Forward Thinking

Catholic League's E-Feud With Rabbi Waskow

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

The Catholic League has ideas about where one leftist rabbi’s nose should be.

“[Y]ou have stuck your nose in where you don’t belong,” Catholic League president Bill Donohue told Rabbi Arthur Waskow in a private email exchange leaked to Buzzfeed.

In particular, Donohue thinks Waskow should keep out of the controversies over a Vatican crackdown on U.S. nuns and whether insurance provided by Catholic institutions should cover birth control. Waskow weighed in on those issues in a recent Huffington Post column.

Donohue, a regular right-wing commentator on cable news, is the figurehead for the Catholic advocacy group. Waskow is a longtime political activist and a member of the Jewish Renewal movement.

Buzzfeed has the entire email exchange between the two, which Donohue began and ended. A few highlights:

Donohue: “Moreover, since when is it the business of any religious leader to condemn the strictures of another religion? You are not only clueless about the situation concerning nuns, you have stuck your nose in where you don’t belong.”

Waskow: “Would you also suggest I keep my long Jewish nose out of some Catholic priests’ rape of Catholic children and some Catholic bishops’ protection of those priests from the law, because I’m not a Catholic? Perhaps you would.”

Donohue: Ed Koch, my friend, once said that Jews had better not make enemies of their Catholic friends since they have so few of them. Think about that the next time you feel compelled to attack my religion.

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