MRC's Bozell, Other Conservatives Call for Catholic Basher Knox's Removal From Obama Advisory Council

In a letter dated today and a press teleconference held at 9:30 EDT this morning, Media Research Center president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell joined other conservatives in calling on President Obama to withdraw Harry Knox from the presidential Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.:

Harry Knox is the hate-filled antithesis of this noble objective.  Knox is a virulent anti-Catholic bigot, and has made numerous vile and dishonest attacks against the Church and the Holy Father.  He has no business on any Council having to do with faith or religion.

Co-signers to the letter include lay Catholic and conservative leaders such as Judie Brown of the American Life League, Kate O'Beirne of the National Review Institute, American Spectator publisher Al Regnery, Chuck Donovan of the Family Research Council, and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

A list of some instances of Harry Knox's anti-Catholic bigotry is available at MRC.org here. Knox's virulent hatred of Catholics extends from the top down, from Pope Benedict XVI to the rank-and-file member of the Knights of Columbus:

On March 17, two weeks before his appointment to the advisory council, Knox published a statement on the Human Rights Campaign Web site in reaction to Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks concerning condoms and AIDS in Africa.  The statement partly reads: “The Pope’s statement that condoms don’t help control the spread of HIV, but rather condoms increase infection rates, is hurting people in the name of Jesus. …On a continent where millions of people are infected with HIV, it is morally reprehensible to spread such blatant falsehoods.  The pope’s rejection of scientifically proven prevention methods is forcing Catholics in Africa to choose between their faith and the health of their entire community.  Jesus was about helping the marginalized and downtrodden, not harming them further.”

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Mar. 19, 2009: The Bay Area Reporter in San Francisco quoted Knox as following, “The Knights of Columbus do a great deal of good in the name of Jesus Christ, but in this particular case [Proposition 8], they were foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression.

"How can Catholics be asked to participate in a dialogue [on faith-based issues] when a member of his faith-based council is a militant anti-Catholic? There's no dialogue there," Bozell said during the press teleconference.

The full open letter to President Obama is excerpted below (click here for the letter and signatories):

Dear Mr. President,

      On April 6, you named Harry Knox to your Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  You claim to have created this Council, among other things, to “bring everyone together – from both the secular and faith-based communities.”  

      Harry Knox is the hate-filled antithesis of this noble objective.  Knox is a virulent anti-Catholic bigot, and has made numerous vile and dishonest attacks against the Church and the Holy Father.  He has no business on any Council having to do with faith or religion. 

      We do not know if you or members of your Administration were aware of Knox’s deplorable, abusive attitude towards the Church and Pope Benedict XVI when you named him to the Council.  We assume you were not. But since then, there have been numerous press reports on Knox’s loathsome, and clearly bigoted rhetoric, so there no longer is any excuse for your failure to act. We can remain silent no longer.

      As Catholics, we call on you to remove Mr. Knox from his position and to formally disassociate yourself from his militant anti-Catholicism. Failure to do so will result in the tainting of your Faith-Based Council—and indeed, your entire administration—as anti-Catholic.  We urge you to give this matter your immediate consideration.

NB Staff
NB Staff