The Catholic League has long noted that incidents of anti-Catholicism receive scant attention in the press. One recent example can be found in today’s issue of Newsday. The paper, dealing with Don Imus’s return to radio, includes a list of other prominent people who have paid a price for making offensive remarks. Mentioned are those who have insulted blacks, Jews, and the Chinese. Not listed are men such as Penn Jillette and Bill Maher, both of whom have made outrageously bigoted and disrespectful comments towards Catholics.

On his Showtime program, Jillette called Mother Teresa “Mother F–king Teresa” and referred to her fellow religious sisters as “F–king c–ts.” On his CBS radio talk show, he also discussed a rumor that Paris Hilton would portray the saintly nun in a film, saying “Paris Hilton is so far above Mother Teresa on the moral scale, she should not lower herself” by accepting the role.

Bill Maher, who has a long history of bigotry against Catholics, has said things such as:It’s easy to start a religion! Watch, I do it for you: I had a vision last night! A vision! The Blessed Virgin Mary came to me–I don’t know how she got past the guards–and she told me it’s high time to take the high ground from the Seventh Day Adventists and give it to the 24-hour party people. And what happens in the confessional stays in the confessional. Gay men, don’t say you’re life partners, say you’re a nunnery of two. ‘We weren’t having sex, officer; I was performing a very private Mass, here in my car. I was letting my rod and staff comfort him. Take this and eat of it, [our emphasis] for this is my roommate Barry. And for all those who believe there is a special place for you in Kevin.’

But Maher and Jillette, for all their hate, don’t merit mention in Newsday’s list. And that is because no one ever suffers a penalty for attacking the Catholic Church. While folks lose their jobs over slurs against other groups, anti-Catholic bigots barely merit a raised eyebrow. The double standard is amazing.

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