by David Fortwengler
Tonight Bill Donohue and the Catholic League will be holding a rally in New York City to protest the decision by officials from the Empire State Building, a privately held company, not to light the tower blue and white on the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa's birthday. Donohue claims his organization exists to safeguard religious freedom rights and free speech rights for Catholics. The truth is that those rights are fiercely protected in our country; they are not being threatened, they are not in jeopardy. Because Catholic rights are not under attack bloviating Bill justifies his existence by criticizing non-Catholics for exercising their rights.
Why would he consider the lack of blue and white on a private building in any way a denial of Catholic rights? The fact he has obtained a permit to protest the ESB’s decision proves that none of his protected freedoms are being denied. I do not question his rights, only his motives and methods. When questioned by Catholic journalist Raymond Arroyo of EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) Bill was asked what the motive could be for the ESB’s decision. He responded, “Blatant anti-Catholicism.” The purpose of the Catholic League is not to defend rights that are already constitutionally protected, it’s purpose is to deflect and deny any disagreement or criticism of the church by labeling it as prejudiced or biased.
Summer of Discontent
Donohue’s summer of discontent began May 12 when the Empire State Building denied his request for the Mother Teresa “tribute.” Since that day, out of 116 Catholic League news releases, he has devoted 81 to this case of “dissing Mother Teresa.” His only breaks in the barrage were to label the likes of Stephen Hawking, atheists, Oliver Stone, Anne Rice, Lady Gaga, Jay Leno, Lindsay Lohan, and of course the New York Times as anti-Catholics looking to destroy the Church. He also took the time to write an editorial for the Washington Post on June 8 claiming the sex abuse scandal is really a “homosexual crisis.”
Sadly, the long term goal of many Catholic apologists like Donohue is to discredit the facts about the scandal, the Catholic hierarchy's negligence, and the lack of accountability. He wants to pretend that secular societies outrage is merely a result of victim’s groups, attorney’s, and the media’s anti-Catholicism. The litany of excuses and minimizations include, it’s in the past, others have done it, the issue lacks perspective, most priests are good priests, why is it on the front page, and the church is a victim of an unjust attack. Thankfully, history will record the truth. The only question now is how much more truth will be revealed.
A Real Protest
Mother Teresa has received at least 124 awards, many from secular organizations including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Medal of Freedom, and the U.S. Postal Service is issuing a stamp in her honor. All society is aware of and has recognized Mother Teresa for her compassion and good works. Just because Anthony Malkin owns the light switch at the ESB and is exercising his freedoms, to call him anti-Catholic is outrageous. By the way, if Mr. Malkin would like to light up his tower in my honor, I request a black light and a giant Jimi Hendrix poster.
If Donohue wants to further honor Mother Teresa he is welcome to string up all the blue and white lights he can afford at his house, Catholic League offices, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, diocesan buildings, and the Vatican. He should insist all Catholic tenants of the ESB move out, that Catholics boycott sightseeing trips to the observation deck, that they should avert their eyes from the building when scanning the NYC skyline, and when watching King Kong they must always root for Kong.
The Catholic League’s problem with Jay Leno was for two jokes he told during his monologue on July 7.
"Oh, and a Catholic priest in Connecticut has been charged with stealing $1.3 million in church money and using the money for male escorts. Of course, his parish is very upset about this—except the altar boys. They're going, huh, dodged a bullet on that one.”
“Yeah, he spent $1.3 million on male escorts and, of course, the other priests were very confused. They said: Why buy the escort when the altar boys are free?"
Donohue claims Leno is bigoted because he didn’t mention the priest is homosexual.