Ralph Northam Owes Virginia’s Catholics an Apology
Let’s be honest about Gov. Ralph Northam. He has a hard time saying he’s sorry and doing the right thing.
In the past two weeks Northam’s demonstrated that he doesn’t care about the right of Virginia’s Catholics not to be mocked and taunted by one of his appointees.
This is old news, but we were preoccupied with local stories last week. So I’m only now getting around to the colossal blunder made by Northam on August 16 when he appointed “ Democratic activist from Alexandria” Gail Gordon Donegan to Virginia’s 18-member Council on Women.
Anyone with a lick of sense could have told the governor that appointing a woman who clearly loathes Catholics and enjoys ridiculing their religion on social media has no place in state government. Even on a council that most Virginians don’t know or care about.
Apparently stacking Virginia’s commissions with committed lefties is more important to Northam - and Democratic State Sen. Dick Saslaw who was a reference for her - than showing a modicum of respect for the beliefs of hundreds of thousands of Virginians.
There are roughly 704,861 Catholics in the Old Dominion, by the way. Some of us are still horrified by the governor’s matter-of-fact remarks on radio about allowing disabled babies to die.
Northam’s most recent appointee used the Twitter handle “Satirical Alexandria” to delight her followers with Tweets like this one:
Imagine for a moment someone who had similarly mocked, say, Muslim women for what they wear on their heads. Would they be rewarded with a gubernatorial appointment? Or would they be roundly condemned as bigots?
We all know the answer to that.
But Catholics - and Christians in general - are fair game when it comes to condescension and ridicule.
Don’t believe me? Look at the abuse Vice President Mike Pence gets from the tolerant left simply for being a practicing Christian.
Not only did Northam put a person with this despicable attitude on the council, he defended the appointment after Virginia’s best newspaper reporter, Patrick Wilson of The Richmond Times-Dispatch, uncovered her ugly history of anti-Catholic bigotry.
Unbelievably, Northam continued to stand by Donegan even after both of Virginia’s Catholic bishops demanded she be removed from the council.
Finally, last Tuesday, Donegan resigned.
Even then Northam, being Northam, refused to apologize for the appointment.
When asked about his astonishingly asinine decision to put Donegan on the council, Northam only said,, “I just wanted to reiterate that I don’t condone that kind of language and if she had chosen to stay on the commission I would have encouraged her to refrain from any type of language that would be offensive to other folks.”
He would have ENCOURAGED her to refrain from bigotry? Good grief, the man has no principles.
When asked if Donegan’s appointment was mistake, Northam reacted as expected:
“I don’t have any other comment on that.”
Well, I do.
A minimum of research by the governor’s aides would have revealed that Donegan was intolerant and a hate-monger. Why wasn’t that done?
The Church Militant, a website that defends Catholic teaching, found multiple examples of her anti-Catholic bias.
“ Donegan tweeted in 2010 that ‘abortion is morally indefensible to Catholic priests because it results in fewer children to rape.’ “
Also in 2010, Donegan retweeted a tweet saying Christmas is "the one time of year the Catholic Church is allowed to focus on a little boy."
That’s Jesus, our Lord, Donegan’s mocking. Imagine if she Tweeted something equally blasphemous about the Prophet Mohammed.
You can’t imagine it. Because she wouldn’t dare.
Donegan defends these foul posts by saying she’s an atheist and her husband, “an ex-Catholic” isn’t offended by them.
Her attitude is contemptible, but she has every right to spew hate. She does not, however, have the right to a resume-padding appointment by the governor.
Northam owes Virginia’s Catholics an apology for this blockheaded move and his complete lack of gumption to sack Donegan once he learned of her virulent ideology.
Likewise, Catholics owe it to Northam and his friends to remember the Donegan matter when they go to the polls in November.