on the January massacre states that more than one hundred Muslims were killed by Christians in an attack that was set off by either "an argument over the rebuilding of a Muslim home destroyed in the November 2008 violence in a predominately Christian neighborhood" or an "attack by Muslim youth on Christian worshippers in the Nassarawa Gwom district of Jos."

So the current massacre of Christians by Muslims is believed to be retribution for an earlier massacre of Muslims by Christians, all of which is wrapped up in a cycle of violence in which "more than 13,500 people have died in religious or ethnic clashes since the end of military rule in 1999."

But to Bill Donohue, it is little more than an opportunity to shamelessly exploit this tragic violence in order to claim that Muslims are bloodthirsty killers of Christians and that the media is somehow complicit in covering up this basic fact.

Donohue: When It Comes to Gays, the GOP Gets All Jittery and Inarticulate

Religious Right activists are predictably upset that Congressional Republicans didn't make more of an effort to prevent Washington, DC's marriage equality law from taking effect:

"I'll be straight with you: I think they could have done more," Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, said of Republican leaders. "We needed a vote, and we didn't get one."

...

"I haven't seen any effort by Senator Bennett to push the legislation, or by the Senate [Republican] leadership," said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of the Family Research Council Action.

There are obviously various reasons for why this happened, but Bill Donohue blames it on the fact that Republicans become "jittery" and inarticulate when it comes to speaking out against gays .... go figure: 

William Donohue, the president of the New-York based Catholic League, questioned the party's commitment to a traditional marriage agenda. "They have an inarticulateness about homosexuality that they don't have on economic issues," Mr. Donohue said. "They can talk on and on about the free market, but when it comes to gays, they're jittery."

You know who Republicans could learn from in overcoming their jittery inarticulateness when it comes to attacking gays?  Bill Donohue:

Honestly, is anyone surprised that a conservation between Pat Robertson and Bill Donohue discussing how "intellectually, morally, and spiritually bankrupt" liberals are trying to "tear down society" consists entirely of a five minute rant from Donohue declaring "we're not going to allow gay people to adopt children, that's against nature, it's against nature's god," saying that the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal was due entirely to gays, and finally asserting that those who don't share his views are nothing but "termites" who are "no more Christian than the Man on the Moon"

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Ryan Dobson says the only real difference between him and his dad, James Dobson, is a matter of style: "My dad and I believe virtually identically across the board, I think. Stylistically we have some differences, but as far as political, theological and sociological belief systems, we're fairly identical."
  • Rifqa Bary insists there is no chance of any sort of reconciliation between her and her parents.
  • Marco Rubio seems to have a history of charging personal expenses to the Florida GOP.
  • You know, I don't think Newt Gingrich has ever had a "real job," for that matter.
  • FRC's Tony Perkins says he was uninvited to a prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base because of his opposition to repealing DADT, and Bill Donohue is demanding an investigation.
  • Finally, a related quote of the day from Tony Perkins opposing repeal of DADT:  "People who are HIV-positive are not permitted to enlist in the military. But if someone on active duty becomes infected, they cannot be deployed in combat -- yet current policy also forbids them from being discharged. Since scientists have said that homosexuals and bisexuals are fifty times more likely to contract HIV, it is inevitable that welcoming them into the military will increase both medical costs and the number of personnel who are essentially dead weight within the force."

Connecting The Dots With Bill Donohue

You know, I must be stupid because I have absolutely no idea what is going on in this Catholic League press release:

Catholic League president Bill Donohue speaks to the Omnibus Spending Bill just passed by the Senate:

The Congress is now officially on record approving a bill that tells mothers in Washington, D.C. that if they decide to take their baby to term, and elect to send their child to a private school—just like the one that President Obama and his wife have chosen for their own children—they can do it on their own dime: the successful voucher scholarship program that 1,700 poor kids were enrolled in is now dead. But if these same mothers decide to abort their babies, the same government will rush to pay their bills.

Most of those affected are black. The bill will soon be signed into law by America’s first black president. Is there anyone so stupid not to understand what is going on?

President Obama hates school vouchers? Or black babies? Or mothers of black babies who might one day use school vouchers?

I'm utterly confused.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The right-wing anti-Jennings crusade gets covered by Fox News, which shoots down some of the unfounded allegations while giving the likes of Peter Sprigg and Peter LaBarbera an opportunity to sound off.
  • On a related note, MassResistance is taking credit for a myriad of the Jennings-related smears.
  • Al Mohler says it is his prayer that someone "can reach Tiger Woods with the Gospel of Jesus Christ" while Wendy Wright blames the saga on Nike's "Just Do It" slogan.
  • Peter LaBarbera hails Bill Keller ... yes, Bill Keller.
  • Bill Donohue takes credit for killing the remainder of the "His Dark Materials" film series.
  • A gaggle of right-wing leaders are calling on the Senate to reject the nomination of Louis Butler.
  • Sen. Jim DeMint says he couldn't support a gay or lesbian president: "“It would be bothersome to me just personally because I consider it immoral.”
  • Finally, I suspect that if we had posted this sort of photo of Dick Cheney, the Family Research Council would have had a fit: 

"Americans are Being Terrorized into Banishing Christmas"

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about the Liberty Counsel freaking out over this ad campaign from the American Humanist Association:

Liberty called the campaign a "temper tantrum" ... but the only ones throwing a temper tantrum are those on the Right, as the Texas Freedom Network points out by highlighting this statement from In God We Trust:

The national advocacy group In God We Trust today condemned efforts of national atheist organizations and left-wing legal groups aimed at terrorizing Americans into not celebrating Christmas.

“Americans have become accustomed to the whining and calls for censorship of anti-religion activists during the Christmas season,” says In God We Trust’s Chairman Bishop Council Nedd. “However, this year opponents of the holiday are escalating their ‘War on Christmas’ to a whole new level. Their goal is harass, mock and scare people into censoring themselves and hiding their Christmas celebrations.”

“Americans are being terrorized into banishing Christmas from public life,” Nedd warns. “The hate and venom spewing from some of these anti-religious groups is so great that some jurisdictions are tearing down even secular Christmas displays as fast as they can.”

And of course, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League is weighing in as well, blaming mean-spirited secular elitists for ruining Christmas ... and urging people to sue: 

Disputes about Christmas displays, he charged, are “contrived by elitists of a secular mindset.” They are “bringing forth every possible secular holiday that might fall in December and trying to give it equal billing with Christmas.”

According to Donohue, many Jews will acknowledge that Hanukkah is a minor holiday. He added that the Hindus he knows celebrate Christmas as part of being Americans.

“Now in the workplace, in the schools, we have to be ever-conscious of offending people who are not Christians,” he charged.

Donohue blamed this situation on the “language police” and diversity consultants, whom he claimed to be part of a $1 billion industry active in the private and public workplace.

“These people are the ones selling the propaganda that non-Christians are offended by Christian symbols in December. There is no evidence to this,” he said, reporting that about 96 percent of Americans do not object to Christmas displays or greetings.

He blamed Christmas disputes on “a very small percentage of mean-spirited people year after year.”

He suggested Catholics respond to the suppression of Christmas displays by filing lawsuits or showing up at town hall meetings and school board meetings when the displays become an issue.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Baltimore City Council has passed a measure requiring all crisis pregnancy centers to display signs stating they do not provide abortions or birth control referrals.
  • Rick Santorum continues to test the waters in the 2012 presidential pool.
  • Bill Donohue is mad at Chris Matthews ... and says Irish Catholics are rude.
  • The Eagle Forum wants everyone to thank Rep. Michelle Bachmann for being so awesome.
  • Finally, apropos of nothing: did you know that James Bopp's résumé is 38 pages long [PDF] and includes extracurricular activities from high school and college, the fact that he’s a longtime season ticket holder for Indiana University basketball, his birthday, and his marital status?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I, for one, can't wait for Ken Hutcherson's follow-up column: "I think Christians are the new Negro – but that's an issue for a follow-up column."
  • CafePress has decided to remove all Psalms 109:8 designs for its website.
  • The full text of Rick Scarborough's remarks at the anti-hate crimes legislation rally has been posted on his website.
  • You want a fight? Bill Donohue will give you a fight
  • Finally, this, amazingly, is not a joke:

What Say You Now, Bill Donohue?

Last month, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League appeared on The 700 Club to promote his new book, "Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America."

During the interview, the question of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church came up when Robertson asked if "all these scandals in the Catholic Church [were] part of this secular agenda to undermine to undermine the moral fabric of the church."  Donohue replied that indeed they were [the section begins around the 3:45 mark]:

There's no question that within the Catholic Church you have a you a left element ... I regard them as termites sitting within, trying to eat away the fabric of the Catholic Church.  So they lie about it in the Catholic Church, they say "oh, we had a pedophilia problem." It's been a homosexual problem all along. It's not my opinion, it's the actual data from the John Jay Criminal Justice System College [sic] here in New York City which looked at the data. I'm not saying homosexuality causes predatory behavior; I'm saying that most of the priests who have been predators have been homosexuals.

What do you supposed Donohue has to say about this?

A preliminary report commissioned by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops to investigate the clergy sex abuse scandal has found no evidence that gay priests are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the lead authors of the study said Tuesday.

The full report by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice won't be completed until the end of next year. But the authors said their evidence to date found no data indicating that homosexuality was a predictor of abuse.

"What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse," said Margaret Smith of John Jay College, in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now."

...

The bishops commissioned the $2 million study as part of widespread reforms they enacted at the height of the abuse crisis. The scandal erupted in 2002 with the case of one predator priest in the Archdiocese of Boston, then spread to every U.S. diocese and beyond.

Almost 14,000 molestation claims have been filed against Catholic clergy since 1950, according to tallies the bishops have released in recent years. Abuse-related costs have reached at least $2.3 billion in the same period.

At the meeting Tuesday, Bishop Edward Braxton of the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., asked the researchers whether their study indicated that homosexuality should be considered when evaluating a candidate for the priesthood. In 2005, the Vatican issued a policy statement that men with "deep-seated" attraction to other men should be barred from the priesthood.

Smith said: "If that exclusion were based on the fact that that person would be more probable than any other candidate to abuse, we do not find that at this time."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Pat Buchanan longs for the days when "Eisenhower's America [which] was a nation of 160 million with a Euro-Christian core and a culture all its own."
  • I am fascinated by how Carrie Prejean has managed to turn her egomania and victimization into a career.
  • Gary Bauer says nothing can stop President Obama from "making fundamental, unchangeable alterations in American society."
  • Newt Gingrich is no longer conservative about his religion.
  • Finally, Bill Donohue blasts President Obama for supposedly betraying Catholic Bishops. Apparently, Donohue thinks that even non-Catholics are obligated to do the Church's bidding.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

Right Wing Leftovers

  • FRC has sent a letter to Senators warning them that the organization will be scoring the vote on David Hamilton's nomination to the 7th Circuit.
  • Bill Donohue says the "War on Christmas" has already begun: "The declared enemy of these cultural fascists is religious speech, and they will stop at nothing to censor it."
  • Phyllis Schlafly says the nominations of Chai Feldblum and Cass Sunstein proves that President Obama supports polygamy.
  • Ed Rollins, who ran Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, owes more than $1.33 million in state and federal taxes.
  • Finally, Al Mohler: "The resurgence of paganism in our times is not the recovery of ancient traditions simply reasserted in a new age, but a selective New Age embrace of pagan symbols, themes, and practices in order to add "spirituality" to ideological movements such as feminism and the radical ecologists. The gynecological and pantheistic focus of ancient paganism is exactly what Judaism and Christianity rejected in full -- and the embrace of these ancient heresies is further evidence of the widespread rejection of Christianity."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Dick Cheney will endorse Kay Bailey Hutchison's campaign for Texas governor next month.
  • 7 in 10 people say Sarah Palin is not qualified to be President. What are those other 3 people thinking?
  • Bill Donohue does not like the phrase "opposite sex marriage." But then again, is there anything that Donohue does like?
  • Harry Jackson disputes the Washington Post's estimate of the crowd size at his "People's Rally," insisting that there were 2,000 people in attendance, rather than the 150 the Post estimated.
  • Finally, WorldNetDaily is now selling its Birther video for a mere $5, so stock up on gifts for the holiday season.

Right Wing Round-Up

What Do You Expect From Donohue and Robertson?

Honestly, is anyone surprised that a conservation between Pat Robertson and Bill Donohue discussing how "intellectually, morally, and spiritually bankrupt" liberals are trying to "tear down society" consists entirely of a five minute rant from Donohue declaring "we're not going to allow gay people to adopt children, that's against nature, it's against nature's god," saying that the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal was due entirely to gays, and finally asserting that those who don't share his views are nothing but "termites" who are "no more Christian than the Man on the Moon":

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Janet Porter's "nuclear option" is really rather pathetic.
  • A resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives to honor anti-abortion demonstrator Jim Pouillon, who was killed in Michigan earlier this month.
  • Sarah Palin's book will be entitled "Going Rogue" and is set to be released in mid-November.
  • Bill Donohue is not amused by International Blasphemy Day.
  • Finally, the Family Research Council released its anti-ENDA testimony, in which it claims that "homosexuality is [not] biologically determined" and "'transgender' people have a mental illness."

It's An Honor Just To Be Nominated

Catholic San Francisco reviews Bill Donohue's latest book, "Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America" and I have to say there is a sense of pride in finding out that we rank among the groups and people that he hates:

About saboteurs, for whom he uses “extremists,” “radicals” and “nihilists” as synonyms, Donohue writes, “The goal is not reform: it is an attempt to gut core beliefs and practices. And to a disturbing extent, the secularists have succeeded in turning things upside down and inside out.”

Among those he views as “the radical secular activists out to disable America” are the American Civil Liberties Union, Anti-Defamation League, People for the American Way, National Abortion Rights Defense League, Catholics for Choice and the Democratic Party. Lawyers and Hollywood are named, too. Regarding the latter, he uses films such as “Priest,” “Dogma,” “The Golden Compass” and “The Da Vinci Code,” and refers to the short-lived 1997 TV show “Nothing Sacred.” That chapter also includes an examination of the controversy that surrounded “The Passion of the Christ.”

Religious Right Demands Sanctions on Iran

Every once in a while, Religious Right leaders take a break from railing against abortion and gays and czars and death panels and whatever to weigh in on foreign policy issues, like back in 2007 when a group of them released a statement demanding that the US remain in Iraq, or last year when another group demanded a meeting with Barack Obama to discuss their ideas on how to defeat terrorism.

Now a similar group is back with a new letter demanding sanctions on Iran:

In a remarkable ecumenical and bipartisan display of unity, Christian leaders representing over 28 million evangelicals, Roman Catholics, and other Christians have sent a letter to Congress today and other key world leaders calling for urgent action to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The letter urges a total arms embargo and a cut off of exports of refined petroleum products, including gasoline, as a firm yet peaceful measure against the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

...

The leaders include Pat Robertson of Christian Broadcasting Network, Southern Baptist Convention chairman and pastor Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Charles Colson of the Prison Fellowship Ministries, Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, , Dr. Michael Youssef of Leading the Way, Dr. James Merritt of Cross Pointe Church, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Gary Bauer of American Values, and Dr. John Hagee of the Conerstone Church in San Antonio.

I'm not sure what is so "bipartisan" about this, since just about every person who signed their name to this appears to be a right-wing activist.  

But there was one interesting revelation among the signatories: 

Manuel Miranda, President, The Iraq Society

Presumably, that is this Manuel Miranda.

So Miranda is not only an expert on judges and immigration, but also on Iraq now?  Who knew?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I'd imagine that Penn and Tell might have some sort of objections to the Catholic League posting an entire episode of their Showtime program on their website.
  • In related news, Bill Donohue is hawking his latest book to the National Review.  The interview is every bit as insightful as you'd imagine.
  • Is Sarah Palin's upcoming speaking gig in Hong Kong an elaborate prank?
  • FRC says that fact that gays didn't rush to get married in Vermont proves that gays don't want to get married.
  • The Archdiocese of Washington wades into the effort to stop marriage equality in Washington, DC.
  • The Liberty Counsel is asking the Supreme Court to get involved in the organization's battle against the Florida Bar Association.
  • Finally, a Baptist pastor distances the church from the ravings of Steven L. Anderson.
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Bill Donohue Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 01/11/2013, 5:29pm
Roy Moore was sworn in as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court today, nine years after being removed from that very position for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse. How sad, the Tea Party is struggling to find a way to remain relevant. Bill Donohue says that "given [President] Obama’s ideology, perhaps it would make more sense for him to swear on Das Kapital" at his inauguration. Is Mark Sanford really contemplating a run for Congress? Finally, Glenn Beck and crew mock Alex Jones for crying and believing in crazy... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 10/12/2012, 4:26pm
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... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/27/2012, 4:34pm
Adele Stan @ AlterNet: 3 Big Lies in Religious-Right 'Voter Guide' Hitting 13 Million Cell Phones. Simon Maloy @ Media Matters: Jennifer Rubin: Obama's Terrorism Record Worse Than Bush's (9-11 Doesn't Count). Jeremy Hooper: Conservs (like Matt Barber) trying to pass off Obama '08 rally as a Romney '12 event. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: A topic Akin should try to avoid. Rosie Gray @ BuzzFeed: Catholic League Responds To Controversial Artwork With Obama Bobblehead And Fake Feces. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 09/07/2012, 11:45am
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/10/2012, 2:30pm
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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/09/2012, 3:30pm
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... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Tuesday 03/13/2012, 12:18pm
Catholic League president Bill Donohue is sick and tired of coddling rape victims. That’s why he supports efforts by lawyers for two Missouri priests accused of sexual abuse to cripple an organization that advocates on behalf of the victims of pedophile priests – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).  SNAP is not involved in the Missouri litigation, but the priests’ lawyers are seeking “more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Monday 11/28/2011, 12:28pm
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... MORE >