Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented today on the religious divide which is splitting Sen. Obama’s supporters:

“The secularization of the Democratic party, which first became evident in the 1972 presidential race, was openly challenged by Barack Obama when he spoke at the 2004 Democratic presidential convention. To his credit, he has since galvanized people of faith to rally to his side, but ever since his problems with Rev. Wright he has come under fire by radical secularists. In short, there is a tug of war going on among Democratic activists pitting the secularists against the faithful.

“In today’s Chicago Tribune, Katha Pollitt not only criticizes Rev. Wright, she takes the opportunity to smear almost the entire nation. She says that ‘thanks to Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., the Democrats have got religion and everything that goes with it—weirdness, wrath, insult, blowhardiness, vanity, paranoia, divisiveness and trouble.’ Her hatred of religion wouldn’t matter so much if she were simply a writer for the Nation. However, she is also a prominent supporter of Sen. Obama: She joined hands with Frances Kissling, a notorious anti-Catholic, to endorse him in a publicly signed statement.

“We know where Pollitt is coming from. After all, any person who likes Catholic bashing is well known to the Catholic League. For example, when the Brooklyn Museum of Art displayed a portrait of Our Blessed Mother adorned with elephant dung and pictures of vaginas and anuses, she opined that ‘The Holy Virgin Mary is a funny, jazzy, rather sweet painting.’

“Obama is not responsible for Pollitt’s bigotry and he does not need to renounce her. But what he must do is start the purge—he must rid his ranks of those who want to silence religion. First out of the box to aid him must be Catholics. They can cite what Pope Benedict XVI recently said in Washington: ‘Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted.’ Purging the Pollitts from his base would reassure the faithful that they have a place in his campaign.”

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