The Catholic League always struck me as one of those antiquated organizations—like the Iowa clubs of Southern California that held those cool picnics in Long Beach decades ago, or the Grand Army of the Republic—that might've had a place and cause at some point in our nation's past but now exist as relics. Anti-Catholic bigotry, today? With a Supreme Court full of 'em? Thomas Nast stopped painting Papists as alligators, oh, around the time of Tammany Hall. And the League's president, Bill Donohue, always struck me as a self-styled street tough who in reality was a lace-curtain Irish spinning dark conspiracies in press releases and newsletters to aging Catholics so they could support his annual six-figure salary. In other words, he's a pendejo who frequently trashes sex-abuse victims and their supporters, fumes about false outrages, and loves to blather.
So it was about time Donohue came up to the plate and swung at me—and struck out. Earlier this week, he sent out a missive to the media and the Catholic League's email list titled “Arellano's Dirty Hands,” in which he called me a “rank hypocrite” because…um, I'm not sure. He says I have “learned to perfect” anti-Catholicism despite offering no examples. Parse through his statements enough, and his sore spot comes to light: I write too much about pedo-priests!
Donohue dismissed my nearly decade-long coverage of the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal as “Father Murphy's alleged groping in the 1950s.” Never mind that I've never written about a Father Murphy (I have written about Pat Murphy, the Mater Dei High administrator who let boys' basketball coach Gary McKnight keep his job even though McKnight let a child-abuser who happened to be his former assistant coach back on campus last decade despite Murphy telling McKnight not to. Shadows of Penn St.'s own pedo-scandal? You know it!); that the Diocese of Orange has had its priests arrested for child molestation as recently as two years ago; and that the men who protected bona fide pedophile priests (shall I read to you accounts of the triple-penetrations that Eleuterio Ramos subjected his victims to, Billy Boy?) continue to operate in Orange instead of a jail cell—that's you, John Urell! And in a laughable lack of research that shows he probably got the idea for his press release from Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown, Donohue actually wrote that I have “never published a piece on the sexual abuse of minors by the clergy of any other religion. Nor has he written about the epidemic of sexual abuse in the public schools.”
HA! Other religions? I guess Bill doesn't consider Calvary Chapel a religion, as we've been on that beat for a while now. Sex-abuse in schools? So the disabled girl who got molested by a teacher's aide at Saddleback High, a molestation hushed up by school officials who had previously hushed up sex assaults on a school campus, stories ignored by the lamestream media until we exposed them, doesn't count? Or the other stories my colleagues have covered on tips I gave them? Laughable.
Best of all, Donohue tries to paint me as a hypocrite on covering sex-abuse scandals because my bosses at Village Voice Media run Backpage.com, where consenting adults, um, can hang out. Opponents have tried to depict us as encouraging child abuse through our classifieds—never mind that we have long-established relationships with local police and the FBI that allow predators to be identified and apprehended, and underage victims to be rescued. Our company has also run a year-long series on sex trafficking that seeks to demolish myths and identify the extent and nature of the problem—not the least of which is that it appears half the victims are boys. All that's not good enough for Donohue. Instead, he smugly writes about me: “He's simply not man enough to turn his guns on the purveyors of human slavery, namely his boss.” (Did he ever read our sister paper Phoenix New Times' years-long coverage of Warren Jeffs, the Mormon pervert? Of course not.)
Damn straight I go against purveyors of human slavery, Bill: it's called the Catholic Church hierarchy that continues to protect pedophiles, their protectors, and their apologists all these years later. And I can't wait to do it for many, many more years, along with all the other pedo-protectors out there, secular and not. Gracias for the love! And heckuva job, Brownie!