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(UPDATED BELOW)

I think we've established that Bill Donohue is a freak of the first order.  Be assured, his boorish, fringe views are not taken by any thinking person as representative of ALL catholics, despite deranged efforts by the Axis of Weasels in solidarity with the traditional media.

To that end, I would like to submit the following statement from The Catholic Alliance for the Common Good

Statement on Edwards Campaign Blog Controversy

Washington, D.C. - Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Executive Director Alexia Kelley issued the following statement today in response to the controversy over the John Edwards campaign's hiring of netroots consultants who had made insensitive remarks regarding Catholicism:

"Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good condemns these and all religiously intolerant remarks.  We accept Senator Edwards' assurances that he too was offended by comments made by recently-hired staffers and that religious intolerance has no place in his campaign.  Catholics comprise more than one quarter of the U.S. public, and neither John Edwards nor any other candidate can afford to take this constituency for granted."

"We hope this unfortunate incident will initiate a deeper conversation on the part of all presidential candidates regarding the broad range of issues and values of primary importance to the Catholic community, including the Iraq War, a concern for the poor, human life and dignity, the availability of health care, and a commitment to the common good."

About Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good engages Catholics, the media, and Americans of all faiths in dialogue about the Catholic social tradition and its core values of justice, human dignity, and the common good. Through communications, grassroots outreach, and strategic coordination, Catholics in Alliance supports Catholic organizations that work to advance the call to faithful citizenship and the common good. It is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with offices in Washington, DC and Boston, MA. For more information, visit www.thecatholicalliance.org.

I did a little due diligence on this organization, and was appalled to see that a religious organization had a voter's guide (pdf).  Shocking.  Mainly because it endorsed no single candidate nor single issue, including any demand that the litmus test of a pro-life stance trumps any choice one might have regarding a political candidate.

In fact, as a non-god-fearing, non-catholic, I have to tell you, I'd recommend quite a lot of the voter guide's advice.  It's about how to be a good person, and make good, responsible decisions -- taking everything into account in an imperfect world with imperfect choices.  You know, like that guy Jesus talked about.  Being excellent to each other, or something like that.  To tell the truth, this leads me to believe that there is no such thing as the "catholic vote."

They do something quite original for such an organization.  You probably aren't too familiar with this kind of thing.  They staff themselves with professors and educators, and actual priests and nuns.  Saddly, we don't see these kind of outfits get as much exposure as those like Donohue's, which is staffed with propagandists and right-wing ideologues.

This stands in glaring contrast to the empty threats issued from the Catholic League's President, Bill Donohue:

"We will launch a nationwide public relations blitz that will be conducted on the pages of the New York Times, as well as in Catholic newspapers and periodicals. It will be on-going, breaking like a wave, starting next week and continuing through 2007. It will be an education campaign, informing the public of what he did today. We will also reach out to our allies in the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist communities. They worked with us before on many issues, and are sure to do so again. What Edwards did today will not be forgotten."

Digby's question...

will they work with a man who went on the radio and said:

"Just imagine if a white guy is performing oral sex on a statue of Martin Luther King with an erection. Do you need to see it to know it's ugly?"

and

 "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, okay?  And I'm not afraid to say it. ... Hollywood likes anal sex. "

I'll hazard a guess and say, I don't think so.

Tell you what Billy, I'll say this in words your kind understands.

BRING. IT. ON.

Billy, you go right ahead with your threat and keep on opening that ignorant yap of yours.  We won this round for a reason.  We'll win the rest for the same reason.

One of the problems with American self-righteousness today is that we are turning into Catholic / Christian / Muslim / Hindu / Atheist first and Americans second. The First Amendment exists for a reason, and we're sticking to it. -- Krewe's Maitre, via 1st Draft

UPDATE 1:24 PM.

I received another letter thrm the Catholic Alliance, which reads as follows:

"Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good condemns these anti-Catholic remarks, all anti-Catholicism and all religious intolerance.  We accept Senator Edwards' assurances that he too was offended by comments made by recently-hired staffers and that religious intolerance has no place in his campaign.  Catholics comprise more than one quarter of the U.S. public, and neither John Edwards nor any other candidate can afford to take this constituency for granted. "

"We hope this unfortunate incident will initiate a deeper conversation on the part of all presidential candidates regarding the broad range of issues and values of primary importance to the Catholic community, including the Iraq War, a concern for the poor, human life and dignity, the availability of health care, and a commitment to the common good.  We call on both political parties and all presidential candidates to address the values and concerns of all Catholics in respectful and serious debate.  Donohue’s media hype and culture war rhetoric is less important than addressing poverty, abortion and war – issues at the heart of our Catholic tradition "

"We also invite Catholic League president Bill Donohue to focus on promoting the values and message at the heart of the Catholic faith – the common good, and a concern for the least among us – and to address his own political hypocrisy.  In 2000, Mr. Donohue called out Gov. George W. Bush for speaking at Bob Jones University.  Gov. Bush later condemned the school's anti-Catholic views, and Mr. Donohue quickly accepted the renouncement.  Mr. Donohue rapidly accepted Mel Gibson’s apology for anti-Semitic remarks.  We ask him today to join us to renew focus Jesus’ message of the common good, social justice, and forgiveness, to drop his rhetoric of division and personal defamation. We invite him to join in debate about an authentic Catholic response to the real problems facing our nation and culture."

Nice.  

Originally posted to Mark Adams on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 09:45 AM PST.

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