Bill Donohue, sachem of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, does not lack for partisan chutzpah. In his ongoing war on Barack Obama, he today took after the Illinois senator for his relationship with Fr. Michael Pfleger, last Sunday’s Trinity U.C.C. sermonizer. Here’s a piece of what Donohue had to say:
Father Pfleger’s tirade would be inexcusable anywhere, but it is even more offensive when it happens in a church. It does not matter that it was not his own, nor does it matter that it happened in a church that has a record of allowing demagogues to exploit it. When churches become forums for political rallies, both religion and the First Amendment are corrupted.
“Obama and Pfleger are no strangers. Indeed, when Obama was in the state senate in Illinois, he conveniently arranged for Father Pfleger’s St. Sabina’s Church to receive state monies for its social programs.
So why does this matter to His Holiness? The Catholic League announces its mission as follows:
The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. Founded in 1973 by the late Father Virgil C. Blum, S.J., the Catholic League defends the right of Catholics – lay and clergy alike – to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination.
Motivated by the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment, the Catholic League works to safeguard both the religious freedom rights and the free speech rights of Catholics whenever and wherever they are threatened.
So how exactly does attacking comments made by a Catholic priest in good standing and that priest’s relationship to a presidential candidate safeguard Catholic religious freedom and free speech rights?