Preparing for the papal visit to the USA almost two weeks ago, HBO's Bill Maher made some rather negative (to say the least!) and outrageous statements about the Holy Father and the Catholic Church.
For his April 11, 2008 live broadcast, (HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher", Maher said of the Catholic Church:
"In fact, whenever a cult leader sets himself up as God's infallible wingman here on earth, lock away the kids. Which is why I'd like to tip off law enforcement to an even LARGER child-abusing religious cult. Its leader ALSO has a compound, and this guy not only operates outside the bounds of the law, but he used to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats! That's right, the Pope is coming to America this week, and ladies: he's single! . . .
. . . How DOES the Catholic church get away with all of their buggery? Volume, volume, volume! If you have a few hundred followers, and you let some of them molest children, they call you a "cult leader." If you have a billion, they call you "Pope." It's like, if you can't pay your mortgage, they call you a "deadbeat," but if you can't pay a million mortgages, you're "Bear Sterns" and we bail you out."
Someone I know decided to cancel his household subscription to HBO based on this. When he called up the satellite company to cancel the HBO subscription, the agent on the other end of the line tried to persuade him that one month of HBO equals two DVDs. He stated that wasn't the point -- it wasn't about pricing.
The agent continued and asked what the cancellation was about. He stated that he was doing so in protest over Bill Maher's caustically negative remarks about Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church in general and the pope's visit to the USA.
The agent was quiet and then commented that she agreed with his position. In fact, she noted, she had just been working one hour that day and had already received over two dozen cancellations for HBO -- all for the same reason! She further suggested that HBO would likely be hurting over this.
The man who called to cancel his subscription is a Franciscan. And he apparently became an unwitting, yet willing, participant in a movement to boycott HBO!
What do you think about this? How might you handle this situation? Boycotting can be a very powerful instrument -- via the proverbial pocketbook! -- to bring about justice.