Bill Donohue, ghoul

Oh god. Bill Donohue weighs in on Anthony Bourdain’s suicide.

If Anthony Bourdain had been a religious man, would he have killed himself? Probably not. The celebrity chef was found dead today in his hotel room in Strasbourg, France.

As I have recounted in my book, The Catholic Advantage: How Health, Happiness, and Heaven Await the Faithful, there is an inverse relationship between religiosity and suicide: those who are regular churchgoers have a much lower rate of suicide than atheists like Bourdain.

Nice of him to use the opportunity of the man’s death to plug his book.

You know, though, I think he’s sort of right: if you’re told over and over again from childhood on that suicide, in addition to ending your life and bringing grief to loved ones, will only lead to even greater misery as you’re tortured for eternity, I can see where it might dissuade some potential suicides. So let’s take it as a given that you can reduce the suicide rate by being indoctrinated in the Catholic faith (there’s data!) with the side effect that you are increasing fear and guilt to achieve your end. Would it be worth it?

If you could save Bourdain by erasing part of his character, do you think he would have chosen it? He had the opportunity, after all — his father was Catholic.

Would reducing the suicide rate be worthwhile if, instead, we increased the rate of child rape?

I’ll just leave this here.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has reached a $210 million settlement agreement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of a bankruptcy reorganization, officials announced Thursday.

At $210,290,724, it is estimated to be the second-largest payout by the Catholic church in the U.S., according to the Associated Press. It comes after nearly four years of bankruptcy proceedings and negotiations.

Before you ask…

The largest clergy abuse related settlement to date was reached in 2007 by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which paid 508 victims $660 million.

That’s almost a thousand children in just two cases, raped with the collusion of the Catholic church. Is that a fair price to pay? For anything?

We haven’t heard from Bill Donohue for a while

I wonder what he is up to…ah. He’s defending Trump’s savage budget cuts for the arts, because art isn’t reverent enough.

Justice demands that these agencies should be eliminated: Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for assaults on their religion. Christians constitute roughly 75 percent of the population; Catholics are approximately 25 percent of the total. In the name of “art,” these Americans are expected to pay for irreverent exhibits, but depictions that are reverential—such as a nativity scene outside City Hall—are denied a dime. It’s time we stopped giving the arts a privileged position and cut their funding. The same is true for publicly funded radio and TV programming that has a history of insulting the majority of Americans.

I don’t think he understands art. Bye, Bill, sink back into obscurity, ‘k?

Bill Donohue is being awful again

“Again?” you ask. “Isn’t he always awful?” Yes. It’s a permanent state for him.

He’s crowing over the defeat of a bill by the NY legislature that would have extended the statute of limitations on child rape crimes, and as we all know, and as Bill is certainly aware, “End Child Abuse” is code for “Destroy The Catholic Church”.

As The New York Daily News reports, Donohue sent out an email to supporters after the defeat of the Child Victims Act, an act that he said was designed “to rape the Catholic Church.” The bill would have extended the timeframe that victims can bring forward cases by five years and would have opened up a six-month period for victims to revive older cases.

“The bill was sold as justice for the victims of sexual abuse, when, in fact, it was a sham,” Donohue wrote in an email obtained by The New York Daily News. “[It was] a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church.”

Oh, no. Really? You just called the prosecution of child rape an act of rape? It’s kind of clear that Donohue has no understanding of what constitutes a violent sexual crime.

The FFRF also has a few things to say.

But the Church’s lobbying and Donohue’s obscene victory dance are admissions of guilt. They are conceding that this problem is far bigger than we know and that, though the new pope talks quite a lot about fixing the problem, the church has no intention of actually fixing it. After more than three years as pope, Francis has done nothing to bring genuine justice to the victims or the rapists to account. Nothing but talk.

Let’s not forget that Bill Donohue is just the easily visible painful boil on the face of a church that continues to protect child rapists.

Grand Inquisitor Bill Donohue leaps into action!

This is what Catholics need: a sense of justice, and a desire to vigorously pursue abuse within the church, rather than covering it up. Transparency and a willingness to change! Investigation and ending the abuse! So in the St Paul diocese there in my backyard, we’ve got a priest, Archbishop John Nienstedt, who has been charged with touching a choir boy inappropriately, and I would expect the church to take the issue seriously and bring in secular investigators to either clear his name or get a dangerous man out of their church. The Catholic League is willing to help and … OH BILL DONOHUE NO!

“Somebody knows who this character is who is making these accusations — I can’t wait to get to the bottom of this,” said Catholic League President Bill Donahue. “Nienstedt has been the subject of a non-stop crusade orchestrated by enemies of the Catholic Church. The time has come when people need to fight back.”

Donohue’s solution to the problem of pedophilia in his beloved church is … to hunt down and expose the names of children who dare to accuse priests. He also accuses the St Paul police of anti-Catholic bias.

Not that the Catholic church needs his help. They’ve got their response down to a ritual.

St. Paul Police has yet to comment. However, St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith accused the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Tuesday of not fully cooperating with investigations into alleged sex abuse by priests. He said that church officials declined to make clergy available to investigators.

Fox News, Gretchen Carlson, Bill Donohue

There’s nothing in that title to entice you, is there? It was a panel on religion (ugh), and at least Dave Silverman was there to represent the rational side. And right out of the gate, Bill Donohue insults Silverman’s intelligence.

The whole thing was weighted against him, and it was clearly a setup, but I have to give Silverman props for staying cool and bringing the fight right into the heart of hostile territory.

Bill Donohue sticks his foot in his mouth again

He’s such a charming fellow. A rabbi in New York wrote an op-ed in which he defended the right of women to make their own choices about reproduction, and in reply, Donohue called him a “man full of hate” and issued a veiled threat.

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).

Those Jews. Everyone hates ’em, so they better not cross the few Catholics who are willing to let them live, I guess.

But wait, there’s more!

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.

Wait, what? The Catholic church is now the model in how to handle priestly child-rapers? Please, no, not that…anything but that.

At least Bill Donohue has been poked savagely

The divorced Bill Donohue is in full-blown apoplexy over Obama’s tepid support for gay marriage.

I want the law to discriminate against straight people who live together — I used to call it shacking up, now it’s called cohabitation — I want the law to discriminate against all alternative lifestyles, against gays and unions.

Donohue’s argument against gay marriage is that it would open the door to all kinds of abominations…like brother and sister marriages, for which he cites a case in the courts. He asks the other guest on the show if he approves of that.

You know, if I were asked that question, I’d say…yeah, it ought not to be against the law. My personal squeamishness about how two people relate to one another ought not to be legally enforced; I’m sure there are people who consider what my partner and I do in the bedroom to be utterly disgusting, and I don’t think anyone should have to defend their private, consensual preferences to a team of strangers. I think prospective sibling marriages ought to be confronted with extensive genetic counseling, at the very least, and I might be willing to consider limiting the reproductive rights of such a relationship (because it would bring a third person into it, who does not deserve the potential genetic afflictions that can result from inbreeding) as reasonable, but otherwise…it’s not my place to police what other people do.

That answer would probably turn Donohue purple.

I have a song for you, Bill. Perhaps it will soothe your furrowed brow and bring your blood pressure down a few points.

Bill Donohue finds the proper bait for trolling

Bill Donohue has noticed that there are a lot of atheists running around and getting all up in his face, so the Catholic League is launching a counter-insurgency program, an Adopt An Atheist campaign, which I find kind of sweet and stupid.

Today we are launching our “Adopt An Atheist” campaign, the predicate of which is, “We want atheists to realize that there may be Christians in their community, even if those Christians don’t even know they are Christian.”

Uh, Bill…we know there are Christians in our communities. They’re all over the place, and they’re always rather loud about it. This is a campaign designed to ape what American Atheists do, and it puts Bill Donohue in an unfortunately defensive situation, in which he’s basically reacting to Dave Silverman by doing what Dave Silverman does…and it’s not going to work for him at all.

Here’s what our campaign entails. We are asking everyone to contact the American Atheist affiliate in his area [click here], letting them know of your interest in “adopting” one of them. All it takes is an e-mail. Let them know of your sincere interest in working with them to uncover their inner self. They may be resistant at first, but eventually they may come to understand that they were Christian all along.

If we hurry, these closeted Christians can celebrate Christmas like the rest of us. As an added bonus, they will no longer be looked upon as people who “believe in nothing, stand for nothing and are good for nothing.”

When atheists heard about this deal, they scrambled to beg to be “adopted”. He’s already hooked Cuttlefish, Greg, and JT, and heck, sign me up, too. Why? Because the comedic opportunities are freaking ripe. Donohue’s hooks are improperly baited — all they’re going to snag are happy atheists who’d love to see a fanatical Catholic willingly get in range for a mix of rational discussion, critical evaluation of Christian absurdities, and outright mockery.

Bill Donohue doesn’t seem to realize that he and Dave Silverman are in highly asymmetric situations (which doesn’t surprise me — Donohue is not a particularly insightful fellow). The Catholic church’s problem is not that people are unaware of them; as the largest single Christian denomination, Catholicism has name brand recognition. Their problem is that people know all about the Catholic church, and they run away screaming from it.

Its fusty medievalisms are the stuff of gothic horror novels and Dungeons & Dragons games, not contemporary life. Its most notable claim to fame recently has been raping children, and I think anyone can tell you, getting your brand name associated with child abuse, enslaving women, and providing a cushy old folks home for unrepentant pedophiles is not good marketing.

And along those lines, proposing to “adopt” people, something we usually associate with children…that’s not a good reminder to throw out there, Bill. When I first heard of this misbegotten plan to have a Catholic ‘adopt’ people like me, it wasn’t that they’d teach me to appreciate the true story of Christmas, but that my virginal anus was under threat.

Besides, I already celebrate Christmas the right way: with cephalopods on a fake tree, lefse and krumkake, kissing a pretty girl, and lounging about indolently all day long. We’ve successfully stolen the meaning of “holiday” away from the believers: instead of a day of sacred obligations, it’s now a day of freedom from obligations of all sorts — it’s a day off, when we can just relax and do what makes us and others happy.

And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Bill Donohue and I agree on something?

I know, it’s a sign of the coming apocalypse…but Bill Donohue of the Catholic League opposes faith-based federal programs, just like I do! Well, not quite like I do. It turns out he has a different reason than I do.

When Sen. Obama was running for president three years ago, he pledged support for faith-based programs provided they were emptied of any faith component: he opposed the right of faith-based programs to maintain their integrity by hiring only people of their faith.

When faith is gutted from faith-based programs–when Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Jews can’t hire their own–we are left with a carcass. It would be better to save the money (Obama’s faith-based program received $140 million in stimulus money last year) than to pretend that we are helping religious social agencies. The goal, obviously, is to convert these religious entities into full-blown secular organizations. It would be better not to let them hijack these programs in the name of assisting them, thus it makes sense to shut them down.

Oh. He opposes them because Obama doesn’t think it’s right to use federal money to promote bigotry, while Cranky Bill thinks that bigotry is the precious guts of his faith.

I oppose them because faith doesn’t work.

I guess we won’t be high-fiving each other if ever we meet, then.

Why does the Catholic church allow Bill Donohue to speak for them?

This is a real mystery. Donohue is an angry guy with a fax machine who gets donations from affronted Catholics, which is nothing the church can do about, obviously…but he also pretends to be a defender of Catholicism while having no standing with the church and while making the most outrageous claims. You’d think someone in the hierarchy would take a moment to mention to journalists that the crazy ranting guy does not speak for them. I guess maybe the old guard thinks he does a good job representing their views, which makes him even worse.

Donohue is waxing indignant again about church pedophilia scandals. He has returned to his familiar excuse: it isn’t child abuse, it’s evil homosexuality.

The refrain that child rape is a reality in the Church is twice wrong: let’s get it straight—they weren’t children and they weren’t raped. We know from the John Jay study that most of the victims have been adolescents, and that the most common abuse has been inappropriate touching (inexcusable though this is, it is not rape). The Boston Globe correctly said of the John Jay report that “more than three-quarters of the victims were post pubescent, meaning the abuse did not meet the clinical definition of pedophilia.” In other words, the issue is homosexuality, not pedophilia.

If it is inexcusable, why is Bill Donohue making excuses for it?

He is certainly downplaying it. He’s desperately trying to point out that there is a continuum of sexual behavior here, as if that means it wasn’t as bad as everyone thinks it was. Why, it wasn’t always a priest pinning a 9-year-old girl down and penetrating her vaginally with his penis, so it was all OK! All it was was mostly cases of a priest being manually masturbated by 15-year-old boys, so everyone should go home now and not worry about nasty rotten evil priests any more.

He really doesn’t get it. The problem here isn’t what specific sex act was performed, or the exact age of the victims: it is a violation of trust and an abuse of minors from a position of power. I know that kids of that age may think about sex and have desires that they indulge in with their peers…but that simply does not make it acceptable for older men to hide behind their piety in order to manipulate them into gratifying their desires.

Take the case of Lawrence Murphy, the priest who molested 200 deaf boys in his care in Wisconsin. That he was having sex with males does not bother me at all; if he were being defrocked for loving, consensual sexual behavior with a man (or a woman, for that matter), I’d be holding him up as an example of the inhuman insensitivity of the church. But that wasn’t what he was doing: he was bringing bewildered schoolboys into his office, using his authority to order them to strip naked, and fondling their bodies. And then receiving no chastisement from the church, which actually protected him from official action because he was considered a valuable fundraiser.

I’d like to know what Donohue would consider acceptable behavior from a priest. Forceful vaginal penetration is clearly off the table, while a priest doing anything with a boy is going to be condemned as homosexuality…so I guess compelling 13-18 year old girls to give you oral sex is perfectly normal, healthy sexual behavior for a Catholic priest? Well within the boundaries of his vows, I’m sure.

It seems to me that by trying to excuse one part of the range of sexual activities by implying that another set of of coerced sexual activities is worse just means that Donohue is admitting that you can’t trust priests with boys in choir or confirmation classes or Sunday school. Good work, Bill.

By the way, the US court system has now served the pope with papers. The pope knew about the abuse, sheltered it, and even enabled it by defending child-molesting priests.

There are Catholics who reject Donohue’s representation — I just heard from Rev. Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President, Road to Recovery, Inc. and founding member of NSAC (National Survivor Advocates Coalition), a fellow who has been fighting to get the church to distance itself more from the hate advocates like the Catholic League. Good for them!