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Bill Donohue Asks Tough Questions; Blames Victim

There is a phrase I EXTREMELY dislike that I see otherwise intelligent people using in arguments: “go die in a fire.” I dislike it not because it lowers the tone of the discourse – that’s the only reason I’m even on the Internet – but because it is such a personal attack. Using phrases like that might be intensely gratifying, but if you allow these people to turn you into something ugly, you have let them beat you.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT, Bill Donohue should shut the fuck up forever, or at least stop issuing press releases:

On September 28, the Chicago Tribune reported that “former Chicago priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormick sexually abused him [Doe] while he was a grammar school student.” We then learn that the student was really a middle-school student, in the eighth grade, when the abuse began. The abuse reportedly continued for five years. According to the lawsuit, “McCormack inappropriately sexually touched, hugged, rubbed and/or abused Doe.”

It’s time to ask some tough questions. Why did this young man not object earlier? Why did he allow the “abuse” to continue until he was 18? The use of the quotes is deliberate: the charge against the former priest is not rape, but rubbing.

Bill Donohue needs to grow a fucking soul.

According to him, when a child is being molested, the responsibility to stop the molestation clearly rests with the child. And molestation stops being molestation if it takes place through clothing. He’s right! Those are some tough questions! I know those questions would be tough for me to ask! Especially since I’d need to close a waffle press on my hand immediately after. Or iron my own tongue. Because I think of myself as a good person. Part of being a good person, or a decent human being, is not attacking the victims of abuse.

If you’ve not been exposed to Donohue before, he runs an organization called the Catholic League, whose sole purpose is to make it seem like Catholics are a persecuted minority. He’s a pretty heavy hitter – if he targets you with his little hate group he’s nearly impossible to get rid of, and people sometimes actually listen to him, occasionally. He also, as the above quote demonstrates, cares a metric fuckton more about the Catholic Church than he does about children. Or people. Or women. If a person could possibly be less like Jesus, if a person could be horribly twisted by years of lies and bigotry until he resembled the black pollution monster from Ferngully, that person would be Bill Donohue. Bill Donohue is the reason doors have peepholes, to allow you to screen people from your physical space. I wouldn’t be buried in the same cemetery as this man.

Because the things he says are designed to hurt people. He makes it easier for pedophiles and child molesters to be pedophiles and child molesters. He actively works to help child molesters and pedophiles evade punishment, by making it seem as if this is a complicated issue. It isn’t. The Catholic Church spent decades protecting it’s own interests. Before that, they spent centuries violently protecting their own interests. He hides behind his religion as if it could protect him from what he is. It can’t.


  1. RMJ wrote:

    Garland Grey is the internet’s Asshole Evisceration Station.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  2. RMJ wrote:

    (By which I mean: Bravo, good sir. This was a pleasure to read.)

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  3. the rejectionist wrote:


    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink
  4. Mike wrote:

    He then goes on to say that the priest was “not a pedophile, he was a homosexual.”

    Even when I was a guilt-ridden, self-hating, little Catholic queen I was enraged by what this asshole said. He crosses a line that even the most repulsive on the Christian right know not to cross. The only people with more disgusting views than him are probably the members of the WBC.

    NIIIICE Ferngully reference!

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink
  5. Garland Grey wrote:

    @RMJ: I’d have to say, the best part of writing is having people you really respect say nice things about you. By which I mean: Thank you.

    @Rejectionist Some ground rules: we each get our own pool boy. We don’t really need a pool. Once a month I get to dress up like Dixie Wetsworth from Cabana Chat. You get to be Linda Richman from Coffee Talk. IF YOU WANT.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
  6. Ferngully! *Squee!*

    Also, “Bill Donohue is the reason doors have peepholes, to allow you to screen people from your physical space.” is one of the bestest statements ever. Trufax.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  7. kristen wrote:

    I clicked on the link to read the other press releases. Thanks a lot. I’ve read quite a few and I am now so… agghhh. I can’t even describe how angry I am. I like this one the best –

    Matt Damon: Alright, let’s each say one thing about ourselves that the other person doesn’t know on the count of three.

    Tina Fey: Alright.

    Damon: Ready? One, two, three.

    (They speak at the same time)

    Fey: I’m on a waiting list to adopt a kid.

    Damon: I was touched by a priest—it’s fine.

    Here’s the response of Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

    The assault by Hollywood celebrities on homosexuals should be renounced by everyone. We all know that the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church—which largely ended a quarter century ago—was mostly the work of homosexuals. But that was yesterday. For Matt Damon to trot out homosexual priests one more time, slandering all of them in one swoop is despicable. He owes all Catholics, especially homosexual priests, an apology.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
  8. AngryPunkPixie wrote:

    And this is why i left Catholicism

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink
  9. AMC wrote:

    @Kristen What, huh? So…it’s okay for Catholic priests to be homosexuals…but isn’t it…NOT? Like according to official stance?

    Donohue: Pick a gorramn stance! You can either be a Super Catholic, a Grocery Carter, or a Lapsed, but you CAN’T jump from one to one! It’s heresy!
    Times like these man, I am so glad I am a Pagan.
    Is it sad though, this bothers me less than if you go over on Jezebel and see the quote from the footballer saying women going home after 20 mins with a guy are putting themselves in a situation to be raped? Cause this is a boy, and the Church, so people will believe him, so he’s got a fighting chance. But people still believe women
    “invite” rape by wearing short skirts.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Permalink
  10. Casie wrote:

    i like how 18 is the age of consent until you’re molested by a priest. then it’s 13. how convenient.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink
  11. Brennan wrote:

    Wow. It’s been a while since reading something has made me feel physically sick. If I believed in Hell, I’d say Donahue can share the Special Hell with McCormick and people who talk during theater. Can someone install a peephole for my brain?

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  12. Kate wrote:

    This prompted one of the more articulate responses of the type that I so often have these days. Here is it:


    That was my head hitting the keyboard repeatedly. And then I threw it at my screen.

    Not really. I just mashed it really hard with my palms, and a workmate came in to see if I was having a seizure.

    re: ferngully. Can Donahue sing?

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:41 am | Permalink
  13. Alicia wrote:

    I am going to rain all over this FernGully parade right here.

    I watched it just a few months back. It is not as good as you remember. Even though the scary pollution monster is Tim Curry. Because also: Robin Williams voices a bat who raps about his experiences as a laboratory test subject. These things do not even out.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 1:47 am | Permalink
  14. Other Becky wrote:

    I especially love the way he draws such a clear distinction between “grammar school student” and “middle school student”. Because raping a fifth grader is EVIL, but molesting an eighth grader is just in bad taste.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 8:07 am | Permalink
  15. Farore wrote:

    @Brennan – I too would like to be an early adopter for this new brain-peephole technology. Right now I’m having to make do with just not leaving the house @_@

    Eugh, this guy is so slimy. How does anyone ever take someone like that seriously?

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink
  16. Sooz wrote:

    I like how he assumes the young man DIDN’T object earlier. Because, as we all know, if you say no, NOBODY ever goes ahead anyhow!

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
  17. Laughingrat wrote:

    if you allow these people to turn you into something ugly, you have let them beat you

    That’s pretty victim-blamey itself. The ability to not “get ugly” comes from privilege–either from not having had so many bad things happen to you, or having the kind of resilience that allows you to weather awfulness without becoming full of despair. And no, you can’t cultivate that. That’s another rather privileged notion: that happiness, forgiveness, or mental well-being is a responsibility that each person has, and that it’s something people can “work on.”

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  18. Garland Grey wrote:

    @17 Excuse me, no. A call to civility among adults is not a slur against victims. I spent all night contemplating what you said, really thinking about it, and free will, and determinism, and how much control anyone has over their own mental health. In the end, what you said is ableist as hell and robs people of agency completely.

    Friday, October 8, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink
  19. Sooz wrote:

    While there is something to be said for avoiding the Tone Argument, I don’t think it’s victim blaming to say that it’s not a good thing for anyone if a person starts calling for someone’s death. It is quite possible to be upset and angry, and to express those feelings, without stooping to death wishing.

    Friday, October 8, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  20. Bella_D wrote:

    Creepy thing? I’ve heard this exact same argument amongst evangelicals discussing the rape of a 14 year-old-girl. They were talking about how wrong it was for victims to call the rapist a pedophile, since the girl was clearly no longer a child. I’m so glad they finally found something that they can agree with the Catholic leadership on.

    Friday, October 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  21. Caitlin wrote:

    I know (of) someone in his mid-twenties who cultivated a sexual relationship with/repeatedly raped a 14-year-old, and I refer to him as a paedophile all the time. I feel like he lost the right to technical/legal hair-splitting around the time he decided to repeatedly have sex with a kid.

    Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 5:53 am | Permalink
  22. Robert wrote:

    Part of what Donohue chooses to overlook is the culture in which this abuse took place. Catholic children are raised to look up to priests as, very literally, God’s representatives on earth. To spend a decade inculcatiing this worldview into a child’s mind, then ask with pious horror, ‘but how could you let the priest do that?’ is, at best, delusional. In this case, it is clear collusion with evil.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  23. Ahab wrote:

    Donahue is completely devoid of empathy if he’s downplaying sexual abuse. Monster …

    Friday, October 15, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink
  24. Miranda wrote:

    “He actively works to help child molesters and pedophiles evade punishment, by making it seem as if this is a complicated issue. It isn’t.”

    THANK YOU for writing this. This is a natural consequence of victim-blaming that I feel is too often overlooked in these conversations. People like Bill Donohue are actively creating a culture of impunity for child rapists because they just don’t care whether grown men rape children. Totally disgusting.

    In related news, new data shows that almost 60% (SIXTY PERCENT) of Chicago Catholic parishes harbor at least one priest accused of molestation.

    Big thanks to Bill Donohue for making this epidemic possible.

    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink