A coalition of socially-conservative leaders, among them Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and the Family Research Council's infamous Tony Perkins, have sent an angry letter to Huffington Post publisher Arianna Huffington, demanding she apologize for allowing a satirical, anti-Catholic column to be published on her website Friday. The article, centered around Rick Santorum's Catholicism, was written by author and former Simpsons writer Larry Doyle, and compares Catholics to pedophiles, and describes Communion as a "barbaric ritual."
According to the group's letter on Tuesday,
"Larry Doyle's recent anti-Catholic screed in the Huffington Post, 'The Jesus-Eating Cult of Rick Santorum,' is bigoted and unacceptable, and a perfect example of 'flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric.' His column should be taken off your site, and you should issue an apology for ever publishing such trash."
In the column, Doyle wrote that Santorum has
"remained silent on his religious organization's various reigns of terror, in which good Protestants and others were tortured and killed in imaginatively grisly ways. Even more chilling is a possible connection between the Roman Catholic Church pedophile program and NAMBLA, which I discovered after conducting some research on the internet."
Describing the Pope as a "former" Nazi, Doyle states that Santorum has made "no secret of his plans to implement his leader's dicta on allowed uses of vaginas and anuses, but has said little about what additional dogma he will be compelled to obey."
In a slight exaggeration of what transpires during Mass, Doyle writes of how "a black-robed cleric casts a spell over some bread and wine, transfiguring it into the actual living flesh and blood of their Christ. Followers then line up to eat the Jesus meat and drink his holy blood in a cannibalistic reverie not often seen outside Cinemax."
In their letter, the conservative leaders say, in so many words, that if the satirical article had concerned the Islamic or Jewish faith, there would be hell to pay. But, alas,
"…anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable form of bigotry, and the Huffington Post is taking advantage of that bigotry for all it's worth. Bigots like Doyle think they can hurl the most contemptible insults towards Catholics ('Jesus eaters') and when called out, claim it was a joke. What cowardice. What a double standard."
Doyle, as you might imagine, being a former Simpsons scribe, was unfazed by the criticism, and unapologetic in a follow-up column on Tuesday. Defending his words, Doyle wrote:
"My criticism took the form of a ridiculously over-the-top broadside against Roman Catholicism, a demonstration of the type of vicious religious ignorance and intolerance I too often see coming from too many so-called Christians, especially Santorum. I hope (Catholics who are offended) will now think twice before they question the faith of progressive Christians, or Mormons, or Muslims. I doubt they will."