Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, with allies such as House Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, succeeded in their multi-pronged attack to censor the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery’s “Hide/Seek” exhibit. They called on the Smithsonian to censor the work of artist David Wojnarowicz, whose work was meant “to depict the suffering of an AIDS victim” (side note: today is World AIDS Day). Even though the exhibit is completely supported by private funding, right wing leaders misleadingly portrayed “Hide/Seek” as a taxpayer funded exhibit. Donohue blasted the exhibit as “anti-Christian,” and ultimately the Smithsonian agreed to remove Wojnarowicz’s video.
Wojnarowicz is not the first target of Donohue’s fear-mongering, and he certainly won’t be Donohue’s last.
Right Wing Watch monitors Donohue’s extremism, and compiled some of his most extreme views on politics, religion, and the separation of church and state, in Bill Donohue: In His Own Words:
On Child Molestation
- In response to then-Congressman Mark Foley’s efforts to defend his abusive conduct as having been molested by his priest as a child, he said “Most 15-year-old teenage boys wouldn’t allow themselves to be molested” and asked then-Congressman Mark Foley, “So why did you?”
- “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.”
- “No institution, religious or secular, has less of a problem with the issue of sexual abuse today than the Catholic Church.”
- “There is something sick about Friendship Trees, Winter Solstice Concerts, Holiday Parades and Holly Day Festivals. The neutering of Christmas extends to the banishment of Nativity Scenes from the public square, the expulsion of baby Jesus from crèches not otherwise forbidden, the banning of red and green at school functions, the censoring of “Silent Night” at municipal concerts, etc…. By celebrating Christmas we are celebrating diversity. Don’t let the cultural fascists get their way this year.”
- “Cultural fascists invoke ‘diversity’ every December as cover for neutering Christmas—they never choose some other month to practice their multicultural religion. And by the way, who are these people from other religions who hate Christmas? I never met one. It would be more accurate to say that it’s precisely the persons who make this charge who hate Christmas.”
- “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.
- “None of the media distortions of this issue excuses those in the Jewish community who have lashed out at the pope. They should know better. Is their commitment to good relations with Catholics so thin that it can wither because of something like this? We certainly hope not.”
- “I dealt with him earlier today on an MSNBC show, and I said we could hypothesize that there’d be a Columbia University pingpong team made of Asians, and somebody goes out there and says, ‘All gooks go home’….What about the gook jokes? I want to know, why don’t you have a sense of humor about gook jokes?”
- Led a campaign against Phillip Pullman’s books and the Golden Compass movie: “It’s selling the virtues of atheism. The real person we want to get on this is Pullman. I don’t want to see these books flying off the shelves at Christmas. I want them to be collecting dust.”
- Opposed Obama speaking at Notre Dame, saying the university’s president was “bestowing an honor on someone who supports selective infanticide”
On Progressives and Progressive Christians
- “We need more, not fewer, Catholics on the Supreme Court. But not of the Ted Kennedy kind. We need more loyal sons and daughters.”
- Called the director of Catholics for Choice “the biggest anti-Catholic bigot in the nation”
- On Obama’s Catholic National Advisory Council, he said “If these are the best ‘committed Catholic leaders, scholars and advocates’ Obama can find, then it is evident that he has a ‘Wright’ problem when it comes to picking Catholic advisors.”
- Regarding progressive Catholics, he said “it’s unfortunate that we have these people, I regard them as termites.”
- Maintained that progressive Christians and “pro-abortion Nuns” are “no more Christian than the man in the moon.”
- Referring to progressives, believes “today we are stuck with people who are cultural nihilists, they want to annihilate our society. They are intellectually and spiritually and morally bankrupt.”
- “Indeed, the signature appetite of the left has always been power. Now, they are running up against the American people.”
- Compared Obama to leaders of the Soviet Union.
On Gays and Lesbians
- “The idea of two men marrying is so bizarre and so anti-marriage that it is a great tribute to the American people that they continue to respect the right of gays to participate in American life without harassment while simultaneously rejecting the extremist gay agenda.”
- “Their goal is not to contest the First Amendment rights of Catholics and others—their goal is to put religion on trial. What they are saying is that religious-based reasons for rejecting gay marriage are irrational, and thus do not meet the test of promoting a legitimate state interest.”
- “We’re not going to allow gay people to adopt children, that’s against nature, it’s against nature’s god”
- “They say we had a pedophilia problem, it’s been a homosexual problem all along.”
- “The Times continues to editorialize about the ‘pedophilia crisis,’ when all along it’s been a homosexual crisis. Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are male and most of them are post-pubescent. While homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay.
- “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.”
- “Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism.”