We've noted right-wing Catholic activist and CNSNews.com columnist Bill Donohue's dishonest campaign to blame homosexuality for Catholic priest sexual abuse of children (most of whom, he insists, were post-pubescent and purportedly weren't technically "children"), but that's not the only bad take he has served up lately.
Dononue attacked HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in his Nov. 19 column for purportedly "trampling on religious liberty," adding: "In his capacity as California Attorney General, he sued the Little Sisters of the Poor for resisting the HHS mandate of the Obama Administration; it tried to force the nuns to provide for abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plans." In fact, as we've documented, Becerra sued the Trump administration in 2017 for broadening exemptions to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and then the Little Sisters of the Poor filed to intervene and eventually became a party to the suit. In other words, Becerra didn't initiate legal action against the order, despite Donohu'ss dishonest suggestion.
In his Nov. 23 column, Donohue tried to claim Thanksgiving as a Catholic holiday because Squanto spent some time with monks in England (after he had been, um, kidnapped and sold into slavery):
Then there are the Catholic roots to Thanksgiving that Jensen and his ilk do not want to discuss. Author and host Eric Metaxas has done the best work on this subject, recalling the travails and triumphs of Squanto, a brave Patuxent Indian boy.
In 1608, when Squanto was 12 years old, he was kidnapped by English colonists and was taken to Spain as a slave. Fortunately for him, some monks bought him. They cared for him, taught him their language, and introduced him to Christianity. The monks knew the young Indian Catholic boy wanted to go back to America so they sent him to live with a London merchant, John Slanie, and his family. He learned English well, and after spending five years with the family, he boarded a ship to America.
Squanto arrived in Plymouth, Mass., which is where he grew up. He was stunned by what he found: everyone he knew was dead. Contrary to what left-wing liars say, they were not bludgeoned to death—they died of smallpox. According to Metaxas, the Pilgrims "basically adopted him." Lucky for them, he spoke English and was able to help them.
Meanwhile, let's all partake in "self-indulgent family feasting" on Thanksgiving and thank the Lord for our Catholic-rooted national holiday.
The fact that Donohue is citing a children's picture book by Metaxas as an authoritative source on the life of Squanto shows all one needs to know about Donohue's own research skills (that, and the fact that Metaxas has been exposed by historians for his shoddy biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer). Donohue also conveniently overlooks the fact that -- as numerous Twitter users roasted Donohue for -- the Puritans were fanatically anti-Catholic, which would seem to negate any Catholic claim to Thanksgiving that Donohue is trying to make.
Donohue served up another bad take in a Dec. 3 column:
He just won't leave Catholics and Jews alone. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is now telling Catholic and Jewish school employees that they must be at least partially vaccinated by Dec. 20. In Catholic schools, 88 percent of school employees are already vaccinated, making absurd the mandatory measure.
De Blasio's vaccination mandate on yeshivas and parochial schools is being done, he says, to treat religious and public school employees the same. This, however, ignores our nation's long history, grounded in the First Amendment, of extending religious exemptions from government edicts on a wide range of issues. To conflate public and religious institutions is constitutional nonsense.
This is just the updated version of the bad take CNS and editor Terry Jeffrey pursued at the beginning of the COVID pandemic -- that religious institutions are exempt from public health mandates. That's not true, of course; religious gatherings are not exempt from COVID spread simply because they are not religious. Similarly, Donohue offers no evidence of any faith-based objections to COVID vaccines. Instead, he ranted about purported "government overreach." And he went on to push a conspiracy theory about de Blasio:
There is something else going on here that is troubling. De Blasio's mandated vaccination for religious school employees begins Dec. 20. The last day of school in Catholic schools in the New York Archdiocese, before the Christmas break, is Dec. 23. De Blasio's last day in office is Dec. 31.
This is a ploy. De Blasio is intentionally leaving his successor, Eric Adams, with a lot of baggage. The mess he has created, on many fronts, will take months, if not years, for Adams to rectify. This is his parting shot. It is aimed not simply at Catholics and Jews, but at Adams and his new administration.
Donohue provided no evidence whatsoever that de Blasio has any specific animosity toward religious institutions or, again, that requiring religious schools employees to be faccinated is an attack on religion instead of a promotion of public health.