Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bill Donohue has run this play before

There's a reason so-called "Catholic League" head William Donohue tried to have the Edwards bloggers fired. When you run off-tackle and you keep picking up yardage, you do it until the other team stops the off-tackle play.

The Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, who the Democratic Party hired in 2004 to coordinate outreach, was fired after Donohue went on a media tirade. From The Carpetbagger Report on Aug. 5, 2004:
Earlier this year, Peterson and 31 other religious leaders, from across the theological spectrum, filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court about the “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance case. The clergy strongly supported the principle of church-state separation and said America’s faith communities were plenty strong without government “help.” As far as Peterson and her colleagues were concerned, there was no reason for the state to divide the country by including religious language in the Pledge.

In other words, Peterson committed an unpardonable crime: she agreed, on principle, with the atheist who filed the lawsuit in the first place. Because Peterson argued that the government should be neutral with regards to religion, she quickly became a lightening rod for controversy.

Indeed, conservatives went completely berserk. William Donohue, head of the far-right Catholic League, said Peterson’s role with the DNC suggested the Dems were “out of their minds” and compared her position to hiring “a gay basher to reach out to homosexuals.” The religious right and conservative media immediately followed suit.
Donohue also had Mara Vanderslice, the Kerry campaign outreach person, muzzled. From the (Lakeland, Florida) Ledger:
She was baptized by full immersion in Rock Creek in Washington, D.C., while working with Sojourners, an evangelical anti-poverty group. She entered politics by working with a group advocating debt relief for the developing world, once participating in a rally organized by a coalition that included the AIDS activist group ACT UP.

During the 2004 campaign, that tenuous relationship provided the grist for William Donohue, an outspoken conservative Catholic, to denounce her as "an ultra-leftist who consorts with anti-Catholic bigots," calling ACT UP "anti-Catholic."
This guy thinks he can define what acceptable religious beliefs are, and anyone who disagrees with him is an "anti-Catholic bigot." It's ridiculous. The only thing more ridiculous than Bill Donohue are Democrats who do anything other than tell him to stuff it.

Donohue doesn't speak for American Catholics any more than Jerry Falwell speaks for American Protestants. Sure, they both represent a deranged subset of those groups, but there's only one lesson to learn. Stand up and fight back, and don't let them have any say at all in our party.

The days of worring about not offending anyone should be long gone. Those who would be offended aren't going to vote for us anyhow. It takes a while, but by exposing the lies and demanding fair media coverage, these kinds of nasty right wing operatives become far less effective. Stack the line and play some smash mouth. People respect it when you stand up for what you believe in.

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