Catalyst October Issue 2013, From The President's Desk
William A. Donohue
Few things are more annoying, if not downright disgusting, than witnessing selective outrage. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has instituted an array of edicts and laws banning smoking in restaurants, the workplace, parks and stadiums. He has banned trans fats, put limits on the sodium content in prepared meals, ordered restaurants to post calorie counts, and tried to ban large sugary sodas. Meanwhile, bicyclists are allowed to ride like lunatics anywhere they want, and without safety helmets.
Much more troubling than this nanny-state nonsense are three subjects that are addressed in this issue: California lawmakers and the sex abuse bill, church and state violations in New York, and the non-reaction of feminists to Miley Cyrus’ antics.
As you know, we’ve spent a lot of time and money trying to rally California Catholics over the phony sex abuse bill that has been before lawmakers; we deeply appreciate their vigorous response. No one who is serious about any crime, especially sexual crimes against minors, would even consider granting an exemption from the law. That is exactly what happened. To exempt public schools from a law that would make it easier for alleged past victims to sue—when public schools are precisely the venues where most of the offenses take place—is sick. What is even sicker is the blatant anti-Catholic motivation behind the legislation.
None of these lawmakers care a whit about kids. Imagine passing a law that would make it easier for the alleged victims of homosexuals to sue, but that exempted heterosexual offenders. There would be protests in the streets. That’s what we need—we need to take to the streets (non-violently, of course)—when we are the victims of selective legislation. There is no justice when some offenders are punished, and others are intentionally given a pass.
Whenever a priest, especially a bishop, speaks up about abortion, there are calls to silence him. All we hear are demands to enforce separation of church and state. He can speak all he wants about immigration reform (as long as he deemphasizes border control) and about more funding for poverty programs, but when it comes to moral issues such as gay marriage or euthanasia, he is expected to muzzle himself.
It is no secret that African-American churches have long welcomed candidates for public office to speak at Sunday services. In New York City, in the five months prior to the September primaries, candidates spoke at approximately 170 churches. Not one was Catholic. Indeed, we don’t even allow our clergy to run for office. That’s why this is a non-issue for our church-and-state watchdogs: as long as their candidates (Democrats) are the ones visiting churches they approve of (black churches), it’s okay for candidates to take their campaigns to the pulpit.
What Miley Cyrus did at the MTV Video Music Awards symbolized her race to the bottom: it has been evident for years that the former Disney star, Hannah Montana, was determined to out-slut Britney, Lindsay, Paris, and Kim. She won. So where were the feminists? Where was the statement of outrage from the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority?
When young boys see young girls begging them to sexually engage them, we shouldn’t be surprised when many do. And when young celebrities do the taunting, exploiting their super-star status, we can expect more trouble. It is not good enough for feminists to decry violence against women, rape, and sexual harassment: they must speak with one voice against the environment that nurtures the sexual debasement of women. But, no, they are too interested in defending the right of two lesbians to “marry” to be worried about such issues.
It is too easy to say we are all guilty of hypocrisy from time to time. True enough. But what makes these matters much worse is that they are deliberately crafted by elites in law, activist organizations, and the media. There is no excuse for any of them.
The same California lawmakers who had no problem ushering through a law that selectively targets Catholicism let a bill stall that would require porn film actors to wear a condom while performing, even though HIV is a serious problem in the porn industry. The same editorial writers at the New York Times who go bonkers when the bishops hammer Obama’s Health and Human Services mandate, say not a word when black churches turn their services into campaign stops. The same feminists who scream at men for sexually abusing women go mute when Miley’s mother cheers her daughter on as she sets the table for more abuse.
Over the past several decades, our society has made great political and economic progress, but when it comes to our cultural health, we have taken a giant step backward. We are less ethical, and more crude, than ever before.
Only religious institutions can get our nation to clean up the cultural debris that our elites have created. Unfortunately, the very people who got us into this condition are the ones who want to silence the religious voice. No, not all secularists are a problem, but the ones who occupy the command seats in our culture today most certainly are.