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Frontal Assault on Catholicism

Contact: Jeff Field, Director of Communications, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 212-371-3191, cl@catholicleague.org

NEW YORK, March 9, 2012 /Standard Newswire/ -- Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:

Never has there been a more vicious anti-Catholic advertisement in a prominent American newspaper than the one in today's New York Times by Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). The demonization of Catholicism is palpable.

The pretext of the ad is the Catholic Church's opposition to the Health and Human Services mandate forcing Catholic non-profits to include abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization in its insurance plans. Its real agenda is to smear Catholicism. Here is how the ad begins: "It's time to quit the Roman Catholic Church. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages?"

The ad blames the Catholic Church for promoting "acute misery, poverty, needless suffering, unwanted pregnancies, overpopulation, social evils and deaths." It says the bishops are "launching a ruthless political Inquisition" against women. It talks about "preying priests" and corruption "going all the way to the top." In an appeal to Catholic women, it opines, "Apparently, you're like the battered woman who, after being beaten down every Sunday, feels she has no place else to go."

FFRF is led by a husband and wife team, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker. Fortunately for Gaylor, her mother did not follow through on the advice she gave women in her book, Abortion Is a Blessing.

Not a single Catholic who reads this ad will be impelled to leave the Church. That is not the issue (Catholicism, unlike many other religions, is actually growing in the U.S., and worldwide). The issue is the increase in hate speech directed at Catholics.

Nothing will stop Catholics from demanding that the Obama administration respect their First Amendment rights, this vile assault by FFRF notwithstanding. Why the Times allowed this ad is another issue altogether.

Contact the "free thought" bigots at FFRF: fttoday@mailbag.com