On January 20, 1995, the Catholic League sent the following letter to Congressman Bob Livingston of Louisiana opposing public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Dear Congressman Livingston:
As president of the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, I must register the concerns that the Catholic League has regarding public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. I know that much of the work that the NEA does is quality but I am also aware that some of it is stridently anti-Catholic. This might suggest that we should support public funding of the NEA since most of what is funded in unobjectionable. But that is not the way I see it.
The NEA has had plenty of time to reform itself. Yet the record shows that the organization is just as defiant about its “rights” now as it was before the criticisms were made. We, as Catholics, have rights too, and among them is the fight not to be defamed. And this is especially true when defamation is funded with government money. We lived through the Serrano insults and, more recently, we endured the insults of Ron Athey (see the news release that follows). The time has come to put an end to this outrage and stop asking Catholics to fund defamation against their religion.
William A. Donohue, Ph.D.