For such a staunch defender of Catholicism, it seems that Donohue doesn’t know much about it. His views consistently fall more with Protestant fundamentalists, and I’m increasingly suspicious that he’s less a true believer with his head up his own ass and more a right wing operative trying to increase the political power of the religious right by luring Catholics into the fold. The irony of all this is that the agenda is basically to turn America into a theocracy where the rights of atheists are threatened. Trying to orchestrate the public firings of prominent atheists because they are atheists is part of that, as is the hat tip to a fundie-not-Catholic view of evolutionary theory.
Chew this over with me a bit. The reason Donohue is adopting fundamentalist Protestant constructions and tactics is because his aim, like those of fundamentalist activists like Dobson and the unlamented Falwell, is not doctrinal adherence or political advancement but personal power. Validation of his poisonous narcissism. A mirror to make out with.
It’s not about respect for the Communion rite or the wafer itself. Donohue could give a fuck that Myers disrespected the Body of Christ. He’s not in this to make PZ Myers respect the Eucharist. If he was, he wouldn’t be screaming publicly for Myers’ head, he’d be attempting some kind of education, with his own being a healthy dose of understanding that nobody is really required to respect your traditions and beliefs. It would be nice if they did, but by doing so they are basically doing you a favor. Myers broke no rule Myers is required to follow here.
This also isn’t necessarily about political power, though. That his advocacy benefits the right wing shouldn’t persuade us that he’s really a winger at heart. That his goals dovetail with those of all the greatest assholes of our time is a happy coincidence for them and for him; however, he shouldn’t think for one minute they’re gonna invite him to their parties once his usefulness has lapsed and truth be told, I don’t think he does. I’ve said before that lots of the “conservatives” on the wingnut welfare circuit would be liberals in a flash if there was an equally easy buck to be made there. After all, public conversions from one political persuasion to another are worth millions in street cred with the “serious” press corps, it’s just that the love comes quicker when you decide that Satan has better hors d’oeuvres and burn your Democratic Party badges and sash for a taste of Republican cocktail weenie.
What Donohue is after is seeing Donohue’s name everywhere he can plaster it, seeing himself on TV, hearing his voice raised in the wilderness, the lone arbiter of theological truth. Even other Catholics think he’s a fascist, and he makes a royal pain in the ass out of himself because he loves to hear himself talk. Taking it any more seriously than that with these guys is giving them more credit than they deserve. It’s not about religion and it’s not about politics. As with so many other tentacles hanging off the right-wing beastie, it’s about them.
Which doesn’t make it better, of course. It makes it worse.