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The Catholic League goes after “The Golden Compass”

Another news cycle, another round of stories quoting Bill Donohue and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Given all of the media attention Bill Donohue gets, you’d expect his organization to be a major public policy think tank. It’s not. It’s one person – BD himself – and he bilks the 501c3 organization for a mind-blowing $300,000 annual salary.

What does Bill Donohue do to earn that money? He lambastes Kathy Griffin. He criticizes Joy Behar and The View. He rants on the Folsom Street Fair. He protests companies that say “Seasons Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas” . And in his latest round of media whoring, Donohue is launching a vendetta against the upcoming Nicole Kidman movie, “The Golden Compass.”

I cannot figure out why mainstream press gives this guy any credence. He is a one man shop pretending to speak for a movement. Their Web site lists no other staff other than Donohue, and their 990 IRS report (posted on Guide Star) lists only one other paid person – Bernadette Brady, Vice President (and she makes $170,000!). He speaks for a movement of one.

Moreover, he’s not officially a representati ve of the Catholic Church. Time after time the media lets him offer a Catholic position, but he has no formal ties to the institutiona l Church. He’s not a priest, nor does he work for the US Bishops Conference. True, his physical office space is part of the New York Archdiocese s property, but he’s not employed the by Archdiocese.  

So to recap: Bill Donohue. Rants about pop culture while pretending to be the official voice of a major U.S. religion, while cashing in a $300,000 annual salary as director of a NON-PROFIT. It’s no wonder you won’t find much about poverty or economic injustice on his organization ’s Web site!

Donohue’s venom toward “The Golden Compass” stems from what he thinks is an anti-religio us bent, and suggests that the author of the “Dark Materials” fantasy trilogy (which “The Golden Compass” is a part of) is an extreme atheist. Donohue hasn’t read any of these books, of course. Nor has he seen the movie yet. Yet AFP still gives him a soapbox to stand on.


Though I usually find her a bit abrasive, I think Kathy Griffin has it right when it comes to Bill Donohue. Check out this YouTube clip of her comedy special, where she trounces Bill Donohue. Donohue went full force after Griffin when she won an Emmy and told the audience that no one had less to do with her winning the award than “Jesus.”  

I’m starting to think that no one has less to do with the work of Bill Donohue than Jesus. But that’s beside the point. Enjoy Kathy Griffin’s clip, and go see “The Golden Compass,” just to spite Bill Donohue. Then give the books to your children for Christmas!

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13 Responses to “The Catholic League goes after “The Golden Compass””

  1. I have read the books, and, to be absolutely fair, they are atheist leaning. The main villains is a group of bishops and priests. They end up with an ex-nun now scientist. There’s a lot that is pretty anti-religio n in the books.
    On the other hand, I doubt most of it will be in the film as that would alienate too many people. And even if it were, I doubt the target audience will register it. They’ll be too busy cheering for Layla and marvelling at the giant bears dressed in armour.
    The part I found funniest in the rants that have been broadcast over here was: “These people are trying to introduce children to atheism through the medium of a children’s film and that is dishonest and shouldn’t be permitted’. I didn’t hear those people complaining about “the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”’s Christian bias in the same way.

  2. I would think that if you are against Donohue you should also be against CAIR.
    I wonder if this country was founded on atheism and 85% of the population were atheists would we be attacking them.
    Maybe we should be keeping tabs on all the charities the astheists do.

  3. Lisa,

    Has CAIR raised questions about the underlying messages, i.e., to advance the cause of witches, of the “Harry Potter” series? Does CAIR constantly malign parents who allow their children to watch “March of the Penguins” due to its subtle support of homosexualit y? Does CAIR exert its political influence in an attempt to force science teachers to teach non-science “I.D.” in science classrooms?

    What does CAIR have to do with Mr. Donohue’s endorsement of such nonsensical issues, including the issue of the “Golden Compass,” and his questionable profiteering  ?

    Lisa, since you baselessly attempt to argue that the country was founded on Christianity as a method to counter the post’s attack upon a member of the Christian faiths actions, are you implying that such attacks should not occur? And, are you further implying with your hopelessly fruitless attempt at bringing atheism into this issue that we should be directing our attacks at (atheistic)o rganizations that do not attempt to impel the public sphere to endorse Christian - or any other religious - values and instead adopt a secular, Constitution ally supported view of public policy? Are these efforts really problematic, Lisa, or do they comport to legal standards within our country? Oh yes, what atheistic organization s are you speaking of, Lisa?

  4. You know Alex maybe if there were shows bashing the Islamic faith then you would see CAIR more than likely calling for the execution of the Director.
    Did Catholics sue an airline and individual people for their suspecting suspicious behavior of the flying Imans? CAIR is now trying to get Michael Savage off the radio. And another major difference is that CAIR supports terrorism and you have no problem with that.
    Don’t you worry CAIR will be calling for the banning of alot more things as they gain more momentum.

  5. CAIR has an entire portion of their organization s website dedicated to non-violence  , anti-terrori sm, and educating against the extremist elements within the Islamic faith. CAIR condemned Bin Laden, both the attacks on September 11th and Madrid, all suicide bombings, and has compiled a lengthy - 61 page - report on all the official positions taken against Islamic extremist elements throughout the world.

    This is my evidence proving that CAIR does not “support terrorism” Lisa, what evidence do you have in support of your statement that CAIR does in fact support terrorism?

    There is a popular television show on the “WB” called “Aliens in America” that single handedly plays on every politically incorrect, stereotypica l characterist ic of the Muslim faith. I am quite certain that CAIR has not called for the execution of the director, series producers, or actors.

    This is my evidence proving that CAIR will not attack entertainmen t in ways that the Catholic League does in every instance that one believes their faith has been offended. What evidence do you have in support of your statement, Lisa?

    So, CAIR sued an airline that removes members of the Islamic faith from airplanes if these members are witnessed praying - in accordance with their faith. Interesting, although it proves nothing beyond CAIR’s stated goal of illuminating instances of “profiling,” challenging those who support unsubstantia ted profiling and continuing to seek the full recognition of Civil Rights for Muslims. Lisa, is this in violation of something that you believe America stand’s for?

  6. Oh yes, what shows “bash” the Christian faith, Lisa? You are amusing.

  7. http://www.d anielpipes.o rg/article/3 437

  8. Lisa, that evidence is stunning, although it’s interesting how an organization with such “obvious” ties to terrorism has yet to be challenged by the Bush administrati on, and its founders/mem bers arrested and charged?

    Why do members of the Right claim intelligence that they simply could not have, Lisa? Would the administrati on not have taken the necessary steps to stop this terrorist supporting organization if the intelligence was so clear - as it is said to be by the author of that weblog you directed me to?

    That website is something of a questionable source as it has a lengthy piece about Prince Charles’ possible connection to Islam, i.e., a possible converted member of the faith; which is argued to explain his lauding of Muslim women, respect for the religion, etc.

  9. And, what were the movies, etc. that “bash” Christianity  , Lisa?

  10. “[The Catholic League is] one person – BD himself”. It doesn’t seem so to me. You mention at least one other person on the payroll, Ms. Bernadette Brady. Ms. Brady isn’t some lowly secretary or menial employee, she’s vice president of the organization  , such as it is, making her an integral part of the organization of at least two.

    “[P]retendin g to speak for a movement”, as though they were alone, he and Ms. Brady, yet, between them, they pull down $470,000 per year. Where does that money comes from? The organization is not an arm of the Church so it’s not coming from the RC Church; it must be coming from donations from the public, from people who are familiar with his organization and his stances and approve of the same. That might be considered a movement. It’s certainly more than a “movement of one.” It seems to me that the man speaks for more than one other person, indeed, he must speak for a lot of other people.

    As for the Catholic League, I’m not a member or even an interested party or donor and I have zero interest in defending Bill Donahue, his positions or statements. I’ve never read the book and haven’t seen the movie so I have nothing to say about them.

    The only negative thing that I know for sure about CAIR is that they are an unindicted co-conspirat or in a prosecution for giving material aid to terrorists or something like that but how big a deal could that be. We have a United States Representati ve, Mr. Murtha, who is an unindicted co-conspirat or. Apparently he’s okay enough to represent American citizens in our government so CAIR should be okay to represent the interests of Muslims in America. Someone ought to.

  11. Craig,
    Uhm, pardon an ignorant foreigner, but if they’re unindicted, doesn’t that mean they’re not guilty, never having been convicted? Isn’t that just more unproven rumour and innuendo, to take us to a recent post of yours?

  12. It just seems to me that if indeed there is such ample evidence (as Lisa seems to believe there is) then CAIR would be challenged by the administrati on - an administrati on that is desperate to find a success. However, CAIR may be, I don’t know; although neither do members on the Right who claim to have knowledge.

    Yes Craig, your correct.

    Me, Mr. Murtha is an “unindicted co-conspirit or” of a terrorist organization  ? (That is what your comment seems to say.) Or, are you speaking about ABSCAM?

  13. Pardon, yes Paul, YOU are correct :)

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