Catholic League president Bill Donohue recently made these comments on the Broadway play, “To Kill a Mockingbird:”
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a Broadway play based on the best-selling 1960 book by Harper Lee. In 1962, the book was faithfully adapted for the big screen, and it also went over big with the public. The play, however, takes liberties with Lee’s work, distorting her contribution. Indeed, parts of the play’s script are so unrecognizable that Lee’s estate sued the producers earlier this year over this issue.
It is not as though the play has evolved into a morally destitute version of the book—it has not—but it does contain a line, made up out of whole cloth, that insults Christians, and it appears at a seminal moment. The alleged town drunk bellows, “When horror comes to supper, it comes dressed exactly like a Christian.”
This line nowhere appears in the book or the movie. It was put there by playwright Aaron Sorkin, a left-wing secularist who has a history of offending Catholics, as well as traditionalists of all stripes. Some may recall Sorkin’s jabs at Catholicism in his NBC show, “The West Wing.” He also likes to associate Tea Party conservatives with the head-chopping Taliban. In 2001, he boasted how important it was to use foul language on TV, arguing that it was time to use the Lord’s name in vain.
Sorkin’s latest attack on Christians is not only gratuitous, it is a complete inversion of Lee’s intent. She meant her book to be a story about tolerance and the evils of prejudice, not inducements to hatred. And she sure didn’t hate Christians. Indeed, she credited Christianity for its role in combating bigotry. Her novel, she said in a 1966 letter to the New York Times, was “Christian in its ethic.”