Saturday, March 22, 2008


Wingnut-lite columnist John Leo at the Huffington Post:

Barack Obama isn't the only presidential contender with a prominent bigot among his supporters. John McCain accepted the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee, who regularly attacks the Catholic Church as "the great whore of Revelation," a "false cult system," and "the anti-Christ."

... the mainstream media has barely reacted. The likely reason: reporters, editors and intellectuals aren't much interested in attacks on Catholics. Minorities, women and gays are eligible for sensitive concern. Catholics aren't....

Er, John? The press would have been all over words deemed offensive to Catholics if the person uttering those words were backing a Democrat. Just ask Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan.

Leo fills out his column with a series of examples of speech he deems offensive to Catholics, none of which is from a declared supporter of any presidential and some of which has nothing whatsoever to do with Catholicism (or did Mike Huckabee convert when I wasn't looking?). Most of it exists entirely outside the sphere of electoral politics, and is the same kind of stuff Leo and other graybeard right-wing pundits who are desperate for fresh material have been grumbling about for a generation:

In Jerry Springer: the Opera, which played for two nights at Carnegie Hall in January, Jesus is an effeminate gay-like character who walks around in a diaper and is hailed as a "hypocrite son of the fascist tyrant on high." The Virgin Mary is introduced as a woman "raped by an angel," and Eve fondles Jesus' genitals.

...Jesus on the cross can be wrought in chocolate ("My Sweet Lord"), as a homosexual sex scene, or on the cover of the
New Yorker as the Easter Bunny. Advertisers and movie-makers feel free to mock Catholics too. An ad for Equinox fitness clubs featured young women dressed as nuns sketching a naked man while staring at his crotch. Elizabeth: the Golden Age took many swipes at Catholicism....

(Anti-Catholicism in a movie about Elizabeth I! I'm shocked!)

What's odd is that whenever someone bashes Islam in a cartoon or film (e.g., the forthcoming movie by Dutch provocateur Geert Wilders), the right points out that if something similar were produced about Christianity, there'd be no violent outrage. But the right apparently also believes that there should be violent outrage -- or state suppression, or something. So which is it?

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