An Epistle from Bill Donohue Absolves Hagee
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat May 24, 2008 at 12:34:36 PM EST
A few posts ago I said of the Catholic League's Bill Donohue:

As the saying goes, even a broken watch is correct twice a day. Well, with the Catholic League's Bill Donohue's condemnation of Senator John McCain endorsement by Evangelical John Hagee, ole Bill is at least half right.

Well folks, I take back my conditional praise of Bloviating Bill: The hands have now completely come off the tempestuous Timex.

In light of Bruce Wilson's exposé on Pastor Hagee's outrageous comments about the Holocaust, comes a press release from the Catholic League's Bill Donohue that incredibly praises Hagee as "sincere" as well as describing him as  "a genuine friend to Jews."

This absolution comes from the same Bill Donohue who once proclaimed "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular."(i)

The press release is pure Donohue, putting Religious Right political ends first and foremost. Revisionist as ever, the Catholic League's statement on the matter had the banner, "HAGEE PULLS McCAIN ENDORSEMENT."


Donohue tried to make it sound as if Hagee had initated this campaign-altering news all by himself, when clearly he hadn't. As the New York Times and others reported the mutual repudiations were made "roughly at the same time." These were, no doubt the result of ongoing, if perhaps ultimately broken, communication between the McCain and Hagee camps.

This May 22, 2008 press release comes on the heels of another mind-spinning declaration issued on May 13, 2008 headlined: "HAGEE REGRETS OFFENDING CATHOLICS; CONTROVERSY ENDS."  It sure was reassuring to hear from ole Bill that Pastor Hagee is one swell fellow:

"After weeks of meeting with various Catholic leaders, and accessing scholarly literature on Catholic-Jewish relations, Pastor John Hagee has demonstrated an improved understanding of the Catholic Church and its history. In his letter to me, Hagee says, 'I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.'

As well as this:

"The tone of Hagee's letter is sincere. He wants reconciliation and he has achieved it. Indeed, the Catholic League welcomes his apology. What Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns. But he has done just that. Now Catholics, along with Jews, can work with Pastor Hagee in making interfaith relations stronger than ever. Whatever problems we had before are now history. This case is closed."

So, on behalf of Catholics everywhere, Donohue gave absolution to the man whose bigotry is as big as Texas as if his past diatribes about Catholicism were just simple misunderstandings.  But in Bill Donohue's universe, when Neo-platonist, Religious Right political goals are at stake, accountability, consistency and real issues of anti-Catholicism go by the boards. It comes down to this:

If you are the victim of a pedophile priest demanding justice, then Donohue denounces you as "vicious and vindictive." Yet if you are a John Hagee, who, in Bill Donohue's own words,, "...made a lot of money off bashing the Catholic Church and blames Catholics for the Holocaust..." you get on the Catholic League's "A" list - even if you describe the Church as "the great whore of Revelation 17." An apology will suffice provided you're a player of the Religious Right.

As I noted of Donohue in March 2007:

Have you noticed that when real examples of anti-Catholicism show up, Bill Donohue makes himself scarce, especially when they are perpetrated by the Religious Right?  Donohue bills himself as a defender of Catholicism against bigotry.  But history has shown him to be more of a GOP and conservative movement hack making mountains out of molehills for the gain of his political allies, but offering little defense of Catholics and Catholicism against ancient bigotries when they come from his Protestant allies in the Religious Right.

The latest epistle from Bill helps to further make my case. Not that it really needed further proof. But let's just say that Bill did not disappoint.  As his twisted defense of Hagee clearly illustrates, the Catholic League president will, without hesitation, compromise on instances of real anti-Catholicism in the service of his political ends. And all this Catholic can say is that Bill Donohue and his so-called "Catholic League" do not speak for me.

(I) MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 12/8/04

I hope the the mainstream media takes note of this incident and no longer give this noxious man a platform for his inconsistent diatribes.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sat May 24, 2008 at 12:37:29 PM EST
Isn't this a bit presumptuous ? Donahue seems to be claiming the right to speak for the church. Did you happen to see that notorious South Park episode ?

by Bruce Wilson on Sat May 24, 2008 at 01:24:12 PM EST
Parent Donohue's mind I'm not so sure about the "Junior" part.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sat May 24, 2008 at 02:36:21 PM EST

As you've noted, Screamin' Bill has his eye on the November election. Bill hasn't woken up to the fact that it isn't the 1950s any more. This of course won't stop him.

I look for Donohue to endorse McCain privately, although I am not sure he could do it publicly as the head of the Catholic League. There could be a problem with the IRS if he did.

by khughes1963 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 07:11:45 PM EST

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