Ignoring their own past, Beck and Donohue complained of "double standard" in discussion of religions

››› ››› ROB DIETZ

On CNN Headline News, Glenn Beck asserted that "[t]here is a double standard in the world today" for Christians, and Catholic League president Bill Donohue later asked, "Why is it that, you know, other religions aren't held to the same degree of scrutiny?" In fact, both Donohue and Beck have a history of making inflammatory comments about religions other than Christianity.

On the February 26 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck hosted Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights president Bill Donohue to discuss The Lost Tomb of Jesus, a documentary about the alleged discovery of the bones of Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, and "Judah son of Jesus." Donohue asked, "Why is it that, you know, other religions aren't held to the same degree of scrutiny?" Beck, who had earlier said that Lost Tomb filmmaker James Cameron was "officially running for anti-Christ," asserted, "There is a double standard in the world today. Treat Christians one way, but heaven help you if you try that with anybody else's religion." In reality, Donohue and Beck themselves have a history of making inflammatory comments about religions other than Christianity.

Media Matters for America has documented Donohue's derogatory comments toward Jews and Muslims, and also his tolerance of bigotry from conservatives:

  • On the February 9, 2006, edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Donohue said: "People don't trust the Muslims when it comes to liberty."
  • On the December 8, 2004, edition of Scarborough Country, he said: "We've already won. Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I'm not afraid to say it. ... Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost."
  • In 2004, Media Matters first detailed anti-Catholic comments made by Jerome Corsi, who, as co-author of Unfit for Command (Regnery, August 2004), was one of the ringleaders of the smear campaign by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) -- a Catholic presidential candidate. Among Corsi's bigoted comments: "Boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press." Despite the uproar surrounding Corsi's comments, Donohue subsequently dismissed the comments as "quips."

Similarly, Media Matters has extensively documented Beck's history of making inflammatory statements regarding Arabs and Muslims on both his syndicated radio show and CNN Headline News program:

  • During a November 14, 2006, interview with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who recently became the first Muslim elected to Congress, Beck said: "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' "
  • Beck mocked Islam by "mark[ing] the death" of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with a "Zarqawi bacon cake."
  • He described as "surprising" a letter criticizing Al Qaeda in Iraq because "the man who wrote it" -- Islamic Society of Nevada director Aslam Abdullah -- "is a Muslim."
  • Beck aired a segment mocking the names of several missing Egyptian students in which the announcer said that one "may or may not be accompanied by his camel." The segment showed pictures of crowds and pointed to random, unidentifiable people as the missing Egyptians. It ended with a reading of the students' names in quick succession followed by the announcer pretending to gag as he struggled to pronounce them.

From the February 26 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Anyone who got dragged to see Titanic or was subjected to repeated playings of that Celine Dion song that just made you beg for death and would never go away, while your moron friends kept shouting, "I'm the king of the world!" every time they found a good parking spot, you probably suspect what I've believed for years. Only a force of pure evil could have directed that film, oh, yes, perhaps even the anti-Christ.

Well, "The Real Story" tonight is that many people believe that James Cameron officially has tossed his hat in the ring today and is officially running for anti-Christ. It seems that the director of Titanic, Aliens, and Piranha Part II: The Spawning, has a new project, The Lost Tomb of Jesus, a documentary that claims the resurrection of Jesus never happened and that old Jim has found the coffins of Jesus and the whole Jesus family.


BECK: Now, by asserting that Jesus wasn't resurrected, James Cameron is boldly stating that the basis for one of the world's largest religions is false. But what strikes me even more offensive is that this insult would be intolerable if it was said about any other religion. Can you imagine the firestorm if James Cameron would have said that, you know, I don't know, the foundation of Buddhism was false? Can you imagine Richard Gere all hacked off? Or Islam?

Why is it that Christians are still fair game? The only group where repeated, vicious attacks are allowed. Write a bestselling book like The Da Vinci Code, and you make millions of dollars. Publish a political cartoon about Muhammad, and the world stops turning, as Muslims take to the streets, crying discrimination and intolerance.

There is a double standard in the world today. Treat Christians one way, but heaven help you if you try that with anybody else's religion.

So let me say what, in today's mainstream media, is unsayable: I believe that Jesus is the messiah. He was resurrected, and that he is the son of God.


DONOHUE: It's the only religion that I know of that is put under this kind of microscopic scrutiny, and people are just puncturing kind of, you know, little seeds of doubt here and there, when, in fact, they don't have any scientific evidence in the first place. They're just simply saying, "What if this were true? And then this were true? And then this were true, then could it be true?" I mean, come on.

BECK: You know, I was just in church this Sunday. And I teach a class on Sundays in my church. And, you know, I said -- we were talking about faith and what faith really means. I think this kind of stuff actually is a blessing to us, because it makes us re-examine what we believe and why we believe it. Isn't this kind of stuff, in a way, in a way, good for people who believe in Jesus?

DONOHUE: Oh, I think it is, because I think more and more Christians need to become more attuned to the historical truth and to read the scriptures. My only objection -- I'm not objecting to, by the way, to the idea that maybe we should pursue this.

No, I want them to pursue it. Use all scientific evidence. I'm a social scientist, not a natural scientist, and I'm certainly not an archeologist, but I do believe in empirical evidence. I think we should look at it.

My only problem is this, Glenn, and you mentioned it at the beginning. Why is it that, you know, other religions aren't held to the same degree of scrutiny? And after a while, a pattern begins to emerge, year after year after year after year. And you begin to say, you know, you guys have been in the business of trying to undermine the truth of Christianity for a long time. You've tried every little thing in the book to try and do it, and now we're back, now with the biggest titanic fraud of them all.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Religion
CNN Headline News
Glenn Beck, William Donohue
Glenn Beck show
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