William Anthony Donohue
|William Anthony Donohue|
July 18, 1947 |
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||New York University (PhD)|
|Occupation||President of the Catholic League|
William Anthony "Bill" Donohue (born July 18, 1947) is a sociologist, civil activist and current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, a position he has held since 1993.
Life and career
Donohue was born in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York. He began his teaching career in the 1970s working at St. Lucy's School in Spanish Harlem. In 1977, he took a position as a college professor teaching at La Roche College in McCandless, Pennsylvania. In 1980 he received a doctorate in Sociology from New York University (NYU). Donohue is divorced, with two adult children from his marriage.
His first book was The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union and he became associated with the conservative Heritage Foundation where he is an adjunct scholar. His books on the American Civil Liberties Union have made him one of the group's most prominent critics.
While Donohue was in college in New York, Virgil C. Blum, a Jesuit at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, founded the Catholic League to counter perceived Anti-Catholicism in American culture. Blum died in 1990; in 1993, Donohue became the director of the organization. Under his direction, the organization has become far more prominent and vocal.
Donohue publishes The Catalyst, the Catholic League journal. He serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Scholars. He serves on the board of advisers of the Washington Legal Foundation, the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, Catholics United for the Faith, the Ave Maria Institute, the Christian Film and Television Commission and Catholic War Veterans. He received the 2005 St. Thomas More Award for Catholic Citizenship from Catholic Citizens of Illinois.
The Catholic League is registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. In 2009, according to its Form 990, its expenses were $2.9 million and it had $26.2 million in net assets. Donohue's salary and benefits amounted to $399,156.
Donohue campaigns against discrimination and defamation of Catholics and Catholicism. In doing so he has gone after a diverse array of public figures, from individuals such as Christopher Hitchens, and even businesses such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Miller Brewing Company, to institutions such as Bob Jones University.
In addition, Donohue has criticized political and social commentator Bill Maher, controversial singer, songwriter, and comedian Jessica Delfino, comedian Louis CK, singers Joan Osborne and Marilyn Manson, the television shows Nothing Sacred, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Kevin Smith's film Dogma, The Golden Compass, and artist Cosimo Cavallaro.[dead link]
Donohue has been widely criticized for a partisan bias in his accusations of anti-Catholicism. He has also been accused of lacking sensitivity toward victims of priest sexual abuse, or "blaming the victim" in cases of gay bullying.
Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I'm not afraid to say it. That's why they hate this movie. It's about Jesus Christ, and it's about truth. It's about the Messiah.
This statement was called anti-Semitic by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on that same show. Donohue defended this statements as follows:
In short, I did not single out secular Jews as some have said. Nonetheless, I do regret using the verb "controlled", and that is because it suggests that there is some kind of cabal among secular Jews. That's nonsense. But is there a segment of the secular Jewish community that is anti-Catholic? Absolutely.
He has criticized Christmas cards sent by U.S. President George W. Bush for using the term "Holidays" instead of "Christmas" on the White House", as well as Mike Huckabee's use of what Donahue claims is Christian imagery for campaign purposes.
Moreover, he has protested against what he perceives as employment discrimination against Catholics, in the case of a woman required by her supervisor to remove the Ash Wednesday ashes from her forehead. He has spoken of the crisis over sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests as "a homosexual scandal, not a pedophilia scandal."
He criticized Kathy Griffin for her 2007 Primetime Emmy acceptance speech, which included the line, "So all I can say is suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now!" Donohue called for a boycott on Griffin, who subsequently made mention in her act that Donohue was "so famous for calling for boycotts and censorship and stuff, that he's actually been a character on South Park."
Donohue characterized as "hysterical" the response to the Ryan Report, the result of a lengthy inquiry into the abuse of children in Ireland over decades, arguing that because not all abuse was performed by priests, and that not all abuse detailed was rape, that the report headlines indicating that Catholic priests conducted child abuse including rape were misleading.
On March 30, 2010, Donohue appeared on CNN's Larry King Live as part of a panel discussing sexual abuse of children by priests. Donohue blamed the decades-old problem on gay priests, claiming they could not be considered pedophiles because most of the offenses involved "postpubescent" boys (defined in the interview as boys 12 years old or older) and were thus "homosexual" acts.
On November 30, 2010, Donohue, speaking on behalf of the Catholic League denounced a piece of video art entitled A Fire in My Belly at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery. The piece, by artist David Wojnarowicz, contains a scene with a crucifix covered in ants. Donohue called the video "hate speech" and demanded that the Smithsonian remove it from the exhibit. The Smithsonian acquiesced to Donohue's demand and A Fire in My Belly was removed. During an interview with National Public Radio about the incident, Donohue questioned the legitimacy of the Smithsonian's status as a tax-supported institution:
Why should the working class pay for the leisure of the elite when in fact one of the things the working class likes to do for leisure is to go to professional wrestling? And if I suggested we should have federal funds for professional wrestling to lower the cost of the ticket, people would think I'm insane. I don't go to museums any more than any Americans do.
On April 4, 2007, South Park parodied Donohue in the eleventh season episode "Fantastic Easter Special" as a power-hungry official of the Catholic Church who overthrows the Pope and sentences Jesus ("The Jew") to death for going against him and contradicting Catholic belief. In the show, Donohue calls Stan and Kyle "whores," a reference to his description of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Subsequently, Jesus kills Donohue.
Donohue took the episode in good humor, displaying a still from it in his office depicting him wearing the pope's miter. Describing the episode's plot to The New York Times, he said "...they have me overthrow the pope because the pope is a wimp, and then I take over the church and give it some guts. But in the end, Jesus kills me."
- Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America. New York, FaithWords, 2009. ISBN 978-0-446-54721-5
- Official bio
- Vitello, Paul (May 14, 2009). "A ‘Marine’ for Catholics Sees a Time of Battle". The New York Times.
- "National Association of Scholars: Contact Us". 2009. Retrieved November 23, 2009.
- "GuideStar Report". Guidestar.org.
- Catholic League's 2003 Report on Anti-Catholicism
- Bauer, Gary Bill Maher, Bigot Apr. 28, 2008Human Events
- Limbaugh, David Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity p. 292 (2003 Regnery Publishing) ISBN 0-89526-111-1
- Bill Maher wants a brawl Catholic League January 7, 2008
- HBO BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT, April 11, 2008
- “Religulous” is More Absurd than Hateful, Catholic League, September 30, 2008
- "Christmas Season Marked by Obscenities" Catholic League Press Release, December 19, 2006
- "NYC Artist Responds to Catholic League's Attack" Jessica Delfino Press Release, December 21, 2006
- "HBO'S 'LUCKY LOUIE' IS BARBARIC, August 14, 2006
- Opie and Anthony
- Donohue's campaign against pop singer Joan Osborne
- Grammy Nominee Joan Osborne "Relishes" conterversy, The Catalyst Vol. 23, No. 3, April 1996
- Paul Moses "'One Of Us' – dad listens to daughter – religion and Joan Osborne's hit pop record". Commonweal. June 14, 1996. FindArticles.com. December 11, 2007. 
- Journal of the Catholic League January–February 2001
- Nothing Sacred Episode Guide
- Donahue, William Catholic League's 1997 Report on Anti-Catholicism, Catholic League, 1997
- Top 100 Catholics of the century, Daily Catholic, Vol. 10, No. 164, August 31, 1999
- Seal, Cynthia Hollywood's treatment of Catholicism, San Francisco Faith, November 1997
- CSI to viewers: Real crime is respecting life,Catholic League, November 4, 2005
- Croft & Reiter, The Fix, Salon.com Jan. 23, 2004
- "Film Sells Atheism To Kids; Major Protest Launched". CatholicLeague.org. October 9, 2007. Retrieved October 9, 2007.
- Alona Wartofsky (February 19, 2001). "The Last Word". Washington Post. Retrieved October 17, 2007.
- Mary McSweeney (October 13, 2007). "Catholic League condemns 'The Golden Compass'". Washington Post. Retrieved October 18, 2007.
- David Byers (November 27, 2007). "Philip Pullman: Catholic boycotters are 'nitwits'". The Times (London). Retrieved November 28, 2007.
- Catherine Donaldson-Evans (October 29, 2007). "Christian Groups Claim Pro-Atheist 'Stealth Campaign' in Nicole Kidman Fantasy Film 'The Golden Compass'". Fox News. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
- "Is ‘The Golden Compass’ Too Anti-Christian, or Not Anti-Christian Enough?". New York Magazine. October 16, 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2007.
- Chris Kaltenbach (October 24, 2007). "'Golden Compass' draws ire of the Catholic League". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 24, 2007.[dead link]
- CNN interview on youtube.com.
- Sullivan, Amy (August 27, 2004). The Washington Monthly http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_08/004582.php
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- Gehring, John. "Why is Bill Donohue angry ... again?". The Washington Post.
- "'Scarborough Country' for Dec. 8". MSNBC.
- Donohue, William. "JEWS AND HOLLYWOOD". Catholic League.
- Davis, Matthew Lines drawn in battle over Christmas, BBC News, December 10, 2005
- Edwards, David (December 18, 2007). "Catholic League president slams Huckabee for 'subliminal' cross ad". The Raw Story. Retrieved November 26, 2008.[dead link]
- Workplace Discrimination Checked in San Diego The Catalyst, Volume 24, Number 3, April 2005
- "Kathy Griffin's Jesus Remark Cut from Emmy Show". Reuters. September 17, 2007. Retrieved September 25, 2007.
- Bill Donohue Denies Catholic Church Abuses, May 30, 2009
- HYSTERIA OVER IRISH CLERGY ABUSE, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, May 20, 2009, retrieved May 31, 2009
- Tomasky, Michael (April 1, 2010). "William Donohue, wrong on abuse". The Guardian (London).
- "US museum pulls video after Catholic complaints". Agence France-Presse. December 2, 2010.
- "Museum removes portrait of crucifix covered in ants". The Daily Telegraph (London). December 2, 2010.
- "Smithsonian Removes Video Amid Catholic Outcry". CBS News. December 1, 2010.
- "Gay Portraiture Exhibit Sparks Funding Debate". NPR. December 2, 2010.
- Vitello, Paul (May 15, 2009). "A ‘Marine’ for Catholics Sees a Time of Battle". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved March 3, 2011.