Here is what Catholic League president William Donohue said today about the way the media are spinning the furor over “The Passion of the Christ”:
“In today’s Los Angeles Times, it says there are ‘some conservative Catholics’ who like ‘The Passion.’ The next sentence describes me as the ‘president of the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.’ This, I guess, is an improvement over what happened on January 24 when the Los Angeles Times called us ‘the conservative Catholic League (which is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church).’ Really? Yet we are listed in the OfficialCatholic Directory, and our brochure lists endorsements from Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal Egan, Archbishop Chaput, Archbishop O’Malley and Father Benedict Groeschel. Not exactly what one would expect from a schismatic group.
“The ADL is leading the fight against the movie. But no one in the secular media calls it the ‘liberal ADL’ when writing about its objections. Indeed, a Nexis search of U.S. news for all available dates for the term ‘conservative Catholic League’ turns up 136 hits (135 of which have come since I began as president in 1993); the number of times the ADL has been called the ‘liberal ADL’ is zero. This is called being neutral.
“A.O. Scott in today’s New York Times lists three anti-Christian movies, ‘Hail Mary,’ ‘Last Temptation of Christ’ and ‘Dogma.’ Not only does Scott refuse to call them anti-Christian, he says there was ‘an ugly undercurrent of anti-Semitism [that] ran through some of the attacks on those supposedly sacrilegious movies.’ Scott also says that anti-Semitic ‘insinuations bubble beneath the surface of some of the defenses of Mr. Gibson’s reportedly pious picture.’ (Twice my emphasis.)
“In short, there are no liberal critics of ‘The Passion’; there are only ‘conservatives’ who like it. Similarly, those who complain about anti-Christian films are anti-Semitic, and those who like good Christian films are also anti-Semitic. The upshot is that most Americans are anti-Semitic. Either that or those who hate Christians have no problem getting a job in the media.”