Title: Secular Sabotage
Author: Bill Donohue
Published: Faith Words (2009); an imprint of Hachette Book Group
Category: Nonfiction; Religious
The only previous familiarity I have with Bill Donohue is seeing his face over the years on various cable news shows, most notably while decrying The Da Vinci Code and insisting the film include a disclaimer telling audiences that it's a work of fiction. Yup, he wanted a disclaimer for a Hollywood movie to remind people it was only a movie. It inspires images of General Motors demanding Michael Bay add a disclaimer to Transformers, so audiences don't get the idea that their sedans will turn into robots.
But Secular Sabotage isn't just about Donohue's objection to Dan Brown's novels--he only blathers about that for a few pages. The book takes aim at just about every facet of society he deems a threat to Catholicism and Christianity at large. What exactly does he take issue with? Anything containing the words "liberal," "secular," or "multicultural." Oh, and "gay." He's got a problem there too.
He does manage to preface his tirade on the first page by stating that not all liberals, non-believers, and homosexuals are bad. Only the radical ones. Only the anti-Christian ones. Mind you, he spends the rest of the book lumping everyone under a big tent of evildoers. And he manages to last all the way to the twelfth page before likening them to Hitler. Playing the Nazi card so early basically let me know what to expect from the rest of the book, though I got a chuckle from his taking offense to others comparing him and the Catholic League to the Nazis. Hello pot, meet kettle.
His incendiary rhetoric runs the gamut of just about everything you'd expect from a right-wing pundit. But if you're expecting to find something you haven't heard before, or something that you have in a better articulated state, don't hold your breath. Despite a few salient points scattered throughout the book, the rest reads like a grouch grumbling about those kids who won't stay off his lawn. His declamations of Hollywood and the New York Times feel like regurgitations from just about every other hard-line conservative crank.
The line of the book for me had to be when he addressed the sex scandal within the Catholic church: "The good news is that the scandal has long been over." Published in September 2009 in hardcover, I would be willing to bet the paperback edition might contain a few extra edits.
For a book that is subtitled--"How Liberals are Destroying Religion and Culture in America"--I guess readers are to infer that the best way to keep America safe from radical elements is by adhering to the say-so of the opposing radical element. Yeah, I'm sure that's a real recipe for success--it's been working wonders so far.
Bottom line: This book is an appetizer for sympathetic wing-nuts, as Donohue does little more than preach to the converted.