Smorgasbord Bill and Friends At It Again (The Catholic Right, Twenty-second in a Series).
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 06:53:13 PM EST
"Why do you see the speck of chaff that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how can you tell your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck of chaff that is in your eye,' when you yourself don't see the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck of chaff that is in your brother's eye."
                                              --Luke 6:37-42

How can a man who claims that, "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular" (among other such gems), ever pass as the guardian of religious tolerance?  More to the point: how can a lazy mainstream media not call such a man on his intolerance and hypocrisy?

I am an unrepentant Liberal.  And because that is so, I don't use loaded, demagogic terms such as "Christo-fascists." And while it might feel good to say it, its use does little else but to self-marginalize liberals and Liberalism.

With that in mind, I took it upon myself to read some of the statements that got the likes of the Catholic League's Bill Donohue and Kathryn Jean Lopez all riled up. As a Catholic, I did not like Amanda Marcotte's gratuitous swipe at the Incarnation. Besides being insulting, it is just dumb politics to mock another's beliefs, customs and traditions if they are not imposed upon others. Donohue was correct in condemning this statement. As the saying goes, even a broken watch tells the correct time twice a day.

But with that said, a broken watch is still wrong for the rest of the day. It is the height of hypocrisy for him to complain about and blame Edwards for the writings of his staff before they joined his campaign.  Minus the expletives deleted, the Catholic League's public face frequently uses language that that is far more hateful than that employed by either of Edwards' bloggers. More importantly, it is hate speech apparently calculated to affect the outcomes of elections.

One of Donohue's recent statements on the Edwards matter caught my attention. On the February 7, 2007 edition of Tucker Carlson's MSNBC cable show this exchange took place:

CARLSON: How prevalent do you think anti-Christian -- 'cause it strikes me as not just anti-Catholic, but anti-evangelical, anti-Orthodox Christianity in general. How prevalent is this stuff in the kind of fervid blogosphere?
DONOHUE: If you take a look at some of the stuff on the blogoshpere that's said about Christians in general, Catholics in particular, it's absolutely mind-boggling. Muslims are given more respect. Look --

Neither Donohue nor Carlson gets it--or pretend not to: the issue is not the orthodox faith of certain Christians and Catholics. Instead, angers arise among many on the Left because folks such as William Donohue, Michelle Malkin and Thomas Monaghan seem so intent on legislating their particular orthodoxies upon the rest of us.

As a Catholic, I believe that ultra-orthodox members of my faith don't see the Catholic forest for the trees. Yet, if they want to go off and have a Latin Mass for themselves, that is fine with me. But when they wish to force the majority of Catholics to follow the faith in their particular narrow fashion that is when I must speak out. And when those factions foist their particular recipes for salvation upon an unwilling majority, then the issue goes beyond being an interdenominational matter, but one that violates the freedom of religion. Unfortunately, that desire to impose the strictest formula for salvation seems to be the common link among too many ultra-orthodoxies, whether it Evangelical Protestants, radical Islam or even Roman Catholics. And that passion is further fueled when it appears that orthodoxy is being cynically used to further a very secular far-Right economic agenda. Being a Heritage Foundation adjunct scholar, Donohue has ties to hardcore supply-side economic conservatives.

But in recent days, Donohue's question of timing has been raised. And that is a valid subject for a sleeping media that seems more intent on reporting Donohue's splashy pronouncements than looking at any political motives may be behind them. At least to this observer, it is looking more and more as if Donohue's statements of outrage are timed to affect the outcomes of elections.

Donohue does very little without calculation. As I noted in Part Fourteen of my series on the Catholic Right, Donohue has previously coordinated with political Religious Right allies to attack a Democratic political candidate. Last time it was Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.) during his successful 2006 U.S. Senate bid:

But those on the Catholic Right who value mammon over a more consistent and effective Catholicism--and one that respects the cherished American institution of --Value Pluralism--see it as their mission to prevent a Casey victory. And to that end, they will obfuscate, spin and make highly attenuated claims.

In Catholic League news releases from September 19 and  October 27, 2006 William Donohue attacked Democratic US Senate candidate Bob Casey, Jr. The crux of the September 19, 2006 release was that while Casey, who personally opposes abortion, took campaign contributions from MoveOn.org which is clearly pro-choice. Virtually on cue, the Thomas Monaghan-inspired 527, Fidelis, followed with its own press release just our days later repeating the same line of attack as the Catholic League. In the October 27th release Donohue's screed was elevated when he roared, "Casey Is A Fraud on Abortion."

On October 19, 2006 Fidelis' Joseph Cella issued a similar release.

And why did Bill Donohue challenge Bob Casey, Jr.'s pro-life credentials? Did he suddenly become pro-choice? No. According to Donohue, Casey's sin was `...that if elected he would focus more on health care and jobs than abortion. With regard to abortion, he said he wants "to see more of an emphasis on what brings people together rather than what tears people apart." He also said that being pro-life means, "I support initiatives which would reduce the number of abortions."

Interesting enough, on February 7, 2007--the day after the League's press release on the subject--Fidelis also circulated a press release that repeated the same lines of attacks as those of the Catholic League's release, including going after Marcotte's line about the Church opposing birth control in order to "...bear more tithing Catholics."

Similarly on February 8, 2007 both Fidelis and the Catholic League issued press releases blasting Edwards for sticking by both bloggers. Although using different styles, both releases covered the same salient points.

It is worth noting that Fidelis's Burch and Cella both have very close ties to Pizza-man Tom Monaghan, who in turn, sits on Presidential candidate U.S. Senator Sam Brownback's (R-Ks.) Exploratory Committee.  Monaghan also sits on the Catholic League's Board of Advisors.

Perhaps it is more than a coincidence that at the same time Edwards released his health proposal, one that Paul Krugman described as "smart" and "serious," further saying, "It addresses both the problem of the uninsured and the waste and inefficiency of our fragmented insurance system"(i) that theseeconomic royalists of the Catholic Right chose to attack. And while Donohue and the League may well have violated IRS rules and regulations for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations by engaging in political campaign activity--that is a call the IRS will have to make. One hint that his actions were meant to be political in nature was his assertion that the Edwards' Campaign was "in disarray"--a statement that does not go the bloggers in question, but of rather questioning his competence to govern.

And that is why Donohue's behavior must be scrutinized. As the group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good duly noted, "In 2000, Mr. Donohue called out Gov. George W. Bush for speaking at Bob Jones University. Gov. Bush later condemned the school's anti-Catholic views, and Mr. Donohue quickly accepted the renouncement. Mr. Donohue rapidly accepted Mel Gibson's apology for anti-Semitic remarks." If Donohue and his Catholic Right friends keep attacking Edwards instead of quickly accepting his apology-as they did with Candidate George W. Bush in 2000, then that suggests political motive. If Donohue and friends never or even mildly attack GOP Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani for his pro-choice, pro-gay rights positions, then that too suggests political motive. And if both Catholic League and Fidelis both to appear to levy coordinated attacks upon Giuliani if he is in a tight primary race with U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, then that should pretty much seal the deal.

In their February 9, 2007 press release Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good invited "...Catholic League president Bill Donohue to focus on promoting the values and message at the heart of the Catholic faith - the common good, and a concern for the least among us - and to address his own political hypocrisy." The group also asked him "...to drop his rhetoric of division and personal defamation. We invite him to join in debate about an authentic Catholic response to the real problems facing our nation and culture." In other words, they just wanted him to do the Christian thing by and remove the beam from his eye before trying to remove the same obstruction from the eyes of others.

As noble as the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good request is, it may not work to change Bill's immediate game plan. But it does accomplish something important: it let's those on the Catholic Right know that Donohue has co-religionists who are sick and tired of his shenanigans; that there are others within Catholicism who also can make use of the press and can smell his hypocrisy a mile away.

Perhaps someday they too will get the mainstream press's attention.

(i) Premium service, subscription required.

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   Part Eighteen   Part Eighteen   Part Nineteen   Part Twenty   Part Twenty-one




Display:
If you want to see the double standard Donohue and the Catholic employs to treat candidate he supports or opposes, just look at the league's press releases for the first quarter of Election Year 2000.

This is at the height of the Bush-Bob Jones University affair. Any objective reader can see how Donohue pounded both Vice-President Gore and Senator John McCain--both of whom were opponents of the Religious Right while going easy on their darling, George W. Bush.

Obviously, Bill Donohue is lined up at the Smorgasbord of issues, picking and choosing those causes that advance the interests of economic royalists and then cloaking them in the garb of Catholicism.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:03:19 PM EST

Bill Donohue doesn't speak for me, but you do. Unfortunately, the press prefers Donohue's bombastic style. I didn't like Amanda's remarks about the Immaculate Conception either, but I don't read Pandagon very much.

Have you read the Women's Wear Daily article about Donohue from February 2? Interestingly enough, he's been divorced for the last 10 years. You are also right about the economic royalists issue. The Catholic League's board features the likes of Kate O'Beirne, Dinesh D'Souza, and L. Brent Bozell.

Kathy

by khughes1963 on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 09:58:51 PM EST
Parent



pastordan is also on the case.

by Carlos on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:15:18 PM EST
I enjoyed your piece on the subject too.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:27:14 PM EST
Parent


at mydd.com .  Stoller is looking for good information about him also include khughs information about his divorce.  That is pretty amazing.

by strayroots on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 06:54:10 AM EST
Is Donohue getting divorced?

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 08:48:16 AM EST
Parent
by khughs talked about a Womans Wear Daily article on Donahue where they said he had been divorced for over 10 years.

by strayroots on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 09:59:48 AM EST
Parent

In the article, it mentions Donohue has been divorced for the past 10 years, and according to him, he's being careful not to give fodder to his critics and has avoided sex since his divorce.

I also think he would be well able to afford an annulment if he should ever choose to get one.

Kathy

by khughes1963 on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 12:11:52 PM EST
Parent

http://www.wwd.com/article/print/112385

Kathy

by khughes1963 on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 12:12:51 PM EST
Parent

Interesting stuff. I wonder if he takes communion.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 01:17:09 PM EST
Parent
My understanding is that the divorce itself wouldn't prevent Donohue from receiving Communion, but that if he remarried without obtaining a Catholic annulment, he couldn't receive Communion. Being Catholic didn't prevent me from representing people in divorces when I was still in practice, and sometimes I think that it is the best thing for people to divorce. I think the Church isn't being very realistic about divorce and remarriage, and it tends to make for a lot of hypocrisy. I recall that Newt Gingrich, when he married for the third time to his former Congressional aide Callista Bisek, was able to obtain Catholic annulments of his previous marriages to wife number one, Jackie, and wife number two, Marianne.

I am refraining from speculation as to the reason why he and his former wife divorced, but I wonder....

Kathy

by khughes1963 on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 05:52:00 PM EST
Parent


Check out David Neiwert's interesting takes on Donohue and Mel Gibson at Orcinus. David references your articles on Donohue. Great job!

Kathy

by khughes1963 on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 11:40:24 PM EST
Parent








WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (2 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (5 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (21 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (4 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (4 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (4 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (2 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (7 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 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 (2 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 (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.