By Bill Donohue, $26.99, Faithwords, 258 pages.
Regarding Catholic dissidents, America's Catholic League president Bill Donohue writes: "What would make them happy? It's not clear even the dissidents know at this point. That is why they have become dissidents: they reckon that if they can't get their way, neither should the rank and file get what they want. Indeed, they'd rather be a nuisance than bolt."
Donohue, trained as a sociologist, writes primarily from his personal experiences battling against both Catholic dissidents and secular anti-Catholics – terming them all “nihilists.” A nihilist is someone who wants destruction for the sake of destruction. As Donohue points out, this contrasts with Marxists, who wanted to destroy capitalism so that they could build the perfect socialist society.
Secular Sabotage shows how nihilism has a particularly nasty edge to it. Nihilists don't take responsibility for their actions, nor have any respect for the Catholic individuals or the Church that they attack. They blame the targets of the attacks for the attack, much as Nazis blamed the Jews for antisemitism.
Donohue sees through the nihilist and radical left's smokescreens. These people, he notes, love humanity in the abstract, but have little respect or love for real people. They go so far in their disrespect of people to disrespect democracy, which is why such radicals rely on judicial activism in Western countries to overturn Judeo-Christian values.
Donohue as Catholic League president has had to fight a constant stream of lies and slander against the Church and Christianity, such as the claim – often made by Catholic dissidents – that the Church has more than 1 teaching on abortion.
Other lies and slander include: the Church has long opposed science; America's founding fathers were not deeply Christian; the separation of Church and state means that religion cannot enter the public sphere (when in fact, while that was allowed, the state's interference in religion was what was actually meant); the notion that pedophile priests result from the vow of chastity, when Richard John Neuhaus and others have correctly argued that if these men had been following their vows in the first place the pedophilia would never have happened.
Donohue's words often capture the spirit of opposition to the Church, such as the following: "Fixated on church-state issues, the ACLU has had much to say about paring back religion's role in society, but precious little about its free exercise. That's because the ACLU actually fears religion."
Radical feminists also hate and fear the Church and its stances on human sexuality and reproduction, and carry this hatred into the whole world, including the diplomatic world of the U.N. Donohue notes the "prevalence of anti-Catholicism" at the 1994 U.N Cairo Conference on Population and Development.
Secular Sabotage reflects the fact that Donohue is a tough character, which probably comes from having to fight a multi-frontal assault against his Church. He doesn't avoid examining the role of Catholics themselves in this malice, singling out nuns and sisters as having been particularly hurtful to the Church: "Most Catholics ... would be shocked to learn just how out of control some of these nun/activists have become." Donohue's hope for the Church and society is a tough hope. He doesn't seem ready to give up the fight just yet.