Catalyst April Issue 2008
On March 13 & 14, The Cavalier Daily, a student-run newspaper at the University of Virginia, ran two cartoons, both of which were offensive to Christians. We blasted the newspaper for their bigotry and pointed out its hypocrisy, which led to the newspaper’s apology the next day.
The first of the offensive cartoons portrayed a crucified Jesus doing stand-up comedy as He hung from the cross. The second cartoon took aim at the Virgin Mary. It depicted her standing beside a bed in her underwear, buttoning up her shirt, as a man lay in the bed smoking a cigarette. She asks the man, “Come on God, be honest—Did you really get a vasectomy? I can’t let Joseph find out about this.” The man replies, “Well, Mary, you’re F***ed.”
It’s typical for the hate-mongers to surface during the days leading up to Holy Week, and the actions of The Cavalier Daily came as no surprise. Although it had been relatively quiet on the bigotry front this Lent, the student newspaper couldn’t wait to put Catholicism in its crosshairs.
This wasn’t the first time that we have had problems with this newspaper. In the Fall of 2006, we requested an apology for cartoons that mocked the crucifixion and indicated that the Virgin Mary had an “Immaculately Transmitted” venereal disease. (The apology was originally denied, though eventually the cartoons were removed from the paper’s website and a statement of regret was posted.)
We also called to attention the hypocrisy that the newspaper displayed. Along with the March 14 cartoon that mocked the Blessed Mother, another cartoon acknowledged that any depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammed are banned. Even last year the paper’s editorial board forced a cartoonist to resign after the campus chapter of the NAACP objected to a cartoon mocking Ethiopians. Also, in 2005 the paper was quick to apologize for offending homosexuals by remarking that the crane is the “gayest-looking of all birds.”
On March 15, The Cavalier Daily removed the cartoons from its website and issued a statement of regret. The newspaper also pledged to review their cartoon policy.
We are happy that the staff at The Cavalier Daily came to their senses and recognized that anti-Catholic bigotry has no place on the pages of its newspaper.