SORE WINNER. One would think that William Donohue, the mouth of the right-wing organization, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, would be humbly and joyously thanking his Creator for last week's merciless Supreme Court decision upholding the federal ban on the dilation & extraction method of abortion. Instead, the official bully of the Catholic right chooses to use the occasion, in this piece at Human Events Online, to rehash old, trumped-up charges against journalists who, when reporting on the nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, noted that both men are conservative Roman Catholics. According to Donohue, who has made a career out of spewing resentment and worse, reporting on the biography of a Catholic Supreme Court nominee amounts to anti-Catholicism. (Note to my future biographers, I am a Roman Catholic and I don't mind if you say so.) In fact, Donohue confers upon the Prospect and yours truly a special prize:

When John Roberts was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, his Catholicism became an issue with pundits like NPR�s Nina Totenberg, ABC�s Barbara Walters, CNN�s Tony Harris, Slate�s Christopher Hitchens, the Washington Post�s E.J. Dionne, Harper�s John MacArthur, former governor Mario Cuomo, et al. No one beat The American Prospect�s Adele Stan: She wrote that Bush was �playing the Catholic card� in nominating Roberts, and that �Rome must be smiling.�

(Note that the Rome must be smiling quote to which Donohue refers was a post on my personal blog, not part of a Prospect piece. My piece on the Roberts nomination for TAP Onlne can be found here.)

Donohue has long played a dishonest game -- supported by such upstanding types as Mary Ann Glendon,Kate O'Beirne, George Weigel, and Dinesh D'Souza, all of whom grace the Catholic League's Board of Advisors -- that conflates opposition to church teaching on women's rights with anti-Catholic bigotry. Yet, in his Human Events piece he asserts, "almost everyone associated with the pro-abortion movement has lied at one time or another." He neglects to note that one of his favorite co-religionists, Justice Alito, apparently bent the truth on his application for a job in the Justice Department when he claimed to have been a member of the anti-woman, anti-black Concerned Alumni of Princeton.

Calling those of us who opposed the additions of Roberts and Alito to the high court "anti-Catholic bullies," Donohue asks, "Must they be reminded that Senators Kennedy, Kerry, Leahy, Durbin and Dodd are also Catholic, and that they also support partial-birth abortion?" Not altogether true: Unfortunately, Leahy voted for the ban that the court upheld. And, yes, we know who our Catholic allies are, and sometimes call upon them, precisely because of their Catholicism, to stand firm in face of attacks from Donohue, whose organization hardly represents the beliefs of most U.S. Catholics.

Donohue's distemper in the face of his side's own victory begs the question: Why do such eminences as Glendon, Weigel and O'Beirne allow their names to be paired with that of this rageful bigot?

--Adele M. Stan

You may also like