A top campaign blogger for Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards acknowledged defeat Monday after a storm of protest followed her gratuitously offensive commentary against Christianity and the Catholic Church.
Amanda Marcotte announced her resignation from the campaign yesterday in a posting on her personal blog Pandagon, saying the efforts of Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, were responsible for her decision to leave the campaign.
Donohue began campaigning for the removal of Marcotte and another virulently anti-Catholic team member, Melissa McEwan, from Edwards' staff after soon after it was announced they were joining his team, Marcotte as Blogmaster and McEwan as the Netroots Coordinator. Both women have a history of spewing blatantly offensive anti-Christian commentary in online postings, with particularly vicious attacks against the Catholic Church.
Referring to "Pope Ratz" as a "dictator," Marcotte wrote on her Pandagon blogsite, "Pope's gotta tell women who give birth to stillborns that their babies are cast into Satan's maw,' and ‘the Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics…it's going to be bad PR for the church, so you can sort of see why the Pope is dragging ass." In an earlier blog, Marcotte referred to "Protestant anti-choice a–holes," and made reference to the Holy Spirit's semen.
On November 1, 2006, on her blogspot Shakespeare's Sister, McEwan attacked religious conservatives as President Bush's ‘wingnut Christofascist base'. In a later posting she addressed the Christian community again by saying, "What don't you lousy motherf—ers understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds, and our families?"
The Catholic League pursued the issue on grounds of equality saying, had the comments by the two women been addressed to any group but Christians, they would have been immediately denounced as bigoted.
"The purpose of this communication is to ignite a national discussion on the incredible double standard that exists regarding bigotry in American life," Donohue said in a statement February 9. "We either have one shoe that fits all when it comes to fighting bigotry, or we have a phony, politically correct approach to the subject. That is the ultimate issue, not John Edwards."
Newsweek coverage of the controversy illustrated the double standard operating towards hate speech when applied to Christianity, Donahue pointed out in a statement Feb. 12. In the February 19 edition of Newsweek, Morcotte's and McEvans' comments were referred to as "criticism" of Roman Catholic and religious conservatives.
Donohue responded, "It is not criticism of Catholicism when someone makes a comment about the Virgin Mary being injected with semen by the Lord. Nor is it criticism when religious conservatives are called motherf—ers. It is hate speech. And these are only two of their incredibly vulgar assaults.
"Newsweek reeks of a double standard. In its December 11, 2006 edition, it said that Michael Richards had gotten himself in trouble for his ‘racist rant,' and in the same article it recalled Mel Gibson's ‘anti-Semitic remarks.' On February 5, 2007, it said that Isaiah Washington got himself into hot water for making a ‘homophobic comment.' In other words, when someone makes a racist, anti-Semitic or anti-gay remark, Newsweek labels it as such. But when obscene comments are made about the Mother of God or religious conservatives, it counts as mere criticism.
Edwards' responded to complaints by saying the commentary was "offensive," but declined to remove the two from his staff.
Donohue has pledged to ensure national organizations, both religious and non-sectarian, are alerted to the nature of the commentary issued by Morcotte and McEwan.
"We have a core list of approximately 150 Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu organizations that we have previously allied with on several issues. We are now in the process of expanding this list by adding at least another 600 organizations, many of which are non-sectarian…We have already received support from such groups as The Blue Dog Democrats, Family Research Council, Fidelis, the National Democratic Ethnic Leadership Council, as well as from individuals like Howard Teich, former official with the American Jewish Committee."
Melissa McEwan remains on Edwards' staff. In a joint statement with Marcotte published on Edwards' blog last week, McEwan said it was "never my intention to disparage people's individual faith," and that she was sorry if her words were understood in that way.
[Editor's note, these writing contain offensive content.] Unedited comments from Morcotte and McEwan as posted online.