Catholic Bashing TV

While evangelical Christians are often singled out for ridicule by Hollywood, a strong case could be made that Catholics are targeted every bit as much, even more, some would argue. To their credit, a number of Catholics and Catholic organizations, such as the Catholic League for

Religious and Civil Rights, led by William Donohue, have done a thorough job monitoring anti-Catholic discrimination. Each year the league compiles a report on anti-Catholicism, which documents the ongoing saga. Liberal media watchdog and columnist Brent Bozell also has his finger on the pulse of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian discrimination. His Media Research Center compiles evidence of bias against Christians in the media and entertainment industry. In his syndicated column of March 21, 2003, with Creators Syndicate, Bozell listed a number of examples:

• On an episode of CBS's "Family Law," a priest had sired a child prior to taking his vows. Tony Danza's character, addressing the question of whether the priest should raise his child, said, "Maybe the kid would be better off without all that superstitious crap screwing her up."

• In ABC's "The job," a stripper dressed as a nun disrobed during a police interrogation and placed her foot in her questioners'-male and female-crotches. In a separate scene a monsignor placed his personal reputation above the sanctity of the confessional.

• In HBO's "Sex in the City" a single mother's boyfriend pressures her to baptize their child to placate his drunken, bigoted Irish-Catholic mother. The single mother, Miranda, agrees on the condition that "Christianity" not be mentioned in the sacrament. The show's narrator, commenting on the priest's willingness to perform the ceremony under such circumstances, says, "The truth is, in these troubled times, the Catholic Church is like a desperate thirty-six year-old single woman, willing to settle for anything it can get."

• CBS's David Letterman joked, "The Gambino crime family will probably fall apart. That will make the largest crime organization in the city... the Catholic Church!"

• NBC's Jay Leno quipped in commenting on Notre Dame's football victory, "I guess going to a Catholic school as a young boy, you really learn how to run fast."

• Bill Maher on ABC's "Politically Incorrect" said, "I have hated the Church way before anyone else. I have been pounding religion for nine years on this show" In another show Maher said that the Church should "drop the pretense and just go gay It's high time you gay Catholics stood up and announced to the world, "We're here, we're queer, get Eucharist."

Now, granted, anti-Catholic prejudice isn't new, and, as we've seen, the long march against Christianity in the public schools and elsewhere has been going on for decades, but what we can't ignore is that America wasn't always hostile to Christianity. In fact, Christianity used to be welcome in the public square, and was considered an absolutely essential part of America's public life.

America's Christian heritage is rarely taught in our schools these days-but it is a vital historical fact, and we will look into it in the next chapter.

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