OBAMA RENOMINATES ANTI-CATHOLIC LAWYER

Catalyst March Issue 2010

After Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel was sent back to the White House at the end of last year, President Obama quickly decided to renominate the anti-Catholic lawyer.

Most of Johnsen’s critics have focused on her strong pro-abortion record. While that is disturbing, a pro-abortion president can be expected to staff his administration with such a person, and no one has doubted the president’s position on this subject. But, as we have pointed out in the past, it is an entirely different matter when a president selects bigots to work for him.

Dawn Johnsen is not someone who simply takes issue with the Church’s pro-life position: she wants to punish the Church. In the late 1980s, she joined a cadre of anti-Catholics to strip the Catholic Church of its tax exempt status. The charge? The Church was guilty of violating IRS strictures because it took a strong pro-life position. The lawsuit failed.

The person who led this assault was Lawrence Lader, co-founder of NARAL with Dr. Bernard Nathanson. (Nathanson later dropped his pro-abortion stance, became a strong pro-life advocate and converted to Catholicism.) At the time NARAL was founded, Lader, according to Nathanson, liked to refer to the Catholic Church as “our favorite whipping boy,” maintaining that his goal was to “bring the Catholic hierarchy out where we can fight them. That’s the real enemy.” (Italics in original.)  That was in the late 1960s. Twenty years later, Lader published a vicious book assailing the Catholic Church, and it was at this time that he launched his bid—assisted by Johnsen—to break the Church.

This is the real Dawn Johnsen. She is a person so fueled by hatred for the Catholic Church that she would like to destroy it. Having failed to secure her appointment last year, Obama has decided that he just can’t proceed without her. How telling.

If someone were nominated to serve in a major legal position in a Republican administration who previously tried to take away the tax exempt status of Islamic mosques and institutions—for purely political reasons—everyone knows that he or she would never be given a hearing.

Yet despite this information on her, the New York Times audaciously asserted that the “baseless objections” and “baseless concerns” of Johnsen’s critics should be ignored.

Since when are objections to proven instances of bigotry considered “baseless”? Would it be “baseless” to object to someone who wants to deny Muslims the same tax exempt status afforded Catholics, Protestants, Jews and others? Would not such a person be branded a bigot who is unfit to serve in any administration, especially in a high post in the Justice Department?

The answer is obvious. Which begs the more important question: Why is her nomination even alive?


Written by Bill