Bowing to pressure from SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), Catholic activists, lawyers, psychologists and feminists, the Ford Motor Company has withdrawn a Super Bowl ad for a new Lincoln truck, the Mark LT. The ad shows a clergyman (dressed to look like either a Catholic or an Episcopalian priest) who finds the keys to the truck in the collection plate; a little girl put them there as a prank. The happy cleric, who thinks the truck is his, is dismayed when the girl and her father show up to claim the keys. The ad ends by showing the cleric approaching a church marquee; he then puts the letters L and T on the opposite sides of the word US, thus spelling LUST.
Catholic League president William Donohue criticized the protesters today:
“When asked yesterday by the Chicago Tribune what I thought of the ad (it could be seen on the Internet), I had a one-word response—asinine. When asked what I had to say about the protesters, I said it was ‘absurd’ to charge that the ad ‘trivializes and exploits the sex scandal.’ Indeed, it is worse than absurd—it reveals a deep-seated bias against Catholic priests that is very disturbing.
“Lincoln had the ad consumer tested and found there were no problems. That’s because the men and women who vetted the ad were not looking at it through tainted lenses. Unfortunately, the protesters are so consumed by the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church that they can no longer see straight. Indeed, their obsession has now reached pathological proportions.
“To assign predator status to a priest in an ad like this suggests that the complainants think of priests as child molesters. Moreover, when SNAP issues a press release charging that the ad trivializes the ‘child molestation crisis,’ it is twice wrong: a) the ad doesn’t come close to implying priestly sexual molestation and, b) more than 80 percent of the real-life victims in the sex scandal have been postpubescent males (not little girls).
“SNAP has done some fine work, but its credibility is undermined when it chooses to see the world exclusively through the lens of victims.”