Anti-Catholic Jokes Still Okay – OpEd


Ask any comedian how he feels today about telling jokes about certain protected classes of people—gays being the most protected—and he will  confess what a minefield it is trying not to offend the politically correct police. But the sensitivity cops still have enormous tolerance for the most intolerant jokes about priests. There is no price to pay, no matter how vile and obscene the commentary.

Kevin Hart had to drop out from hosting the Oscars because he once told some jokes that offend gays. He said he has learned from his past mistakes, but that didn’t change anything: he was forced to exit. Even after he pulled out, that wasn’t enough to satisfy Kathy Griffin, who exploded, “I mean, f**k him.”

Griffin is upset with Hart slighting gays, but she is perfectly fine cursing  God. In September 2007, upon receiving an Emmy for her reality show, she screamed, “Suck Jesus, this award is my God now.” Besides the Catholic League, few complained. She paid no price for her sick remark by anyone in Hollywood.

If Hart is not acceptable to host the Oscars, why was Ellen DeGeneres in 2014? Didn’t her comments ridiculing nuns matter? Why was Seth MacFarlane deemed worthy in 2013 following his libelous remarks about priests? Why was Alec Baldwin fit to be the host in 2010 given his sweeping generalizations about priests? Why was Jon Stewart invited to host the Oscars in 2008 given his obscene attacks on Catholicism? Why was Whoopi Goldberg selected four times when she has a history of Catholic bashing? [Examples of their anti-Catholic statements are available on our website.]

Nothing has changed. Since Thanksgiving there has been a rash of comedic attacks on Catholicism.

On the November 27 edition of the TBS comedy, “The Guestbook,” there was an exchange about being good at Christmas for Santa. “If his parents are religious,” one of the characters said, “he still has all the Jesus bulls*** to keep him on the straight and narrow for a while.”

The December 4 edition of the ABC show, “The Kids Are Alright,” featured kids putting a microphone in the purse of their mother so they could hear what she said when going to confession. The skit proceeded to mock the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Seth Meyers has been busy attacking Catholics this Christmas season. On December 5 he made a joke about the clergy raping kids. On December 10, he made it clear which religion he was referring to: he engaged writer Jimmy Hagel in an assault on the Eucharist and allowed Hagel to lie about the Church’s teachings on sexuality.

It’s not just Hollywood that practices this double standard. On November 30, former “Saturday Night Live” writer Nimesh Patel was forced to leave the stage at Columbia University because he told some jokes about a gay black man that didn’t sit too well with the PC police. The Columbia Asian American Alliance, which hosted the event, had him booted.

This is the height of hypocrisy. It was an Asian student from Columbia who in 2002, during the half-time show of a football game between Columbia and Fordham, told the fans via a loudspeaker that “Fordham’s tuition is going down like an altar boy.” After I mounted a public protest, the president of Columbia, Lee Bollinger, apologized to me about this incident.

Catholics have every right to treat all this hullaballoo about Kevin Hart as the real joke. Not until we get a level playing field, and anti-Catholic remarks are regarded as taboo, will we be persuaded that those who object to anti-gay remarks are principled.

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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