HYPOCRISY MARKS THE FORT WAYNE JOURNAL-GAZETTE
Catalyst June Issue 2001
On May 2, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette ran an editorial on the decision of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) to host the play “Corpus Christi” later this summer. It vigorously supported the position of the school’s chancellor, Michael Wartell, to defend the play as a matter of academic freedom. The editorial also chastised six state senators from Indiana who raised serious questions regarding the propriety of using public monies to host such an anti-Christian event.
We did a quick search of editorials recently published in the Journal-Gazette and found just how hypocritical the editors are. So we released a statement to the press, and blanketed the electronic media in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and South Bend. We are happy to note that Bob Lockwood, who lives in Fort Wayne, was able to explain the league’s position on TV. Here is how we framed the issue:
“On April 17, the Journal-Gazette ran an editorial saying, ‘It’s time for sports teams to rid themselves of Indian nicknames.’ It then cited as support for its position a report by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission condemning Indian nicknames. Two days later, there was an editorial on the controversial ‘B.C.’ comic strip by Johnny Hart that the newspaper ran on Easter Sunday: the cartoon depicted a menorah turning into a cross, symbolizing the transition from Judaism to Christianity. The Journal-Gazette warned that it would never publish such a cartoon again and even went so far as to say that by its definition, ‘anti-Semitic – or racist or anti-Christian or homophobic – comics can’t be ‘art’ except in some antiseptic, ivory tower and thus irrelevant sense.’
“Now how about that. So it’s okay to follow the logic of the Feds in banning Indian nicknames that local high schools adopted long ago, and it’s okay to squash a mere cartoon that offends the sensibilities of the editorial staff, but it’s not okay to object to staging an anti-Christian play at a state-assisted institution. It’s too bad ‘Corpus Christi’ wasn’t a comic strip about a bunch of Indians butchering the white man. Then the sensitivity kings and queens at the Journal-Gazette wouldn’t hesitate to reach for their censorial swords. But since it’s just Christ being defiled, this is simply a First Amendment exercise.”
The Journal-Gazette, while disagreeing with our criticism, nonetheless printed it in their newspaper.