Ron Howard Gives the Catholic League a Piece of His Tolerant Mind
A recent op-ed in the NY Daily News penned by Catholic League president William Donohue touched upon such worrisome, apocalypse-hastening developments as S&M street fair beer sponsorships and non-opposite-marriage legislation in Vermont. Listed beneath those offenses was a stinging indictment of Angels & Demons "tag team" Ron Howard and Dan Brown. Placing the two men in the same hellbound category as a pair of leather-thong-wearing gay grooms, Donohue accused the author and director of having "collaborated in smearing the Catholic Church with fabulously bogus tales."
His issue: That the film depicts a 17th Century group of enlightened men of science -- the Illuminati -- as being hunted down and killed by the Church. This, Donohue insists, is nothing short of a hate crime perpetrated upon the Catholics by Hollywood -- the same Hollywood "controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular," words he famously spoke in defending The Passion of the Christ.
Howard responded today with a sternly worded defense of his blockbuster in The Huffington Post. He writes:
William Donohue of the Catholic League is on a mission. Whether it is a "mission from God," as the Blues Brothers would say, only God knows, but the goal of his mission is clear: to paint me and the movie I directed, Angels & Demons, as anti-Catholic....Let me be clear: neither I nor Angels & Demons are anti-Catholic. And let me be a little controversial: I believe Catholics, including most in the hierarchy of the Church, will enjoy the movie for what it is: an exciting mystery, set in the awe-inspiring beauty of Rome.
It's unusual that a director on the level of Howard would deign to respond to the rantings of a zealot who fires up the leaflet-press every time he smells a Hollywood take on Catholicism that doesn't feature "a Mel Gibson picture" or "starring Kirk Cameron" beneath the title. Donohue has already issued his reply; we can only hope the crowd-pleasing director can resist offering credence to the accusations by issuing yet another rebuttal, in which he defensively points out that the prequel doesn't even once mention Code's big reveal that Jesus had a streetwalking girlfriend with whom he sired several little Jesuses.