Friday, May 25, 2007

What took ya?

After the giddy response to the news that Jerry Falwell took a dirt nap last week, it was only a matter of time before the Catholic League's head ragebot Bill Donohue would weigh in. In particular, he's gone all pissy at comedian Bill Maher, who made some amusing observations about Falwell and religion in general a couple of days after Falwell croaked (watch it at Crooks & Liars). Veins popping and spittle flying, Donohue shrieked:

“We are writing to the 14 members who sit on the board of directors of Time Warner (the parent company of HBO) asking each of them whether Maher’s gratuitous and highly offensive attack on Jesus Christ merits the same punishment afforded Imus for his racist remark. Maher is a serial anti-Catholic bigot who mocked the Eucharist as recently as April 16."

And then his head spun off and burst into flames. (Kidding!)

"A serial anti-Catholic bigot". Donohue's really on this "anti-Catholic bigotry" bandwagon lately. It makes me wonder if he understands the meaning of the word "bigot". From Websters:

Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

Hmm! In his Falwell segment Maher was certainly funny, as he always is. But I didn't hear him say in all seriousness that Catholics shouldn't be allowed to marry, or that Catholic sex lives are unnatural, or that the government should be able to regulate how many kids Catholics have, or that Catholics are hell-bound because they don't practice contraception. Such statements could definitely be considered hatred and intolerance.

Bill "Jews run Hollywood" Donohue might like to picture himself and his fellow Catholics as martyred by bigotry, but until pronouncements such as the above are seriously made, the analogy is hopelessly flawed. It's not bigotry to respond to bigotry with humour.