New York, NY – Rep. Michael Grimm requested that the Empire State Building shine red in honor of the elevation of New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan to cardinal. Grimm’s request was denied by the owner of the Empire State Building, Anthony Malkin. Similarly, in 2010, the Catholic League petitioned to have the tower of the Empire State Building shine blue and white on August 26, 2010 in honor of Mother Teresa’s centennial; this petition was also denied. Yet in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Revolution, which was responsible for 70 million deaths, the building was illuminated in red and yellow in 2009.
Battle Creek, MI – In the Catholic League’s campaign against Jon Stewart’s “vagina manger” stunt of April 16, we made sure the major sponsors of “The Daily Show” received a copy of the image that was flashed on the screen of a naked woman with her legs spread and a nativity scene ornament in between.
The image was used in a segment in which Jon Stewart attacked Fox News for not giving air to the “war on women” issue. He then ridiculed the cable station for covering the “war on Christmas,” asking, “What can women do to generate the same sense of outrage from Fox as the removal of decorative slightly poisonous holiday plants? Perhaps they could play into the theme?” At this point, the image was shown.
Delta’s response was responsible: It pulled its ads from Stewart’s show. But Kellogg’s response smacked of anti-Christian indifference:
“We understand that our customers come from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, lifestyles, and cultures and we respect their individual decisions to choose the television programs that they deem acceptable for themselves and their families. Consumers speak most loudly when they vote with their remote control and change the channel or turn off the TV if a program does not fit their personal criteria.”
In response, the Catholic League went on the offensive, sending the indefensible picture to Kellogg’s senior management and board, as well as to community leaders, religious and secular, throughout Battle Creek.
Kellogg’s “Global Code of Ethics” boasts, “our heritage is based on a commitment to treat everyone fairly and with consideration.” The Catholic League noted that this apparently excludes the 80 percent of Americans who are Christian.
Pembroke Pines, FL – A group of 75 students at Coconut Palm Elementary was scheduled to sing “God Bless America” inside the local Wal-Mart on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as a tribute to the vicitms. When the students arrived, the manager refused to allow them to sing. The choir director said that in an “effort to right a wrong,” the students went outside and performed the song in the parking lot. But, when students and parents were already heading to their cars, the police arrived and said they were responding to a “flash mob.” The manager on duty that night reportedly called the choir a “liability,” and the store manager with whom the choir director initially arranged the performance was fired. A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart later offered an apology to the school on behalf of the company and said the concert would be rescheduled.
Ranger Up, an apparel company that sells “shirts for the military and the patriotic Americans who love the men and women of the Armed Forces,” put up a photoshopped image of Pope Benedict XVI on its Facebook page. The image of the pope was rendered to make him look like he is in the pose made famous by Marilyn Monroe in the movie, “The Seven Year Itch,” holding his cassock down. The pope is not standing on the streets of New York; he is in a tropical park. A little girl is running away from the pontiff’s bare legs. The image was also promoted on Ranger Up’s Twitter account.