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Jewish World Review March 8, 2000 /31 Adar I, 5760

Don Feder

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Attacking Bob Jones, Dems parade hypocrisy -- When do Democrats care about anti-Catholicism? When they can use it to bash Republicans.

Last week, congressional Democrats pushed a resolution condemning anti-Catholic Bob Jones University and the public officials who've spoken there.

At a press conference unveiling the resolution, Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers confessed, "Had not Gov. George Bush gone to Bob Jones University, I doubt we would be standing here."

No doubt about it. Prior to Bush's blunder, Conyers' party never showed the slightest indication that it cared about the numerous attacks on the Catholic Church that contaminate our culture.

"It was the Democrats who gave us Dr. Jocelyn Elders in 1993 as surgeon general, and it was the Democrats who gave us James Hormel as the ambassador to Luxembourg in 1999," says William Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

When Clinton's first surgeon general was up for confirmation, New York Cardinal John O'Connor charged her anti-Catholic comments made Elders "unfit for public office."

Among other gems, in 1992 Elders told a pro-abortion audience, "Look at who's fighting the pro-choice movement: a celibate, male-dominated Church."

The Democratic Party showed scant concern about anti-Catholicism then. Of the 34 senators who voted against confirming Elders, only four were Democrats.

There was no Democratic outrage over James Hormel, Clinton's choice for the Luxembourg posting. The wealthy donor to Democratic and gay causes is a fan of "The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence," a group of homosexual men who dress as nuns and mock Catholic rituals. There's a television tape of Hormel snickering over their antics.

Senate Republicans are unable to reverse Clinton's interim appointment of Hormel, due to the his Democratic support.

Then there was Geoffrey Fieger, Jack Kevorkian's mouthpiece and (let it be noted) Democratic candidate for Michigan governer in 1998, who ridiculed the Church and described Jesus as "some goofball that got nailed to a cross."

On another front, Democrats defend government funding of anti-Catholic polemics vaguely disguised as art.

Last fall, Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton savaged New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for attempting to withdraw city support from the Brooklyn Museum of Art over its "Sensation" show. The exhibit included "The Holy Virgin Mary," a picture decorated with elephant dung and pornographic photos.

Where were the Democratic resolutions censuring Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ," "Corpus Christi" (a play that shows Jesus having sex with his disciples) or "The Complete Millennium" (staged at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts last June and described by the U.S. Catholic Conference as containing "intolerable, mean-spirited stereotyping" of the Church)? The foregoing was subsidized by the National Endowment for the Arts or other federal programs.

Democrats are unmoved by all of the movies and TV shows slamming the Church, produced by their Hollywood friends. Harvey Weinstein, a major Gore contributor, is the head of Miramax, which gave us "Priest" (with its ugly depictions of Catholic clergy) and last year's "Dogma."

As congressional Democrats abuse Bush for an appearance he says he regrets, candidates for their party's presidential nomination court racist demagogue Al Sharpton.

In 1995, Sharpton marched besides picketers protesting a Jewish-owned business in Harlem as they shouted "blood-sucking Jews" and "Jew bastards." That little exercise in brotherhood resulted in eight deaths, when a protester rushed into the store and started shooting employees.

Unlike Bush, who can plausibly maintain that he had no prior knowledge of Bob Jones' fulminations, Al Gore and Bill Bradley -- who shared a stage with Sharpton at Harlem's Apollo Theatre on Feb. 21 -- are fully aware of the minister's incendiary bigotry.

If Bob Jones University made Al Sharpton its president, Democrats would be clamoring to speak there. If it took its anti-Catholicism and turned it into performance art with feminist and homosexual overtones, not only would the Democrats defend it as artistic expression -- it would probably qualify for an NEA grant.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest book is Who's Afraid of the Religious Right. Comment on his column by clicking here.

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© 2000, Creators Syndicate