Donohue's Deal on Hudson
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:23:18 PM EST
The Catholic Right, Part Sixty-four
On July 16, 2008 Catholics United sent the McCain campaign a a letter calling on the Arizona senator to remove the controversial Catholic Right mover and shaker Deal Hudson from the Catholics for McCain National Steering Committee. Hudson, a Catholic Right activist who was forced to resign from a similar position in President Bush's 2004 presidential campaign when The National Catholic Reporter broke a story about sexual harassment on Hudson's part while teaching at Fordham University.

So, who would be brazen enough to defend such a man from a similar firing?  The Catholic League's Bill Donohue, of course.

Bill Donohue has described Deal Hudson as "the ultimate networker," adding: "If you wanted to get something to the top inner circles of the [Bush] White House from a Catholic perspective, you could contact Deal Hudson and it was delivered."

Hudson is a former Southern Baptist minister who converted to Catholicism.  And like many other such converts, he practices a very stringent, ultra orthodox form of the faith. The former publisher of the uber-conservative Crisis magazine has written several books including How to Vote Catholic. In those writings, he rails about the evils of abortion, gay rights and what he perceives as contemporary society's lax morality.

But Hudson hasn't always practiced what he preaches. In their press statement on their action, Catholics United noted:

In 2004, Deal Hudson resigned from his position as a Catholic advisor to George W. Bush's re-election campaign over allegations that Hudson had solicited an improper sexual encounter with an 18-year old Fordham University freshman. According to the National Catholic Reporter, which broke the story in August 2004, the incident happened in Hudson's campus office after a night of heavy drinking and resulted in a legal settlement and Hudson's loss of his tenured professorship.

As well as this:

In addition to questions about his personal conduct, Hudson has a long standing history of using Catholic teaching to advance a partisan agenda. In 1999, Hudson's magazine Crisis authored an influential study explaining how the Republican Party could achieve greater success at the ballot box by making specific appeals to Catholic swing voters, a move that prompted Bush strategist Karl Rove to invite Hudson into high-level campaign conversations.

And in a follow-up statement, this important tidbit of information:

"Although the McCain campaign is attempting to downplay Hudson's role as a Catholic advisor and surrogate, the facts appear to tell a different story. In May, Mr. Hudson was a key player in the campaign's attempt to rectify fallout over Senator McCain's embrace of anti-Catholic pastor John Hagee.

Responding on July 17, 2008 Donohue outdid his his customary audacity:

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded today to a story last night by CNN's Anderson Cooper on attempts by some Catholics to get the McCain campaign to oust Catholic author and activist Deal Hudson from the Catholics for McCain National Steering Committee:
"Anderson Cooper said last night that those opposed to Hudson were citing two reasons why he should be dumped from the McCain campaign as an advisor: Hudson 'harassed an 18-year-old female college student 10 years earlier,' and his 'brokering a deal between a meeting of conservative Catholics and San Antonio mega-preacher John Hagee.'

As well as this kicker:

There is nothing Catholic about these charges. Catholics put a premium on forgiveness and reconciliation-they do not conduct vindictive campaigns of personal destruction under the guise of promoting the Catholic cause. Hudson has made several public statements of apology regarding his improper sexual encounter with a coed in 1994. What are we to do as Catholics-say it isn't enough?

That's rich. Donohue and his ilk only seem to "put a premium on forgiveness and reconciliation" when it comes to Catholic Right's GOP friendly politicos. Other than that, it's fire and brimstone with the greatest scorchers reserved for liberals - especially Catholic liberals.

In an earlier post I noted that on behalf of Catholics everywhere, Donohue gave absolution to John Hagee, a 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 in 2006 when Bill Donohue was given the choice of two anti-abortion Catholics running against each other, economic libertarian Rick Santorum versus Distributive Justice advocate Bob Casey, Jr., Donohue and the rest of his cohorts threw their support behind Santorum - this despite the fact that Casey's economic outlook was eons closer to Catholic teachings than Santorum's.

Judging by the actions of many of the Catholic Right -and both Donohue and Hudson feature quite prominently here -- it is not difficult to conclude that their real agenda is more economic than moral.  Religion is used as a cloak to elect those who foster a buccaneer form of capitalism.

Then, is it any wonder why Senator McCain is hesitant to fire Deal Hudson? It certainly isn't any wonder why Bill Donohue would defend his buddy, "the ultimate networker."

The Catholic Right: A Series, by Frank L. 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   Part Twenty-two   Part Twenty-three   Part Twenty-four   Part Twenty-five   Part Twenty-six   Part Twenty-seven   Part Twenty-eight   Part Twenty-nine   Part Thirty   Part Thirty-one   Part Thirty-two   Part Thirty-three   Part Thirty-four   Part Thirty-five   Part Thirty-six   Part Thirty-seven   Part Thirty-eight   Part Thirty-nine   Part Forty   Part Forty-one   Part Forty-two   Part Forty-three   Part Forty-four   Part Forty-five   Part Forty-six   Part Forty-seven   Part Forty-eight   Part Forty-nine   Part Fifty   Part Fifty-one   Part Fifty-two   Part Fifty-three   Part Fifty-four   Part Fifty-five   Part Fifty-six   Part Fifty-seven   Part Fifty-eight   Part Fifty-nine   Part Sixty   Part Sixty-one   Part Sixty-two   Part Sixty-three

Deacon Keith Fournier wrote at Catholic Online the following:

First, let me put it bluntly, for a group calling itself "Catholics United", you should be ashamed of yourself! Do you believe in the efficacy of the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

As well as:

First, because I have followed with interest their efforts to make the totality of the Social teaching of our Church, which has not been considered enough in the public policy arena, a matter of public discourse and consideration and had hoped for better behavior from them.

Secondly, because I believe that their latest internet attack against Deal Hudson's character is exactly the opposite of what is an appropriate model of civil disagreement among Catholics and instead constitutes calumny.

Deacon Fournier entirely misses the point. Deal Hudson and his buddy Bill Donohue are trying to further a very pernicious economic agenda. And in doing so, they are using religious anxiety to cloak their mission. Beyond that, both are trying to impose their personal morality on all Americans, including non-Catholics. Neither Donohue nor Hudson would think twice about instigating a personal attack to reach achieve their ultimate goals.

Deal Hudson should be called out for his hypocrisy. And if anyone should be ashamed here, the McCain campaign seems more obvious choice for hiring the likes of Deal Hudson.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:25:20 PM EST

I really appreciate your research.

by nogodsnomasters on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:11:34 PM EST

by Frank Cocozzelli on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:12:44 PM EST

Deal Hudson reminds me of the old saying that "hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue." Apparently to Bill & Deal, all is forgiven if one has what they deem to be the correct political beliefs. Why doesn't Deal have the grace to absent himself from the political scene, especially after his disgraceful involvement in getting Ono Ekeh fired from the USCCB for Ekeh's support for Kerry?

I am also not looking forward to seeing certain members of the hierarchy inserting their political oars into the water. These guys don't have the grace to be ashamed of their abysmal handling of the sexual abuse among some members of the clergy, and then they want us to accept their pronouncements at face value?


by khughes1963 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:30:53 PM EST

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