PROTEST MOUNTS AT BROOKLYN MUSEUM
Catholic League president William Donohue
commented today on Saturday’s rally at the Brooklyn Museum of Art:
"On October 2, Catholic League personnel will distribute
vomit bags to the first 500 attendees of the ‘Sensation’ exhibit
at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; we will commence our protest at
11:00 a.m. The distribution of vomit bags—all of which are
labeled ‘Vomit Bag: Compliments of the Catholic League’—is in
direct response to the exhibit’s warning that seeing it may
induce vomiting. On this score the Catholic League readily
agrees, and that explains our desire to facilitate the process.
Barf is not easily cleaned up, and it also has a terrible odor,
so it should be deposited in a biodegradable receptacle.
"We have been overwhelmed with calls from Catholics, as well
as non-Catholics, seeking information about our protest. We are
urging all of them to bring a vomit bag and drop it on the steps
of the museum. In addition, the Catholic League is contacting
dozens of allied organizations asking them to join us in our
"Now that art has been reduced to dung and puke, there is no
better time for public officials to stop all funding of the
September 30, 1999
JESSE "THE BIGOT" VENTURA
In the November issue of Playboy, Minnesota Governor
Jesse Ventura is quoted as saying the following: "Organized
religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need
strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their
noses in other people’s business."
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, opined this
"The Minnesota Governor has now proven himself to be Jesse
‘The Bigot’ Ventura. Liberty shorn of its religious
underpinnings is the real sham, as the Founders and most
students of freedom have long understood. But according to the
erudite Mr. Ventura, they all got it wrong.
"Fully 94 percent of all Americans profess a belief in God
and most of them belong to an organized religion. It is
important for them to know exactly what Ventura thinks of them,
and that is why the Catholic League will act as the Minnesota
Governor’s PR team: we want everyone to know his sentiments.
"What Ventura is saying is that organized religion has an
intrusive, and therefore deleterious, effect on American
society. To that end, it is only logical that he might seek to
check its influence. This bears watching as that is the position
of an anti-religious bigot.
"The Catholic League is interested in knowing whether
Ventura’s hostility to religion represents the position of the
Reform Party. We would like to hear from Pat Buchanan and Donald
Trump on this subject. We also want to know if Buchanan and
Trump will denounce Ventura for his bigotry.
"The Catholic League recommends that Ventura go back to
professional wrestling where he belongs. He’s boxed himself in
on this one."
September 29, 1999
CATHOLICS TO RALLY AT BROOKLYN MUSEUM OF ART
On Saturday, October 2, the Catholic League will lead a rally
protesting the "Sensation" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
The rally will take place outside the museum and will begin at
11:00 a.m., when the museum opens.
Catholic League president William Donohue expressed his views
on the rally today:
"No one has ever said that Catholic-bashing artists do not
have a constitutional right to insult our religion. What the
Catholic League has been saying, and what Mayor Giuliani has
been saying, is that no one has a constitutional lien on the
public purse to finance bigotry. Our protest is directed at two
elements of this exhibit: the use of public funds to bash Roman
Catholicism and the anti-Catholic depiction of Our Blessed
Mother by Chris Ofili.
"No teacher who bashed his black, Jewish, or gay students
could ever argue persuasively that he was engaged in free
speech. Indeed, he would be summarily fired for promoting hate
speech. Similarly, any artist whose work is being publicly
funded cannot hide behind the First Amendment when he promotes
"We hope that New Yorkers of all religions will join us in
our protest on Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Since the
museum expressly warns that seeing the exhibit could induce
vomiting, we will distribute vomit bags to the first 500
"We are especially grateful to the Union of Orthodox Jewish
Congregations of America and the New York Hispanic Clergy
Organization for their support on this matter."
September 28, 1999
ANOTHER CATHOLIC-BASHING MOVIE HITS NEW YORK
According to New York Post film
critic, Thelma Adams, the movie "Julien Donkey-Boy" features
"masturbating nuns," a man who wears "a large image of Christ
around his neck while he rubs himself during an erotic phone chat
with his sister" and other "blasphemous" elements. Also included
are "incest, insanity, murder, sexual abuse and circus side-show
freaks." The movie opens tomorrow at Lincoln Center as part of the
New York Film Festival.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented on this
"As we get close to the new millennium, the Catholic bashers
are coming out of the woodwork. It is appropriate that they do
so: hiding in the closet does no one any good and that is why
the Catholic League, while deploring the bigotry, welcomes the
outing. The pus is now coming to the surface, a sure sign that
Catholicism will triumph in the long run.
"‘Donkey-Boy,’ according to Thelma Adams, ‘joins a
lengthening list of profane and sacrilegious art testing First
Amendment rights, including the Brooklyn Museum’s ‘Sensational’
[sic] art exhibit and the forthcoming festival film ‘Dogma.’
"Adams forgot to add that the entire list is targeted at
Roman Catholicism (not that it would matter to her.) ‘John
Cardinal O’Connor is going to be very busy this fall,’ she says
with glee. ‘So much to protest. So little time.’ No doubt many
film critics feel the same way; it’s just that Adams isn’t
afraid to advertise her bigotry.
‘Donkey-Boy,’ Adams readily admits, ‘surely will play to
sold-out crowds at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall….’ She’s
right: the appetite for anti-Catholicism, especially among the
pampered class, is downright insatiable."
CATHOLICS SALUTE GIULIANI ON "SNUFF ART"; HILLARY’S POSITION
The decision of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
to oppose funding of the Brooklyn Museum of Art—unless it cancels
its offensive "Sensation" exhibit—was greeted with applause today
by many Catholics. Catholic League president William Donohue
outlined the league’s new strategy:
"The Brooklyn Museum of Art has offended Catholics by
rationalizing its decision to host ‘Sensation,’ an exhibit that
features a painting of the Virgin Mary laced with elephant dung
and surrounded by pictures of vaginas and anuses. Along with the
dismembered animals that the exhibit displays, the only term
that can be used to describe this monstrosity is ‘snuff art.’
"Catholics salute Mayor Giuliani for his courage and decency
in opposing funding of the Brooklyn Museum of Art for its
obstinacy on this issue. Now Catholics need to know the position
of Hillary Clinton, and to that end, we have asked her to state
her position on this issue. We have noted for her that the
museum is accessible by the number 2 and 3 subway lines.
"Every member of the City Council has been sent a letter
requesting that the museum be defunded. In addition, in this
weekend’s edition of the Tablet, the newspaper of the
Brooklyn diocese, the Catholic League has placed a half-page ad
asking all Catholic school teachers to boycott the museum during
the academic year 1999-2000.
"It is nothing short of amazing that some constitutional
attorneys are questioning the right of the mayor to defund the
Brooklyn Museum of Art. It cannot be said too strongly that no
one has a constitutional lien on the public purse, and that
certainly includes snuff artists. There is no shortage of
private philanthropy around, and that is why those who like this
stuff should find some fat cat bigot to foot the bill."
September 16, 1999
EXHIBIT AT BROOKLYN MUSEUM OF ART
Beginning October 2, the Brooklyn Museum of Art will feature
"Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection."
The exhibit contains the work of 42 artists that have been
furnished by Charles Saatchi, a leading collector of contemporary
art. Among the displays is one by Chris Ofili, "The Holy Virgin
Mary." This collage shows a Black Madonna surrounded by pictures
of female genitalia and anuses with elephant dung splattered all
over the linen. Other displays feature dead animals and sexually
mutilated bodies. Christie’s is a sponsor of this exhibit. No one
under 16 is allowed to see it unless accompanied by an adult.
Catholic League president William Donohue sounded off on this
"I know of no other enterprise, profession or industry that
allows as many frauds to be perpetrated on it than the artistic
community. No wonder Hitler was accepted as an artist: all he
had to do was proclaim himself to be one and that was enough for
the creative-types to welcome him.
"This exhibit is designed to shock, but instead it induces
revulsion. What is even more revolting than the art is the
mentality of Arnold L. Lehman, the director of the Brooklyn
Museum of Art: ‘This is truly a defining exhibition,’ he said.
That it is, but for reasons he’ll never figure out. ‘I think New
Yorkers are incredibly sophisticated,’ said Lehman, ‘and believe
like I do that they should be exposed to works that are
emotionally engaging and ones that make us think.’ So here we
have it: the scatological is a tonic for the brain, something
the sophisticated can imbibe along with their bottled water.
"We are calling for New Yorkers of every religion to boycott
the Brooklyn Museum of Art. We will also seek to defund the
institution of public money by writing to the appropriate public
September 8, 1999
ATTACK ON POPE PIUS XII REACHES NEW HEIGHTS
In the October edition of Vanity Fair, there is an
excerpt from a new book by the British author, John Cornwell. The
book, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, will
be published by Viking Press in October.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented on the
Vanity Fair article today:
"Scholarship which purports to be ground-breaking must offer
evidence that is ground-breaking. On this score, John Cornwell
fails miserably. His article is laced with conjecture and
innuendo of the most scurrilous kind. Not satisfied to advance
the old canard that Pius XII was ‘silent’ during the Holocaust,
Cornwell now wants us to believe that the pope was an active
agent servicing Hitler. Make no mistake about it, all of this is
being done in an attempt to derail the beatification of this
"In 1945, when the war was over, and again in 1958, when Pius
XII died, the world Jewish community rightly acknowledged his
heroism. They knew that no one did more to save Jews than
Pope Pius XII. Cornwell offers no evidence that these Jews were
"Just last month, Lorenzo Cremonesi, Jerusalem correspondent
for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, went
public with a document that he found in the Israeli archives: in
a letter dated October 27, 1945, Msgr. Montini (the future Pope
Paul VI) gave a detailed account of a private audience between
Pius XII and Leo Kubwitsky, then-secretary general of the World
Jewish Congress (WJC). On behalf of the WJC, Kubwitsky gave Pius
XII a gift that would be worth more than one million dollars in
today’s currency; Kubwitsky expressed ‘his gratitude to the
august pontiff for his work in support of persecuted Jews.’
"As for Vanity Fair, it is a sure bet that its editors
would never publish an excerpt from a book that defends Pius
September 1, 1999
BOMBS WITH "STIGMATA"
Tamara Collins, a research analyst at the Catholic League, has
previewed the MGM movie "Stigmata." She describes the film, which
opens September 10, as an attempt to use a supernatural thriller
as a vehicle for making a political attack on the Catholic Church.
"The thrust of the plot," says Collins, "is that there exists a
lost gospel of Christ, whose message—that the kingdom of God is
inside us and all around us, not in buildings made of stone—would
thoroughly undermine the legitimacy of the Catholic Church.
Naturally, Church officials, hell-bent on preserving their power,
will stop at nothing (including violence, if necessary) to
suppress this gospel."
Collins adds that "Particularly insidious are the references to
such Catholic figures as Padre Pio and St. Francis of Assisi, in
order to give credence to the film’s outlandish exploitation of
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, viewed the
trailer of "Stigmata," and issued his own take on the movie today:
"MGM risks attenuating its prestige by backing such an
outlandishly gory and insidious film as ‘Stigmata.’ The idea
that salvation can best be achieved by rejecting the Catholic
Church is an old and very tired idea. The good news is that
there exists a small audience for such an exploitative film, and
all the hype and technical effects in the world can do nothing
to redeem this bomb of a movie."
August 25, 1999
ANTI-RELIGIOUS BIAS FUELS ANTI-VOUCHER RULING
One day before the start of the school year, a
federal judge has issued an injunction blocking Cleveland’s four
year-old voucher program, and virtually promising to kill it
Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. declared that since the vast majority
of parents in the program are choosing religious schools, "the
Cleveland program has the primary effect of advancing religion."
As such, he declared, there is "no substantial possibility" that
he will ultimately allow the voucher program to continue.
His ruling not only promises massive disruption for almost
4,000 students participating in the voucher program; it also
exposes the anti-religious bias inherent in his opposition to
Catholic League president William Donohue explained:
"The Cleveland program has the primary effect of advancing,
not religion, but parental choice. Judge Oliver does not like
the choices that parents are making; so in a shocking display of
judicial arrogance, he is simply overruling their decisions
about the education of their children.
"The judge makes clear that if parents were choosing
non-sectarian, rather than religious, private schools, he would
have no problem with the program. This smacks of an
anti-religious bias that clearly compromises his ability to rule
objectively on this issue.
"As an Air Force veteran, I benefited from the GI Bill, which
allowed us to attend any college—public, non-sectarian
private, or religious—with government assistance. Why should not
parents—the primary educators of their children—have the same
"The United States Supreme Court should recognize the
anti-religious bias inherent in Judge Oliver’s ruling and
overturn it on appeal."
August 24, 1999
REVERSES BAN ON STAR OF DAVID
The Star of David is no longer banned in Harrison
County, Mississippi schools.
Overturning its August 16 ruling, the Harrison County School
Board has voted unanimously to lift the ban, which had been
instituted because the Jewish religious symbol bears a resemblance
to a six-pointed star being worn by some gang members.
Catholic League president William Donohue welcomed the board’s
"The Harrison County School Board was right to acknowledge
its mistake and to act so swiftly to rectify it. Its initial
decision would have been counter-productive. Barring religious
expression by students is no way to reduce the incidence of
violence in schools.
"The members of the Harrison County School Board have acted
responsibly. We commend them."
August 20, 1999
BAN ON STAR OF DAVID WILL FAIL
Citing concerns over gangs who wear six-pointed stars, a
Mississippi school board has announced that the Star of David is
now banned from school property. Harrison County school
Superintendent Henry Arledge justified the board decision by
saying it was done to protect the welfare of the students.
The school board considered banning crosses but decided not to
do so. The American Civil Liberties Union is scheduled to file
suit in U.S. District Court today representing a Jewish student
who was ordered to remove the Jewish symbol.
The Catholic League’s position was spelled out by its
president, William Donohue:
"Ridding the schools of violence is a must, but it cannot be
done by sacrificing religious liberties in the process. The
decision by the Harrison County school board was at the very
least ignoble and at the worst anti-Semitic. Either way, the
Catholic League sees a vital religious liberty at stake and will
file an amicus brief against the school board, presuming the
case moves beyond the District level.
"This has to be one of the dumbest decisions we’ve heard
about coming from a school board, and we’ve heard of plenty."
August 19, 1999
RIZZOLI BOOKSTORE PROFILES OFFENSIVE ART
On August 17, a branch of the international bookstore, Rizzoli,
placed in its storefront window a picture of blasphemous art that
was offensive to Christians. The branch at 31 West 57th
Street in New York had on window display a picture of the Last
Supper that showed a bare-breasted woman standing in the middle of
the table with her arms outstretched; men and women were seated on
both sides of her conversing. The picture was taken from a book
entitled Visionaire 28, published by Visionaire.
Catholic League president William Donohue spoke to the store’s
manager, John Deen, to say that he thought it an impropriety for a
prestigious bookstore in mid-town Manhattan to give such high
profile to a display that many Catholics might find offensive.
When Deen said he did not think the picture was offensive, Donohue
asked him whether he might think it offensive to picture Martin
Luther King with a swastika on his forehead surrounded by a
bare-breasted woman. Deen said that he would.
Donohue does not want the book removed from the store, but he
has asked that such offensive pictures not be placed in the
storefront window. When Deen said that other pictures in the book
might be put in the window, a copy of the book was purchased for
$150. The book is a collection of contemporary portraits based on
the Bible and most of them are non-offensive. But in addition to
the "Last Supper," the following portraits appear: a) the "Virgin
Mary" is a veiled woman with her breasts partially exposed wearing
pink panties b) "Salome and John the Baptist" (a contribution by
"Piss Christ" artist Andres Serrano) features a young blond with
hooks as nails wearing red fishnet stockings squatted, with legs
spread, in front of the bloody head of John the Baptist c) "Judas’
Kiss" is a homoerotic picture of a man kissing a boy.
Donohue said that "The editors are irresponsible, the
contributors are rip-off artists and Rizzoli is just plain dumb:
we will feature all this in our 1999 Annual Report on
August 10, 1999
VIRGINIA NAVAL BASE VIOLATES RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION
Captain R.W. Jerome, Commander of
Naval Security Group Northwest, has determined that area civilian
Catholics, located in Chesapeake, Virginia, can no longer have
access to the Northwest Chapel that lies just outside the base;
this reverses a decision of more than two decades that
accommodated these Catholics. This is not a decision that the
Catholic League is protesting, though many others, including both
Virginia Senators, are.
What the Catholic League is protesting, however, is the barring
of the Knights of Columbus from using this chapel. Commander
Jerome says that the Knights (along with a Methodist Men’s group
and the Boy Scouts) are guilty of discriminating against women and
thus cannot use the chapel.
Catholic League president William Donohue announced the
league’s position today:
"We have written to Commander Jerome and to Secretary of the
Navy Richard Danzig expressing our willingness to sue the Navy
in the event the Knights of Columbus decides to do so. The
operative directive from the Department of Defense bars
‘unlawful discrimination,’ making plain its willingness to
countenance reasonably-grounded distinctions (by way of analogy,
the Fourth Amendment bars searches and seizures that are
‘unreasonable,’ thus allowing for reasonable ones). Moreover,
the right of private voluntary groups to determine their own
membership strictures is a right that the courts have always
"At stake is freedom of association, a First Amendment right
that the federal courts upheld in the case of the Ancient Order
of Hibernians against gay activists: in that case, homosexuals
sought to have their own marching unit in the St. Patrick’s Day
Parade. We expect that if this case reaches the high court, it
will also sustain this constitutional right. In the meantime, we
will conduct a public relations campaign against the U.S. Navy."
August 10, 1999
MUSEUM OFFENDS CATHOLICS
On July 2, the Neville Public Museum in
Green Bay, Wisconsin, began displaying an art exhibit of paintings
and sculpture by Norbert Kox entitled, "To Hell and Back." It
features the following: a) the Virgin Mary depicted as the "Great
Harlot" b) Christ labeled the "Son of Perdition" c) God the Father
represented as a monster d) Our Lady of Guadalupe with
cross-shaped knife, cutting the heart of a baby e) Christ wearing
a necklace with the Satanic symbol "666" f) A headless statue of
Mary with black filth running out of her Immaculate Heart g) A
rewritten, blasphemous version of "Our Father." In addition, there
is blasphemous misuse of Catholic sacramentals, such as rosary
beads, medals, crucifixes, scapulars and votive candles. The
exhibit is scheduled to run through October 10.
On July 27, Catholic League president William Donohue sent a
letter to Frederick K. Baer, Chairman of the Neville Public
Museum’s Board of Directors, and all the members of the board,
requesting that a resolution be passed that would "formally
express its misgivings about this exhibit." Donohue added that
"there is no other way in which Catholic sensibilities, already
damaged, can be mollified."
Donohue commented on this issue today:
"Two weeks have passed since we sent a letter—overnight
express—to the board of directors of the Neville Public Museum
stating our concerns. There has been no reply.
"We never asked for the art to be censored in any way. All we
asked for was some reassurance from the board that it did not
personally condone anti-Catholic bigotry. That such reassurance
has not been forthcoming speaks loudly and clearly about the
board’s sense of fairness. Accordingly, we will now contact the
officials of Brown County, who run and fund the museum, to
consider defunding the establishment; we will also take our case
to appropriate state officials."
August 6, 1999
"DETROIT ROCK CITY" IS A LOW-CLASS ACT
On August 13, New Line Cinema is
releasing "Detroit Rock City," a movie set in 1978 about four
teenagers who go on a wild spree on their way to a KISS concert.
KISS star Gene Simmons is featured in the movie and is a
co-producer. It is a farcical comedy in which nearly all the
characters are caricatures. It is also one that contains two
scenes that are explicitly designed to offend Catholics. Catholic
League research analyst Tamara Collins offered the following
In the first offensive segment, viewers meet a drunken,
foul-mouthed priest who steals money from the collection box to
pay for pizza. In the second offensive segment, we meet a Catholic
woman who is portrayed as a fanatic because she carries her rosary
beads with her and has a bumper sticker that says, "Smile, Jesus
Loves You." Coarse and hypocritical, she drags her son to
confession when she discovers his interest in attending a KISS
The priest, who is the subject of an advance by the boy’s
mother, asks the boy in the confessional whether he doesn’t have
something to confess like "carnal knowledge with a neighborhood
girl" or "finding a box of magazines under Dad’s bed." When the
priest exits the confessional, the boy is joined by one of his
girlfriends and quickly loses his virginity there. When the priest
returns, he asks the boy about "crotchless panties," etc.
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, offered
"It’s always the Catholic religion that today’s ‘humorists’
in Hollywood target. That’s because they like us so much.
"The interplay between sex and religion has long made for
good copy, and in the right hands, it can prove to be
fascinating. In the hands of charlatans, it doesn’t work. That
Gene Simmons fits the latter category will be argued by no one.
‘Detroit Rock City’ is a low-class act that is consistent with
the work of Mr. Simmons."
August 5, 1999
BID TO APPEASE LT. BERRY FAILS
Yesterday, the Catholic League sponsored
a press conference in Washington on the injustice that the Air
Force is doing to Lt. Ryan Berry, the serviceman who is requesting
a religious exemption from serving with females in an underground
missile silo; the Air Force is penalizing Lt. Berry for not
serving in this specific capacity.
Just prior to the press conference, Congressman Roscoe G.
Bartlett, who is supporting the officer, received a letter dated
August 3 from General Michael Ryan, Air Force Chief of Staff. "I
fully agree that the United States Air Force must accommodate
religious beliefs to the maximum extent possible," wrote Gen.
Ryan. Regarding Lt. Berry, Gen. Ryan said that the young Catholic
officer "will soon be scheduled for training to a new career field
followed by an assignment to another installation."
William Donohue, who spoke to this issue in Washington
yesterday, offered the following comments on this latest
"Lt. Berry’s attorney, Henry Hamilton, labeled Gen. Ryan’s
overture ‘vapid,’ and I would certainly agree with that
assessment. The only thing that really matters is whether the
politically-driven negative evaluation of Lt. Berry—which
followed two glowing accounts of his performance—will remain
unamended. If it does, it effectively kills Lt. Berry’s career.
"The Catholic League will conduct a media campaign against
the U.S. Air Force for its actions. In addition, in the next
issue of our monthly journal, Catalyst, we will ask our members
to contact Gen. Ryan and their congressman about this issue.
"As I said yesterday, it is perverse that the
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces can have oral sex in the
Oval Office of the White House—and do so with impunity—while Lt.
Berry is punished for wanting to avoid the very occasion of sin
that disgraced President Clinton."
August 3, 1999
On Wednesday, August 4, the Catholic
League will sponsor a press conference in Washington, D.C.
regarding the case of Lt. Ryan Berry. Lt. Berry is requesting that
the Air Force accommodate his religious liberty objections to
being forced to work with women in an underground silo; the close
quarters that this duty entails, Lt. Berry insists, would create
an occasion of sin. The officer does not object to women in the
military, and simply wants the Air Force to provide for an
exemption from this specific duty, the way it did for a
year-and-a-half before it reversed its position.
HILL PRESS CONFERENCE ON LT. BERRY
The press conference will take place at the House Office
Triangle on Capitol Hill at 1:00 p.m. Attending will be Lt. Ryan
Berry, his wife and daughter, Berry’s attorney, Henry Hamilton,
Congressman Roscoe G. Bartlett of Maryland, and Catholic League
president William Donohue. Lt. Berry is being supported in his
effort by Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of the Archdiocese for the
Military Services, U.S.A., John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of
New York, and others.
August 2, 1999
Today, the Catholic League is releasing a
booklet on the movie "Dogma" that offers proof of the
anti-Catholic nature of the film. The booklet reprints comments
about the movie that have been made by "Dogma" director Kevin
Smith, the movie’s actors, film critics and others.
The Catholic League is in possession of the film’s script, but
it prefers to convince the public of the Catholic-bashing elements
in the movie by simply quoting what those involved in the movie
have said about it; the remarks by critics who liked "Dogma" also
proved to be revealing. The movie is expected to be released in
October, though Bob and Harvey Weinstein have yet to find a
The booklet is being distributed to the media, the Catholic
League’s board of directors, board of advisors and chapter
presidents, selected members, all the bishops and others. Anyone
who would like a copy should contact the Catholic League.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented on the
"We have the script and, more important, we have the
statements of ‘Dogma’s’ fans. Quite naturally, the actors and
film critics who like the movie are not disturbed by the
anti-Catholicism that they themselves acknowledge, however
unwittingly. Indeed, it would be hard to think of a movie that
was so anti-Catholic that this gang would label it as such. Be
that as it may, there’s nothing like getting it from the horse’s
mouth, and this is what the ‘Dogma’ booklet does: it literally
settles the issue.
"On July 23, Howard Stern discussed the movie with its
writer/director Kevin Smith. ‘It’s got some Jesus Christ thing
in it so all the religious folks are already hating it,’ said
Stern. Smith’s reply was excellent: ‘Then we must be doing
something right.’ Thanks, Kev, that ends the debate."
July 16, 1999
AIR FORCE MISSES ON SEX AND RELIGION
From May 1997 to December 1998, Lt. Ryan
Berry received a religious exemption from the U.S. Air Force from
working in close quarters with a woman in an underground missile
launch center. But the Air Force has now changed its position and
is punishing Lt. Berry, a married Catholic, for exercising his
religious rights. Catholic teaching instructs against putting
oneself in the occasion of sin.
Catholic League president William Donohue, himself an Air Force
veteran, wrote a letter to Gen. Michael E. Ryan, Chief of Staff of
the Air Force, asking him to intervene in this case; copies of his
letter were also sent to Lt. Berry’s superiors, Maj. Gen. Thomas
H. Neary and Col. Ronald Haeckel, as well as to Archbishop Edwin
O’Brien, who heads the military archdiocese (O’Brien supports
Ryan). What follows is the substance of Donohue’s remarks:
"Lt. Berry, following the dictates of his conscience—one
which is grounded in his religion, Roman Catholicism—finds
objectionable the requirement that he must work in the close
quarters of a nuclear missile launch center with a person of the
opposite sex. Lt. Berry, who is stationed at Minot AFB in North
Dakota, had his religious objections sustained for a year and a
half before they were violated. Why his religious objections
cannot be accommodated now remains inexplicable.
"It is no secret that the armed forces have had their share
of problems with regards to sexual harassment. It would seem
only logical, therefore, that every reasonable effort be made to
honor the preferences of those men and women who find working in
close quarters with persons of the opposite sex to be
problematic. It is difficult to believe that there is any
national security imperative that argues against respecting Lt.
Berry’s free exercise of religion."
The Catholic League is currently weighing its options in the
event the Air Force does not reverse its position.