The Physical Embodiment of Catholic Paranoia

This post is courtesy of Ron Gold.

Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, has been extra busy lately.  In the last few days, he’s thrown his ire–or, as Hemant put it, thrown a “shit fit”–at The Simpsons and comedian Sarah Silverman for alleged anti-Catholic bigotry. 

But Donohue has really topped himself with a column titled “America’s secular saboteurs,” which was published in The Washington Post’s “On Faith” section.  His argument is that secular liberals want to destroy American culture, and starts by claiming:

There are many ways cultural nihilists are busy trying to sabotage America these days: multiculturalism is used as a club to beat down Western civilization in the classroom; sexual libertines seek to upend the cultural order by attacking religion; artists use their artistic freedoms to mock Christianity; Hollywood relentlessly insults people of faith; activist left-wing legal groups try to scrub society free of the public expression of religion; elements in the Democratic party demonstrate an animus against Catholicism; and secular-minded malcontents within Catholicism and Protestantism seek to sabotage their religion from the inside.

Yesterday’s radicals wanted to tear down the economic structure of capitalism and replace it with socialism, and eventually communism. Today’s radicals are intellectually spent: they want to annihilate American culture, having absolutely nothing to put in its place. In that regard, these moral anarchists are an even bigger menace than the Marxists who came before them.

If societal destruction is the goal, then it makes no sense to waste time by attacking the political or economic structure: the key to any society is its culture, and the heart of any culture is religion. In this society, that means Christianity, the big prize being Catholicism. Which explains why secular saboteurs are waging war against it.

Just because some people have different values than you, Mr. Donohue, it doesn’t mean they want to cause “societal destruction.” With beliefs like those, it’s hard to believe that Donohue is the president of a major organization; to me, he more closely resembles the physical embodiment of Catholic paranoia.

And then the insights in Donohue’s conclusion get even more bizarre:

The only way secular saboteurs can be stopped is by an alliance of religious conservatives across faith lines. The good news is that this is already happening. In the fight over gay marriage, the scorecard is 30-0: traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Mormons, along with a big contribution from the Latino and African American communities, have succeeded in throwing a roadblock at this crazy idea.

The culture war is up for grabs. The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they’re too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels.

Read that last paragraph again. Yes, he really did just say secular saboteurs are “too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids.”

Remember, Donohue is the guy who gets offended by practically everything, but then spews out highly offensive garbage like this.

I feel it might even be irresponsible for The Washington Post to publish this.  It’s unfair to all the sane Catholics.  Though in their defense, they did publish a counterpoint.

  • Steve

    I love it when Christians treat socialism and communism in a negative manner. Have they read the New Testament? Do they have any knowledge of the early Church? is there an older source of material to inspire hippies and commies with than the Bible?

    Where the hell does Free Market Jesus come from? I’d love to read that encyclical.

  • Valdyr

    The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they’re too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels.

    Wow, really? That’s obviously a swipe at gays, there, based on the stereotypes about promiscuity and anonymous sex. Maybe I’m just sensitive, but this comment strikes me as being roughly as offensive as something like: “The good news is that white folks continue to breed like rabbits, while black folks are too busy eating fried chicken and committing felonies.”

  • BZ

    How many people are actually in the Catholic League? I know it isn’t officially recognized by the Catholic church.

  • http://web.utk.edu/~bvanderf/ Hazor

    Hint: Jesus was not a capitalist.

    He’s the guy who said sell your stuff and give the money to the poor. Camels through eyes of needles and suchlike. You lot also need to work on your collective persecution complex, as it’s kind of unhealthy.

    “The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they’re too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels.”
    Finally someone sees that. :| Now if only we could get them to realize the potential population problems they’ll face as a theocracy.

  • JulietEcho

    If societal destruction is the goal, then it makes no sense to waste time by attacking the political or economic structure: the key to any society is its culture, and the heart of any culture is religion. In this society, that means Christianity, the big prize being Catholicism. Which explains why secular saboteurs are waging war against it.

    I can’t help imagining the millions of evangelical/fundamentalist Protestants all over America getting super pissed about having Catholicism called “the big prize” when they all *know* that it’s just a possibly-heretical group of semi-polytheistic weirdos who put too much emphasis on ritual and not enough on a relationship with Jesus Christ!

    I hope he gets some Chick Tracts in the mail, lol.

  • Valdyr

    Isn’t there a Chick tract that claims Islam is a conspiracy by the Catholic Church? Good times.

  • Korny

    Waitwaitwait…

    Did he just denounce multi-culturalism and call Christianity the heart of Western Civilisation AND THEN applaud Islam for being anti-gay?
    I thought we were crusading against Islam and everything that it stands for? /sarcasm

  • http://spaninquis.wordpress.com Spanish Inquisitor

    Wow. Just wow. I’m fascinated by sheer stupidity, and Donohue has got to be one of the stupidest.

    Why is it that bigots and people who tend to believe in conspiracy theories so often find refuge in religion? Is it because they can hide their whack-a-mole ideas and hatred behind the screen of religion, and when someone calls them on it, claim that they’re being discriminated against?

    That seems to be what Donohue does best. In fact, it’s all he does.

  • bigjohn756

    Is this guy related to Glenn Beck?

  • Justin jm

    Donohue’s rant has actual elements of fascist rhetoric in it, and I’m not just Godwinning here.

    Claiming that radicals (read: people he doesn’t like) are attempting to sabotage culture? Check.

    Paranoia? Check.

    Persecution delusion? Check.

    Manichean worldview? Check.

    The thing about religious conservatives outbreeding the “radicals?” Fascist Italy had a variety of incentives designed to get mothers to raise more children so they’d have a larger military.

    The first four are essential components of fascist ideology.

    In fact, Donohue has even made anti-Semitic comments directed against critics of the Passion of The Christ.

  • Amyable Atheist

    The rebuttal by John Gehring is quite good – a refreshingly reasonable palette cleanser after the vile swill of Bill Donohue…and Gehring’s attempt to avoid uttering the word “contraception” is downright aDORable!

    “Even on difficult issues, we reject culture-war showdowns by encouraging pro-choice and pro-life elected officials to find common ground and reduce abortions by increasing support for pregnant women, expanding adoption opportunities and preventing unintended pregnancies.”

  • bill

    and people wonder why atheists come off as angry. the world would be a better place if this guy would keep his mouth shut.

  • Polly

    There’s absolutely nothing surprising or extraordinary about any of that. In fact I’ve been hearing (listening to?) cow caca like that all of my adult life and even earlier.

  • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Iason Ouabache

    How many people are actually in the Catholic League?

    They claim over 200,000 members but their staff consists of Donohue, 3 secretaries and a very very busy fax machine.

  • Hammurabi

    The “walking their dogs” part is what stood out to me. Are we to assume that religious people are negligent pet owners?

  • Colin

    “Honey, could you walk the dog today? I’ve got to stop at the bathhouse and abort the kids!”

    Also maybe its true that “religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down” (though fertility is fairly low and declining even among the religious). But most secularists weren’t born secularists… they were born into some religion or other. Even if we can’t replace our numbers by “natural” means, many religious folks eventually make it over to our side.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Donohue for Pope. Might as well make him the official mouthpiece for the Catholic church.

  • muggle

    He’s a silly, silly man we should just ignore. Truly, why would we even care what he says?

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    @bigjohn

    Is this guy related to Glenn Beck?

    No, but he and Karl Rove were separated at birth.

  • Jake

    They’re too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids.

    I find that highly offensive!
    I, for one, have never once walked a dog. I’m a cat person, thank you very much.

  • llewelly

    October 21st, 2009 at 4:13 pm:

    Where the hell does Free Market Jesus come from? I’d love to read that encyclical.

    There’s a book about where it came from. It’s The Family, by Jeff Sharlett. Interview with Sharlet here.

  • muggle

    Jake, do you walk a cat?

    LOL! I have to ask because I have! Used to walk my vicious black cat on a lease before she died of old age. Could not allow her to run because she’d look for a dog to beat up and if she didn’t find a dog, she’d settle for the boring non-challenge of another cat. And humans (other than me, of course, one woman cat) having the nerve to pat her on the head were for biting.

    I even ran with her on the lease. People stared in amazement and asked (thinking I was a jogger or something which I definitely am not) did you train her to do that? No, she trained me. She wanted to run and I either had to follow or endure her choking at the end of the lease. The stubborn cuss, NY Bitch!

    Ah, sigh. I still miss that beast even though she’s been dead 13 years. I’m gonna be like Bojangles. After 20 years, she still grieves.

    I also miss running. And basketball. Walk with a cane now. Ah, well, just a new phase of life. At least, despite the cane, my grandson still gets me to disco now and then.

  • False Prophet

    Donahue isn’t an official spokesman for the Catholic Church, and not many Catholics either (does anyone belong to the Catholic League other than Bill and a fax machine?). He’s a GOP shill who tries to sway conservative Catholics into uniting with other conservatives on culture issues.

    Hence, as Gehring alludes in that WaPo response, he focuses on aspects of Catholic doctrine that align with Republican party talking points, like abortion and same-sex marriage. He remains strangely silent on other points of Catholic doctrine (from the Pope himself) that are critical of the GOP platform, like opposition to the death penalty, opposition to the Iraq War, and warnings against the evils of global capitalism.

    However, I’m sure most news broadcasters think loud-mouthed assholes make good TV, so he keeps making appearances.


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