Bill Donahue, the resident crankypants at the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, who, by the way, is great as a radio guest, sounded off against Glee.

The producers of “Glee” decided to address religion. A gay atheist was treated with sympathy for his victim status, the victimizer being Christianity, especially Catholicism. Judaism was treated with kid gloves and Islam got a pass. In other words, it was the usual Hollywood stuff.

Where did Catholicism become the victim here? Kurt never mentioned a particular church at all. And there are far more non-denminational, fundamentalist churches who gay bash in public than perhaps any other denomination. Kurt even ended up going to what presumably is a Baptist church with Mercedes and even seems to engage in prayer with them there. Judaism was hardly treated with kid gloves. Rachel insists that her children be raised Jewish and after Finn agrees to this she lets him touch her breasts.

If that’s a nice little chaste Jewish girl, than I’m Mary Poppins.

More from Sir Donohue:

The lines mouthed by the characters are a reflection of what Hollywood script writers and producers believe. Back in 1986, S. Robert Lichter, Stanley Rothman and Linda Lichter wrote a landmark book, The Media Elite. The three social scientists, not affiliated with conservative causes, found that the media elite had nothing in common with most Americans on the subject of religion: while 94 percent of Americans identified themselves as religious, only 50 percent of the media elite did. Even more striking, while 86 percent of the public said religion was important to them, 86 percent of the media elite said they seldom or never attend church. Studies since have shown that nothing much has changed.

We could also say that 94% of Catholics would not identify with the statements that come out of the offices of the Catholic League most days as well.

Do you want to know who the real enemy of Hollywood is? Hypocrisy.

And there’s plenty in religion that has given these artists reason to look our way. Centuries of it. We are human, after all.

Is this unfair? At times Hollywood and the secular media can be unfair. Most times they are just misinformed and what passes for journalism some days makes me wish I stayed in radio and taught people a thing or two. But at times it’s often painfully accurate. And the truth sometimes hurts. Some religious people are nuts. Some religious people do hate others in God’s name. And they grab the headlines because they are rare and outrageous.

Couldn’t the non-nutty religious folks give the media something to cover this week? What could we do that brings the beauty of our tradition from beneath the bushel basket that we all often hide our light under? What has the Catholic League done to live out the corporal works of mercy? I’m sure that there’s something that they have done and I wish they’d spend just as much time writing about THAT.

People want to be inspired, not agitated. Moreover, the Eucharist propels us to be Christ in the world and there are a lot more stories about him healing, serving and preaching about our lack of love for the poor than there are about him turning over the tables of the moneychangers. Balance is always called for and it’s time the majority of Catholics spoke up about what’s great about being Catholic again.

0 thoughts on “Catholic League on Glee and Why I Don’t Agree”
  1. Well said Mike. This is a classic case of a fringe group like the Catholic League jumping on the case and coattails of a pop culture headline in order to draw attention to themselves. They really have no positive, proactive message of their own, they simply cherry-pick issues of general attention onto which they can project their own narrow perspective. In this case, you’ve rightly called them out in their attempt to shoehorn their agenda into the conversation about Glee’s handling of matters of faith and spirituality. The irony is that Bill Dono(who?) is showing all of the clumsy unsophistication the characters displayed without any of their kindness and compassion. Now, tell me who’s being a better witness of Jesus – grilled or not?

  2. Isn’t Bill Donohue the only member of the supposed Catholic League? I’ve never seen or heard anyone else who referred to themselves as a member of the Catholic League. I just think it’s nagging, scolding old Bill and his computer in some walk up in Sunnyside, or Bay Ridge, or out on LonGisland, or something.

    That episode of Glee was great — folks like Bill Donohue may not like the take on religion both Kurt and Sue Sylvester expressed, but their experiences are real. If Bill Donohue doesn’t like it, maybe he should crack down on the Catholic bloggers who engage in horrible rhetoric regarding gay folks all the time.

    Clean up your own house, Bill…

  3. Via Facebook:

    From: Anthony Cavaliere your statement “fundamentalist churches who gay bash” is pejorative. You dismiss everyone who disagrees with your view such as myself, a person who happens to believe that God’s word deems homosexuality a sin. I do not “gay bash” and most of my fellow evangelicals do not either. We just maintain what God’s word says as the truth. We would rather tell the truth that curry favor with the latest trends in society or be PC. And by the way our belief goes back to God’s original creation of man and so it is not we who disagree with gays:they disagree with God. WE tell the truth so that the lost souls the sinners will repent and be saved from God’s wrath.

  4. I hope you don’t eat shellfish too.

    Ya know what, that was snarky. Apologies. Let’s change the subject and agree to disagree. Michael’s wedding was nice and we missed you there.

  5. Via Facebook

    From Anthony Cavaliere

    I wonder why you stay in the Catholic Church if you agree with its official decrees on some items such as homosexuality. How can you call yourself a Catholic and still reject Papal authority? I know a lot of Catholics who disagree with official doctrine yet think they are good Catholics. Yet that disagreement is a sign of rebeliion and a lack of faith if you think that the Pope is God’s representative on earth.
    Now I left the RC church because the Church holds to a few doctrines thar contradict the Bible which the RC CHurch holds as its source of authority along with tradition. What makes a Catholic a Catholic?

  6. How do you know I disagree? There’s nothing in the post that suggests it. You’re reading into this without proof of my own opinion which I didn’t state at all.
    No matter what anyone’s opinion is on that matter people still need to be ministered to with welcoming, empathy and compassion, which is what we don’t see enough of in certain segments of all religions.

  7. Via Facebook:

    From Anthony Cavaliere

    Sorry for the assumption I made, but the use of gay bashing seems to convey a certain attitude, plus I have read some of your other previous comments on FB. If I was incorrect in my assumption, I am sorry. By the way I do not believe in bullying of any sort. I was bullied as a child (often by Roman Catholic nuns!!) and I am opposed to it. If I disgaree with someone’s lifestyle, I refrian from making malicious of “snarky” comments and stick to logical and tehological arguments. No ad hominen attacks.
    My question still remains: What does a Catholic have to believe in order to be a Catholic? Most Evangelicals believe in ceratin “fundamentals” of the faith that one must believe to be a Christian ie virgin birth, Dual nature of Christ, His atoning sacrifice, His resurrection, the Tri-une nature of God, slavation through Christ alone, etc. Do Catholics have a similar set of “fundamentals”.

  8. Via Facebook

    from Alex Swingle

    Mike if he was a nice man he wouldnt be spewing the bile he does. Again who made him the representative of the catholic church in the US? The so-called liberal media did.

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