'Anyone Who Thinks They're Reading History Has Been Intellectually Raped'

J$P Instant Transcript! Bill Donahue and John Kasich take on The DaVinci Code.

From Heartland with John Kasich, March 19 2005:

JOHN KASICH [FOX NEWS]: A Cardinal leading the Vatican protest against the blockbuster book The DaVinci Code is telling Catholics it should be shunned like rotten food, because it's a pack of lies. Is the wildly successful book anti-Christian? With us now is Bill Donahue, President of The Catholic League. Bill, fascinated by the fact that a Cardinal now, close to the Pope, is speaking out against this book. Why?

BILL DONAHUE [CATHOLIC LEAGUE]: Well I think because the Catholic Church has been pummeled now for the last couple of years. There's been so many opportunities for people to read this: 44 different languages. And look, it's a good book; the guy's a masterful storyteller. But here's the problem with the book. He essentially is saying that the Catholic Church is a fraud, that it was only in the 4th Century that they came up with idea that Jesus was divine. Before that everybody knew that he was just a regular guy. I guess he was a carpenter.

KASICH: Then why do you say it's a good book, Bill?

DONAHUE: Well, because, the fact of the matter is we have over 40 references in the New Testament, 25 statements among the four Gospels, we have the Apostles' Creed in the second century, we have historical evidence that Dan Brown is wrong on this, and--

KASICH: Right, right. So this is like an Oliver Stone book, isn't it? In other words, it confuses things.

DONAHUE: Well that's exactly--that's right. Now look, if people want to read it and it's a good read, that's fine. I'll tell you one thing, though. Anyone reads this book and thinks that they're reading history has been intellectually raped. And that's the problem I have with Dan Brown. It's a little bit of truth mixed in with a little bit of fact and fiction. Alex Haley did this with Roots. Oliver Stone did it with JFK. And now he's pulling it off this time, but he's choosing my religion to promulgate his kinds of conspiracy theories. The Catholic Church is repressive; he talks about Opus Dei, which is basically a good group. It's not a religious order; they have this monk in there. Less than 2% of the people are even clergymen.

KASICH: Hey Bill, listen. Isn't this because it's just become very convenient to attack people of faith, the Church? Is that why? I mean, I'll tell you, you write a book like this about Mohammed, they'd put a fatwah on you. I mean, why is there this growing sense that you can attack Christianity or even Catholics?

DONAHUE: Well I think it's been this way now for some time in this country. There is a culture which is ripe for this. We can't even celebrate Christmas without the cultural fascists trying to stop us. I mean, it is amazing to me that you've got heroes made out of Ward Churchill, and Larry Summers is being kicked out of Harvard University practically. I mean, we really have a double standard in this country. It's censorship for people who hold on to traditional values. And for those people who want to say that you're little Eichmanns and you deserve to be killed in the World Trade Center, now somehow you're the hero. So yeah, some things have gone topsy-turvy. And Dan Brown has every right to write this book; he can do what he wants.


DONAHUE: But I have a request to Ron Howard. I wrote to him yesterday. When the movie comes out, put a disclaimer in the beginning of the movie, saying it's purely a work of fiction. He does that, there's no problem.

KASICH: Well I think Bill, look, we're going to hold the Church accountable for the molestation crimes, and I know you feel that way too.

DONAHUE: Absolutely.

KASICH: But when it comes to attacking fundamental doctrine, and combining and meshing fiction and trying to make it look like fact, I don't think it's very healthy. I just hope that people that read the book know it is fantasy. And when that movie comes out I hope they will respond to your letter. Always good to see you sir; thanks for being with us.

DONAHUE: Thank you.

posted: Sat - March 19, 2005 at 09:34 PM       j$p  send 

johnny dollar
The newshounds, if anyone cares, are up in arms about this interview. They claim that Donahue threatened to boycott the film if they didn't put a disclaimer at the beginning. If anyone can find where Mr Donahue said that in the transcript, they will win a genuine no-prize.
March 19, 2005, 10:56:31 PM EST – Like – Reply

The newshounds story simply confused some of the parties involved. It wasn't Donahue that is calling for a boycott - it was a Cardinal at the Vatican.
Also, the last line should read:
"Unfortunatly, it's the fanatics like THE NEWSHOUNDS who have turned this nation upside down with their toxic and irrational rhetoric and paranoia."
March 20, 2005, 3:45:09 PM EST – Like – Reply