William A. Donohue

In the December edition of “President’s Desk,” I wrote a piece titled, “Buckle Your Seat Belts—Again.” I referenced a “President’s Desk” essay I wrote in December 2008 wherein I noted that we were smack right in the middle of a culture war. I added, “the culture war is about to explode.”

My point was that the victory by Barack Obama and Joe Biden would embolden the left, and that would not bode well for Catholics. Whenever progressives take command of Washington, their influence is felt way beyond the Beltway. This time around, with Biden in the White House, I predicted matters would get worse.

Looks like I was right. Just read this issue of Catalyst for evidence.

North Dakota lawmakers wasted no time sponsoring a bill that would break the seal of the Confessional. We wasted no time marshalling our resources, asking our base of email supporters to jam their email accounts. We pushed back hard and they eventually capitulated. But the fact that in 2021 we are still fighting to protect the sacraments of the Catholic Church from government bullies is not a good sign.

Similarly, it was not a good sign when pro-abortion protesters crashed St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio during a pro-life Mass. Columbus Bishop Robert Brennan, who was the celebrant, acted responsibly, as did the local police; the church-busters were quickly removed. But again, why are we faced with such a Nazi-like event in 2021?

Twitter has a reputation of censoring conservative voices on the internet. Over the winter, it censored Catholic World Report (CWR), a reputable Catholic publication, for the crime of noting that Biden appointed “a biological man” who identifies as a transgender woman to a senior health post in his administration. That was true. Moreover, there was nothing hateful, as Twitter charged, about the article. But its description of the sex of the official was apparently too much for the tolerant ones at Twitter.

Ironically, our defense of the publication did not lead Twitter to cancel us. Maybe that is because I quoted the pope saying gender ideology is “demonic.” Do they really want to take on the Holy Father?

We were the only Catholic organization to come to the defense of CWR. We did more than that—we won. Literally three hours after we asked our email subscribers to contact Twitter, CWR had its account unlocked.

Catholics get blamed for everything. When a Oklahoma Protestant Christian school expelled an eight-year-old for telling another student that she had a crush on her, a gay media outlet from the United Kingdom reported that it was a Catholic school. False. It was just assumed that if there was something that homosexual activists did not like, the culprit was probably Catholic. We forced them to correct the record.

It would help if Catholics in public office spoke up about these issues. But we don’t have much in the way of leadership.

As noted in this issue of Catalyst, almost all Catholic Democrats in the Congress are pro-abortion. President Biden, as everyone knows, is rabidly pro-abortion, and he, too, claims a Catholic status. Where does this leave Catholics? How can we depend on Catholics in the House, the Senate, and the White House to defend Catholics when they won’t defend the right to life?

I am happy to note that many bishops have spoken up. Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, president of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, expressed his dismay with President Biden for his executive orders on abortion. Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the New York Archdiocese have also been outspoken; many others have as well.

For their courage, these bishops were attacked by the National Catholic Reporter, a rogue media outlet that is about as Catholic as the Mafia. Regrettably, this publication is popular with dissident Catholic faculty on college campuses, and is a favorite among some staffers at the bishops’ conference. This is one more reason why otherwise good Catholics in the public eye are reluctant to speak out: they have been intimidated by delinquent members of the Catholic media.

The assault on free speech, duly cited in this issue, is at an all-time high. We are dealing with a phenomenon much more invidious than McCarthyism. To prove this point, consider that in 1996, Nicholas von Hoffman, a liberal columnist for the Washington Post, examined recently released archival information about the McCarthy era and, despite misgivings about the Wisconsin senator, concluded that he was “still closer to the truth [about Communist infiltration in Washington] than those who ridiculed him.”

We don’t need to be lectured today about blacklisting during the McCarthy era. That was child’s play when compared to the censorial powers of Apple, Amazon, Google and Twitter. These Big Tech companies, which are strongly tied to the Biden administration, have censored many of those who hold to traditional moral values, and that certainly includes Catholic organizations.

We at the Catholic League have no options. We either fight back or we close up shop. But if Covid didn’t kill us, nothing will.

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