William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, wrote a letter today to every member of the Oregon legislature, the governor, the state’s three Catholic bishops, the president of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the chancellor of the Oregon University System. The subject was an attack on Christianity that was published in a student newspaper at the University of Oregon. Here are his remarks:
“The March edition of the Insurgent, a University of Oregon student newspaper, was one of the most obscene assaults on Christianity I have ever seen. To make sure that the persons I wrote to understand how vile this attack was, I sent a photocopy of the two most offensive graphics: one was a depiction of a naked Jesus on the Cross with an erection; the other, titled ‘Resurrection,’ showed a naked Jesus kissing another naked man, both sporting erections.
“The pictures are only one small part of the March edition. Indeed, the entire issue is replete with the most egregious examples of hate speech targeted at Christians. For example, there are several cartoons of Jesus—including Jesus crucified—that are so gratuitously offensive that only the most depraved would defend them. Moreover, the two opinion pieces against Catholicism are patently malicious. That all of this appeared in a student newspaper, during Lent, on the campus of a state institution, makes one wonder what is going on at the University of Oregon.
“This explosion of hate speech was a response to a decision reached by one of the Insurgent’s rivals, the Commentator, to publish the 12 Danish cartoons that recently so inflamed the Muslim world. An Insurgent editorial said that because the Commentator published depictions of Muhammad so as to ‘provoke dialogue,’ they had a right to thrash Christians as a way of provoking dialogue.
“The tepid response by the president of the university, Dave Frohnmayer, to this outrageous incident is what necessitated my letter to state leaders.”
Contact Frohnmayer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kiera M. McCaffrey is the Director of Communications for the Catholic League.