Tired of dealing with the banality of stopping priestly molestation, William A. Donohue, the president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, has found a new issue to rally the foolish, I mean faithful.
Last night, he assembled hundreds of angry people — including washed up jester, Jackie Mason, –to protest in front of the Empire State Building because the property refused to light the building with blue and white colors in honor of what would have been Mother Teresa’s 90th birthday. Apparently, blue and white are the colors of the order, the Missionaries of Charity, that she guided until her death in 1997.
The building declined because management does not honor requests to light the building in honor of religious figures. If they did, they would certainly, at some point, be asked to honor a controversial imam, and then the New York Post and Fox News would have strokes. Based on the irrational and over-emotional behavior expressed by opportunistic stage horses and religious zealots like William Donohue, it seems like a wise policy.
But, make no mistake, this is an artificial controversy trumped up by an organization that profits by striking a paranoid pose as victims of religious oppression. According to the Times’ Clyde Haberman:
Donohue, ever ready to detect anti-Catholic bigotry, is capable not just of taking umbrage but also of holding it hostage. He had asked Anthony E. Malkin, one of the building’s owners, to approve blue-and-white lights for Mother Teresa. When Mr. Malkin said no, ostensibly because the Empire State doesn’t honor religious figures, Mr. Donohue declared war. What Mr. Malkin did, he said, “was to insult Catholics.”
In the article, Donohue freely admits that Mother Teresa would have been turned off by his self-serving, publicity hound antics.
“I concede the point that she would not want any attention drawn to her,” Mr. Donohue said in an e-mail in response to a question. But he added: “I have a mission, and it is that of an advocacy group, a pressure group, if you will. I do not run a pastoral institute.”
Is there a more dishonest, hot-button pushing, victim-mongering right wing activist in America? Maybe Janet Folger/Porter is Donahue’s equal in this regard. But few are greater examples of the mendacity and audacity of religious extremism in America.
As it stands, news of child molestation in the Catholic Church is still a huge problem. Donahue should return to halting this international disgrace. Oh, wait, I almost forgot. He was the apologist dedicated to defending the Catholic hierarchy, not the victims of rape.
Isn’t it time Donohue just slithered away before he does more harm to the institution he professes to care about? Other than the current Pope, Donohue may be the single most unsympathetic and uninspiring figure in the Catholic Church.