In an email to supporters Thursday, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights President Bill Donohue proved that the group is not conservative -- about their Christmas partying.
"Many label us conservative, but we're not the uptight ones when it comes to the annual office Christmas party," Donohue wrote. "We know how to party."
In the email, Donohue suggested that women should ignore advice to not show cleavage at such fetes.
"As long as I am president of the Catholic League, I pledge never to author such a draconian policy," Donohue wrote. He also mocked advice to stop serving alcohol 30 minutes before the end of a party.
"No way--this is not a baseball game where you can't get a beer after the seventh inning," Donohue wrote. "Indeed, most of us grab a roadie before leaving."
Talking to Whispers, Donohue explains he wasn't completely serious about the contents of the note, entitled "Office Party Rules to Ignore," but he was serious about the bigger message.
"It's a tongue-in-cheek statement against political correctness," Donohue said. He's taking a bigger stand on the issue Thursday night in New York City's Times Square.
"We're putting up a huge billboard to send modern day Scrooges a message to celebrate the Prince of Peace with a big nativity scene and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year from the Catholic League," he revealed, before turning back to his Christmas party mantra. "I'd rather have a party canceled before [having] people sitting around in a straightjacket about what they can do and what they can't do."
(He did suggest, however, that party attendees carpool or have designated drivers.)
Here's Donohue's full note:
Many label us conservative, but we're not the uptight ones when it comes to the annual office Christmas party. We know how to party.
Helen Sorrentino of The Alternative Press advises employers to limit office parties to "a few hours." I manifestly disagree—ours is open-ended and could go on all night. She says to "end the service of alcohol 30 minutes prior to the end the party." No way—this is not a baseball game where you can't get a beer after the seventh inning. Indeed, most of us grab a roadie before leaving.
Charles Purdy at the Orange County Register seconds the advice of some party pooper who says employees "should prepare a list of people it would be beneficial to talk to." I recommend preparing a list of people you want to ignore—that way you can have a good time. "If you're female," he says, "dress conservative and make sure you're not revealing bare arms or any cleavage." As long as I am president of the Catholic League, I pledge never to author such a draconian policy.
Attorney Stephanie R. Leach says that Christmas parties should be called "Holiday parties." That doesn't work. What should I say if asked what holiday we are celebrating? And what if some cad complains that "holiday" means "holy day"? Either way, I'm screwed. Stephanie also advises that we serve "plenty of non-alcoholic beverages." We don't have that problem—being a boozer is a condition of employment. Just ask Suzon.
Jo-Lynn Brown from the Tampa Bay Business Journal writes that Christmas parties should be scheduled "on a week night, when employees will be less tempted to overindulge." Bad idea. We're having our party tomorrow night, precisely because everyone can sleep in on Saturday. She also advises that we should not allow "employees to tend the bar." I agree on that one, but not for the same reason: If our VP, Bernadette, gets behind the tap, she'll empty the keg herself. Similarly, if Don or Mary Ellen tend bar, there won't be a lick of liquor left for the rest of us. And if Alex is serving...."
As for the group's own party, it's happening Friday night at an undisclosed location in New York City, where the Catholic League is based.
"I don't want any party crashers," Donohue told Whispers, explaining that the Catholic League Christmas celebration starts around 4 p.m. in the office with beers and gifts and then moves on to the main event.
"We happen to be Irish Catholics, a lot of us here, we're going to play to the stereotype," Donohue said.