03 December 2010

White House speechwriter makes anti-Catholic "joke"

Father Zuhlsdorf passes on a statement from The Catholic League regarding anti-Catholic remarks made by one of President Obama's speechwriters (with my emphases or comments):

The winner at last night’s “Funniest Celebrity” competition in Washington D.C. was White House speechwriter Jon Lovett. In a quip he made about the TSA’s pat downs, he said, “it’s giving a way for, you know, defrocked priests to get their lives back together, giving back to the community, lend a…Well, not lend a hand, but you know.” [Imagine if he had said the same about a Protestant minister or about a public school teach or coach, each of which group has a higher rate of abuse than Catholic priests. The media simply refuse to acknowledge this or investigate it.]

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responds as follows:

Had this been some flunky entertainer appearing in an urban comedy club, no one would blink an eye. But it is at least an interesting window into the mind of one of the speechwriters for the president of the United States: Jon Lovett could have chosen a million examples to poke fun at the TSA, so it is revealing that what he settled on was a former priest guilty of sexual molestation.

This is an administration that has bent over backwards not to offend Muslims. Even in a comedic forum, it would never countenance a joke of this sort that targeted an imam. But for Catholic priests, the White House obviously has a different standard. [From Fr. Zuhlsforf: Does President Obama think that his staff can offend Catholics with impunity?]

At the very least, Lovett should never be given an assignment ever again that touches on matters Catholic. And quite frankly, a statement by President Obama on this issue is entirely warranted. We can’t have one standard for Muslims and another for Catholics.

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