Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the front-page article in today’s New York Times Arts Section regarding the video that was pulled by the Smithsonian after a Catholic League protest:
By publishing a large still from the ants-on-the-crucifix video, the New York Times helps to convince the public that our protest was justified. Most people, certainly most practicing Christians, do not want their money going to fund venues that exhibit such fare. It is clear that those who label this stuff “art” have lost all powers of discernment. As such, they should pay for their leisurely pursuits on their own dime.
The reporter, Michael Kimmelman, says I engaged in an “awfully well-choreographed pas de deux to rekindle the culture wars.” That’s right: even though I have never met, nor spoken to, Rep. John Boehner and Rep. Eric Cantor, I magically succeeded in getting them to join our protest. It is also said I engaged in the “same paroxysm of orchestrated grief over a work combining an image of the Virgin Mary with elephant dung” in our 1999 protest of the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s “Sensation” exhibition that was joined by Mayor Giuliani. The reporter failed to mention the pictures of vaginas and anuses that adorned the painting.
The man who made the vile video died of AIDS. Had he followed the teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality, he would be alive today. Instead, he blamed the Church. That’s why he liked to make videos showing Jesus’ head exploding, and that’s why he called John Cardinal O’Connor—whose archdiocese spent more money fighting AIDS than any other private source—a “fat cannibal from that house of walking swastikas.” Yet Kimmelman brands the artist a hero who fought bigotry!
It was not the Catholic Church that killed the artist, David Wojnarowicz: it was gay activists, many of whom are in the artistic community. They were the ones who demanded that the bathhouses be kept open, even as their brothers were dying left and right. To exploit this tragedy any longer is sick. Catholicism is the answer, not the problem.