Daly City, CA – A man-turned-woman sued Seton Medical Center after being denied breast augmentation surgery following a transgender operation. The Catholic hospital, which is run by the Daughters of Charity, said that the surgery violated Catholic teaching and was outside the procedures of the hospital. Following the hospital’s denial, the transgender person refused to look elsewhere even though there were other hospitals that would have performed the desired surgery.
We addressed the media by saying:
“Catholic hospitals are not required to perform abortions, and neither should they be forced to perform transgender operations…If Catholic hospitals are denied the right to proscribe such operations, it effectively nullifies their right to remain Catholic.”
Equinox fitness clubs began the new year with a marketing campaign, displaying ads in their gyms and in publications like Boston Magazine and New York Magazine. The “Happily ever” campaign featured an ad with attractive young women, all dressed as nuns in habit, sketching a naked man while gawking at his genitals.
After we addressed the ad, calling it “sophomoric,” Fallon Worldwide, Equinox’s ad agency, defended the ad by saying, “We’re [Fallon] not saying they’re nuns. They are all dressed in a certain way. It isn’t meant to be a religious commentary…For those who jumped to the conclusion they were nuns, they should be corrected.”
See page 19 for the ad.
On January 11, ESPN television anchor Dana Jacobson attacked Jesus at a celebrity roast of radio personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. When it was her turn to roast the duo, a drunken Jacobson roared, “F*** Notre Dame,” “F*** Touchdown Jesus,” and finally “F*** Jesus.”
We issued a news release on January 22 calling out ESPN and Jacobson for her offensive remarks. At first ESPN’s response was to suspend Jacobson for a week and to issue a statement by Jacobson saying: “My remarks about Notre Dame were foolish and insensitive. I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words.”
Our first reaction was that this was a lame response made by ESPN, because she didn’t address the most offensive thing she said, “F*** Jesus!” We noted that she made these remarks while representing ESPN at a public event. We also compared her situation to those of Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder and Mel Gibson; one made racist comments about blacks, the latter made drunken, bigoted remarks about Jews.
On January 24, we issued a news release that put this issue to rest. Bill Donohue spoke with two ESPN officials and they maintained that, in the six to seven years they had worked with Jacobson, they had never heard her say anything bad about any religion. They stressed that she “fell on the sword” the day after her drunken rant. At Donohue’s request, ESPN issued another apology. On her first day back on the air, Jacobson apologized again: “I want to say how truly sorry I am for my poor choices and bad judgment.”
Pittsburgh, PA – A federal jury awarded $100,000 to a former police officer that was fired for his religious beliefs. The jury found that officials had harassed the former officer because he wore a cross on his uniform.
Amazon began selling the self-published book by Charles Webb, Sex with the Virgin Mary: She Has Waited Long Enough. The description on Amazon read, “A previously unknown Biblical prophesy [sic] must be fulfilled before the Second coming of Christ. Mary must enter the carnal world of the flesh and Jimmy Cahill is marketing the item.”
Rockaway, NJ – Bill Donohue wrote a letter to the CEO of Warner Chilcott Inc. regarding a company drug presentation. In the presentation the speaker made a number of bigoted slurs against the Catholic Church and indicated that the Church persecuted the developer of the birth control pill until he met a horrible death.
We did not hold Warner Chilcott responsible for the behavior of its speaker. We said that we were concerned that Warner Chilcott acted as a venue for anti-Catholic outbursts and asked if such statements were acceptable at its drug presentations.
Spirit Halloween carried particularly offensive costumes this Halloween. “Happy Priest” was a costume of a priest with an erection, and a “Thank You Father” nun depicted a pregnant nun.