Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A New York City cheese shop, which attempted to be funny by posting a sign that compared their cheese to a sex act with Mother Teresa, generated such a furious backlash from the faithful that the sign was promptly removed and an apology given.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue kept readers abreast of the controversy which began yesterday when the Bedford Cheese Shop, which has locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, posted a sign in their Manhattan store about their Brebirousse D’argental cheese that read, “The texture is as close to heaven that we have found here on earth. Kinda like . . . . . on mother [sic] Teresa herself, divine.”
“If the Bedford Cheese Shop did this to some other religious figure, the owner [Charlotte Kamin] would be in serious trouble,” Donohue wrote at the time. “But she chose to defile Mother Teresa, which is why there will be no physical retaliation. They should nonetheless be punished by everyone, not just Catholics: a boycott is in order.”
Kamin was flooded with complaints, which she chose to ignore – at first.
That was before the stream of complaints became a deluge – some of which ended up on the company’s Facebook page.
At exactly 3:16 p.m., Donohue emailed the Bedford Cheese Shop saying, “What you have done to Mother Teresa is vile. Please remove and apologize to Catholics.”
A few seconds later, he received an email from the beleaguered owner: “We have received your email regarding the cheese description. Please be aware that the sign was taken down. Have a blessed day.”
However, this wasn’t good enough for the Catholic League. What about the apology he requested?
The complaint stream continued until, less than an hour later, this, too, was issued to those who had emailed to complain.
“We have received your email regarding the cheese description. Please be aware that the sign was taken down. We sincerely apologize for any hurt or anger, none of which was intentional. We hope you have a blessed day.”
As Donohue commented, “This is a lie—it was intentional. No matter, they got the message. Their decision not to send me the statement of apology was purely political: they did not want to appear as if they lost. But they did, and everyone knows it, including them.”
He went on to thank “all who contacted the bigots. Your input is invaluable.”
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