On Tuesday, a press conference was held in Washington by many organizations opposed to the nomination of Senator John Ashcroft for the position of U.S. Attorney General; 45 organizations pledged their opposition to his candidacy. Many of those opposed have cited the honorary degree Senator Ashcroft received from Bob Jones University as critical to their position. However, as Catholic League president William Donohue points out, there is a lot of hypocrisy marking this effort:
“The Catholic League has criticized Bob Jones University in the past for its anti-Catholicism and continues to do so today. Unlike the school’s racist policy on interracial dating, which has changed, none of its anti-Catholic statements have been rescinded. That is why the league welcomes allies who want to join us in opposing the school’s position, but we want genuine allies, not phonies.
“To be specific, People for the American Way, the National Organization for Women, the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood have all said that one reason why they oppose Senator Ashcroft is the anti-Catholic nature of Bob Jones University and his link to the school. Yet all four organizations have, in fact, made comments or engaged in activities that are patently anti-Catholic.
“In addition, the anti-Ashcroft coalition is populated by organizations that have been mobilized to attack the Vatican’s U.N. status. They are: Center for Reproductive Law and Policy; Center for Women Policy Studies; National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL); National Abortion Federation; National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association; National Organization for Women; Physicians for Reproductive Health and Choice; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; and the Sierra Club.
“Unlike Senator Ashcroft, who is not a Catholic basher, many of those who now oppose him have shamelessly contributed to anti-Catholicism.”