This week in Catholic: Catholic League president Bill Donohue is offended again. This time, he takes the time out of his protests of the Empire State Building, Comedy Central, Lady Gaga, and comedian Louis C.K. to defend Mel Gibson and call late night talk show host Jay Leno a bigot.
Radar Online has been releasing tapes of Passion of the Christ director Mel Gibson ranting and raving to his ex-girlfriend. On the tapes, Gibson shows just how racist, homophobic, and anti-women he truly is. These rants along with his anti-Semitic portrayal of Jews in his film and his drunken anti-Semitic rant to a police officer in 2006 really paint Gibson as a pretty hateful and villainous person. Some people like Christopher Hitchens and Frank Rich claim that this is a reflection on Gibson’s religious views (voice your vote).
Mel Gibson belongs of to splinter sect of the Catholic Church run by his father who denounces the changes made by the Second Vatican Council. Still, Gibson is a Catholic and this has prompted Bill Donohue to come to his defense. In a press release by the Catholic League, Donohue implies that Gibson is the victim of anti-Catholic bigotry. He goes on to blame “Secular Jews” for “fomenting anti-Catholicism” and trying to equate any and all criticism of the actions and beliefs of the Catholic Church with anti-Semitism and racism.
What Bill Donohue has to realize is that there is a difference between hating someone because of their race and criticizing someone’s actions and religious beliefs. We can change our religious beliefs (a fact that Donohue himself admits in the press release) and we can choose to take different actions, but we can’t choose what race we were born into.
Aside from defending Mel Gibson this week, Donohue is lashing out at late night talk show host, Jay Leno. Leno is known in the late night world as the comedian who is so afraid of offending anyone that his jokes just aren’t funny. Still, even a boring and sterile host like Jay Leno has offended Bill Donohue.
On July 16th, during Leno’s opening monolog, he told a joke about the Catholic priest sex scandal. Instead of being offended by Catholic priests sexually assaulting children, Donohue seems more offended about jokes dealing with the topic. The sad fact is that people have been telling jokes about child molesting priests for decades. Even though the media has only recently been talking about these scandals, they have been going on for at least fifty years and who knows if they have been going on for centuries.
The joke is question is actually a pretty tame joke dealing with the scandal. “It was so hot I saw a priest stop at a kids’ lemonade stand—just got lemonade.” That was all it took to get Bill Donohue in a foaming frenzy.
If you or someone you know has been sexually molested, please get help. Check out SNAP – Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests
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