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My Heated Argument With Bill Donohue Of The Catholic League

Thursday, January 8, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Bill Donohue wrote a horrible thing yesterday; “Muslims Are Right To Be Angry.” .  I have just concluded an interview that I conducted with him on that statement.  It was heated.  He is an embarrassment to the Roman Catholic Church on this issue, and should not be understood by anyone to represent the Church on this issue.  I doubt very much he will find even one bishop, archbishop or cardinal to stand alongside him in seconding his statement of yesterday.  He cited Raymond Arroyo as being in support of his statement, and I do not believe that, and I will seek Mr. Arroyo for confirmation or denial of Mr. Donohue’s statement.  But I believe the vast majority of Catholics would be appalled by Mr. Donohue’s statement.




HH: Joined now by Bill Donohue, who is the executive director, the president of the Catholic League. Bill, welcome, it’s good to speak with you.

BD: Well, thank you so much, Hugh.

HH: Bill, I want to read some excerpts from your statement yesterday in the aftermath of the terrorist assassinations in Paris. You wrote, “Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned.” You also wrote, “But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.” Skipping a couple of paragraphs, “What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed.” And then finally, you wrote, “It is too bad that he didn’t understand, the editor, the role he played in his own tragic death. Had he not been so narcissistic, he might still be alive.” And you concluded by saying, “I’ve never counseled violence. Liberty may be endangered,” you quote Madison as saying, “by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.” Do you stand by this statement, Bill?

BD: Yeah, in fact, I’ve magnified it here today, so my, the title of my new one is called Charlie Hebdo Perverts Freedom. Freedom of speech is not an end. It’s a means. What is it a means to? Well, it’s laid out in our Preamble pretty well, but essentially what it comes down to is the makings of the good society. We have gotten off course in Western civilization into thinking that freedom is the right to do whatever you want to do. That’s a perversion of liberty, that we’re not just talking here about satire. If that’s all it was, then you know, forget about it. we’re talking about depictions that are so obscene, so scatological, that no one would show it on TV or certainly in a newspaper. So I’m not saying that these Muslim barbarians are somehow exculpated. No, go out and get them. I hope they throw the book at these people. We have a serious problem with crazed Muslims in the Western world. I’m simply saying there’s a separate issue, it’s related, but it’s parallel. Is there anything going on that unnecessarily abuses freedom and provokes not just the crazies? I’m talking about millions of Muslims themselves who look at America and say this is your idea of freedom, insulting people, the equivalent of putting your middle finger in our face every day and calling it freedom? These guys in Paris were no champions of liberty. So I’m simply saying that freedom property understood is not something I would want to be identified with these guys for.

HH: Now Bill, I’ve often agreed with you over the years, because like you, I’m an orthodox Catholic, went to confession on Saturday, Mass on Saturday night. I don’t believe, except maybe perhaps vis-à-vis Dennis Prager, I’ve committed any mortal sins in the interim, so I think I’m in good standing with the Church right now. And I have to say I’m appalled, and I’m embarrassed, and I’m urging you to rethink this, because it is a deep…

BD: Where did I go wrong, Hugh?

HH: You blamed the victim before their bodies were cold. You…

BD: I didn’t blame the victim at all. That’s not exactly what I said.

HH: Actually, I quoted to you. “It’s too bad that Stephane Charbonnier, did not understand the role he played in his tragic death. Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.” That’s…

BD: Well, why didn’t you read what was in front of that?

HH: I read it already. I mean, that’s, but that’s…

BD: No, you didn’t. No, you didn’t. No, you didn’t, because I have it in front of me. I have it in front of me. Let me tell you what exactly I said, and not your interpretation, or the interpretation of the New York Post. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.

HH: Actually, Bill, that’s not what you wrote. You wrote first, “It’s too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death.” That’s before that line.

BD: Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

HH: That’s blaming the victim, Bill.

BD: But the, he’s, had he not been so narcissistic, Hugh, he would say you know, even though Muhammad’s not my prophet, he’s not my deity, maybe I don’t even like Muhammad. But I’m not going to go out intentionally insulting people of another religion. Then he would have put the brakes on himself. You see, the crazy Muslims, everybody understands them, because they don’t put any brakes on themselves. Every time they’re offended, they want to kill somebody. And what I’m saying is this. People who are in the artistic business, or in journalism, in the dissemination of ideas, need to put brakes on themselves as well.

HH: Bill, you are…

BD: No right is absolute.

HH: You are, I think everybody understands one thing. Everyone listening to this show believes that you are blaming the victim before their bodies were cold. It’s deeply embarrassing to me as a Catholic that an organization that has…

BD: You should see all the cardinals and bishops…

HH: Can I finish for a second?

BD: …that write back to me who don’t agree with you.

HH: Can I just stop for a second? I don’t believe any cardinal or archbishop in the United States has stood up and said I agree with Bill Donohue’s statement.

BD: They’re calling me up.

HH: Have one of them go public.

BD: What are you talking about?

HH: Have one of them go public. I don’t believe it, Bill. I do not believe you. I think you are lying right now.

BD: Oh, okay. That’s good.

HH: I do.

BD: Because you see, in other words, you can’t deal with me intellectually, can you?

HH: Oh, I’m so ready to deal with you intellectually.

BD: No, you can’t, because now you resort to name calling.

HH: Let’s…because I believe you…give me the name of one archbishop or cardinal who has called you up.

BD: Yeah…

HH: Do you have, will you name one?

BD: You don’t understand that…

HH: Will you name one who has called you up and stood by you?

BD: …freedom of speech is not absolute. There’s a purpose of freedom of speech. It’s not…

HH: No, but will you name…

BD: …freedom of expression. It’s called political discourse.

HH: You just made an assertion that people are calling you up. And I’ve been doing this a lot longer than you, Bill. You get an occasional microphone. You’re not going to bully me. Name me one archbishop or cardinal who has called you up and said they stand with this statement, which is morally offensive, repugnant and embarrassing. It’s a scandal on the Church.

BD: Yeah, yeah. I’m going to disclose to you? I’m going to disclose to you, a man who can’t even think rationally, the name of somebody who contacts me high in the Catholic Church, to give out his name without his permission? What world do you live in?

HH: So no one has stood by you? That’s an admission on your part, isn’t it?

BD: What world do you live in?

HH: The world that people that stand by me will stand up and say I stand by you. I’m just asking you.

BD: Yeah.

HH: I’ll call them up and debate them.

BD: Yeah.

HH: But can you name me one person?

BD: No, I’m not going to use any person in public without that person’s permission.

HH: You can’t. You can’t, because you have embarrassed every archbishop and cardinal in America with this statement.

BD: I think you understand that. What is the purpose of freedom of speech, Hugh?

HH: No, no. I’m talking about your statement.

BD: No, no, you can’t answer me, because you like me.

HH: You can’t answer me, Bill.

BD: You’re collapsing, intellectually.

HH: I’m not collapsing, intellectually.

BD: You cannot answer the question.

HH: You cannot pull that crap with me. I’ve been doing this too long. You cannot name one person.

BD: Look, I asked you a question. I can answer it.

HH: Will you give me one Catholic intellectual? George Weigel, Robbie George, anyone who has stood with you on this?

BD: Yeah, a guy called Raymond Arroyo called me here about 20 minutes ago.

HH: Will Raymond endorse this?

BD: And God knows how many…but he’s a public figure that I think I can use his name without mentioning others.

HH: Will Raymond, I will call Raymond, then.

BD: Now look, look, this is…

HH: We’ll call him right after this. Has Raymond Arroyo endorsed this statement?

BD: Look, let me tell you something. You’re losing this argument, intellectually, and I’m asking you a simple question. Now what is the purpose of freedom of speech?

HH: Bill, it’s not a debate. It’s an interview. I’m asking you. Did Raymond Arroyo…

BD: Oh, you don’t want to debate me.

HH: Did Raymond Arroyo endorse this statement?

BD: Of course, he did.

HH: He did?

BD: And so did many, many other people.

HH: Can you name me some other people?

BD: I don’t understand what you’re talking about. Look, I’m not going to sit down here in a tally with you, you know, who likes me and who doesn’t like me. I’m not involved in popularity contests. You may be.

HH: It isn’t about liking you. It’s about, it’s about standing over the bodies of dead journalists exercising their 1st Amendment rights in this country.

BD: Yeah, well don’t misrepresent what I said. Don’t misrepresent what I said.

HH: I’m not. I read it first, Bill. You are standing over the bodies of 12 dead people, including two policemen now, one yesterday and one today.

BD: Yeah.

HH: And who knows who else is going to get killed in France in the course of this thing? And you are saying that they were justified because they were insulted.

BD: Can you read the first sentence of what I said?

HH: I absolutely can.

BD: Then let me respond?

HH: “Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be universally condemned.”

BD: That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated.

HH: “But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.”

BD: Exactly. Exactly.

HH: Do you want to close down newspapers? Do you want to close…

BD: So you may think that these people…

HH: Do you want people killed? Do you want people killed?

BD: …who show Muhammad as a victim of anal sex, you may think that that’s important discourse.

HH: What? What did you just say? What did you just say?

BD: I said you may think that showing Muhammad as a victim of anal intercourse in a cartoon is somehow contributing to important dialogue and civility. I do not. That’s an abuse of freedom. Why don’t you inform yourself and educate yourself before you try and debate me, which you’re not doing too well about, and take a look at the cartoons.

HH: Bill, I think I’m doing okay. I’ll stand by my side. I want to ask you again…

BD: Take a look at the cartoons.

HH: When you say, “Neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction, what would you have society do? Imprison people who speak that which you do not agree with?

BD: Well, I’m glad you asked me a question that I can answer now. I can tell you think. I think people should put brakes on themselves. When freedom is not the…

HH: But if they don’t, what would you have society do?

BD: Freedom was meant to be enjoyed, and enjoyed with how it’s absolute is going to pervert its intrinsic meaning.

HH: You really can’t answer a question, can you? You are incapable of answering a question. You are now caught in a box, because people are condemning you…

BD: No, I’m not. You don’t even understand Constitutional Law. I’ve taught Constitutional Law.

HH: …and you won’t answer a question. What would you have society do when you don’t like something? You know, when Piss Christ comes out, I believe in marching outside of it, but not shutting down the museum. What would you have people do?

BD: Let me tell you something. I’m the one who organized the demonstration against Piss Christ, not you.

HH: Oh, good. Hooray. You get a one clap at a golf course.

BD: I’m the one who organized the demonstration on the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

HH: Double hooray. You get two claps.

BD: I don’t need lectures from somebody who’s a chowderhead about how to run a civil rights organization.

HH: I am lecturing. You do need a lecture. You do not understand the 1st Amendment. You have no clue what an embarrassment you are to Catholics with this. You don’t have a clue what you have done with this thing.

BD: I wish you could confront me intellectually, if you can.

HH: Do you know that these people are killing Catholics and Copts and Yazidis?

BD: Yeah.

HH: Do you realize what they are doing throughout the Middle East?

BD: I’m the one who has said a million times over people have a legal right to insult my religion, and I would say by extension, that of Islam or any other religion. But they have no moral right to do so. Do you get that point?

HH: Do you get the point that every Islamist…

BD: I asked you a question.

HH: No, I don’t, because I think it’s a silly point. I don’t think it’s…

BD: It’s a silly point? So if you, okay, okay.

HH: It actually goes to nothing to what you’ve done yesterday.

BD: So everything that is legal is therefore moral. Is that right?

HH: What you did yesterday is you provided propaganda.

BD: Wow.

HH: Listen to this, Bill. What you did yesterday is to provide propaganda to every single Islamist in the world who will cut this line out of it, and you won’t be able to deny it.

BD: Oh, yeah, I’m sure I did. Right, I’m responsible for them.

HH: “It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his death. Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.”

BD: That’s exactly right. And when somebody walks into a bar on the eve of a Super Bowl, and they go in there and they insult everybody in the bar, holy smokes. Are we going to act like little Casablanca-type virgins and say I’m horrified the guy got jumped?

HH: You are absolutely not ashamed by this in the least?

BD: Oh, not, no, I’ve expanded on it. You should read what I’ve said since that time.

HH: I’m just reading your statement right here. So has anyone called you up? Anyone in the Catholic Church?

BD: No, no, nobody’s ever called me. You’re the first guy to talk to. What world do you live in? I want you to answer my question. I’m going to go back to you one more time.

HH: No, no, it’s an interview, not a debate. Call me up sometime if you want to debate me. I’ll debate you. But I want you to go back and, last chance, Bill, will you name me one archbishop or cardinal who has called up and said this was a good idea?

BD: I will never disclose in public a private communique with you or anyone else.

HH: I’m not asking you to. If you can’t do it, fine.

BD: Yeah, yeah.

HH: But you can’t name one who’s endorsed this?

BD: I gave you one guy. You didn’t like that.

HH: No, I’m going to call Raymond. I’m going to call Raymond as soon as I’m done with this.

BD: Give him a call.

HH: In fact, my producer’s calling him right now.

BD: That would be fantastic.

HH: I would like to know, though, if anyone has gotten, will you go out and ask any archbishop or cardinal to stand by this statement?

BD: I don’t need to. They’re coming to me.

HH: Will you ask any archbishop or cardinal to come out and stand with you on this statement, as they would on the Brooklyn Museum, as they would, as I would have on the Brooklyn Museum?

BD: You don’t seem to understand what the Catholic League does.

HH: No, I’m asking…

BD: We’re independent of the Church. We’re a 501c3.

HH: I understand that. It’s a moneymaking operation.

BD: We have the support of the bishops.

HH: You’re doing just great, Bill. You’re selling books, and you’re doing fine, and you get on TV. But you’re a scandal on the Church.

BD: Yeah, thank you so much.

HH: You are absolutely…your insensitivity to these dead victims and their families, and to the people who defend them, and to everyone who’s being prosecuted and persecuted in the Middle East, is a scandal on the Church. You are in a position…

BD: It’s too bad you can’t, you don’t understand the difference between legality and morality, and that tells me volumes about the way you think.

HH: Great. You can judge me all you want, because your judgment is so flawed, I don’t care if you think I’m a criminal.

BD: Oh, that’s exactly right.

HH: All I want you to do is come up with some evidence.

BD: Criminal? Now I’m the one who’s criminal. What about my freedom of speech?

HH: You’ve got every freedom of speech. I called you up. You can talk at length.

BD: What do mean, criminal?

HH: I want you to come up with evidence that you stand for anything that has Catholic in its name…

BD: Are you going to call the cops?

HH: …because I do not believe you do until you apologize for this.

BD: Well, why don’t you go onto our website and see all the cardinals who have endorsed this.

HH: It is a, I’m not going to give you any traffic. I’m not going to give you any attention until you apologize for this. It is an outrage.

BD: Well, you’re going to be, it’s going to be a cold day in hell before you’re going to get any apology out of me for this. But why don’t you go check our website?

HH: I have no interest in doing anything to support an organization…

BD: No interest, no interest in the cardinals who love the Catholic League. Looks like you’re the odd man out.

HH: …that will stand over the dead bodies of 12 innocent people and the police that defended them.

BD: Right.

HH: What about that policeman on the sidewalk, Bill Donohue?

BD: Yeah, he was killed by these barbarians which I’ve condemned. What else do you want…

HH: And defending the freedom of the people…

BD: What don’t you understand?

HH: What don’t you understand about the 1st Amendment? Do you believe there’s a right to censor cartoons even if they offend you?

BD: As a matter of fact, I’ve said just the opposite, that that’s the wrong remedy. I’m asking for self-censorship, for people to put the brakes on themselves, as they do every day. I can’t go on television and use the literal meaning of the N word, because I’m going to be bleeped. The New York Times is not going to publish the pictures of the Danish cartoons, even though they are inoffensive, unlike the scatological commentary that Charlie Hebdo does.

HH: Do you understand what a chilling effect is?

BD: Everybody believes in freedom should put a brake on itself.

HH: Do you understand what a chilling effect is?

BD: Yes, oh, listen, I’ve written, I’ve taught the 1st Amendment, sir.

HH: I wouldn’t have wanted to have been in that class.

BD: Have you taught the 1st Amendment?

HH: I would be very afraid of being in that class.

BD: Have you taught the 1st Amendment to graduate students?

HH: Yes, I have, every day, for 20 years.

BD: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m sorry. Look, you’re a talking head.

HH: Bill, did you know that?

BD: You need to be better informed when you debate me.

HH: I’m a professor of law. I’ve been teaching this for 20 years.

BD: You need to become educated.

HH: Did you know that?

BD: You need to be educated when you’re debating. You’re not doing very well, Hugh.

HH: It’s just an easy question. It’s not like algebra. Did you know that I’m a Con Law professor?

BD: Did I know who?

HH: Did you know that I was a Con Law professor?

BD: You are?

HH: Yeah.

BD: Oh, really? What books have you written? I can tell you my ones.

HH: No, I just want to know. You did not know? That’s okay. I just wanted you to understand that you’re arguing with someone who teaches this. And what you’re talking about is…

BD: Right, right. What books have you written on Constitutional Law?

HH: I would, again, it’s an interview, not a debate. I’ll be happy to do that in a debate sometime.

BD: Nothing. Nothing.

HH: Bill, you go ahead. And go online and look.

BD: When you get around to writing the books that I have about the American Civil Liberties Union, two of them, plus a PhD dissertation, and advising presidents on this subject, then give me a call and we’ll have a debate.

HH: Which president have you advised on this subject?

BD: George Bush 41 in 1988 when Dukakis made an issue out of him being a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

HH: And how did you do that?

BD: Where do you think Bush got all the information on the ACLU? I was at the Heritage Foundation at the time.

HH: So tell me…

BD: I had written my first book on the ACLU at that point, and then I came back a couple of years later and wrote another book on the ACLU.

HH: And did the President of the United States…

BD: And look, and they regard child pornography as freedom of speech. Would you regard child pornography as freedom of speech?

HH: It is not freedom of speech, as anyone knows.

BD: Okay, now we’re making progress.

HH: But I am asking you, Bill Donohue, why do you have to divert from what you have done here? You have dug a hole. The first rule of holes is say I’m sorry.

BD: I didn’t dig a hole at all. I’m expanding it.

HH: All you have to do is say I’m sorry. You have to pray about this.

BD: No, no, I’ve expanded on it.

HH: I know you have. But you’re digging a hole.

BD: I’ve even more comfortable than I was yesterday.

HH: This is actually an appeal for you to stop and realize that what you did yesterday was horrible. It was morally abhorrent.

BD: No, it wasn’t. It was a very good statement. I’m glad I’m building on it today.

HH: It was standing by when the victim, it’s like blaming a rape victim for wearing the wrong sort of clothes.

BD: That’s right. Right. Did you read my statement from today?

HH: All I’ve read is the statement in front of me, and you’re standing by it.

BD: Okay.

HH: And it’s blaming the victim.

BD: Right.

HH: It is an absolute assault on these people.

BD: Well, let me, I don’t think this is going to change your mind, you seem impervious to reason, but here’s the comment that I made today. My position is this. The murderers are fully responsible for what they did, and should be treated with the full force of the law. Nothing justifies the killing of these people. But this is not the whole of this issue.

HH: It is the whole of this issue.

BD: No, it isn’t, though.

HH: It is 100% the whole of the issue.

BD: You see, that’s just it, Hugh, you don’t get it.

HH: What you do not get is I don’t care what they print out. It does not allow you to censor them…

BD: You’re thinking in a tunnel vision in Pinocchio fashion.

HH: …or the fact that you are…

BD: I didn’t censor them.

HH: Do you realize who these people are?

BD: Only the government can censor them.

HH: In the great sweep of history, you have decided to go onto the side of the barbarians with guns against people with pencils.

BD: No, the barbarians are allowing certain kinds of people to engage in toilet speech.

HH: You have decided to stand with the greatest killers, with the killers of the Church, with the creators of martyrs, with the people who are destroying…

BD: Oh, my.

HH: They crucify people, Bill, and you’re standing by them.

BD: Right, right.

HH: That’s on the side of the debate you find yourself on today.

BD: You really are an either/or man.

HH: Turn to your left, turn…what was that?

BD: You really are an either/or man. I didn’t know you suffered from Manichean Dualism.

HH: I know that you are standing next to the guys…

BD: Can’t you understand complex issues?

HH: …who believe they can shut down newspapers if they disagree.

BD: Well, when did I say that newspapers should be shut down?

HH: You did right here when you said it’s too bad they didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death.

BD: What? Yeah, had he put some brakes on himself, he’d still be alive.

HH: He played no role in his…what, he played no role in his death. He was at work, working.

BD: Oh, no, no, no. That’s why you don’t understand.

HH: You don’t understand moral agency.

BD: I’m trying to cut down on the deaths by these crazy Muslims, and you don’t get it.

HH: Explain to me his agency in his own death.

BD: You don’t get it.

HH: That’s what you wrote. Tell me the moral agency there. “It’s too bad he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death.”

BD: That’s right.

HH: What role did he play?

BD: He didn’t put the brakes on himself. He wouldn’t go out and insult people.

HH: He what?

BD: He wouldn’t go out and insult people.

HH: And so you can’t insult people, or if you insult people, you play a role in your own death? Have I insulted you? Do you have the right to come in here and kill me in my studio?

BD: Oh, well, I think you know the answer to that, so why even beg the question?

HH: So I’m putting it, because you cannot defend the line you’ve drawn. Any kind of pressure on this line collapses.

BD: I can defend both of my news releases on this. I’m very proud of it, and I’m very happy by the response from the clergy, from cardinals and bishops.

HH: You gave me Raymond Arroyo. Who else?

BD: …from the Supreme Court of the United States…

HH: Okay, I only said archbishops or cardinals.

BD: And I’m so happy that on my website, we have the support of all these bishops and cardinals.

HH: I only said cardinals and archbishops. Which priest has stood up with you and said…

BD: It’s a shame that you won’t listen. If you want to see the public endorsements, go on my website.

HH: No, of this statement. Not of the Catholic League, which until yesterday, I could say did good work. But this is so appalling, I can’t say that anymore.

BD: Well, just don’t twist my words, though, to think it’s an ideological agenda here.

HH: I just read your words. I haven’t twisted your words. I’ll read them again.

BD: Yeah.

HH: “Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role that he played in his tragic death.” Which priest in the United States of America agrees with that? One?

BD: Boy, oh boy. You still won’t be honest.

HH: One?

BD: You lied again to your own listeners. You will never finish what I said after that, will you?

HH: “In 2012, when he asked why he insults Muslims…”

BD: Now we’re making progress.

HH: …”He said Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.”

BD: Right.

HH: “Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.”

BD: Correct.

HH: “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.”

BD: Thank you.

HH: So which priest agrees with that?

BD: That’s a very good statement.

HH: One priest? One…

BD: I’m very, very happy with that statement, and I’m glad…

HH: One member of the clergy who agrees with that statement? Can you name me one?

BD: Oh, many of them. They keep coming in, high-ranking ones. I even heard from one in Rome. I’m not making this up.

HH: And I just need one. One priest. Give me one name.

BD: Yeah, I’m going to go on with Hugh Hewitt, who doesn’t understand the difference between legality and morality, and then tell people who have contacted me privately that they can, I can go public with them. Maybe that’s your sense of morality. It’s certainly not mine.

HH: I understand the difference between one and none.

BD: Not, it’s not like that, morality.

HH: And so does everybody listening, Bill. You haven’t got anyone standing with you on this.

BD: Is that right?

HH: Nobody.

BD: Well, I beg to differ. I work here at the Catholic League. You don’t. You’re…

HH: And if you were out there alone, indulge me in a hypothetical…

BD: No, I’m not out there alone. I have a lot of support.

HH: If you couldn’t find any priest or archbishop…

BD: Is that right?

HH: …or cardinals, if you couldn’t find one to stand with you, what would that say about that on which…

BD: I wonder how many would stand with you in misinterpreting the idea of freedom.

HH: Bill, it’s a simple question. What would be the conclusion?

BD: If in defending the views of freedom, Madison, certainly, I quoted him correctly. Let’s see what he said.

HH: What would be the conclusion? Bill…

BD: Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power. What did Madison mean?

HH: Bill, your bluster is all the revelation anyone needs. I’m just saying if not one archbishop or cardinal stands up with you today or tomorrow…

BD: Oh, yes, they do. Yes, they do.

HH: What would that say about you?

BD: But because I won’t reveal all these names of people who have contacted me privately, and you can’t debate me intellectually, you’re not doing very well at that.

HH: Bill, you’re sidestepping it again.

BD: I’ve heard you on other shows do a lot better.

HH: If not one person…

BD: This is not your shtick.

HH: If one…

BD: And if you are a Constitutional Law professor, or whatever you claim to be, why haven’t you written any books about the subject? I have.

HH: What is the results that someone should conclude if not one archbishop and cardinal will come out and say…

BD: Why haven’t you? Wow, that’s a tired refrain. We still don’t know the difference between legality and morality. You don’t know what the concept of freedom means.

HH: Can you give me an answer? I’m just giving you the floor.

BD: This is not a good day for you, Hugh. Not a good day.

HH: If not, if no one will stand with you, what ought the public to conclude about that which you’ve said?

BD: Well, I think the public can listen to what you’ve said, and the public can listen to what I’ve said, and they can go onto my website, and perhaps you have a website they can look at what you’ve said, too. And they will come to their own minds.

HH: But if no one will stand with you…

BD: But they already have.

HH: …if no one having heard this…

BD: You didn’t hear me. They already have.

HH: Yeah, but you just don’t want to tell us which ones.

BD: Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

HH: You just don’t want to let us know.

BD: That’s right.

HH: Is it your magic friend, Harvey, in the next room, Cardinal Harvey?

BD: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You wish it was the case.

HH: Well then, just give me one. I’ll go, I’ll carry my argument with them. If you had any member of the Catholic hierarchy in good standing encourage you in this…

BD: Right back to this again? Who does Bill have in his little secret box…

HH: Exactly.

BD: …instead of you answering me like a mature man, intellectually, on the subject of freedom.

HH: I actually, I’m looking for evidence that you are not, I’m demonstrating to the audience…

BD: You can’t do it.

HH: You know what I’m doing, Bill?

BD: What?

HH: I’m demonstrating to the audience that you represent nothing and no one in the Catholic Church.

BD: Well, that’s good. I’m sure your opinion will really count.

HH: I just wanted them to know. Would you agree with me you represent nothing and no one in the Catholic Church?

BD: Yeah, yeah, exactly. That’s right. Yeah, that’s right. That’s why you called me.

HH: You do agree with that?

BD: I didn’t call you, sir. You called me to talk…

HH: I did call you, because I wanted to make this point.

BD: Okay, you called me, okay?

HH: You represent nothing and no one in the Catholic Church on this issue.

BD: Right, well, the next time you call me, I hope you’re more educated, and more informed about the 1st Amendment.

HH: and I’m hoping that you’ll be really ready with a list of people who stand with you when you say something crazy.

BD: Right. I’ll open my secret book tonight at Noon.

HH: Are you capable of saying, are you capable of reflecting on this and changing your mind?

BD: Right, right, right.

HH: Are you?

BD: I think you already know the answer to that.

HH: But, so you’re not open…

BD: But I’m very, very happy to the response I have gotten.

HH: …to correction? You’re not open?

BD: …to my very well-reasoned argument. I just heard from, just as we’re talking, I heard from a professor, a law professor from the University of Mississippi. No, I’m not going to give you his name right now. But I’m getting a little closer. And you live in this make believe world that somehow you’re right, and if somebody disagrees with you, they must be, there must be something wrong with them. I don’t.

HH: No, I live in a make believe world where I believe in evidence and authority, and in the Catholic world, I believe in bishops and cardinals.

BD: Right.

HH: And you ain’t got one of them, Bill.

BD: Right. And if there were no one in the whole world, would you then agree to debate me on the question of what is the difference between legality and morality, and what is the freedom of speech?

HH: I’m debating you on the fact that you represent nothing and no one.

BD: You can’t.

HH: …in the Catholic Church. Nothing…

BD: You know what I’m shocked about most is that you claim to be a Constitutional scholar, and you don’t know anything about the 1st Amendment.

HH: You betcha, Bill. I’m glad to hear you think that. I appreciate the time you took today. Make sure you send me word when one bishop or one cardinals stands beside you on this issue.

BD: Right, right. Thank you, Hugh.

HH: Thank you. Bye bye.

End of interview.

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