Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Two Anti-Catholic Vulgar Trash-Talking Bigots

That is how William Donohue of the Catholic League described Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, two bloggers who were hired by the John Edwards campaign. Donohue then demanded that they be fired. This did not happen, though both bloggers have recently resigned from the campaign.

That the New York Times found Donohue worth quoting on this topic made me interested in learning more about what Mr. Donohue regards as anti-Catholic. What might he find so shocking that he would demand people to be fired? What IS "anti-Catholic" in Mr. Donohue's faith-based reality? What is bigoted? And why is Mr. Donohue such a welcome guest in many political talk shows?

A few hours of Googling gave me some answers, and I want to share them with you. Come and meet the anti-Catholics Mr. Donohue has accused by name. Some of them he has also called bigots:

Frances Kissling (head of Catholics for a Free Choice), Mara Vanderslice (John Kerry 2004 campaign's director of religious outreach), Joan Osborne (singer), Bill O'Reilly (a Fox News talk show host), Christopher Hitchens (writer),Jessica Delfino (singer/comedian), Dario Fo (1997 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature), Michael Friedman (artist), Daniel Goldhagen (writer), Renee Cox (artist), Jane Pauley (television talk show host), Bill Press (radio talk show host), Liz Langley (journalist), Ann Landers (columnist), Joycelyn Elders (Surgeon General during the Clinton administration), Ted Turner (prior owner of a television network), Robert Gober (artist) and Howard Stern (television talk host show).

Sometimes anti-Catholics can be a wider community of people or organizations. Mr. Donohue has singled out some of these groups or organizations and even some firms:

Catholics for Free Choice, "secular Jewish community" (based on Donohue's own words), "well-educated elites" (also in his own words), The House GOP leadership of the previous Congress, the DNC (The Democratic National Committee), the Clinton administration, the Population Institute and ACT-UP.

It is not just people themselves who are labeled anti-Catholic by Mr. Donohue. Their books, plays, sculptures, paintings, movies and television shows can all be anti-Catholic. Here is a short sample of the culprits:

Editorials, cartoons and news stories in the following newspapers or their net equivalents: the Forward, the Boston Globe, Newsday (a Long Island newspaper)and Salon.

Movies, plays, books and television shows: Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, Corpus Christi, The Magdalene Sisters, The Da Vinci Code, the Left Behind series of fundamental Christian novels, "That's Life" (an episode on this ABC show).

I'm sure you are wondering about artwork. Surely Mr. Donohue finds a lot of art anti-Catholic and bigoted. Indeed. Note the artists already listed above. But in addition to their work, Mr. Donohue has had his feelings hurt by art shown by the following places: Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Museum of International Folk Art, Art Center of Corpus Christi, Broward Art Guild and Museum of Contemporary Art.

But wait! There is more. Advertising and products can be anti-Catholic, too:
Abercrombie&Fitch's catalogs (though only occasionally), Lipton's ad for onion dip and items sold on eBay.

This might be sufficient material to draw a few conclusions about Mr. Donohue and his views on what makes something bigoted and anti-Catholic. First, Mr. Donohue is a very busy man and one who sees an awfully large amount of anti-Catholicism everywhere. Second, Mr. Donohue's definitions of "anti-Catholic bigotry" is a little different from how we usually understand the term "bigotry". Bigotry to our Bill is anyone voicing any criticism of his personal creed of Catholicism or the Catholic church's hierarchy. But I never did find my answer to the last question I posed:

Why is Mr. Donohue such a welcome guest in so many political talk shows?