One of the rare pleasures of watching the Religious Right incessantly criticize everyone who doesn’t share their views and regularly accuse everyone else of insulting God is when they stop aiming those attacks at Democrats and liberals for one moment to and start attacking each other.
And that seems to be what is happening between Randall Terry and Bill Donohue over the proper response to President Obama’s speech at Notre Dame.
Terry, who re-located to South Bend last month from where he is leading protests and efforts to get Obama’s speech canceled, was outraged when Bishop John D’Arcy called on Catholics not to protest the school or the speech:
I urge all Catholics and others of good will to stay away from unseemly and unhelpful demonstrations against our nation’s President or Notre Dame or Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
The Notre Dame community is well-equipped to supervise and support discussions and prayer within their own campus.
I had a positive meeting this week with Father Jenkins, and I expect further dialogue will continue. These are days of prayer and hope when we should turn to the Risen Christ for light and wisdom.
Let us all work towards a peaceful graduation experience for the Class of 2009 at our beloved Notre Dame.
Of course, Terry was not going to take that lying down so he wrote an op-ed lecturing D’Arcy on Catholic teachings and accusing him of selling out both the unborn and Jesus Christ:
Peter boldly swore that he would not deny Christ; D’Arcy boldly declared he would not deny the value of innocent lives for the sake of prestige. But now D’Arcy wavers before Pilate (don’t protest Obama), confirms Judas (don’t protest Jenkins), and abandons Christ in the babies (don’t show pictures of dead babies, don’t cry out against their murder).
In his printed statements urging us to forgo demonstrations, he does not even mention the babies dying at Obama’s command. Let us pray that even as Peter met the eyes of the suffering Christ – and Peter’s heart was broken as he wept bitter tears – that Bishop D’Arcy meets the eyes of the babies condemned to a brutal death by the man he now suggests we do not protest.
This I know for certain: D’Arcy has stepped far beyond his canonical authority by urging the faithful to abandon the babies – and thereby abandon Christ – and to honor Obama and Jenkins with our silent cooperation. We do not deny D’Arcy’s right to question certain tactics, but he has gone far beyond that. He has asked us to commit the sins of omission and silence. Respectfully, we will not.
And then, of course, Bill Donohue just had to weigh in to blast Terry’s “arrogance on stilts” and challenge his right to criticize D’Arcy since he’s only been Catholic for a few years:
Terry just became a Catholic in 2005 and now he is an authority on canon law. Worse, he accuses Bishop D’Arcy, who is strongly pro-life, of abandoning babies and Christ.
The problem with pro-life zealots is that they expect everyone to line up single file and do exactly what they want. Thus do they play to the worst stereotype floated by the pro-abortion camp. Terry needs to take a deep breath and get off his high horse.
Like I said, we see the Right flinging around accusations of zealotry, hypocrisy, and the abandonment of Christ just about every day … but its a rare treat when they aim them at one another for a change.