Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on left-wing reaction to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s previous religious ties:

When I was asked by The Atlantic’s Joshua Green about Rep. Michele Bachmann’s previous membership in a church that believes the pope is the anti-Christ, I criticized the church for being anti-Catholic, but made it clear that there is no evidence that she is a bigot. Now I am being criticized by the left for not condemning Bachmann.

Perhaps the most spectacularly dishonest attack is the one delivered by Ben Adler of The Nation magazine. He is not only angry with me for not slamming Bachmann, he is upset that I compared her membership in a church affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) to Barack Obama’s membership in a church run by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I told Green that while Wright is a hater, there is no evidence that Obama is a bigot. Similarly, Bachmann’s previous membership in a WELS-affiliated church has not tainted her. Most reasonable people got the point.

Adler, however, is not reasonable, which is why he accuses me of partisanship. Was I also partisan when I criticized Sen. John McCain for his cozy relationship with a minister who had previously made anti-Catholic comments? [Note: Pastor John Hagee subsequently made a 180-degree turn.]

Interestingly, Adler’s article appeared in The Nation, perhaps the oldest anti-Catholic magazine in the U.S. In the 20th century, it was home to Paul Blanshard, the most notorious anti-Catholic bigot of his day. Today, it is known for bashing the Catholic Church on all matters sexual. These people haven’t suddenly discovered anti-Catholicism—they are angry that attempts to smear Bachmann have failed. There is nothing principled about them.

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