The perpetually outraged Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, has picked a rather nasty little fight with a rabbi who dared to criticize the Catholic Church for its opposition to the president’s contraception coverage policy. And he’s giving Jews a stern warning:
Catholic League president Bill Donohue, a vocal conservative voice who recently warred with The Daily Show over a “vagina manger,” has infuriated prominent Jewish leaders with a private email last week to Philadelphia Rabbi Arthur Waskow.
Waskow, a progressive rabbi involved in the Jewish Renewal movement, had criticized the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in a Huffington Post op-ed for “attacking the religious freedom of millions of American women and the religious freedom of American nuns” over contraception.
Donohue responded with a note to Waskow that launched an email exchange that ended with a warning, forwarded to BuzzFeed by a source close to the rabbi, that “Jews had better not make enemies of their Catholic friends since they have so few of them” (Donohue writes that this is a saying of Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York). Donohue also includes a postscript saying, “I do not have a long nose.”
Donahue also raised a recent child abuse scandal in Orthodox Jewish communities.
“You need to do something about this epidemic right now,” he told Waskow, who is not Orthodox, suggesting that Jews follow the Catholic Church’s reforms in dealing with clerical abuse.
Let us count the levels of irony here. First of all, we’ve got a Catholic apologist claiming Jews shouldn’t alienate their “Catholic friends.” Friends? Shall we go into the long history of Catholic pogroms against the Jews over the centuries? We can start with the Edict of Milan and cite many popes along the way, including Innocent III, who said “the Jews, by their own guilt, are consigned to perpetual servitude because they crucified the Lord…As slaves rejected by God, in whose death they wickedly conspire, they shall by the effect of this very action, recognize themselves as the slaves of those whom Christ’s death set free.” With friends like that, who needs enemies?
Secondly, we have a man who has staunchly defended the Catholic church’s pedophilia scandals claiming that Jews should emulate that church’s barbaric policies to deal with their own. And then they should emulate Lindsay Lohan’s strategy for staying sober.