Catholic League president Bill Donohue calls attention to the decision of President Obama to renominate Dawn Johnsen to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel:
Most of the critics of Dawn Johnsen focus on her strong pro-abortion record. While that is disturbing, a pro-abortion president can be expected to staff his administration with such persons, and no one doubts President Obama’s position on this subject. But it is an entirely different matter when a president selects bigots to work for him.
Dawn Johnsen is not someone who simply takes issue with the Catholic Church’s pro-life position: she wants to punish the Church. In the late 1980s, she joined a cadre of anti-Catholics to strip the Catholic Church of its tax exempt status. The charge? The Church was guilty of violating IRS strictures because it took a strong pro-life position. The lawsuit failed.
The person who led this assault was Lawrence Lader, co-founder of NARAL with Dr. Bernard Nathanson. (Nathanson later dropped his pro-abortion position, became a strong pro-life advocate and converted to Catholicism.) At the time the two men founded NARAL, Lader, according to Nathanson, liked to refer to the Catholic Church as “our favorite whipping boy,” maintaining that his goal was to “bring the Catholic hierarchy out where we can fight them. That’s the real enemy.” (Italics in the original.) That was in the late 1960s. Twenty years later, Lader published a vicious book assailing the Catholic Church, and it was at this time that he launched his bid—assisted by Johnsen—to break the Church.
This is who Dawn Johnsen is. She is a person who is so fueled with hatred of the Catholic Church that she would like to destroy it. Having failed to secure her appointment last year, Obama has decided that he just can’t proceed without her. How telling.
Johnsen is not the first anti-Catholic chosen by Obama, but she is by far the most extreme and the most dangerous.
Susan A. Fani is the Director of Communications for the Catholic League. This press release was originally issued on January 8, 2010.