Spokane, WA – Officials at the Community Colleges of Spokane and Spokane Falls Community College threatened pro-life students with expulsion if they held a pro-life event on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The officials deemed the students’ message “discriminatory” and “biased.” The Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the schools.
Washington, DC – The College Republicans at George Washington University found a number of crosses, used for a pro-life demonstration, desecrated in its office.
One cross had a penis drawn on it and was covered with a condom; it was hung upside down from a sign in the College Democrats’ office. Another cross had the word “Darwin” scrawled on it and a third featured the words, “Take a condom,” with a wrapped condom attached to the bottom. The last desecrated cross showed a crudely drawn stick figure of Jesus.
The College Democrats issued an apology after investigating the desecrations and found that a member of the club confessed to the outrageous vandalism.
Los Angeles, CA – A student at Los Angeles City College filed a lawsuit against the school for being called a “fascist bastard” and told to “ask God what [his] grade is” by a professor. This followed a speech that the student made in November 2008 on how he had seen God work miracles in his life and in the lives of those around him.
The Alliance Defense Fund, which filed the suit on behalf of the student, said, “Public institutions of higher learning cannot selectively censor Christian speech. This student was speaking well within the confines of his professor’s assignment when he was censored and ultimately threatened with expulsion.”
Athens, GA – As part of its Sexual Responsibility program, the University of Georgia placed a poster in the dormitories that misappropriated Christian iconography to promote condom distribution. Within hours of our press release addressing this situation, we received an apology from a university administrator.
The controversy revolved around a poster of the famous Michelangelo painting in the Sistine Chapel that features the hand of God giving life to Adam; the university’s poster hijacked this treasured piece of art to show God handing Adam a condom. The poster was used as part of the University of Georgia’s Sexual Responsibility Week, but surely if condom distribution was to be part of that program, it could have been done without needlessly offending the religious sensibilities of Catholics and Protestants alike.
In his letter to Dr. Rodney D. Bennett, Vice President for Student Affairs, Bill Donohue said, “I hasten to add that the University of Georgia would never choose a depiction of Muhammed to hawk condoms. Indeed, only a few years ago an inoffensive depiction of this Islamic figure in a Danish cartoon led to murder and churches being burned to the ground. One can only imagine what would have happened had he been portrayed pushing condoms to youth.”
A few hours later, after receiving a copy of Donohue’s letter via e-mail, Bennett called Donohue to apologize for the offensive poster. During the course of their conversation, Bennett told Donohue that he had received numerous e-mails from Catholic League members expressing their outrage over the poster. Dr. Bennett told Donohue that he was not aware of the poster until we contacted him, but when he saw it, he acted swiftly and responsibly: his apology was as sincere as it was thorough. He pledged to take “corrective action,” doing what he can to make sure that something like this does not happen again on campus. Not only did he convey his “deepest apology” over the phone, he also put it in writing.
Donohue wrote a letter to the president of the University of Georgia, Dr. Michael F. Adams, commending him for choosing Dr. Bennett as his Vice President for Student Affairs. In our press release ending our dispute with the university, we said that it is “too bad other officials, in and out of education, aren’t as honest and diligent as Dr. Bennett.”
But it didn’t take long for the enemies of Catholicism to rear their heads. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a piece on its website on our victory, and in the comments following the article there were numerous posts of anti-Catholicism (see below for a sample).
Ypsilanti, MI – A graduate student was dismissed from Eastern Michigan University for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable. Before her dismissal, she was given a hearing in which the EMU faculty denigrated her Christian beliefs. The Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the university and said that “Christian students shouldn’t be penalized for holding onto their beliefs.”
Jacksonville, FL – A federal judge ruled that an elementary school could not sing the country song, “In God We Still Trust,” at a school assembly. The judge said that the song is “patently religious and proselytizing” and cited the lyrics: “There’s no separation…. We’re one nation under Him…. Now there are those among us who want to push Him out and erase His name from everything this country is all about…. Now it’s the time for all believers to make our voices heard.”
May 20 – August 10
New York, NY – We got word that two teachers—one of whom is a representative of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT)—at Brooklyn Technical High School were denied the request to take Ascension Thursday as a religious observance day. No reason was given for the denial other than the principal claimed that he spoke with two Catholics who told him the Holy Day of Obligation wasn’t a big deal. When the UFT representative explained to the principal the importance of the holiday, the principal said that he should go to church at night. It should not go unnoted that the principal had accepted a number of Jewish teachers’ requests to observe Shavuot a few days later, and allows an assistant principal to practice her Islamic faith by praying towards Mecca every day.
The New York City School Chancellor’s regulations provide time off for religious observance with few exceptions; none of these applied to this case. And the New York City Human Rights Law offers more protection to observe Holy Days of Obligation than does the federal law. On May 26, Bill Donohue wrote to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein demanding that this issue be investigated immediately so that appropriate remedies could be pursued.
On July 31, after two months of no response from Klein’s office, Donohue wrote to Patricia Gatling, president of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, asking her to look into this issue. Donohue noted that the action taken by the principal not only violated the Chancellor’s regulations, but also the New York City Human Rights Law addressing unlawful discriminatory practices regarding employment and religious observance.
On August 10, Donohue received a letter from Michael Best, General Counsel for the New York City Department of Education. In the letter, Best offered no suitable explanation to the league and only noted that if the teachers wished to challenge the denial, they could take it up with UFT.
Los Angeles, CA – A graduating student at UCLA was allowed to thank Jesus in a statement at the school’s commencement ceremony after originally being told that she wouldn’t be allowed. A faculty advisor told the student that she must refer to “God” rather than “Jesus” because the name of “Jesus” might offend some people.
New York, NY – Dr. Thio Li-ann, a Christian professor at the National University of Singapore, withdrew her interest in teaching at New York University Law School for the fall semester. She withdrew after it was discovered that in 2007, as a Singaporean lawmaker, she opposed a repeal of the law proscribing homosexual acts.
On July 23, NYU’s law school dean, Richard Revesz, issued a statement flipping the issue of intimidation on Professor Thio. He blamed her for creating “an unwelcoming atmosphere.” Revesz also said that Thio replied to her critics “in a manner that many member [sic] of our community—[himself] included—consider offensive and hurtful.”
That same day, Bill Donohue e-mailed and wrote to Revesz asking him to identify a single sentence that was at all untoward. On August 6, Donohue received an e-mail from Revesz stating, “I welcome differing viewpoints and appreciate hearing from you [Donohue].” In the e-mail, Revesz failed to identify Thio’s comments that were “offensive and hurtful.” The best he could do was to say “comments were made [by Thio] that were viewed as offensive by those with opposing viewpoints.”
San Francisco, CA – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a school’s refusal to let a band play a religious song at a high school graduation ceremony. The court ruled that it wasn’t forbidding religious music at the graduation, but that it was reasonable for the school officials to “prohibit the playing of an obviously religious piece.” The song in question was Franz Beibl’s “Ave Maria.”
Philadelphia, PA – An attorney for the Thomas More Law Center argued before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to reverse a New Jersey school ban on religious music in public schools. The suit alleged that the ban is an impermissible government-sponsored message of disapproval of and hostility towards religion.
Catoosa County, TN – Cheerleaders from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School were banned from creating banners that displayed Bible verses after the school superintendent received a complaint about them. The school spokeswoman said the banners would be prohibited because they violated the First Amendment. To show its support for the cheerleaders, the local community held a rally.
State College, PA – A white t-shirt, with a blue line down the middle and the words “Penn State White Out” across the chest, received complaints, including one from the ADL’s Philadelphia branch; the reason for the complaint, they claimed, is that the design resembled a cross. University Relations said that the design was based on the single stripe on the team’s football helmets and would not be pulled from the shelves.
University of Georgia Hate Mail Response
The following comments were found on the website of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following our victory over the University of Georgia. All comments appear in their original form:
• “Catholics are idiots. My neighbors are Catholic, they moved in 4 years ago and now have 3 kids…the wife does not work and the husband drives a 15 year old POS Honda; and they ‘can’t afford’ to eat dinner out with my wife and I. If you can not afford a $50 dinner, THEN STOP HAVING KIDS! How the hell do they plan to pay for college? The Pope must be a real turd to hang out with.”
• “Who cares what the Catholic League thinks. Mr. Donohue’s analogy is absurd. The catholics and other christians were burning temples and mosques and killing people who believed differently long before some fanatical Islamic groups adopted that approach.”
• “Bill Donahue is a tool of the conservative media and should be ridiculed and condemned on a daily basis.”
• “Bill Donohue and the catholic league are a bunch of PC bullies who go around trying to silence anyone they fell ‘offends’ them, and it seems everyone offends them! What doesn’t upset the catholic league now a days… Oh yea, holocaust deniers.”
• “Who gives a rats azz what a bunch of Catholics think? They are nothing more than a herd of self righteous baby factories. I’ll bet they are patting themselves on the back with the good job done by that brood sow Octo-mom in California. When they are not molesting alter boys they are wagging their finger at everyone else for what is ‘sinful’ in their lives. Catholics are a dying breed and soon to be extinct.”
• “Unprotected sex is fantastic! It creates unwanted children, spreads disease, and feels soooo good! Who needs a condom? If the Catholic Church had their way, condoms would be illegal in all countries of the world. Viva AIDS!”
• “The planet would be a much nicer place if all religions would keep their beliefs to themselves!”
• “All religions are cults and all religious people are cult followers; they are indoctrinated lemmings who form their core beliefs not around reason and evidence, but around irrational fabrications that less educated people told them to believe. Birth control/STD protection is good, and if advertising it angers a group of indoctrinated fools, all the better.”
• “Rome has already taken over the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson. No doubt UGA and every other major college and university is targeted by Rome for takeover – as is the U.S. by their promotion of illegal immigration – that America ‘forget,’ and be ‘untaught’ who we are as an ‘exceptional’ sovereign nation.”
• “We came here to escape the Old Sectarian Order of king and pope and established, throughout Our Whig Founders, The New Secular Order – Novus Order Seclorem – and made it a part of Our Creed. Whig means ‘Anti-Roman Catholic and Our Founder, Author of the Declaration of American Independence, Thomas Jefferson, recognized Rome as ‘the real Anti-Christ,’ with full substantiation for all true American to read and know. Promoted by Rome, pushed to emigrate to America by design, just as Rome is pushing illegals here now. Roman Catholics won the Civil War, then killed Lincoln six days after Appomattox because he wanted to let the south up easy. Since then they have taken over Big Oil and implemented the Federal Reserve Bank; financed the rise of Hitler, and the Holocaust; formented the Red Scare to evade accountability for Hitler and Nazism; killed John and Martin to keep us dying in their slave plantation of Vietnam, ran Iron Contra through their altarboy Ollie North to keep their Central American hegemony intact against encroaching Protestantism; promote Organized Crime; Waco to shut up the Seventh Day Adventists’ explaining on their own radio station how Rome had taken over Washington; cheated into office a draft-dodger (Hitler’s banker’s grandson and the son of one of JFK’s assassins) to commit 9/11 for Big Oil, to restart Afghan opium trade, and the Saudis- who teamed up with the Vatican-banker Rockefellers a hundred years ago; and the unconstitutional money system now faltering…and any Georgian or American is going to give a good G-ddam* about what the frontman for the pedophile priesthood and the Anti-Christ’s ‘Black Aristocracy’ has to say? Someone get a hook for the Anti-Christ…the Pit awaits…and ropes for the necks of the traitors who serve it. It’s ‘them’ or ‘us.’ Pick sides and let’s get down to business of being American. ”
• “Rome and Donohue…and any who serve up their children to the proven pedophile priesthood, and support illegal immigration to take over Our Country, have zero moral authority…zero, zilch, nada.”
• “I am a Baptist, Southern Baptist to be exact and I have to say I see nothing wrong with the sex posters. The Catholics need to get a life and learn to use sexual protection lol.”
• “What the hell does the extremist reaction by followers of the ‘peaceful’ religion of Islam have to do with this poster?”
• “The Catholic Church did more to persecute and divide the world throughout history that any other ‘publicly accepted’ entity and should hold its place in history next to Pol Pot, Hitler, and Stalin”
• “What’s wrong with this world…the Catholic Church can molest our young children, get away with it, then speak out about a condom that helps to prevent the spread of STD’s?”
• “Hell hath no fury like that of the Holy See scorned by the abominable use of the artistry from one of the Vatican and history’s most cherished homosexual artists!”
• “This is a PUBLIC STATE University! It’s completely appropriate for student services to educate and advertise about sexual health. There are 33,831 students currently enrolled here. Many of them are doing it!!! It’s 2009! Modernize or dissolve, Catholic Church!”
• “Jefferson called it The Bible…and the ‘New Testament’…making a clear and obvious distinction between the Original, and the ‘book’ for ‘Replacement Theology,’ created by Rome’s elite as a tool against the Jews. Viz: crucifixion was the one, specific and unique punishment for only one crime under the codified Roman law: the second conviction for sedition. Tens of thousands were crucified by Rome. Denying the divinity of caesar was considered sedition. The first conviction for the offense garnered a certain number of lashes with a whip-of-cords…. Read ‘A Moral Reckoning,’ by the author of ‘Hitler’s Willing Executioners,’ Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, to know with complete certainty that two popes and the Roman Catholic Church are ‘morally, ethically, and legally culpable of the Holocaust.’”
• “You mean to tell me that the Catholic League is more worried about a Poster and not the serious issue of Catholic priest’s molesting kids? Sounds like a lot of double standards to me.”
• “Most of you get WAAAAYYYY too upset over this religious thing. Believe what you want, as fervently as you want, but do not push it or demand it of others.”