Culture Wars logo

 

Culture of Death Watch

 

Answered Prayers: Bill Donohue’s Catholic League Whacks Culture Wars

by Thomas J. Herron

They say be careful what you pray for, you just might get it. I never believed that before, but in the last few days I’m beginning to reconsider. You see, after nine or ten years, depending on how you count, one of my outstanding petitions to heaven has been answered. I’ve finally heard from Dr. William Donohue and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in New York City. But it wasn’t the response I was looking for or much less wanted. Let me be specific.

The Catholic League, founded in 1973 by a Jesuit professor at Milwaukee’s Marquette University, Father Vigil Blum, is in the business of fighting for Catholics who experience discrimination in American society today. In the words of its nobly written web page, “The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization … the Catholic League defends the right of Catholics – lay and clergy alike – to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination. Motivated by the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment, the Catholic League works to safeguard both the religious freedom rights and the free speech rights of Catholics whenever and wherever they are threatened.”

 

That’s good, you might say. But then you might ask, how does the League do this specifically? Well the answers are:

 

When slanderous assaults are made against the Catholic Church, the Catholic League hits the newspapers, television, and radio talk shows defending the right of the Church to promote its teachings with as much verve as any other institution in society. When Catholics are the victims of a bigoted portrayal by the media, the Catholic League issues news releases bringing the matter to the attention of the public. It may also encourage a boycott of the program’s sponsors. When Catholic students or employees are denied their rights in school or on the job, the Catholic League makes a formal response to the guilty parties; the league response may include litigation. When the religious freedom rights of any American are threatened, the Catholic League stands ready to fight for justice in the courts. When Catholics are slighted by public officials, the Catholic League calls press conferences alerting the public to the unacceptable behavior of their servants. When Catholic interests are unfairly represented by public policy initiatives, the Catholic League offers testimony before legislative bodies to set the record straight. When officials in government, the media and education need an informed perspective on Catholic civil rights issues, the Catholic League provides a quick and effective response. (emphasis added).

 

Their web site goes on to state, “In essence, the Catholic League monitors the culture, acting as a watchdog agency and defender of the civil rights of all Catholics. Much of what we do is reported in our monthly journal.”

As you’re reading a journal that looks at American culture from a Catholic perspective you would be glad to see that there is a full time organization looking at these things. But you might be shocked to learn that the July-August, 2004 issue of that monthly journal, The Catalyst, condemned the editor of this magazine as an anti-Semite who was playing fast and loose with Catholic theology. In fact that was the title of the piece in the newsletter, “Playing fast and loose with Theology,” and it condemned E. Michael Jones in a review of his review of Roy Schoeman’s book Salvation is from the Jews, which ran in the February, 2004 issue of Culture Wars.  At the outset of the piece Dr. Donohue, or one of his employees who wrote it for him, lets us know that neither Mr. Schoeman nor its “mainstream” publisher, Ignatius Press, is under the microscope for heresy. No, it is Jones who is “unequivocally condemned” for “writing an anti-Semitic rant that plays fast and loose with Catholic theology.” The problem is that our editor used his review “to engage in a freewheeling polemic against Jews.”

Now if you followed what the Catholic League said about itself in its web site that I just quoted you might be confused. Nowhere did the League say that it engaged in internal examinations of the orthodoxy of Catholic writers. Nowhere did it indicate that it did anything but battle for the rights of Catholics in America’s public square, leaving condemnations for heresy to the hierarchy. In fact, from their web site, the League’s Board of Directors adopted a position statement in Spring, 1998 that contained the following thoughts:

Most importantly, the Catholic League does not want to be involved in the internal questions of the Church. We all realize that the Catholic Church in the United States can be characterized at the present moment as one of turmoil, ferment, creativity, confusion—choose your term. Such differences of ecclesial life and polity are being experienced at all levels of the Church—from the cathedral to the rectory. It is incumbent on the leadership of the league to navigate with all these forces and not succumb to one of them. The league wishes to be neither left nor right, liberal or conservative, revolutionary or reactionary. We have done a number of things to try to assure this stance by not associating with or disassociating from groups or persons who want us to fight in these internal wars. Our president, Dr. William Donohue, has resisted any efforts on the part of other organizations to coopt [sic] us.

Of course that same statement also indicated that the League was considering itself in the model of the ADL or the NAACP so their might be some convoluted thinking going on, especially when the actual history of their president is examined and whether the League at present is the tool of certain non-Christian political trends which have their origins in Trotsky’s variation on Marx’s theme and which also have taken over the Republican party and a large share of America’s media.

But back to The Catalyst’s theological condemnation of E. Michael Jones. As I read it, I found that the editor of Culture Wars was being condemned for statements he never made in that issue of the magazine. Dr. Donohue’s organization stated that Jones’ position on the Jews reminded them of a major trend of present-day American Protestant theology. They stated,

This sounds like dispensationalist theology, an umbrella term for various Protestant systems of biblical interpretation that, among other things, severely separates God's plan for the Jews from His plan for the community of believers. It posits that Jesus failed in His mission to the Jews, and the Church was formed more or less as a ‘Plan B’. It is the basis for the Left Behind series of novels, and is anything but Catholic. Unaccountably, Jones faults the Catholic Schoeman for not mentioning any of this.

The only thing is that Jones never faulted Schoeman for this as he never mentioned dispensational theology in the review or anything else he has written. There was a book review in Culture Wars that did mention premillenial dispensationalist writings like the Left Behind series in another context. It did use the phrase “God’s Plan B” to describe the fact, which is clear as item X of the belief statement of Philadelphia Biblical University which all faculty and students must attest to, that Dispensationalists hold that Jesus Christ came to earth to become the earthly messiah of the Jews and their temporal king. When the Jews rejected Christ, He had to scramble and create a back-up known as the Church for the gentile believers who are distinct from the Jews who are really the center of human history. From this there are two dispensations going today, one for the gentiles known as the Church and one for the Jews that is at present in abeyance. When the Church is raptured to the clouds and the Jews return en masse to the Holy Land their covenant, which God prefers, can be reactivated.

I know that Jones is being condemned out of context by Bill Donohue because I wrote the article he refers to in his attack on Jones. It was a review of Gershon Gorenberg’s The End of Days in the May, 2004 issue of Culture Wars. It described dispensational theology and specifically used the phrase “God’s Plan B”. The condemnation in The Catalyst conflated the writings of Jones and me to make him appear to say something he never said about Schoeman’s book by using phrases I had used in another context. Dr. William Donohue has a Ph.D. from New York University, and he would have to know that the use of someone’s thoughts without proper attribution is, in the academic world, known as plagiarism. If not plagiarism, it would be an example of extremely sloppy scholarship by whoever wrote the piece.

You might think that I would be disappointed in Dr. Donohue for attributing my words to an author who never stated them. You would be wrong. As you may have gathered from the first paragraph, I’ve met Bill Donohue before and know that he helped to destroy a vibrant local chapter of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and also did not follow the principles of the League and provide legal representation when I was threatened with loss of my job on account of my Catholic beliefs. He said he would help me but did not. So I’m not disappointed or surprised that he would treat the editor this way. Let me elaborate. But first we should examine the League’s impact on the lives of American Catholics in their local areas.

 

According to the Catholic League’s web site, League supporters get a monthly subscription to The Catalyst as well as information about “various league activities in your area” for their $30 individual yearly membership. The site also notes eight local chapters, but most interestingly none of them have an independent web site and all email is addressed to the national headquarters. The Baltimore chapter has no individual to contact and the phone numbers are for the main office in Manhattan. The Central/North Jersey chapter in Red Bank’s point of contact hasn’t been at his address in nearly three years. The Pittsburgh chapter’s head says they don’t have meetings and she has no idea of how many League members are in her area. And best of all, since Culture Wars is obviously an anti-Semitic rag, how does the League explain that the chapter head for San Antonio, Patrick Cunningham, contributed a number of very erudite articles to Culture Wars? However, there used to be more local chapters of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, two of them—Boston and Minnesota—left in the early years of Bill Donohue’s reign, and the Philadelphia chapter was killed by the national president and his local vassal. To understand how that happened, let’s go back to Catholic Philadelphia in the early ’90s.

When I was a regular part of the right-wing Catholic scene in my hometown and people would say we should do something to combat pornography, abortion or a hostile media I had the answer. Don’t you know, I would say, that the headquarters for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has been moved from Milwaukee to suburban Bala Cynwyd? Let’s do something with them. My comments always brought the same blank stares; nobody in Catholic Philadelphia knew they were in our backyard. I had been a member, off and on, for a number of years. I knew what Father Blum was trying to do when he organized the League in the early ’70s: avoid the marginalization of Catholics and their interests in the American public forum. It appears that he understood that the questions of aid to parochial schools, government distribution of contraceptives and the alleged right to an abortion were not the workings out of abstruse constitutional theory by the secular priesthood of the federal judiciary. They were, rather, refined gang fights in which the Catholic Church came out as the loser against organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Jewish Committee and the Southern Jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Masonry. It is interesting to note that several years after Virgil Blum, S.J. died in 1990 E. Michael Jones would publish a book John Cardinal Krol and the Cultural Revolution in which my archbishop apparently reached the same conclusions about the conspiratorial base of a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions as had Father Blum. It is unknown if Father Blum advised Cardinal Krol but the editor of Culture Wars’ controversial book would have an interesting link to the president of the Catholic League, as we will soon see.

LOCAL CHAPTER

Since I worked as a logistician at the Naval Supply Compound in the Lawndale section of northeast Philadelphia you can imagine my surprise when I saw a sign on the front lawn of a lawyer’s office on nearby Rising Sun Avenue for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. I called the number and soon found myself having lunch in a local diner with the chapter head, Jim Nolan, a loquacious Philadelphia Irishman who had come ashore on D Day in Normandy and who was retired from a career in social work. It appeared that the Catholic League had experienced hard times upon the retirement of Father Blum. As mentioned, the headquarters had been moved from Milwaukee to the Philadelphia suburbs, and its two directors, a retired admiral and a priest, did little except run up their expense accounts by leasing luxury cars and traveling in high style. Their successor, a Catholic immigrant from India, was little better, as he and his wife were always traveling to Hawaii to investigate the establishment of a chapter out there. Needless to say, no chapters were ever founded in the Aloha State. There were lawsuits against the League centering on termination of contract by the admiral and the priest, so the national League was in serious financial difficulties at that period. Mr. Nolan told me that the Philadelphia chapter received a small subsidy from the national headquarters to pay their expenses, but that most of the work was done gratis by the local members. Jim did offer a ray of hope: the national board of the League had stepped in and moved the headquarters to New York City and were given space by Cardinal O’Connor in archdiocesan buildings, at little or no cost, in order to salvage the organization. It had also hired a new full time president, well known in conservative circles, Dr. William A. Donohue.

 

DonohueThe name Bill Donohue was already known to me from my habit of reading magazines like National Review. About two decades ago he had brought out a book based on his doctoral dissertation, The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union (Transaction Books, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1985) which was hailed as definitive proof that that organization was always a left-wing pressure group with close ties to the Communist Party, rather than the champion of the true meaning of the U.S. Constitution, as it claimed. In fact I had a copy of the book that I bought based on a highly favorable review in NR and which was the Conservative Book Club’s monthly offering at that time. In Bill Buckley’s National Review, the ACLU was high on the list of diabolic organizations, up there with the Communist Party and the AFL-CIO. Now I knew why so little had been heard of the League in the recent past, but I felt hopeful for the organization’s future and I plunged into work at the local level.

 

This work for the most part did not grab the headlines, either nationally or locally. One of the things that sticks in my mind after all these years was Jim Nolan answering the request of some of the mothers of Catholic students at the local Valley Forge Military Academy. It appears that the commandant of this residential military high school had issued orders that all his cadets were to attend the non-denominational Protestant services in the school chapel on Sunday morning, without exception. Mr. Nolan contacted the colonel and expressed how saddened he was, as a D-Day veteran, that a military school would not allow their Catholic students to attend Mass at the local parish. The decision was soon reversed. We were a cross section of Catholic Philadelphia, most of whom were middle aged or older, and only two of us— the prolife activists, Joe Wall and John Stanton, having been labeled as criminal conspirators by the federal government under the RICO law designed for the Mafia—were in any way in the public eye. We did have a media outreach in the form of a public school teacher, Arthur Delaney, who wrote letters to the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News explaining that an early round of parish closures ordered by Cardinal Bevilacqua for black neighborhoods of Philadelphia and Chester, Pennsylvania were not inherently racist.

 

The fact is that the Philadelphia chapter of the Catholic League acted independently of the national headquarters, applying the faith to civic issues as best as we could. It’s not that we wanted to be lone wolves, but there was little in the way of directives issued from New York City, and, besides, we were local in our outreach, as were all the other chapters. We were a lay organization, but we had good relations with local pastors and religious, and they were always welcome as members and guests. However, we did recruit, and all the membership money went directly to the national organization. I well remember visiting the local men’s retreat house in Malvern on several Saturday afternoons to explain the purpose of the League to the retreatants and to solicit their membership. Since several of us—Nolan, Delaney, Stanton, and I—were also alumni of the local LaSalle University, we established a parallel Concerned Friends of La Salle group to monitor the orthodoxy and moral climate of our very liberal alma mater. This did get the attention of the university administration, which had their lawyer write and instruct us to remove the school’s logo from our letterhead. However, they didn’t know that we had, as secret members, some of the faculty and administration, including Christian Brothers, who would relate the latest outrages against the faith at the school and who came to our meetings under cover of darkness like Nicodemus visiting the Lord.

What little we knew of what the national organization did we learned by reading The Catalyst, which was then in paper format only. The League always seemed to be involved in some kind of legal actions, but they did not only involve Catholics. One case I remember was that of an Orthodox Jewish Air Force officer who was suing to be allowed to wear his yarmulke when the service had ruled it out of uniform. The League had filed an amicus curiae brief on his behalf. When I brought this up at a chapter meeting Jim Nolan informed us that the League’s full-time paid regional director in Chicago was Jewish and that he got the job because he used to work for the ADL. Jim also noted many times that “weird people” worked at the national headquarters in Manhattan. Just prior to our September 1993 meeting, Jim Nolan gave us some exciting news; our national president Dr. William Donohue would be addressing us.

When he visited our office in northeast Philadelphia on September 29, 1993, the tall, fast-talking, native New Yorker quickly took control of the situation. He let us know about the dire financial straights of the national Catholic League organization. He also told of the vision that he had been hired by the board to accomplish. Donahue wanted the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights to fight defamation of the Catholic Church and Catholics, just as groups like the ADL were doing. He repeated the word defamation numerous times. He told us we should get in the media; that was our main goal as an organization and said that since there was so much media competition in New York City it was easy for him to get recognition for the League. We told him that was not the case in Philadelphia because the print media was monopolized by the Knight-Ridder syndicate that owned both the Inquirer and Daily News. As an example of a successful anti-defamation campaign in the Big Apple media, he showed us the press releases he had written about a local radio station that used a clever play on a picture of the Blessed Virgin and that of the rock singer Madonna in a subway sign board campaign there. Many of the local members didn’t think that this was the greatest example of discrimination or defamation of Catholicism that they had experienced.

 

As to local chapters, the national president told us that the Catholic League was a lay apostolate and that he took pride in rejecting the offer of a priest from Atlanta who wanted to found a chapter in that city. This, of course, ignored the fact that the founder of the organization was a Jesuit. It also ignored the fact, according to Jim Nolan, that Bill Donahue’s office was at that time in the New York archdiocesan building on the same floor as that of Cardinal O’Connor. The national president said that finances were so bad that he doubted that he could maintain the subsidies to the local chapters.

After his talk, at a dinner of sandwiches from a local deli, Bill Donohue relaxed, and I found him a very likeable guy when he shed his professional persona. He was personally worried about his own finances, as he had left a tenure track professorship at Pittsburgh’s LaRoche College to take the presidency of the floundering Catholic League. At that time his wife and young children had not returned with him to New York City. As I had been a long-time reader of National Review, I was intrigued by the fact that he knew a lot of people at that magazine. The anti-Semitism smear of Joseph Sobran and Patrick Buchanan by the editor William F. Buckley in December 1991 still stuck in my mind, and I asked Bill about it. Bill just shook his head. “I don’t know what got into Buckley,” he said, “both those guys are very good Catholics. I feel betrayed by what he did. When I was a student at a Catholic high school in Queens, I went door to door handing out flyers for Bill Buckley when he ran for mayor in 1965 on the Conservative Party line. He was a hero to the working class Catholics in the city.”

I was glad to hear that someone else had found a boyhood hero in William F. Buckley, the quintessential Catholic conservative. I was also glad to hear that someone who was connected to the New York conservative scene was also confused by his recent actions. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the international Communist enemy, it appeared to me that American political conservatism, in its moment of triumph, had taken to tearing itself apart. A new vocabulary was coming to the fore: neoconservative, paleoconservative, libertarian, etc. I had been reading National Review since I was in high school and thought that I kept up on these matters but was totally confused. The story that a group of sinister figures from New York City, mainly non-Christians who once followed Leon Trotsky, but now were respected members of the Republican establishment was almost beyond belief. What was more incredible was that there were Catholics who were following their lead, and rumors abounded of Catholic organizations like the Catholic Campaign for America (CCA) being taken over by the neocons, who drained the resources and redirected a religious initiative into a more political one.

DISTURBING PROPOSAL

From my job with the Navy I was in a position to learn of a disturbing proposal by the recently elected Clinton administration. At that time, I thought it would prove disturbing to anyone who was interested in the religious and civil rights of Catholics and other Americans. Part of the coalition that elected Bill Clinton in 1992 was composed of the militant gay lobby, which was attempting to force the normalization of their chosen life style on middle America. This was a difficult task because numerous gays were dying daily from the mysterious disease AIDS, which the government claimed was caused by the retrovirus HIV and could be controlled by drugs such as AZT, which had been approved experimentally by the National Institute of Health. During the decade of the ’80s there were an increasing number of panic stories about the possibility of contamination of the blood supply and the exponential graphs which indicated that everyone in the world would be dead of AIDS by the year 2000. The government was a leading culprit in the spread of the panic with the Evangelical Christian C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General under the Reagan administration, sending out a mailing to every home in the country with details about the disease. Rather than admit that their chosen lifestyle had a major role in spreading this infection, whatever its cause, the gay organizations began a campaign of ‘safe sex education’ which held that the risk of spreading the mystery virus could be decreased by the use of condoms and other rubber products during various methods of coupling favored by homosexuals.

 

Starting with the Republican administration of Reagan and G.H.W. Bush, the White House attempted to show that it was concerned with the illness and death of those diagnosed with AIDS. An AIDS Policy Office was set up in the Executive Branch of government. Federal employees were already being told, prior to the election of Bill Clinton, that they would face disciplinary action if they refused to work with someone who had been diagnosed with AIDS. In these years ‘safe sex education,’ which contained a not-so-subtle indication that the gay lifestyle was just a separate but equal form of sexual contact (like heterosexual marriage) was gaining ground on college campuses and with progressive local governments, due to the lobbying of homosexual groups. The mandate for this type of gay ‘show and tell’ training for all federal employees awaited only the inauguration of the Arkansas governor as president in January 1993.

 

I had seen an early draft of a document titled AIDS at Work which was put out by the Office of AIDS Policy in the early months of the Clinton administration and which contained all the objections that religious conservatives had voiced with the prototype programs. It was to be mandatory for every federal employee no matter how little their jobs exposed them to the risk of HIV infection; it was to be quite graphic on sexual practices and equipment, and no dissenting comments on moral grounds were to be allowed. Since I had the ear of the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, I determined on a course of action. I asked Bill if the League would back me up if I refused, as a federal employee, to attend the forthcoming mandatory AIDS training on religious grounds. “That’s just the kind of case we’re looking for!” was Bill’s enthusiastic response.

 

As with all government programs the mandatory Aids at Work training was slow in development, and I didn’t get a final copy of the policy until the next summer. Since I had shared my plans with Jim Nolan and the local League office, which was still involved in a funding dispute with the national headquarters, I forwarded the newly promulgated policy, which was even more draconian than what I had briefed Bill Donohue the previous September, to New York City. In view of the president’s comments when he visited Philadelphia, you can imagine my surprise when I received the following reply on July 25, 1994: “Dear Mr. Herron: The Catholic League shares your concern with the Federal Government’s HIV/AIDS Educational Initiative ‘AIDS at Work.’ The League will closely monitor ‘AIDS at Work’ for any abuses that may take place. At present time our staff has been unable to find anything illegal with the Federal Workplace HIV/AIDS Educational Initiative. Dr. Donohue thanks you for your concern. Please keep the Catholic League informed of any new developments.”  Apparently the forcing of two million federal employees to attend gay ‘show and tell’ wasn’t as clear cut a case of religious discrimination to the Catholic League as was wearing a yarmulke in uniform.

 

Regardless of the League’s refusal to assist me, I went ahead and refused to attend the mandatory training when it was offered in January 1995. For this my employer started disciplinary hearings against me after a 17-year spotless record. The letters to the president and the senators didn’t help me either. As I mentioned before, I had kept Jim Nolan appraised of what I was planning to do and when told that I could bring outside counsel to my hearing, I requested that the D-Day veteran who headed up the Philadelphia office of the Catholic League accompany me so that he would be aware of how the Defense Department was operating at present. At this our personnel department went into a panic, and I was then told that no outsiders would be allowed onto the base. They backed off their initial threat to fire me on the spot if I agreed to attend the AIDS training under written protest and very carefully documented the hearing, of which I ultimately got a copy.

Several months after having attended the organ recital and rubber products advertisement which went by the name of “AIDS at Work,” I found out that Congressman Bob Dornan was asking the House Civil Service subcommittee to hold hearings on the AIDS training and asked in the pages of The Washington Times for any federal employee who had been forced against their will to come forward to testify.  The hearing was held on June 22, 1995 and I testified along with a woman who was an employee of the National Institute of Health in Washington who was also a member of Concerned Women for America. The Navy had found out that I planned to testify the day before, and my commanding officer was in my office that afternoon with a memo from a higher authority demanding that I turn over a copy of my testimony to the committee immediately and noting that they also had the name of another Navy employee who planned to testify. I informed my boss that he should go back and study the First Amendment because he, as an officer, had taken a oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. It is interesting to note that the other Navy employee didn’t testify the next day; his father having conveniently ‘died’ that evening.

Anyway, my congressional testimony was the 15 minutes of fame in my life, and it was covered in The Washington Times and the Federal Times, an in-house newspaper geared to the federal workforce. As you probably guessed, I did have difficulties working for the Navy from that point on which required several letters to elected officials to set right. However, I still work for the Defense Department with another service, so the bastards didn’t completely destroy me. It is interesting to note that immediately after these Congressional hearings, as if someone were in a control room somewhere controlling the gay agenda, the demand for AIDS education program died out and was instantly replaced by the demand for the marriage of homosexuals. But what was most interesting in this whole process is that I found that I, who was trying to argue from a Catholic perspective and not getting any help from the Catholic League, was making some unexpected friends.

As I mentioned above, the other federal employee was a member of Beverly LaHaye’s Concerned Women for America group. Now Mrs. LaHaye is no doubt at present fantastically wealthy because her husband, the Rev. Tim LaHaye, is the co-author of the Left Behind series of novels which has spread the intricacies of premillenial dispensationalist theology to millions of Americans. Also, I noted during my testimony that it was being videotaped; I wondered who exactly found what I had to say that interesting. While I didn’t see it personally, I found out that Rev. Pat Robertson would soon air the video of my testimony on his 700 Club television program and say that is how a Christian should stand up to the government. (Yes, I realize that I did take a swipe at Rev. Robertson in my review of Gorenberg’s The End of Days in these pages a few months ago.) My old friend Jim Nolan did have some low level ecumenical outreach with the local chapter of the Christian Coalition, and before long I was speaking with a Massachusetts lawyer, Greg Hession, who worked with the Rutherford Institute, a group that was under the Christian Coalition umbrella. I explained the fact that the Catholic League had turned me down a year prior in my bid to get legal help in opposing the mandatory AIDS training for all civil servants. Greg told me that his group was very interested in working with the League, and that mine was a good test case, and that if the League would get a Catholic lawyer from the Philadelphia area to take my case who didn’t mind challenging the federal government, the Rutherford Institute would pay all the legal fees.

With this information, I made an enthusiastic phone call to Jim Nolan, knowing that we had some lawyers in our League chapter. But Jim told me that by this time Bill Donohue had engineered his removal at the Philadelphia chapter and that the school teacher, Art Delaney, who had been working with the national headquarters behind his back, was now the Philadelphia area chapter president. He told me to call him about the matter. With that I phoned Art and apprised him of the situation and further stated that I was working on an article, which I planned to submit to Fidelity magazine, detailing my experiences with the AIDS training and the congressional testimony. Art expressed his interest and asked to see both the letter by which the Catholic League had stated that there was no legal problem with the AIDS training the previous year and to see the draft of my Fidelity article, which, as I mentioned, contained a one-line mention of this fact. I faxed him the League’s letter on July 31, 1995, with a full description of the offer from Greg Hession of the Rutherford Institute to finance my legal appeal of the mandated training.

 

Now not many of us can say with certainty what we did on a particular date nine years ago but since I keep a date book I dusted the 1995 copy off and found something interesting. Besides faxing material to Art Delaney of the local Catholic League chapter I also would have a meeting that night with the editor of Fidelity magazine. E. Michael Jones was in his native area speaking at the Bryn Mawr Borders bookstore hawking his new book John Cardinal Krol and the Cultural Revolution. It was an enjoyable evening, with many of the people I had come to know in Philadelphia conservative Catholic circles in attendance. In view of what is currently being said about Jones in the Catholic League’s newsletter, The Catalyst, it might be interesting to read the blurb on that book’s dust cover: “Those who want to understand the nature of the culture war that has gripped American Society since the 1960s will much appreciate John Cardinal Krol and the Cultural Revolution. E. Michael Jones has given us a riveting account of how Cardinal Krol confronted the challenges from within the Catholic Church and from those outside the Church. In particular, the confrontation between Catholicism and secular humanism make for fascinating reading. With this book, E. Michael Jones solidifies his position as one of the leading students of American culture.” These are very generous words. They were written by William A. Donohue, President Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

 

I mentioned to Mike Jones that I had almost completed the AIDS training article; he told me that Bill Donohue loved his book and was going to order 300 for sales through the Catholic League. Unfortunately not everyone loved the Cardinal Krol biography; the chief of these being the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which put out a press release denouncing it in the name of the then dying Cardinal Krol. Jones had gotten access to Krol’s files at St. Charles Seminary though one of the cardinal’s closest confidants, a man with whom I always had to deny being a close relative, the late Msgr. Thomas J. Herron. Why exactly the local archdiocese wanted to denounce the book has remained a mystery. Maybe it was the fact that Cardinal Krol believed that there was a conspiracy against Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular operating under color of federal court decisions in the United States. Come to think of it, this was a logical conclusion from some of the writings of the founder of the Catholic League, Father Virgil Blum, S.J. Whatever the case, the Catholic League under Dr. Donohue never came through with its promised order of the Krol biography. No doubt it would be conspiracy thinking to state that the head of the New York archdiocese at that time, Cardinal O’Connor started his career as a priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese and that it was well known that after retiring as a rear admiral and chief of the Navy’s chaplain corps, became a bishop through the influence of the archbishop of Philadelphia. Further, it would be conspiratorial to remember that at this time the New York archdiocese was providing housing for the Catholic League, then in desperate financial straights, and that rents in Manhattan are always astronomical. As a point of information, the League’s current book offerings, as listed on its website, does show a complete line of works by Dr. Donohue, including his ACLU history, two collections of essays, and the Report on Anti-Catholicism for each year starting in 1994. The one selection not written by Bill Donohue appears to be directed to a group that the League feels is obviously more important in cultivating than Evangelical Protestants and is titled, Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust.

 

“WEIRD PEOPLE”

Sometime after Mike Jones’ visit to the Philadelphia area, I stopped at Art Delaney’s home in the far northeast section of Philadelphia. He had some interesting news. He first off apologized for the 1994 letter from the League and said that Bill Donohue had never gotten it. This was not unusual, Art continued, because Donohue was “not a hands on administrator.” Further, he elaborated on Jim Nolan’s statement that “weird people” worked at Catholic League headquarters in New York City; it wasn’t just that they were weird, according to Art, there were homosexuals up there, and they got my mailings and sabotaged any League initiative that they felt was anti-gay. Art, the school teacher, had read my draft article which was in the hands of the editor of Fidelity, and asked me on behalf of the League to drop the one sentence where I said the League found no legal problem in the mandatory AIDS training of federal employees. If I would do this, Art Delaney said, Dr. Donohue gave me his “solemn promise” that the Catholic League would obtain a lawyer and file an appeal on First Amendment grounds using me as a test case. I agreed, as did Mike Jones, who no doubt was expecting a book order at that time. Mr. Delaney also handed me an article he had written on compulsory AIDS education in the Philadelphia public schools. It appeared that he had the same concerns as I did, but restricted himself to writing, not wishing to put his job or his pension in jeopardy. I agreed to forward it to the editor of Fidelity for review. My article AIDS Awareness as Established Religion: How I Almost Got Fired from the Civil Service was published in the October 1995 issue of Fidelity, without the contentious sentence. I never heard from Art Delaney or the Catholic League for Political and Civil rights again.

This was perhaps due to the fact that the Philadelphia chapter of the Catholic League disappeared after this and its membership dissolved. More to the point it became a membership of one, Art Delaney, who still used the title to write letters. Only these letters weren’t to the secular media; it appears that Mr. Delaney changed the focus of the League in his own mind away from the one that Fr. Blum had originally envisioned, and this was not corrected by the national leadership. During these years the Camden, New Jersey diocese was hit with a lot of bad publicity about pedophile scandals among its priests. In the pages of The Wanderer, a long-time pro-life activist Connie Marshner, whose husband Bill Marshner had been a regular contributor to Triumph magazine, wrote an article that basically said that it served the bishop, James McHugh, right because when he headed up the Family Life office at the U.S. Catholic Conference, he did not take immediate action in the wake of Roe vs. Wade to push a pro-life amendment through Congress when the votes were there in the ’70s. Shortly thereafter Art Delaney, in the name of the Philadelphia chapter of the Catholic League, wrote to blast Mrs. Marshner and to defend Bishop McHugh about an incident about which he had no first hand knowledge. The December 1998 issue of The Catalyst shows that Mr. Delaney attended a conference of some Fundamentalists in Tennessee who considered the pope to be the anti-Christ and the Catholic Church the great whore of Babylon. All of this is very interesting, but it is far removed from the expressed intent of the League to defend the religious and civil rights of Catholics. These Fundamentalists do have a constitutional right to their opinions and expression, as do Catholics to counter them. Somehow I think Father Blum might have understood this better that Bill Donohue or Art Delaney.

I saw Art Delaney once before his death, in February, 2001. One Saturday morning in May, I stopped into a doughnut shop in my neighborhood, and there sat Arthur Delaney and his wife. It appeared that Mr. Delaney, the defender of bishops and scourge of Fundamentalists, had been invited to a First Mass of a young priest from the neighborhood. Because his wife was present, I refrained from expressing my opinion of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and its leadership. I also forgot to mention to him that I saw that his article on AIDS education in the public schools got published in the New Oxford Review and not Fidelity/Culture Wars. Today, on the list of local chapters of the League as found on its web site, there is no chapter listed for Philadelphia; obviously Arthur Delaney took it to the grave with him.

“LAST DOLLAR” SCHOLARSHIPS

That is not to say that there isn’t work to be done in the field of anti-Catholicism in the public square in the Philadelphia area. In October, 2003 the City Council of Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Board of Public Education, announced an initiative called “Last Dollar” scholarships, to grant any Philadelphia high school graduate up to $3,000 a year for college tuition at a Pennsylvania state sponsored institution if no other source of funds was available. Let me be specific, this was for any Philadelphia public high school graduate. The graduates of Catholic and private high schools in Philadelphia were not eligible for these scholarships, which came from the tax dollars of all the citizens of the city. While there might have been something more than anti-Catholicism going on here—most of the public high school graduates in Philadelphia are black, while most of the Catholic and private high school graduates in Philadelphia are non-black— it was an ideal issue for a group like the local chapter of the Catholic League. Unfortunately there was no League chapter left to speak out to challenge the efforts of the black mayor, John Street, and black council persons, to reward their constituents at the expense of other groups and to speak out for the rights of Catholic parents and children. There was also no press release on this topic from Dr. Donohue in New York City. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia did speak out and the policy was changed in July, 2004, but for the Catholic League it was another case of the dog that didn’t bark.

The priestly molestation cases are still in the Philadelphia media headlines, but no voice is there to show how bizarre some of the complaints are. A case in point would be a recent article in the July 14, 2004 issue of Philadelphia Weekly or PW about the molestation case from the 1950s against the Archdiocese brought by three brothers of an Irish immigrant family in west Philadelphia, centering on a priest who was in their parish for about one year. The three brothers are now all around 60 years of age, and one of them is a resident of the suicide watch ward of a local state hospital. The other two brothers appear not to have been as seriously molested, since one is a successful real estate developer in California. The gentleman in the state hospital did not evidence the depths of his trauma immediately; in fact, he went on to play football at Villanova, after which he married and fathered four children. Like his two brothers, he has had a history of alcohol abuse, but in this case it is the fault of the pedophile priest and the Catholic Church rather than the fact that their Irish immigrant father was a bartender and the family lived in an apartment over the taproom. David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, makes a cameo appearance in this article to repeat his constant refrain that the Catholic Church is hiding all the details of these cases. Mr. Clohessy is an interesting case in himself; he and his brother were abused as pubescent males by a priest near St. Louis. In fact David Clohessy’s brother grew up to become a priest, a priest who abused pubescent males. But here again, as in all of SNAP’s cases, it is the fault of the Catholic Church. That SNAP is nothing but a pressure group can be seen by the fact that on August 30, 2002, they issued a press release of a letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops president saying that “litigation…is un-Christian and vengeful” when priests counter sue for false allegations, and David Clohessy wanted the bishops to stop priests from bringing them.

Unfortunately there is no voice of the Catholic League in the Philadelphia media these days to point out an obvious fact about all this endless stream of molestation cases in our media, the narratives of broken lives with a history of drug and alcohol addiction, inability to hold a permanent job, or to remain in a marriage by those who today come forward to report sexual abuse by priests in the decades past have an interesting echo. They remind us of the stories of Vietnam veterans from about two decades ago, all of whose similar problems in life could be traced to their one-year tours in Big Muddy. Now it would be argued that not all Vietnam veterans were traumatized to these extremes by their experiences in a combat zone, but it also can be concluded that not everyone who was abused by priests in any manner were also traumatized for life so that in both cases either the federal government or the Catholic Church has to pick up the pieces and pay for their broken lives. Those of us who didn’t serve in Nam or didn’t have the irregular affections of a priest in our parish or high school must take personal responsibility for the failures in our own lives.  By the way, does anyone know who is funding SNAP? Now that would make an interesting story.

Speaking of interesting stories, I’ve written a few of them in Culture Wars over the past few years. One of them entailed a protracted debate between Msgr. John A. Ryan of the National Catholic Welfare Council and Father Charles Coughlin of Royal Oak, Michigan over who was correctly interpreting Catholic social teaching. It is assumed that Ryan, a New Deal supporter and officer holder, won the debate when Coughlin was permanently silenced for potential sedition, upon America’s entry into World War II. I tried to show that was not the case in articles in this magazine on Coughlin in November, 2002 and on Ryan in November, 2003. As part of the research on Ryan which appeared as “John A. Ryan and the Limits of Catholic Assimilation,” I found out one of the major points of contention between him and Coughlin was his long-time association with the American Civil Liberties Union. Many American Catholics at that time were aghast at the fact that so prominent a churchman was a long-serving member of the board of directors of the ACLU, along with known members of the Communist Party. Ryan continued to serve on the ACLU board with the Communists after Pope Pius XI had issued his encyclical Quadragesimo Anno in 1931 in which the pope “deem[ed] it superfluous to warn upright and faithful children of the Church regarding the impious and iniquitous character of Communism, yet We cannot without deep sorrow contemplate the heedlessness of those who apparently make light of these impending dangers, and with sluggish inertia allow the widespread propagation of doctrine which seeks by violence and slaughter to destroy society altogether” (paragraph 112).  To allay the feeling of scandal among Catholics, Msgr. Ryan devoted a number of pages in his 1941 autobiography Social Justice in Action to explaining why he stayed on the ACLU’s board with the Communists in spite of what the Church had said.

 

When I was investigating the Ryan story, I knew that I had a copy of a book on the ACLU in my library whose high worth was praised in the pages of the National Review when it was published. These reviews told the story of a lay teacher at St. Lucy’s parish school in Spanish Harlem who went down to the ACLU headquarters to examine the organization’s records under their prying leftist eyes as part of his doctoral research. The researcher of course was William A. Donohue and the book, The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union, was published in 1985. I found when I reviewed the book after many years that the only thing the future professional defender of Catholicism said about Msgr. Ryan was that he spoke out in favor of the teaching of the evolutionist position in Tennessee’s public schools during the famous Scopes trial of 1926 on p. 303; there was not a word about “right reverend New Deal Politician’s” long-term service on the ACLU’s board with members of the Communist Party! Could this be another example of sloppy scholarship? Speaking of Dr. Donohue’s scholarship it appears from his biographical information on the back cover that he has his doctorate in sociology and B.A. from New York University and his M.S. from the New School of Social Research. Bill Donohue has never attended a Catholic college, and as far as we know, never studied Catholic theology, so he would be the last person who could determine the orthodoxy of a Catholic author like Mike Jones.

 

If Catholic issues were such a long-term burning concern to Bill Donohue, why didn’t he cover this central topic in his doctoral dissertation? Well, when I reviewed the book I found out that maybe discussing Catholic issues isn’t Mr. Donohue’s primary concern, maybe there was another group he was always more intent on impressing.  In his acknowledgements on p. xxiii the author states the following, “In the fall of 1982, I received a letter from Irving Kristol commenting on the first chapter of my book. His words of encouragement gave me the impetus to continue despite his admonition that publishing a polemic on the ACLU would be difficult. He proved to be correct. Were it not for Aaron Wildavsky, this book might not have been published. He believed in my work and directed my to Transaction. Unlike every other publisher I had dealt with, Irving Louis Horowitz responded promptly and affirmatively. I cannot thank him enough for his consistent support and advice.”

If you’re known by the company you keep, the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights might today be correctly described as a neoconservative. Mr. Kristol is of course the one person who started the whole trend from his days as a Trotskyite campus agitator at CCNY, to his current position as elder statesman of the Republican Party, with an award from President George W. Bush. The late Professor Wildavsky of Berkeley, in his long winded introduction to Donohue’s book, told of his days as an ACLU chapter head and how he felt betrayed by the actions of the Union when it supported the right of the Nazis to march through the Chicago Jewish suburb of Skokie. He was also upset by their adoption of equality of results, which was also opposed by Jews as a group, as opposed to their former stand for equality of opportunity. Transaction Press was related to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and, according to their web site, founded with a grant from the Ford Foundation, was led for many years by Irving Louis Horowitz, who had published an interesting short memoir of his youth as the son of a Jewish merchant in Harlem titled Daydreams and Nightmares: Reflections of a Harlem Childhood, University of Mississippi Press, Jackson, 1990. It appears that Horowitz’s father got back at his black Christian clientele in his hardware store by testing Christmas tree lights with a device that had a built-in fault. The customers were forced to buy new bulbs as their old ones had ‘failed’ the scientific test and the ‘bad’ bulbs were then put back in Mr. Horowitz’s stock for resale to the next unsuspecting black Christian (p. 20). Why did these three gentlemen take such an interest in the big Irish guy who was teaching in a Catholic school in Spanish Harlem and publish a book that no other publisher wanted to touch? Was it just a one shot deal to get back at their ‘ex-friends’ at the ACLU for taking positions that were ‘bad for the Jews,’ or was it the start of a long term relationship? Is Bill Donohue a neocon plant inside the Catholic right? By the way, Culture Wars just happens to have covered the history of neoconservatives from their Trotskyite origins in a number of articles also written by me, but this must of course be a coincidence or we would we guilty of spreading conspiracy theories.

Before we get accused of that, it might help to look at who’s on the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights board of advisors these days. If you looked at the names on the list without knowing where they came from you might have mistaken them for the board of directors of the neocon American Enterprise Institute. At least it could be confused for the Catholic minority who inhabit the AEI world. Of the 21 advisors listed on the League’s web site, at least six are known neocon authors in such places as National Review and the Wall Street Journal: Linda Chavez, Dinish D’Souza, Alan Keyes, Michael Novak, Kate O’Beirne and George Weigel. Mr. Novak, of course, as a ‘private citizen,’ presented the Bush administration’s case that the 2003 American invasion of Iraq was justified from the Catholic just war tradition. He and three other advisors signed their names to the letter to President Bush on the catholicjustwar.org web site from prominent Catholics expressing the same position: Robert George, Patrick Riley, and Robert Royal. It is interesting to note that one of the advisors, Dr. Alan Keyes, former U.S. ambassador and State Department official, was a college roommate at Harvard of Bill, son of Irving Kristol, now editor of The Weekly Standard and is always championed as the neocon great black hope, although he lost twice in U.S. Senate races in his native Maryland. Alan Keyes has run for the Republican presidential nomination twice, on a single-issue pro-life position, but he only runs in the years that Patrick Buchanan, who has a full repertoire of foreign and domestic policy issues in addition to an uncompromising pro-life stance, runs for the nomination. In 2004 when George W. Bush was unopposed for renomination, Dr. Keyes apparently gave himself the year off, although the incumbent Republican has given the pro-life cause little but occasional rhetoric. Politics aside, the person with the deepest pockets on the Catholic League’s board appears to be Thomas Monaghan.

But then we may be getting too deeply into Republican Party politics here; after all, the League has stated that it “wishes to be neither left nor right, liberal or conservative, revolutionary or reactionary.” In fact you don’t have to be a practicing Catholic to be on the board of advisors of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, you can be an apostate Catholic. Take the case of Linda Chavez. A Hispanic born in New Mexico, Ms. Chavez has for years been a fellow traveler in neoconservative circles and, like Alan Keyes, was an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senator from Maryland, which must be considered something of a Beta test site for ideas developed by the AEI. Her attempt to become the Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush was short lived in 2001 when certain irregularities with illegal immigrants living and working in her home were discovered by the media. She does appear to say all the right things that people who write for National Review and The Weekly Standard say these days. The most important of these at present of course is that we must stay the course at all costs in Iraq and wherever else the Global War on Terrorism takes American forces in the Middle East. Ms. Chavez, the Hispanic neocon, predictably was hard on Spain last March when they headed to the exit in Baghdad after a murderous terrorist attack on commuter trains in Madrid. In this she finds an echo in another young neocon writer, Michelle Malkin, who was born in America of Filipino extraction and who recently chided her ancestral country of being soft on terrorism when the president of the Philippines decided to pull her nation’s troops out of Iraq to save the life of a terrorist kidnap victim and to protect the lives of the over one million Filipino citizens who work in the Middle East. To date, Ms. Malkin, although a resident of Maryland, has not run as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat there. Besides being on the board of advisors of the Catholic League, Ms. Chavez is also a contributing editor of Deal Hudson’s Crisis magazine. And did I mention that she is married to a Jew and has allowed her children to be raised Jewish? Does this make her either a formal or material apostate? Does this matter either to the Catholic League or to Crisis magazine? I suppose we’d better leave unmentioned the fact that the two neocon voices to the Hispanic and Asian communities, the two growing segments of the American population, both have Jewish husbands (or we’ll be accused of conspiracy theories again).

 

APOSTASY

 

Perhaps this apostasy from Catholicism to Judaism is something we’ll all have to get used to, since it’s not just an issue for Republican neocons. Cameron Kerry, the brother of the Democratic presidential candidate, converted to the Jewish religion upon his marriage. Perhaps, given the history of the Kerry or Kohn family, it is a matter merely of returning to their roots. Whatever the case, several decades ago, when a Catholic writer like John Cogley wanted to leave the faith, he joined the Episcopal Church of the WASP elite. Now that that WASP elite is being shoved aside in business and government, the tide is shifting in another direction. Even Madonna, the subject of Bill Donohue’s first press release, is a Cabbalist these days along with a lot of other Hollywood notables.

 

So where does all of this leave the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights these days? From my discussions with the lady who is the current point of contact in Pittsburgh, it is not very much alive at the local level. It appears that once, when Bill Donohue was a professor at LaRoche College, there also was a vibrant chapter going there, but it dried up when Dr. Donohue moved back to New York City and took all the records with him. She did say, “have you seen him on Fox TV yelling and screaming? He’s so good.” And that maybe is why the Catholic League still exists these days, to give Bill Donohue an open invitation to get on the media and rant and rave with people like David Clohessy of SNAP. Since the lady mentioned Fox News as one of Bill Donohue’s media destinations I was tempted to ask whether they needed another big-mouthed Irishman, like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity? Is this what Rupert Murdoch thinks of the Irish and the Catholics? Does airing the Church’s dirty laundry drive up Fox’s ratings? Is there a difference between an authentic Catholic position on these issues and the neocon spin that Mr. Donohue, along with O’Reilly and Hannity, are engaged in? Is the stage Irishman of an earlier generation coming back to haunt us as a loud neocon buffoon?

 

This is just one of the many questions that remain unanswered. The most pertinent unanswered question, however, is why Mr. Donohue would violate the charter of his organization by attacking another Catholic on an “internal” matter on which he has no expertise. The simplest answer to that question is the one he provides in his article, namely, because “it has been brought to our attention.” Just who brought it to his attention, Mr. Donahue does not say, but we can guess because the realm of options is rather limited here. There are the Catholics who make up the rank and file of his organization, and there are the neocons who directed his dissertation, got his book published, and made and continue to make his career by assuring him TV access at venues like the Fox TV network. Whose interests was he representing when he condemned Jones’s review of Schoeman’s book as un-Catholic?

 

There are precedents here that may help us understand how this system works. In November 1990, when Pat Buchanan’s presidential bid was making waves, Kenneth Stern wrote a “backgrounder” for the American Jewish Committee wondering what “we” should do about Buchanan. “Unless he says something Mein Kampfish,” Stern wrote, “we should refrain from calling him an anti-Semite. That would only draw attention to him and bring him defenders.” According to Stern, there was a better way to deal with Buchanan, i.e., a better way to destroy his reputation and remove him as a political threat. “I suggest,” Stern continued,

 

we approach other people whom Buchanan’s adherents see as equally qualified for the title of “Defender of the Faith” to write a rebuttal. When it comes to Catholic-Jewish relations, why not a leader in the church? And when it is an anti-communism based issue . . . why not a non-Jewish conservative?

 

Roughly one year later, in the December 30, 1991 issue of National Review, William F. Buckley, Bill Donahue’s boyhood idol, wrote a long article accusing Buchanan of anti-Semitism. Samuel Francis, who wrote the story in the January 1993 issue of Chronicles, felt that “Rasputin and Machiavelli . . . could not have concocted a more furtive stratagem.” The Jews did not like Mr. Buchanan. Rather than attack him themselves, they needed to find a Catholic conservative to do the job. Francis claims that that man was William F. Buckley:

 

The shoe that fits, of course, is Mr. Buckley, a Catholic conservative. Is it too cynical to ask if the American Jewish Committee or someone associated with it manipulated him into launching his insubstantial Scud against Mr. Buchanan . . . ?

 

By the end of his article, Francis had turned the rhetorical question into a direct challenge to Buckley. “Will he deny that he was either consciously part of an American Jewish Committee plan to discredit Pat Buchanan or that he was manipulated into being an unconscious tool of such a plan?”

 

Buckley never responded to Francis’s accusation—not directly anyway. In the spring of 1992 Buckley attended a luncheon at the Washington Times, where Francis was employed at the time, and made use of the occasion “to insinuate a similar accusation of anti-Semitism against me, presumably but not successfully intended to harm me professionally.” Francis was later fired from his position at the Washington Times. Other grounds may have been cited for his dismissal, but accusations of anti-Semitism certainly don’t fuel careers in journalism these days.

 

Mr. Francis’s article gives invaluable insight into how the system of censorship, thought control, and character assassination work. The servant, in this case Mr. Donahue, is not superior to the master, in this case Mr. Buckley because both men have to work within the same system. Both men have to make their way through the same byzantine media landscape, and they have to make it there on the terms of the people who control it, which is to say, not on the terms of the rank and file Catholics who dutifully pay their membership dues to the Catholic League. Making a separate peace with the media lords became an inevitable necessity when Donahue killed the Catholic League as a grassroots organization.

There are still issues at the local level that Catholics need to organize on to get their side of the story into the local media. We now have web-based resources that were unavailable back in the early ’90s. Maybe someone could get to Tom Monaghan and tell him to invest some of his money in this apostolate and not let Bill Donohue and his neocon confederates waste it. In the meantime Dr. Donohue better get with his benefits counselor and find out how the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights can get extended family benefits for gay employees who travel up to Provincetown and come back married in Massachusetts. They had their chance to go on record against an early version of the gay agenda when I offered to be the guinea pig in contesting mandatory AIDS training in the federal government. The League refused in 1994-95, so they can’t seriously oppose the present day gay demands. Silence is consent. By the way, did the Catholic League ever win the yarmulke case against the Air Force?CW

Thomas J. Herron lives in Philadelphia and is a frequent contributor to Culture Wars.

This article, published in the October, 2004 issue of Culture Wars, was the first of a two-part series. The second article on the Catholic League was published in the November, 2004 issue of Culture Wars.

Share |

Jewish Revolutionary Spirit coverThe Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History by E. Michael Jones. Jews for Jesus versus Jews against Jesus; Christians versus Christians versus Jews. This book is the story of such contests played out over 2000 turbulent years. In his most ambitious work, Dr. E. Michael Jones provides a breathtaking and controversial tour of history from the Gospels to the French Revolution to Neoconservatism and the “End of History.”  $48 + S&H, Hardback. [In ordering for shipment outside the U.S., the book's price will appear higher to offset increased shipping charges.] Read Reviews


| Home | Books | DVDs/CDs | Events | Subscribe | e-books | Donate |


Culture Wars • 206 Marquette AvenueSouth Bend, IN 46617 • Tel: (574) 289-9786 • Fax: (574) 289-1461
Copyright