The U.S. Air Force Academy is mandating that hundreds of students and faculty members attend a closed-door lecture on religious intolerance. It will also show clips from “Constantine’s Sword,” an upcoming movie. Catholic League president Bill Donohue registered his objections to this event today:
“The person pushing this agenda is Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation; he also appears in the film. In the mission statement of his organization, he stakes out a position against any member of the armed forces being ‘compelled to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.’ But evidently Weinstein has no problem orchestrating a propaganda film that trashes Catholicism—in the name of fighting religious intolerance—all the while insisting that the cadets and faculty be ‘compelled’ to attend.
“The movie is based on the widely discredited book by James Carroll, an embittered ex-priest. The book says the Gospels are inherently anti-Semitic and that unless the New Testament is gutted to the point where the messiahship of Jesus is rejected, Christian anti-Semitism will not end.
“The New York Review of Books said of Carroll that ‘He is not a historian; everything he has to say on the subject of anti-Semitism is borrowed from other writers, and much of what he offers as fact is in reality highly contentious.’ The authoritative interreligious journal, First Things, said, ‘He has no degrees in the subject and, to judge from this book, no expertise in either Jewish history or church history.’ Penn State professor Philip Jenkins went further saying, ‘He is overrepresenting his case in order to justify a ‘reform agenda’ that amounts to a blueprint for the annihilation of the Catholic Church.’
“We are sending copies of books by noted authors on this subject to the Academy’s library, and we will also contact Superintendent Regni to see if he wants more. Moreover, we are contacting Colorado public officials, as well as D.C. officials who oversee the military academies, about this outrageous assault on Catholicism.” Contact John.Regni@usafa.af.mil
Kiera McCaffrey is the director of Communications for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.