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BY BY BRIAN WELTER
How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America
By Bill Donohue
FaithWords Press, 2009
258 pages, $21.99
To order: faithwords.com
Culture warrior Bill Donohue’s manifesto on the perils of liberalism includes a tip of the hat to an unlikely group.
“The Marxists, although completely wrong, at least had a game plan,” he observes in Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America. “They were not anarchists happy to search and destroy everything in sight.”
Secular Sabotage is Donohue’s argument against the many-headed anti-Christian forces of the country. The book recounts the battles he has fought with various people, organizations, government agencies and, most painfully, Catholic individuals and organizations.
Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, introduces the reader to the anti-Catholic genre in postmodern art that bases itself on creating ugliness and dishonoring what Christians most respect. Such artists target the Church first of all, and specifically Jesus and Mary. They desecrate the most widespread, cherished images of our Christian heritage with the use of genitalia and feces.
That’s only the beginning.
“Gay-pride” parades feature people dressing up as sexually charged nuns or entering churches during Mass to harass and vandalize. Academics undermine the Church with polemics or outright lies. Plays mock nuns and other aspects of Catholic life and culture. Movies such as Priest show the Church, the hierarchy and Catholic individuals in a bad light, while Hollywood ostracizes actors who go public with their Christian faith. Law professors and judges interpret the Constitution in manipulative ways that fail to embody the Christian spirit of the founders of America. Within the Church itself, pro-abortion Catholics, including even some women religious, argue that the Church has more than one abortion teaching. “It is because so many of the women religious have thrown Catholic doctrine overboard that few young women are drawn to them,” Donohue observes.
As he also points out, many nihilists are former communists left with nothing to believe in after the fall of the Soviet Union. They seek the destruction of the common Judeo-Christian culture underlying American values, but, unlike true Marxists, they are not destroying an old order in order to build something new.
The author writes with anger, and that can be a double-edged sword: Even some on his side could be turned off. The nature of Donohue’s work, however, requires him to be aggressive; otherwise he won’t get a hearing. His job is to demand fairness, not to make friends. And, when someone retracts publicly, Donohue gives him the benefit of the doubt.
Secular Sabotage examines the scary nihilist philosophy behind the anti-Christian activism we’ve had to put up with. But the book stops short of getting to nihilism’s philosophical roots. While this is understandable given space constraints, the litany of Catholic League war stories leaves little room for extended reflection on how and why we got here. Perhaps we could hope for such a book from Donohue in the future.
Brian Welter writes from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.