Post runs column bashing "secular saboteurs"

Catholic League head says liberals are busy "walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids"

By Alex Koppelman

Published October 21, 2009 2:45PM (EDT)

Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, has never been known for holding his tongue. In fact, the conservative Catholic leader -- who's not affiliated with the Vatican -- is something of a firebrand, always ready with sharp words for someone. Even by his standards, though, a piece he wrote for the Washington Post's Web site earlier this week seemed to hit a new low; it was certainly a low for the Post.

From the essay, posted to's "On Faith" section:

Yesterday's radicals wanted to tear down the economic structure of capitalism and replace it with socialism, and eventually communism. Today's radicals are intellectually spent: they want to annihilate American culture, having absolutely nothing to put in its place. In that regard, these moral anarchists are an even bigger menace than the Marxists who came before them ....

Sexual libertines, from the Marquis de Sade to radical gay activists, have sought to pervert society by acting out on their own perversions. What motivates them most of all is a pathological hatred of Christianity. They know, deep down, that what they are doing is wrong, and they shudder at the dreaded words, "Thou Shalt Not." But they continue with their death-style anyway ....

There was a time when Hollywood made reverential movies about Christianity. But those days are long gone. Now they just insult. And when someone finally makes a film that makes Christians proud, he is run out of town. Were it not for Mel Gibson, there would have been no "Passion of the Christ." But for every Harvey Weinstein who likes to bash Catholics, there is always someone else waiting in the wings to do the same ....

Catholics were once the mainstay of the Democratic Party; now the gay activists are in charge. Indeed, practicing Catholics are no longer welcome in leadership roles in the Party: the contempt that pro-life Catholics experience is palpable. The fact that Catholics for Choice, a notoriously anti-Catholic front group funded by the Ford Foundation, has a close relationship with the Democrats says it all ....

The culture war is up for grabs. The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they're too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels.

There are at least two factual assertions in there that are just plain wrong -- Gibson wasn't "run out of town" for making "Passion of the Christ;" he was shunned for his alcohol-fueled, anti-Semitic rage. And if "practicing Catholics are no longer welcome in leadership roles in the Party," how do you explain the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.?

But for the most part this just isn't worth engaging. Which leads to a very simple question: Why would the Post run it? The idea of printing a controversial piece, even one that insults as many people as this did, is a fine one. But there's simply no way anyone can say that what Donohue wrote here added to the discourse. There were no facts, no arguments, nothing new -- just a long string of insults. The Post can, and should, do better.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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