The New Republic, one of Washington’s favorite liberal weeklies, doesn’t like the Catholic League’s Annual Report on Anti-Catholicism. We thought you’d like to know what we had to say in reply, so here is the text of the letter we sent to the editor:
“In your ‘Notebook’ editorial of April 22, you criticize the Catholic League for issuing an annual report on anti-Catholicism. You cite our complaints against recent college productions of the movies Agnes of God and The Last Temptation of Christ, as well as the 1995 release of Priest, as indicative of our ‘paranoia.’
“That would suggest that Michael Medved (who is not Catholic) is also paranoid for branding Agnes of God as anti-Catholic. It would suggest that Blockbuster is paranoid for refusing to stock The Last Temptation of Christ. And it would suggest that scores of organizations and critics are also paranoid for labeling Priest as anti-Catholic. With regard to the last film, your charge also makes inexplicable the explicit statements of anti-Catholicism that both the writer and the director of Priest have made.
“The Catholic League does not complain about every Sister Act-type movie that is made. But if the New Republic can’t distinguish between that movie and the films we complained about, then that indicates a tolerance for intolerance that the Catholic League is proud to fight against.”
What is perhaps most interesting about the New Republic’s response is that it charges that the Catholic League “has taken the lead of the Anti-Defamation league, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance and the NAACP” by issuing its report. This is a curious statement insofar as the New Republic has not been known for making critical comments about anything those groups do, much less for releasing a report on bigotry.