A television ad produced by the Louisiana Democratic Party accuses Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bobby Jindal of smearing Protestants; Jindal is Catholic. The ad says Jindal “insulted thousands of Louisiana Protestants. He has referred to Protestant religions as scandalous, depraved, selfish and heretical.”
To drive the point home, the ad flashes the following words across the screen: “scandalous,” “utterly depraved,” “selfish desires” and “leads to heresy.” On the screen, the ad cites the December 1996 edition of the New Oxford Review as the source of Jindal’s remarks.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue blasted the ad today:
“This is one of the most scurrilous smear jobs we’ve ever seen. When Jindal dropped the term ‘scandalous’ in his article, he was referring to the sad historical chapter that witnessed a division within the Christian house. To be exact, he made reference to the ‘scandalous series of divisions and new denominations’ that marked the post-Reformation period. Regarding the terms ‘utterly depraved,’ ‘selfish desires’ and ‘heresy,’ Jindal was citing Calvin. It was Calvin who warned against random interpretations of the Bible. As individuals, Calvin instructed, Christians were burdened with ‘utterly depraved’ minds and ‘selfish desires.’ According to Jindal, what concerned Calvin was a ‘subjective interpretation which leads to anarchy and heresy.’
“This is a fairly unremarkable exegesis. But to the twisted folks who lead the Louisiana Democratic Party, this is proof of bigotry.
“The ad should be withdrawn immediately. If it isn’t, Jindal should use it in his own ads to educate the public about the truly depraved conduct of his competitors. Maybe if the Democrats had a credible candidate (they still don’t have one), they wouldn’t have to get into the gutter.”
To protest this ad, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Whittington is chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party.