The Catholic League's Skewed Priorities

Department of complaints.
Oct. 6 1999 12:15 PM

The Catholic League's Skewed Priorities

Dear Mick--

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Mets again win!

I think it's being a little hard on Miramax to say it folded on Dogma; it kept its commitments to the film and to Disney by buying it (film, not Disney) back and arranging to distribute it independently. Transubstantiation makes you queasy because it's the consumption of someone's body and blood, or on more philosophical grounds?

In general, boycotts against works of the imagination as the primary focus of a political organization are suspect, whether it's the Catholic League against Dogma or the Brooklyn Museum, NOW against Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho, or gay activists against Silence of the Lambs, which is not to say that I don't think these things should be as vigorously debated as anyone cares to debate them, and in some cases more vigorously than that. However, even leaving aside what are, in all three of those examples, to me very valid questions of interpretation (I think--I haven't seen Dogma), given that the resources of political activism on the behalf of special interests are necessarily limited, I would prefer to put my dollar and my anxiety down on the side of protecting actual, real live human beings suffering actual, real live oppression, or the threat thereof. I wish that the Catholic League, or for that matter anybody, seemed to give a fuck about the fact that W. has presided over a state that's executing people at such an ungodly (as it were) rate, some of whose attorneys did things like fall asleep during their trials. In fact, I even feel like a wimp for having to try to curry sympathy for death-row prisoners by pointing out the procedural irregularities in their cases; I oppose executing them even when they are monsters in human form, because, while I can easily understand why someone would want to kill the murderer of their near and dear, I can't at all understand why someone would want to give the state the power to kill them--even if it's not being abused in that exact case, it's going to be, and probably sooner rather than later, as the much-publicized racial statistics of the death penalty's application demonstrate. Surely this is a more important threat to Church doctrine than Kevin Smith? I believe that Bush has a shallow kind of a defense in being technically dependent on the recommendations of the parole board for granting clemency, but he could at least pipe up, as long as he's being so goddamned compassionate a conservative.

Love,
Mim

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