This Week in God

THIS WEEK IN GOD…. First up from the God Machine this week is a column from Catholic League President Bill Donohue, published by the WashingtonPost.com’s “On Faith” website, an influential and widely-read faith-based site. (via TS)

While Donohue has a well-deserved reputation for publishing angry, unhinged screeds against those who disagree with him, this particular tirade stood out — in secular and spiritual communities — in large part because it’s the kind of wild-eyed rant major news publications tend to avoid. It’s hard to know what to excerpt from the 800-word tirade, but to summarize, Donohue believes gays and atheists are desperate to destroy western civilization and modern Christianity.

Sexual libertines, from the Marquis de Sade to radical gay activists, have sought to pervert society by acting out on their own perversions. What motivates them most of all is a pathological hatred of Christianity. They know, deep down, that what they are doing is wrong, and they shudder at the dreaded words, “Thou Shalt Not.” But they continue with their death-style anyway….

Catholics were once the mainstay of the Democratic Party; now the gay activists are in charge. Indeed, practicing Catholics are no longer welcome in leadership roles in the Party….

The culture war is up for grabs. The good news is that religious conservatives continue to breed like rabbits, while secular saboteurs have shut down: they’re too busy walking their dogs, going to bathhouses and aborting their kids. Time, it seems, is on the side of the angels.

It’s vile and it’s ridiculous. Donohue’s accusations don’t even make any sense — if “practicing Catholics are no longer welcome in leadership roles in the Party,” how did Nancy Pelosi become Speaker and Ted Kennedy become the heart of the party?

But putting aside reason and reality, the question many asked this week is what on earth the Post was thinking publishing Donohue’s enraged invective. Alex Koppelman noted, “The idea of printing a controversial piece, even one that insults as many people as this did, is a fine one. But there’s simply no way anyone can say that what Donohue wrote here added to the discourse. There were no facts, no arguments, nothing new — just a long string of insults.”

In many faith communities, there are concerns that major traditional news outlets fail to appreciate news related to religion, and only care about matters of faith when some high-profile lunatic/personality, known for his/her religiosity, says something insane. It’s why so many shook their heads in disgust when “On Faith” found Donohue’s madness worthy of publication.

Also from the God Machine this week:

* The New York branch of the Center for Inquiry is poised to launch an ad campaign in New York City subway stations, raising awareness about atheism. Last night, Fox News Sean Hannity started attacking the ads.

* The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Del., has been hit with so many lawsuits related to sexual abuse by members of the clergy that it had to file for bankruptcy.

* Not sure what to make of this: “In a move expected to cause confusion within Anglican and Catholic parishes alike, the Vatican on Tuesday announced it would make it easier for Anglicans uncomfortable with the Church of England’s acceptance of women priests and openly gay bishops to join the Catholic Church. A new canonical entity will allow Anglicans ‘to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony,’ Cardinal William Levada, the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said at a news conference here on Tuesday.”

* Scholars will be poring through this data for a while: “On Friday, the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago released what it described as ‘the most comprehensive analysis to date of global religious trends.’ Anyone studying its 9,000-word analysis and perusing 330 additional pages of references and tables will be quickly disabused of the idea that the currents of religious belief and practice are flowing in one or two or even a half-dozen clear directions.” For what it’s worth, the United States remains among the most religious for industrial nations, though U.S. religiosity has slipped in recent years.