Watonga, OK — A priest phoned and e-mailed the Catholic League to inform us that a prisoner at Diamondback Correctional Facility was suing the facility’s parent company, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). The prisoner, a Catholic, claimed he was not receiving meatless meals on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. After the Catholic League contacted CCA and spoke with the facility’s Vice President of Operations, the situation was remedied.
The chain store Urban Outfitters offered for sale a T-shirt reading “Erin Go F— Yourself.” The T-shirt mocked the Irish phrase “Erin Go Braugh,” which is popular on St. Patrick’s Day.
Clayboys, a greeting card company based in Canada, was offering for sale a card showing a nun with four facial expressions. Above the images were the words “Our Lady of Perpetual Mood Swings.” The inside of the card read “Holy Hot Flashes! Another Birthday!” The back of the card showed the nun engulfed in flames. Clayboys was also included in the Catholic League’s 2004 Annual Report for producing other cards of an offensive nature.
Streetsboro, OH — Creative Irish Gifts, in its catalog, was offering sets of kitchen towels and potholders with drawings of nuns carrying drinks. Each towel or potholder contained one of the following captions: “Sister Mary Merlot” and “Sister Mary Margarita.”
Provincetown, MA — A local T-shirt store called Don’t Panic! was selling shirts with the following sayings: “Catholic School Survivor,” “Catholic Boy Gone Bad,” and “Jesus is Coming. Hide the Porn.” Provincetown was in the news because some of the prominent homosexual population there was accused of harassing heterosexuals.
Pittsfield, MA — A company called Blue Q was selling products that ridicule the Catholic faith, including “Wash Away Your Sins Cleansing Bar.” Descriptions on the soap’s packaging included “Tempting ‘Do It Again’ Scent” and “For Liars Cheaters & Wrongdoers.” Other items Blue Q was selling included the “Lookin’ Good for Jesus Lip Balm.”
The Catholic League was notified about the website Chickenhead.com, which contained a number of items intended to offend Catholics. The site advertised a bumper sticker that included a picture of Jesus that read, “Jesus Loves You” in large print, and in smaller print, “unless you’re a Hebe, Towelhead, Homo, Buddhaboy, Hindufarian, Bull Dyke, Pagan, Atheist, or any other kind of hell-bound trash.” Also on the site were “Absolute Bottom 50” lists. Among these lists was the “Absolute Bottom 50 List of Bible Commandments.” Included on the list were “Though shalt not create graven images of any pre-teen hottie named Mary, to whom at some later day, I may opt to slip a celestial roofie and knock up” and “Thou shalt not abort any ‘rape baby’ unto whom I have bestowed divinely hideous deformities.”
Chester Springs, PA — Residents of a new development called Byers Station erected a statue of the Blessed Mother between their front steps and a shrub. Shortly afterward, they received a letter from the Byers Station Homeowners Association stating that if they wanted to keep the statue outside, they would have to submit a form requesting permission. They submitted this request and received a reply letter, denying them permission to have the statue. The homeowners association informed them that others may find religious statues offensive and, for that reason, the request was denied.
The residents contacted the Catholic League and local media. We wrote to the homeowners association, informing them that to deny the request would set a precedent that would mean crèches, menorahs and other religious symbols also would be forbidden. Local media also covered this story. The association, after receiving all the attention, dropped the ban on the Blessed Mother statue. Following this, another Byers Station resident erected a Blessed Mother statue in his front yard.
Signals, a company that sells a variety of gifts, was offering for sale a “Catholic School Survivor T-Shirt” in its mail order catalogs. The description of the shirt in the catalog read as follows: “Do nuns have legs? Do black patent leather shoes really reflect up? If these questions once concerned you (or still do), you’ll relate to this shirt. Wear it as a badge of honor.” A T-shirt and sweatshirt with the same saying were featured in the company’s 2006 holiday catalogue.
The Catholic League was informed that a list of prominent homosexuals, posted in the employee cafeteria of Universal Studios Orlando, included Pope Julius III (1550-1555). Claims that Pope Julius was homosexual have not been substantiated, and the Catholic League contacted the theme park and asked for evidence supporting such a claim. The theme park’s director of diversity called us, saying he did not mean to offend and had downloaded the list from the website of the radical homosexual activist group LAMBDA. He promised not to post the list again and said he would meet with anyone who was upset with the flier.
New York, NY — A staff member of Safe Horizon, a provider of domestic violence services, claimed on a panel discussion that some women become victims of violence as a result of emulating Mary, the Blessed Mother, by taking on weak and submissive qualities. Audience members objected to this statement, but the staff member ignored their remarks, saying she would continue to discuss this concept, which she called “Marianism.” The Catholic League wrote to Safe Horizon’s chief executive officer voicing objections to the staff member’s teaching. In a reply letter, the CEO said while the concept this staff member taught may be uncomfortable for people to hear, it is part of our mission to provide education about the dynamics of domestic violence in order to help rebuild the lives of victims.
He also said that Safe Horizon would review their training language in light of our concerns.
The Catholic League was informed that clothing retailer Urban Outfitters was offering a number of items offensive to Catholics. Among the items was a tote bag featuring Jesus and two women who appear to be infatuated with him. Other items included Jesus and Mother Superior rubber ducks, and a greeting card that ponders the question “Would we still have Christmas if he’d traded in the wooden cross for some bling?”
A woman from Utah informed the Catholic League of a poster that featured the Sacred Heart of Jesus that she saw in a novelty store in her area. The caption on the poster read “You Must Be Guilty of Something.” The poster is credited to an artist named Kenneth Ridgeway.