Third Quarter 1999
Press Releases




September 30, 1999


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 protest.

"Now that art has been reduced to dung and puke, there is no better time for public officials to stop all funding of the arts."

September 30, 1999


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 way:

"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


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 hate speech.

"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 attendees.

"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


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 today:

"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."

September 23, 1999


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


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 today:

"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 officials."

September 8, 1999


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 saintly man.

"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 fooled.

"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 XII."

September 1, 1999


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 supernatural phenomena."

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


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 altogether.

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 school choice.

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 choice?

"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


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 latest action:

"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


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


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 Anti-Catholicism."

August 10, 1999


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 protected.

"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


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


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 account:

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 concert.

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 these remarks:

"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


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 development:

"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.

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 distributor.

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 booklet today:

"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


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.

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