Pete Buttigieg
via Pete for America

Blowhard Bill Donohue is adrift again. The pompous hypocrite (Mr. Catholic is a divorced man) has always been off but ever since he got unplugged by Fox he has been untethered to reality. Donohue opines about: Buttigieg’s Religion Problem. I did not know that he had a religious problem.

Donohue doesn’t understand the math:

When it comes to matters of sexuality and the family, Buttigieg can’t persuade traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants, orthodox Jews, and most Mormons and Muslims, that he is right. His rejection of marriage, properly understood, and his celebration of abortion rights, will not get him one of their votes. So he is trying to appeal to the “religious left.”

About two-thirds to three-fourths of our society approves of same-sex marriage. Thus, according to Donohuhe: traditional Catholics + evangelic Protestants + orthodox Jews + most Mormons + most Muslims < 33% of us. And who is Donohue to claim that, for example, Episcopalian Protestants and many, many others do not “properly” understand marriage? And by the way, what makes, again for example, the Evangelical Lutheran Church part of the left?

Ultimately what Donohue is saying is that people who do not agree with him (most Catholics by the way) are leftists. How convenient.

Murkier still:

The “religious left,” however, is almost indistinguishable from the secular left: their socialist vision is what conjoins them. The problem for Buttigieg is that many in the secular camp are militants, and they don’t want to hear his “God-talk” routine.

So people who do not agree with Blowhard Bill Donohue are also socialists? That would be news, for example, to most conservative Jewish congregations. And just who are these “militants?” Oh, I know. People who disagree with Donohue. Pretty much everyone is against you Bill! They are getting out their timber, nails and hammers.

Referring to an op-ed by Kate Cohen in the Washington Post:

She prefers a morality without religion, arguing that morality is an individual attribute.

She is badly educated. Religion is first and foremost an expression of morality. This is true even of those religions which have very different tenets. While it is true that individuals may have their own moral compass, no society can exist without a moral consensus. This is Sociology 101. Good luck trying to craft a moral consensus that is not grounded in religion.

Nonsense! Religion is first and foremost a path to an afterlife. Follow the rules and you go to Heaven or Nirvana or wherever the dogma takes you. Human beings are desperate for a means of extending their relatively short life on Earth. Those rules vary from religion to religion, sect to sect. The rules define morality specific to that individual religious order. Now if the Hindus are right then I am in deep shit because I eat beef several times each week. Bill too, I suspect. Ever have a lobster?

The morality of certain religions defines immorality. Wahhabi Muslims hack off the limbs of some criminals. The Catholic Church was immoral for the way that it shuffled abusive priests around so that they could molest more children. The Vatican is immoral for the way that it treats LGBT children, specifically transgender youth. Orthodox Jews too.

Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia are all prime examples of nations that have tried to establish a moral consensus without religion. Indeed, they crushed religious institutions. Their record is drenched in blood.

So let us discuss Hitler’s Germany. The Holocaust was a product of European anti-Semitism which was fostered, at least in part, by Catholic teachings which blamed Jews for Christ’s crucifixion. The Church has since abandoned those teachings but Bill Donohue has a selective memory.

How about the United States of America? As warriors for Christ we engaged in ethnic cleansing, sanctioned slavery and then enacted segregation as public policy?

The fact that some malevolent dictatorships were grounded in atheism does not mean that dictatorships grounded in religion are beneficent. For example (and there are many), by the middle of the World War II, Franco stressed the unique “Spanish Catholic authoritarianism” of the regime in Spain. In South America, Augusto Pinochet of Chile, a ruthless dictator responsible for murdering many of his own people was a devout Catholic. So were many of the dictators throughout Latin America.

How about El Salvador today? El Salvador is an increasingly religious country yet it has the highest murder rate of any country in the world. El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are at the center of South America’s gang crisis and those are very religious countries. The problem might be the fact that their very religious leaders are also religiously corrupt.

Consider just one of the alternatives; Iceland which, by many standards, is the most moral country on the planet. The country is increasingly secular. In 2016 there was exactly one homicide. In fact the countries of Scandinavia are secular, moral and peaceful. They enjoy high public satisfaction and low crime rates.

So please, Bill Donohue, do not suggest that morality is dependent upon religion or that a lack of morality depicts the absence of religion. Those are falsehoods on your part. In fact, I would speculate that no force on Earth has been responsible for more death, torture, persecution and destruction than organized religion.

I do not know what the future holds for Pete Buttigieg. What I do know is that his star is in ascendancy while Bill Donohue is on a path to total irrelevance.

Related content:

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.