On September 20, the San Francisco Examiner published an article by one of its contributors, Kimberly Blaker, that accused the Catholic Church of organizing and supporting “clones” of Islamic terrorism. In addition, the Catholic League was branded a “violent” organization.
After criticizing Rev. Jerry Falwell for his remarks blaming the ACLU, gays and lesbians, et al. for secularizing America (thus contributing to the reasons why the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked), Blaker wrote, “The irony is that the Islamic terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11 fatalities are merely clones of America’s own Christian Right extremists, sheathed in a different religion.” Later in her column, she wrote, “The Catholic Church is one of the main organizers and supporters behind the Christian Right.” Blaker also hurled charges at the Catholic League, saying that “while less violent in nature” than some other groups, the league was still a threat to liberty.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:
“It will come as a surprise to scholars and journalists, never mind the Catholic clergy, that the Catholic Church is the force behind ‘the Christian Right.’ That invidious term is typically used to discredit organized evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants. But in the mind of Blaker, a noted atheist, distinctions don’t matter. What matters is that a prominent Baptist minister made an irresponsible comment (for which he has apologized) and that’s all that’s needed to libel millions of Christians.
“I have asked the San Francisco Examiner to provide me with the evidence, drawn from criminal records, that the Catholic League is a violent organization. Surely the police, if not the FBI, have proof of our violent activities. Their response? While my criticisms are ‘valid,’ what Blaker wrote was her opinion. And it is my opinion that she be fired for making patently reckless, and arguably libelous, accusations against the Catholic League.”