David Caton: A biblical bully who just needs to shut up

Published January 14 2012

Perhaps the best way to get your hands around this latest example of theo-thugs gone wild is to think of local sanctimonious mouth foamer David Caton as the North Korea of faux piety.

For whenever Caton feels he's fallen off the publicity-hound radar and isn't being paid enough attention, the vicar of vituperativeness feels compelled to engage in some really daffy behavior as if to reassure the world he's just as loopy as ever.

Well, brother and sisters — he's back! It was this man of fleece who just a few weeks ago managed to persuade Lowe's, a Fortune 500 company, to drop its sponsorship of All-American Muslim on TLC.

Caton got his sackcloth in a wad because the series revealed Muslims in America are quite capable of living just as stultifyingly boring, law-abiding lives as Protestants, rather than spending their days assembling car bombs.

And Lowe's fell for it, acquiescing to the Islamaphobic demands of a single illiterate hate-monger who should have about as much influence on the affairs of the day as the defense minister of Groucho Marx's Freedonia.

Now, fresh off his Florida Family Association campaign to make Lowe's look like corporate America's answer to a cowering puppy that just piddled on the kitchen floor, Caton, the Ernst Blofeld of the Bible, has set his myopic sights on Kelly Miliziano, a history teacher at Steinbrenner High School, who committed the unpardonable, unforgiveable sin of (dare it be said) educating her students.

For several years Miliziano has invited speakers representing various faiths to meet with her classes. The idea here is to expose students to a range of ideas and beliefs, which in the end will serve to make them better informed, discerning, well-rounded, independent-thinking, educated members of society.

Miliziano obviously posed a threat to Caton's recruitment efforts. After all, if these kids learn stuff, well, the next thing you know, they'll figure out obtuse gasbags like Caton are full of hooey. And that's bad for the bigotry business, which needs a steady stream of lemmings to keep the flames of malevolence burning.

So when Caton found out Miliziano had invited Hassan Shibly from the Council on American-Islamic Relations to speak to her class about Muslim stereotypes, human rights and the role of women in Islam, the ayatollah of intolerance when into a full DEFCON1 liturgical lather.

Caton demanded Miliziano and the Hillsborough School District had an obligation to offer students a Christian point of view to debunk whatever Shibly said. But in fact Miliziano has invited Christian speakers. She's fulfilled her academic due diligence.

Perhaps Caton is miffed he wasn't asked to slime over to Steinbrenner. But inviting David Caton to deliver a lecture on religion would be like offering David Duke the Martin Luther King Chair for Advanced Racial Harmony.

The Florida Family Association is a cabal of one squirrelly little biblical bully, armed only with an email list of like/narrow-minded self-righteous fellow travelers who wouldn't know the meaning of faith, hope and charity if they tripped over it.

David Caton is a plague of boils on the community's spiritual life. Enough.

Perhaps a giant sign erected in front of the FFA bunker imploring Caton to: "Please, for God's sake will you just SHUT UP!" would be in order.

Lowe's can provide the materials — as a public penance.