Institute Joins Boycott of Showtime over Discriminatory Film

Special to Catholic Exchange

Washington, D.C. – The Institute on Religion and Public Policy has joined with the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and over 75 other religious and human rights organizations in boycotting the Showtime cable network for their anti-Catholic program, Sister Mary Explains it All, the film version of the irreverently anti-Catholic play “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You.”

The play mocks virtually every Catholic teaching and stereotypes nuns as evil and idiotic. Among other appalling depictions, the show emphasizes vile, despicable portrayals of Jesus Christ. The director of the film, Marshall Brickman, justified the attack on Catholicism by saying, “any institution that backed the Inquisition, the Crusades and the Roman position on the Holocaust deserves to be the butt of a couple of jokes.”

Over 75 Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Buddhist, and other organizations have joined together in boycotting Showtime. Among those who have registered objections to the play are the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Family Defense Council, Interfaith Clergy Council of St. Louis, Jews for Morality, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Parents Television Council,

and others.

The Institute on Religion and Public Policy decries such religious discrimination, and calls on Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone to acknowledge the intolerance and hateful messages inherent in the play. Institute Program and Policy Assistant Christopher Gladbach commented, “We find these anti-Catholic sentiments to be deeply troubling. As an organization that upholds the rights of all peoples to practice their beliefs freely and without discrimination, we strongly support the Catholic League’s decision to boycott Showtime.

“To discriminate religious beliefs, or to discredit one or another form of religious practice is a form of exclusion contrary to the respect of fundamental human values and will eventually destabilize society, where a certain pluralism of thought and action should exist, as well as a benevolent and brotherly attitude.

“While no one denies Showtime the right to insult Catholics, it is also true that these partnering organizations will not be denied the right to exercise our First Amendment right in calling for a boycott. Any TV network that would allow such hateful programming to air is not worthy of our patronage.”

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