Bill Donohue, for those of you who don’t know, is the head, and as best anyone can tell, only employee or member of an organization called, “The Catholic League.” The Catholic League appears to be, in its entirety, Bill, a blog, and a mailing list. Yet he’s often invited on certain news networks to pontificate about all manner of social issues, of which he seems to have no expertise or background. He is, however, quite the mouthpiece for the positions of the Conference of U.S. Catholic Bishops. So my guess is, USCCB is his benefactor.
So, because he only has something to complain about when he exaggerates, he is claiming that American gay rights activists are seeking to “criminalize the Bible.” His case is based on a situation where a Swiss group has filed a complaint (in Switzerland) against a Catholic Bishop there. But, in Bill’s usual hyperbolic way, he puts his case this way, “His offense? He quoted from the Bible. The accused: Swiss Bishop Vitus Huonder. The accusers: gay activists in Europe and the United States.”
Let’s look at the entire situation. Apparently Bishop Huonder spoke at a Catholic Forum in Germany. Along with his usual denunciation of LGBT people, he quoted Leviticus. Now here’s how Bill describes it, “On July 31, Bishop Huonder spoke at a Catholic forum in Germany, and in his remarks he quoted from Leviticus the passage condemning homosexuality. He also criticized gender theory.” He’s not wrong here, but notice that he doesn’t give the exact verse, nor the text of that verse. Let me help you out with that:
If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. Leviticus 20:13
Turns out, it is a rather ugly passage, and does call for gay and lesbian people to be put to death…rather explicitly. Not leaving well enough alone, and since he was getting a round of applause, Huonder steps it up a little to say, “Both of these passages alone suffice to clarify unambiguously the church’s position on homosexuality.”
So an umbrella LGBT rights group in Switzerland called, Pink Cross, has filed a criminal complaint against the Bishop based on Switzerland’s hate speech laws. They have accused him of, “fomenting violence against homosexuals.” And I’d have to say, when one goes around quoting Bible verses as being unambiguous, and those verses say that certain people should be put to death, what would one expect to happen. Yet, when a gay person is killed or bashed, they call claim they detest violence, and would NEVER suggest that someone should commit violence against gay people…but then they usually add a big “but” on the end of that.
Now let’s be clear, anti-hate speech laws are a bit foreign to Americans. Our Constitution would make such laws pretty much unenforceable here. I would note the Swiss have a higher standard of living, and rate themselves happier than Americans do, so there’s that.
But remember, this a Swiss citizen as plaintiff, other Swiss citizens as complainants, all under Swiss laws. Other than being applauded by equality minded groups here in the U.S., this has nothing to do with the U.S. or LGBT rights groups here. Of course, that’s not to stop Bill from trying to tie this situation to equality efforts here in the U.S. Bill posits in his blog post, “Gay fascists are on the rise in North America and Europe. Their goal is to criminalize the Bible, and to destroy freedom of speech and religion.” (Those darned facist Swedes.)
He also notes (and this is really funny):
In the U.S., New Ways Ministry, an anti-Catholic organization, is accusing Bishop Huonder of ‘preaching dangerous words.’ … Though this fraudulent group has been denounced by many bishops, it is nonetheless treated as a legitimate Catholic voice by the mainstream media, as well as by the National Catholic Reporter (the dissident newspaper has also been slammed by many bishops).
I guess Bill’s never heard the old mime about the “pot and kettle.” This is a guy, who is a one man operation calling a group, New Ways Ministry, which has tens of thousands of members and supports, a “fraudulent” group. Folks, you just can’t make this stuff up.
Just as another funny aside, I’d note that Bill’s blog post starts out, “ill Donohue comments on the reaction of gay activists to a bishop who quoted the Bible:” If you visit, you’ll notice that Bill is the author of the post, as he is all the posts on the site.
By the way, in a later post, I’ll note that Pat Robertson now says that Leviticus doesn’t apply to Christians.