Yesterday, Governor George W. Bush took his campaign to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Florence, South Carolina; he is pictured speaking there on the front page of today’s New York Times. On Sunday, Vice President Al Gore and U.S. senatorial candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will speak at Wilborn Temple Church of God in Christ in Albany, New York; their talk comes at the end of a big weekend gathering of minority legislators.

William Donohue, Catholic League president, spoke to this issue today:

“Last week Al Gore was endorsed by Rev. Floyd Flake in Queens, New York, the result of which was a complaint filed with the IRS by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Barry Lynn of Americans United will now have to hire new staff to keep up with the latest round of First Amendment abuses.

“If Bush, Gore or Hillary were to speak at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, those who treat their current abuses with aplomb would go ballistic. What it all comes down to is this: politicians and candidates for public office can speak at Protestant churches, get endorsed in Protestant churches and even raise money in Protestant churches (Rev. Jesse Jackson did exactly that in 1988), and almost no one says boo. But let a Catholic priest give a sermon on abortion and everyone goes crazy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that what is at work is pure, unadulterated bigotry—bigotry by the name of anti-Catholicism.”

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