Don’t be too shocked at the title; my arguments are with Catholicism, not the poor unfortunate victims of that dogma, the Catholics. In this case, one Catholic organization, Catholics for Choice (uh-oh—already, I can tell that one argument against them will be that they aren’t True Catholics™) has published a scathing criticism of Bill Donohue and the Catholic League. Here’s their summary:
From the beginning, the Catholic League was marked by a schizophrenic attitude that
would become its hallmark: It simultaneously argued for the right of conservative
Catholics to impose their values in the public sphere, while arguing against the right
of others in the public sphere to offer legitimate criticism of Catholics or Catholicism.
The Catholic League tactics are i) manufacture controversy; ii) try to intimidate the
“enemy”; iii) bully the opposition; iv) complain early and often; v) attack popular
culture; and vi) silence the loyal opposition.
In utilizing these tactics it actively embarrasses, intimidates, bullies and distorts
reality to suppress critics of the Catholic church, the Vatican, and the church’s many
Catholic League president Bill Donohue is in a constant quest for the next
“controversy” to keep his particular brand of reactionary Catholicism in the media
Once Donohue has found a “controversy” he uses wildly inflated rhetoric that is sure
to inflame–either in print or in one of his infamous cable TV news appearances–and
then stages a protest or takes out an ad in the New York Timesto attract attention.
Then he waits for the seemingly ever-receptive press to show up.
When it comes to peddling its special brand of inflammatory rhetoric, the media and
arts have been a special target of the Catholic League since the mid-1990s.
The number of examples of anti-Catholicism claimed by the Catholic League grew
from 140 in 1995 to 320 in 2006, yet the only thing that seems to have actually
increased is the League’s definition of anti-Catholic activity.
As thin-skinned as Donohue appears to be when it comes to any one else referring to
Catholicism, Jesus or the Virgin Mary, apparently his rules don’t apply to himself and
Unable to explain away the Catholic church’s embarrassing pedophilia scandal,
Donohue tried to turn it back on progressive Catholic activists, claiming that they
were exaggerating the scandal to try and bring down the church.
When the media cover the tempests he manages to whip up from time to time, few
ever stop to examine the basis for his objections–they just cover the dog fight.
Donohue claims that the Catholic League has some 350,000 members and that
number is often used by the media when referencing the organization’s supposed
clout. These numbers, however, appear to be a highly inflated picture of the Catholic
League’s actual membership.
Read the whole thing, all 25 pages of it. It’s a very useful takedown.