I hear that Bill Donohue has a new book coming out. Miranda Hale has a nice piece on Examiner.com about it, and by nice I mean it trashes his very purpose and goal in life. She mentions his crazy outbursts – and even links to my story here on FriendlyAtheist about laughing at his accusations. But she brings up something important to remember:
As Galef says in his account, it’s almost impossible to do anything but laugh when faced with such ludicrousness.
But, unfortunately, Donohue’s nonsensical temper tantrums are not only funny. They’re also often hateful and dangerously dismissive of the First Amendment. Donohue has positioned himself as the voice of American Catholicism and he both courts and manufactures controversy in order to get attention and to further his agenda.
It’s a fair point – the nonsense he spouts shouldn’t be a laughing matter. They do real harm, and not just to my feelings. If anyone takes him seriously – and news outlets give him the platform to reach people – his twisted views are spread. To that I say: and that’s exactly why we SHOULD laugh, to dismiss his ignorant and offensive influence. If people see us laughing at him, it’s a powerful signal not to take it seriously. (For more on this school of thought see Myers, PZ.) Plus, the silly accusations are usually funny as hell, aren’t they?
To continue laughing at the punchline that is Bill Donohue, check out his press release about the new book. Look at who he quotes as support. Sing it with me: “One of these things is not like the others…”
“Wake up, America! The secular minority has cut the brake cables on America’s In-God-We-Trust-Mobile™! Not even all 43 of our Christian presidents can save us now.” – Stephen Colbert, host of “The Colbert Report”
That’s right. He quoted Stephen Colbert to bolster his argument. Stephen Colbert. The satirist. I know there’s a study finding that conservatives are more likely to believe Colbert is doing some kind of complex double-satire, but do they think he lampooned President Bush to his face out of homage? You would think Donohue’s press people would be younger and more aware of the act. No, we have to assume that he used the quote on purpose, knowing that many people – a lot of his target audience, probably – would be fooled. That’s a problem.
But still… I can’t help but laugh.