Bill Donohue Responds To ‘Piss Christ’ 25 Years Late and in a Predictably Dumb Way

So Catholic League leader Bill Donohue is mad… again.

He shouted his way through this video, regarding the American government’s reaction to The Innocence of Muslims.

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He starts off shouting about “Piss Christ,” a photographic depiction of a small crucifix submerged in artist Andres Serrano‘s urine:

He continues shouting about how this is an award-winning piece of artwork that is celebrated and being brought back to display in Manhattan while The Innocence of Muslims was almost universally reviled:

Why are they choosing now? Why are they choosing the fall of 2012? I think it has something to do with the fact that they know they can get away with impunity by insulting Christians. For example, we know that there’s an anti-Islamic video out there — it’s caused Muslims to riot the streets.  People are dead in Pakistan and other parts of the world because people are taking to the streets upset about a video which, admittedly, is disrespectful to their religion.  And, you know, we find the people even in the White House, the political elites: President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, they’re suffering apoplexy! They say this is awful, why should we insult anybody’s religion?  I would agree with them on that!

I’d only ask them: Where are they when Christians are being offended? We are offended over and over again, through the artistic community, on radio and television, in the movies. Where have these people been?  Why don’t they ever speak out against anti-Christian fare? 

This is something that I have been turning over in my head since the whole Innocence of Muslims thing got out of control.

I thought: “Why should Obama apologize or condemn this stupid, crappy little film?  Freedom of speech, man!  America!  We have to protect all voices, even the unpopular ones! Especially the unpopular ones, like mine!”

Then, I watched a Daily Show interview with Salman Rushdie and he made a point that I hadn’t thought about: The people who are rioting don’t have an understanding of separation of society at large and the state. To them, an insulting video from one asshole American is an insult from our government.

Not to mention the whole region is a powder keg and everyone is treading lightly.  These are complicated times, and it’s hard to say what is the best way to deal with international crises.

Not to mention Donohue sounds like a shouting man-baby.  Shouldn’t he be saying, “Look at the Catholic community!  We face criticism every day and we respond with grace and by rising above” or something superior-sounding like that?  Instead he sounds like a bratty kid who only got one cookie when his sister got two.

So anyway, Donohue wrapped up his shout-a-thon by showing his new artwork:

It’s an Obama bobble-head in fake poop.

So.  Yeah.  I mean… I probably could come up with something snarky to say about it, but honestly what could I possibly type that would make Donohue seem dumber than just a picture of him holding a Tupperware container with brown Play-Doh and an Obama statue?

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • Alexander Ryan

    I don’t laugh often but this had tears streaming down my face. This level of idiocy surpasses all others. I hope he enjoys his bobblehead. 

  • Sherry Young

    No words — there are no words. 

  • Jukka Lattu

    Thanks Bill, for this demonstration on free speech. The artist is free to dunk a crucifix in urine as a comment on free speech, just as you are perfectly within your rights if you feel like putting fake poo on a miniature statue of Obama. That was exactly the point we, the defenders of free speech, are trying to make here. Good job.

    By the way, looking at the big round jar that’s full of crap got me thinking that maybe this art piece was actually meant as a self-portrait? Very clever from him, I have to admit.

  • Fargofan

    Jesus in number one, so Obama in number two? He’s basically equating Jesus with Obama, then. I don’t think that has occurred to him, or his head would have exploded by now.

  • michael both

    Hilarious, but minus one credibility point for not having the balls to use real ‘poop’.

  • Fritzy

    Serrano’s photo was of a cheap, mass-produced plastic crucifix made in China–the image is meant to represent the cheapening and commercialization of religion (particularly by the Catholic Church.)  Donahue should be pissed (pun intended), but he’s not bright or insightful enough to realize exactly how this photo is critical of him and his Church.  

    As for the logic and substance of his argument: par for the course.  That he doesn’t realize that he has actually argued for freedom of expression, despite how offensive it might be to some, clearly went way over his addled head.

  • IndyFitz

    “It’s caused Muslims to riot”

    I always love this logic.  Nothing CAUSED Muslims to riot; Muslims CHOSE to riot.  I guess we continue to be a species bent on blaming everyone else for our actions.  Why take responsibility?  Why expect responsibility when you can use it as a crutch to support your own arguments?

    I like how he was afraid to say something like “Shit Obama” but several times said “Piss Christ.”  The former was offensive to others, but the latter was not to Catholics?  Amusing.

  • 00001000_bit

    Not sure what you’re talking about. I see a real piece of s_it in that picture … it’s the thing holding the container with the fake poop in it.

  • Kaydenpat

    Why didn’t he put a Muhammed bobblehead in the jar of poop?  Now that would have been as insulting to some Muslims as “Piss Christ” is insulting to some Christians (emphasis on “some” since not all Christians actually care about that piece of art one way or the other).

  • 00001000_bit

    The thing I find funniest about “Piss Christ” is that unless you are *told* what it is, there’s nothing to be offended by in the photo. If it was named “The Passion of the Savior” or something like that, I bet you’d find Christians clamoring to buy it and hang it in their homes. (It actually is visually appealing.)

    And even when you are told what it is, you have to wonder if it is true. I mean, Serrano, drink a glass of water occasionally.

  • Sackbut

    I thought: “Why should Obama apologize or condemn this stupid, crappy
    little film?  Freedom of speech, man!  America!  We have to protect all voices, even the unpopular ones! Especially the unpopular ones, like mine!”

    This is largely what the president said in his excellent address to the UN.  Objectionable speech is best countered by more speech, not by violence.  We may criticize, we may condemn, but we should not silence.

    But note there is a huge distinction between condemning the video and saying the producer should be prosecuted.  Free speech includes the right of the president to condemn something when he finds that appropriate.  It would be censorship for him to call for the video to be banned, and it would be censorship for him to be told he could not voice criticism of the video.

  • SeniorSkeptik

      It seems to me the poop is outside the jar, not on the inside.

  • Richard Wade

    Bill Donohue is the Mr. Fury of the Catholic Church, forever in an ineffectual, lying-on his-back-kicking-his-feet-on-the-ground temper tantrum 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The only time he isn’t complaining about an offense to the Catholic Church is when he’s inhaling. His outraged offense is never in the “off” position. It’s never even in the “pause” position. Does anybody pay attention to him other than us? We only pay attention to him for the entertainment value.

    First he implies that he and his Catholic friends are superior for not rioting over Piss Christ, but then he gives the impression that he thinks he’d get more respect and support from the “liberal government” if he  attacked a U.S. embassy. I suppose here in the U.S. that would be the headquarters of the State Department itself. Does he daydream about firing an RPG at the building?

    He seems confused, wanting the best of both worlds. He wants the sense of moral superiority of living in a free speech country that doesn’t riot over blasphemy, but he also wants the privileged protection of living in a blasphemy law country.

  • Andrew Ayers

    Back in the late 1980s, when I was still a teenager and only peripherally cared about this kind of “news”, I had thought that this artwork of  Serrano’s was an actual object; that they had this jar filled with urine and a crucifix on display.

    At the time, I thought it was a stupid objection to a piece of art, and still do. Imagine my surprise when I found out later, as an adult, that this work was actually a /photograph/…

    Seriously? A photo. People get worked up by a photo purporting to show something, and because it is named a certain way and depicted in a certain manner, obviously means it is what it is. But what if it isn’t…?

    Does that change anything? What would it say if, for instance (because we have nothing but the artist’s word at this point), all this “controversy” was because of some words and perception? When it gets right down to it – that is what the work represents, and puts on display, for all the world to see.

    I hope Serrano never tells us exactly how those photos were produced. I hope he takes the secret to the grave, because whether what is depicted is real or not doesn’t matter, only our collective reaction to it. How that reaction changes over time says something about our maturity as a species, I think.

  • ミッコ

    Fatwa envy

  • Coyotenose

    Very insightful, but it shows his lack of true skill as an artist that the self-portrait jar isn’t painted red, lacks a mostly-empty airhorn, and has the lid completely screwed on.

  • chicago dyke, Blonde

    please, you know exactly why. this is not about “catholic rights” or “freedom of religious expression” or any other lofty goal. it’s purely and simply about the 1% using one of their propaganda artists to try to bring down democratic administration and our first mixed race president. people like this asswipe are silent when a republican is in charge, no matter what religious idea they happen to offend. 

  • Randomfactor

    Yeah, I’ve come to expect fake shit from Donohue.

  • Randomfactor

     A year ago I saw a TV news segment on a “prayer center” opened in a major American city.  People could sign up for a stint, a certain hour-long period during which they’d pray for the city.

    In the background of the shot, prominently displayed, was a print of “Piss Christ.”

  • Randomfactor

     And the more the Catholics push their faithful towards Romney, the more they move towards Obama (and, many of them, toward freedom from the Roman Catholic Church.

  • AnalogousGumdropDecoder

     Well, it is definitely his urine.  He’s used a lot of bodily fluids.  He did two Metallica album covers – one was blood and semen, the other was blood and urine.  That’s how Serrano rolls.

  • Marco Conti

    What an obnoxious cry baby. Does anyone know where I can get a Bill Donahue bubble head? I have some “art materials” here that I want to use.

  • Larry Meredith

    You’d think Bill should be more offended at sacred Christian symbols being cheaply manufactured merchandise. But then you realize Donohue himself treats his faith as a cheap mass-market product.

  • Artor

    Because Obama, in his position as the AntiChrist, is also the Supreme High Seekrit Mullah of all Islam, doncha’ know.

  • Artor

    Because Obama, in his position as the AntiChrist, is also the Supreme High Seekrit Mullah of all Islam, doncha’ know.

  • Randy

    I think, for perhaps the first time in his life, Bill has a point.  It’s fun to be outraged at him, and laugh at how moronic he is, but he’s not wrong here.  Well, not completely wrong, anyway.

  • PJB863

    Enjoy your jar of poop, Bill, you’re so easily amused…..

  • David Starner

    I’ve never really understood why “Piss Christ” is considered an interesting work of art. Just being transgressive is not art. I’ve heard several definitions of why it’s meaningful, and they’re all different, and they all feel like someone wanted to put meaning into this because it’s “art”. I think if the Bill Donahues of the world had stayed silent about it, the art community wouldn’t have had to be so defensive about it.

  • Coyotenose

     I don’t know Serrano’s personal stated goals or motives, or whether his description of the photos being about the commercialization and cheapening of the church came before or after the criticism, but yep, the fact that people like Donahue have such fits over such mild free expression is itself justification for the expression. They make it necessary for others to slaughter their sacred cows.

  • Sandy Kokch

    First up Brillo is just another bloviating ignoramus. He is a bully, and the best way of dealing with him is ignoring him and denying him the media oxygen he so craves. The less attention he gets, the more extreme he gets….and now hes bubbling about around a 7 on the Westboro scale of extremism.

    As to that pathetic excuse for art – I utterly despise the Damien Hurst school of modern installation in a workshop mode cack sold as art anyway. Id happily burn the Tate Modern down to the foundations. Brillo failed in his attempt as he should have got some twatty agent to sell that poo jar to some modern art gallery for several million… easy that would have been.

    Now, on to the bit that really got my hackles up…..

    “Then, I watched a Daily Show…etc”Really? Are you Americans so sodding culturally ignorant of the situations in other countries that you did not understand that? Really? Despite news article after news article and report in the press and media of western states like France and the UK telling you that? Despite news report after news report where rioting madasses have been interviewed and said that? Despite gazillions of posts by European secularists and atheists like me warning you that was what the cultural worldview of these rioters and states was?And only after watching an interview on a satirical show, where Salman actually just said the same thing he has been saying for the past decade, the penny finally frickin drops?You Americans need to get something in your heads. YOUR cultural viewpoints on free speech and state and church separation are NOT those of the rest of the world, and just as you look at them through the goggles of your cultural views, so they look at your society through their cultural goggles.Now, at the end of the day it is as we Brits say “Your gaff, your rules”. I dont mind that/ – but when you feign ignorance as to why some sectors of the Muslim world get up in arms when Jones burns Korans that just makes me choke. In the UK we could and would lock that idiot up, and the makers of this film, for hate crimes and incitement. In the US you seem content to sit on a powder keg smoking a stogie. I know which system I prefer…. ours.

  • Marcus Byrne

    Great post!  I’m a BSU Cardinal alum as well (TCOM 04). I stumbled upon this post by accident while doing my Blasphemy Day reading.

  • Coyotenose

     Since you don’t grasp that ignoring fundamentalists actually lets them grow stronger, it isn’t really surprising that you just wrote a post complaining about how you don’t understand the American worldview but they’re stupid if they don’t understand yours.

    Feel free to keep your fascism-lying-in-wait speech laws. That’s worked out REAL well in the past, hasn’t it?

  • Sonorus

    I always hear a tinge of jealousy in the comments from people like Bill Donohue.  I think he’s like to live in the Christian version of a Muslim theocracy where people rioted in the streets over perceived acts of blasphemy.  that’s not how we roll in a free society.  You don’t have a right not to be offended.  And really, that they have to find something 25 years old says something about how rare things like this actually are.  (It reminds me of the anti-porn feminists who are still protesting about a Hustler cover from the 1970s.)  If you have to work this hard to be outraged maybe you need to find a new hobby.

  • Ned Ludd

    The asshole wants a $50,000 grant too. He already gets much more than that in tax exemptions. For him, too much is not enough.

  • RobertoTheChi

    I get nauseous every time this asshole opens his fat mouth. He’s offended by EVERYTHING!

  • CultOfReason

    No mason jar in the world is large enough to hold the amount of crap this guy spews.

  • Jessica

    Go Cards!!

  • Willy Occam

    I agree with you, David.  I enjoy all kinds of art, controversial or otherwise, and have always found Serrano’s Piss Christ to be rather uninteresting as art, and simply an excuse to just get people riled up.   In my opinion, the “message” seems to be too obvious and simplistic, and the work is not even in the same league as Duchamp’s surrealist ready-mades (which I love).  I once saw Serrano interviewed in the 1980s, after the Piss Christ scandal, and that confirmed my suspicions that he was nothing more than an opportunistic publicity whore. Serrano was always (and unfortunately) lumped together with the other target of the day, Robert Mapplethorpe, who is a far more interesting artist.  In those days, it was Jesse Helms who boosted the recognition of these (and other) artists by claiming that they were “purveyors of pornography.” 

  • NortheastLiz123

    Sorry, this pathetic attempt to distract us from Obama’s lies isn’t going to fly. There’s nothing complicated or nuanced about the situation. Only a two year old would believe that the rioting was “caused” by a particular one of the ten million anti-Muslim videos on YouTube (not to mention the countless anti-Muslim and anti-religious books etc). Only an idiot would believe that condemning the video would appease these murderous savages, even if it were the cause. And of course Obama knew from the beginning it was a premeditated terrorist attack and was merely promoting a cynical election-year distraction to make Americans disregard the fact that his foreign policy is in shambles and Muslims worldwide are burning the flag and picture of him.