Kudos to Bill Donohue -- really!

The Catholic League leader beats up right-wing anti-Catholics for a change.

Published August 2, 2007 10:01PM (EDT)

I meant to blog about this earlier in the week: I never miss a chance to bash Catholic League leader Bill Donohue, but to his credit this week, for the first time ever, I saw him take a swing at Republicans, denouncing efforts to sway evangelical Protestants to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist, and away from Sen. Sam Brownback, a convert to Catholicism.

It was in a news alert from Donohue on Tuesday that I first read the creepy story that Rev. Tim Rude, pastor of Walnut Creek Community Church in Windsor Heights, Iowa, sent an e-mail trashing the Catholic Brownback and hailing Huckabee as "one of us." Rude went on: "I know Senator Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002. Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the Governor's. I don't know if this fact is widely known among evangelicals who are supporting Brownback." Challenged on the e-mail, Rude made things worse by saying simply, "All I was trying to say is that Protestants should vote for Protestants." Donohue shot back: "Now that his gig is up -- everyone knows about his stealth campaign against Brownback -- the time has come for Rev. Rude (what a great name!) to fess up and apologize. He might also take this opportunity to explain his lack of confidence in the ability of Protestants to discern whom they should vote for in the election."

Way to go, GOP! Nice job, Karl Rove, tethering your party to a hateful base full of bigots! It's easy to think the Shiite-Sunni rift is uniquely exotic, and that nothing like it could ever happen here, until you spend much time looking at the Christianist right. Maybe Bill Donohue is finally waking up to the fact that some of his right-wing buddies are more threatening to Catholics than Chocolate Jesus?

By Joan Walsh

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