By Luke Warm
Professor of Mendacity
University of Munchausen
There comes a time in the career of every Professor of Mendacity — even those of us who have earned multiple PhDs in the fields of Duplicity, Mendacity, Deceit and Diversion — to admit that we have met our match in the wily art of sundering Truth and rendering it into constituent parts which all, all are lies.
Today, my lecture will honor one Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
What a mouthful!
How I admire this man for injecting deceit into the very title of his organization: “Religious and Civil Rights.”
Students, I want you to bow down before Mr. Donohue. This is High Art, indeed. For don’t you see? Mr. Donohue is invoking at the very outset the idea that child-abusers have civil rights, and that those who protect pedophiles — even if the protectors themselves are priests, bishops and maybe even a pope — deserve the right to deflower young boys and get away with it.
This is a master stroke, indeed!
Of course, Mr. Donohue is not at all about civil rights. Actually, he is all about sowing doubt and lies where shining Truth should prevail. And, of course, that is what this class, Media Duplicty 101, is all about. We honor Bill Donohue for that. As students of the deceptive arts, we must pay homage where it is due. Mr. Donohue indeed is a master of the art. In fact, if he were present today in this lecture hall, I’d confer an instant PhD in Disarming Pomposity and Mendacity on Mr. Donohue.
I cannot imagine a more difficult challenge than the one Mr. Donohue, the defender of priests’ rights to grope and rape boys, has to face. There is an immense mountain of evidence for the almost ritual molestation of kids by priests. In the early 2000s, there was a priests-molesting-kids scandal that rocked American dioceses across the land. Civil lawsuits against the church virtually bankrupted the church in some areas of the U.S. Now, similar scandals have erupted in Ireland and Germany — and again in the U.S, involving the church’s efforts to suppress reporting on a now-dead priest who molested 200 boys in a school for the deaf.
Indeed, it is not a mountain, but an entire planet of factual reporting from a multitude of media, not just one newspaper. The truth is that these challenges to the church are coming literally from the grass roots. We read of boys and their parents trying to get church and civil authorities to recognize that these gross sexual crimes were occurring. First the U.S., then Ireland and Germany. Seems pretty evident that the church, run by old boys, has a problem with some of its old boy priests being homosexual predators. Rather than protect its wards, namely the boys who along with their parents trust the priests to do what is right, the priests lie and cover up and extort pledges of secrecy from the abused kids. Rather than protect and vindicate the victims, the priests further victimize them. They and their bishops punish the victims and let the sodomist-priests off.
As I say, for most liars, that would be a challenge. But not for Bill Donohue. He demonstrates time and again the art of turning culprits into victims and victims into perpetrators. He adeptly turns upside-down an entire planet of reports, few complimentary to the Roman clerics.
There is a wonderful example of Mr. Donohue’s art in the March 30, 2010 New York Times. It is an advertisement paid for by Mr. Donohue’s machine of mendacity, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
To understand the monumental achievement of Mr. Donohue, we must remember that the reports of priestly crimes have come from disparate parts of the globe. It would stretch the credulity of even a Professor of Mendacity to believe that somehow all of these claims are fake reports that have been orchestrated by some one institution.
Yet that is the claim Mr. Donohue so artfully makes. I call it wonderful. Who would have thought to turn the tables on The New York Times and accuse the newspaper of choreographing scores, yea hundreds, of victims’ complaints?
It would seem inconceivable that anyone would believe such tripe, yet Mr. Donohue had the temerity to dish it up and even pay the Times for an ad that bashes the newspaper with false information about its own reporting.
This is the most daring example I can recall of mendacity waxing supreme.
Mr. Donohue in the March 30, 2010 Times:
Here’s what’s really gong on. The Times has teamed up with Jeffrey Anderson, a radical lawyer who has made millions suing the Church (and greasing professional victims’ groups like SNAP), so they can weaken its moral authority. Why? Because of issues like abortion, gay marriage and women’s ordination. That’s what’s really driving them mad, and that’s why they are on the hunt. Those who doubt this to be true need to ask why the debt-ridden Times does not spend the same resources looking for dirt in other institutions that occurred a half-century ago.
One paragraph, yet it contains it all: Classic deceit of the first order. Something for all of us to strive for as we graduate into the world of business, government and private think tanks if we are to achieve the highest order of brain-washing and prevarication.
Few will think to ask what a lawyer has to do with boys’ complaints from separate parts of the world and very different times about priest’s abuses.
Few will think to ask what abortion or gay marriage or women’s ordination has to do with priests’ groping and raping.
These are what we call “red herrings” rotten, lying carcasses tossed across our trail to mislead and dupe.
What masterly sleight of hand!
And the kicker! Wow!
Every piece of scurrilous propaganda must have a potent ending.
But to lard the conclusion with ravings about a newspaper’s financial condition, totally irrelevant, is an absolute stroke of genius.
The critical reader might respond to Mr. Donohue’s query about why the Times doesn’t dig for dirt somewhere else by simply stating, Why bother, when the church has so much dirt to be dug?
I wish we had some prestigious award for mendacity to confer on Mr. Donohue, because with this screed, entitled “Going for the Vatican jugular,” he has turned victims into criminals and criminals into more than victims. For Mr. Donohue and his readers, the priests who molested kids are heroes of the religious civil rights movement that nobody ever heard of until Mr. Donohue turned his creative talent for mendacity to the task.