Has Anyone Seen Bill...At All? (The Catholic Right: Eighteenth in a Series)
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:24:45 AM EST
In Part Six of this series I asked:

As of 9:00PM, June 24, 2006, a Google search has revealed that the Catholic League has not even uttered a peep about Left Behind: Eternal Forces. There is nary a word from the usually pugnacious Donohue on the Catholic League's web site, in its periodical Catalyst, nor any sign of a bombastic press release on the matter. Admittedly, Google searches are far from definitive and perhaps Donohue said something somewhere about the game. But if he did, it was not done in a way that was calculated to inject a splashy condemnation into the mainstream press--or in other words, he did not follow standard Catholic League procedure.

Well, it is now December 23, 2006--one day short of fully six months later--and still nary a peep from the Catholic Right's version of Mr. Bluster.

And nor can Donohue and the Catholic League plead that they are unaware of the anti-Catholic tendencies of LaHaye-inspired creations. Just two years ago, the Catholic League in very cogently written piece for its periodical, The Catalyst pretty much nailed the inherent religious bigotry of the Left Behind book series. As the essay's author, Carl E. Olson remarked, "But I was--and still am--surprised by how many Catholics fail to see how biased against Catholicism are the Left Behind novels and companion volumes produced by LaHaye. "

And as a Catholic, I am surprised that neither the league nor its president have spoken out against such an obvious example of anti-Catholicism that is Left Behind: Eternal Forces.

Nor is Donohue the only member of the Catholic Right who has failed to speak out against the vile hatred of Left Behind: Eternal Forces. Not a peep has been heard from the often easily insulted Tom Monaghan nor his Thomas More Law Center, Fidelis, Legatus nor anyone from Opus Dei. These are "Catholic" talking heads who often complain about the most attenuated incidents of anti-Catholicism--and often many just imagined. But while the Catholic League has plenty to say about the phony "War on Christmas," even going as far as taking out a costly advertisement on the matter in the New York Times, it oddly has nothing to say about a video game that clearly validates violence against Catholics.

It would seem like a "no brainer' for a group calling itself "the Catholic League" to speak out against a video game that teaches young males the validity of a "convert or die" mentality, especially when Catholics are one of the targeted groups of those to be "saved" at the point of the sword. But Ole Bill's current priority is to transform the usually joyful salutation of "Merry Christmas" into a pejorative statement of religious exclusiveness. So much for fighting the good fight.

In fairness to Donohue and the league, the Left and mainstream Catholic community has been just as remarkably silent. While several  several members of the progressive religious community have spoken up, The Liberal Catholic group Call to Action has not yet condemned the game. A search of the National Catholic Reporter's online achieve has shown no coverage either.

But the Catholic League is held to a higher standard. By its own definition it "...works to safeguard both the religious freedom rights and the free speech rights of Catholics whenever and wherever they are threatened." Supposedly speaking out against anti-Catholicism is reason for being.

As a Catholic I want to know why the National Council of Churches, the Anti-Defamation League, CAIR, as well as numerous Protestants--both Left and Right, as well as bloggers and journalists of all kinds who share their concern about the violent bigotry demonstrated in Left Behind: Eternal Forces, but the League and some others cannot?  Is Donohue turning a blind eye to a political ally?

It don't know why Donohue and the league has failed to speak out against the video game. Perhaps it truly is a question of priorities. Donohue has previously overlooked interfaith quarrels to battle the Religious Right's common hatred for Liberalism. As Max Blumenthal noted in The Nation: of the April 24, 2005 Justice Sunday event:

Justice Sunday also featured a token Catholic, William Donohue, who heads the nation's largest "Catholic civil rights organization," the Catholic League. In the battle to confirm far-right judicial nominees like William Pryor, who happens to be Catholic, Donohue has become a key asset for the Christian right's evangelical faction. He has argued that Democratic senators opposing Pryor and others are motivated by anti-Catholicism. "There isn't de jure discrimination against Catholics in the Senate," Donohue claimed on Sunday. "There is de facto discrimination. They've set the bar so high with the abortion issue, we can't get any real Catholics over it."

But for all his concern with anti-Catholicism, Donohue had no qualms about sharing the stage with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Dr. Albert Mohler. "As an evangelical, I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is a false church," Mohler remarked during a 2000 TV interview. "It teaches a false gospel. And the Pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office." Donohue, who has protested against Democrats who have made no such comments about Catholics, was silent about Mohler. In fact, the site of Justice Sunday, Highview Baptist Church, in Louisville, Kentucky, is Mohler's home church.

But for whatever reason the Catholic League is sitting out this battle, it is time for it to get involved. If Donohue's organization is truly about fighting anti-Catholic bigotry--whatever its sources, it must speak out against the Eternal Forces video games. And no matter how much distaste I have for both many of the league's policy positions and associated personalities, I would welcome them to join us in condemning those who profit from or proselytize through this hateful product.  

Yet as I first wondered last June, if an organization that claims to be dedicated to combating anti-Catholicism would take on Left Behind: Eternal Forces, I ask,  has anyone seen Bill--at all?

The Catholic Right: A Series, by Frank Cocozzelli :  Part One  Part Two  Part Three   Part Four  Part Five  Part Six   Intermezzo   Part Eight   Part Nine  Part Ten   Part Eleven   Part Twelve   Part Thirteen   Part Fourteen   Second Intermezzo   Part Sixteen   Part Seventeen




Display:
This is pure and unvarnished anti-Catholicism. Won't you join us in speaking out against this game, Bill?

And it would also be nice to see groups such as Call to Action and periodicals such as The National Catholic Reporter get involved.

This is one issue we should agree upon.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:29:05 AM EST


I am in Indiana for the holidays, and I'm glad to see that you've taken Screamin' Bill on. I don't think you'll hear a peep out of Bill, after all, politics does make for strange bedfellows. Also, Bill is more concerned about criticism of the Church from the left and from more liberal Catholics than he is from the political right.

by khughes1963 on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:50:52 PM EST
Unfortunately I suspect that you are correct.

In any case, Have a very Merry Christmas, A Happy New Year and a safe trip.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:20:01 PM EST
Parent



This guy makes Jerry Falwell look INTELLIGENT!

This idiot says one stupid thing after another while spittle runs down his face.

How can anyone take this "lip flapper" serious?

by James Veverka on Sun Dec 24, 2006 at 09:38:19 PM EST

Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, the Catholics who agree with Screamin' Bill have the ear of the Vatican and the present administration.

by khughes1963 on Sun Dec 24, 2006 at 10:46:16 PM EST
Parent

Kathy is dead-on correct. What Donohue is trying to do is "connect" with working-class Catholics, especially in the Northeast. Fortunately, he is so over-the-top that most Catholics I know can see right through him.

The problem is that no one in the Church has yet to speak out against him. All that is needed is just one priest, monsignor or bishop to speak out against his rudeness. And although it doesn't seem that way, there are plenty of clergy who want to do just that.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 09:44:13 AM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


The JFK Speech That Made Santorum Want to Throw-Up
On February 26, 2012, (when I first published this post), the heated GOP presidential primaries were getting hotter as the Christian Right sought to......
By Frederick Clarkson (9 comments)
The Religious Bigotry of Rick Santorum
Now that Rick Santorum has announced that he is running for president, again, it is worth reminding ourselves that he is a coarsely obvious......
By Frederick Clarkson (24 comments)
Thoughts on the Finale of the Finn Debacle
Now that Bishop Robert Finn has finally resigned his leadership of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri -- here are some final thoughts......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
DeVos and School Privatization Funders Backing Philadelphia Democratic Mayoral Candidate
The Betsy DeVos-led American Federation for Children (AFC) and its core funders have spent more than fifteen million dollars in Pennsylvania over the last......
By Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
Religious Right Rabbi: Christian Coalition Favorite Daniel Lapin Resurfaces
Back in the 1990s when I was regularly covering the antics of TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, one part of the job was......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right leaders escalate anti-LGBTQ threats
As marriage equality has advanced around the country, and the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the issue in June, threatening language......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Could Support for LGBTQ Rights Disrupt the Coalition of Jews and Evangelical Christian Zionists?
Some might say that the relationship between the conservative US Jewish community and Evangelicals is inviolable, with support for Israel being the cement that......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)
Whine Festival: Second-Tier Religious Right Leaders Still Don't Like Marriage Equality
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.In preparation for this, a sad collection of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Whither the Christian Right in the Democratic Party?
You don't have to be a Hillary hater (and I'm not) to recognize that Clinton and other Democratic Party leaders have had long and......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bishop Robert Finn Resigns Leadership of St. Joseph-Kansas City Diocese
Bishop Robert W. Finn, the Opus Dei Bishop who was convicted by a Missouri court for failing to report suspected child abuse by a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Two Overlooked Indiana Outcomes that Could Haunt the Christian Right
I think there are two underreported features of the fallout from Indiana that we should make sure do not get lost in the hoo......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
President Obama Can Help Stop Religious Discrimination
Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently posted an important essay at Huffington Post. In......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Marriage Matters: Thoughts On The Recent Unpleasantness In Indiana
Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of "Interfaith Voices," a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Campaign Against Pro-LGBTQ Denominations
The recent endorsement of marriage equality by the Presbyterian Church (USA) seemed like a good moment to discuss the campaign to divide and conquer......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)

Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.