We’ve been fighting every anti-Catholic newspaper ad placed by the Eternal Gospel Church, a breakaway Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) sect. The Seventh Day Adventists have also been fighting with the offshoot, but their chosen venue is the courts. Understandably angered by the Eternal Gospel’s use of “SDA” in its name, the Seventh Day Adventists recently won a round in court: a U.S. District judge ordered the Eternal Gospel Church to stop using the Seventh-Day Adventist name.
Meanwhile, our successive string of victories has come to a halt. After convincing many newspaper publishers not to accept any more of the Eternal Gospel Church’s ads, we hit a brick wall with the Fresno Bee and the Oregonian (the latter ran an ad by the Sweetwater Seventh-Day Adventist Church that is similar to the ones run by the Eternal Gospel Church).
Keith Moyer of the Fresno Bee and Patrick Stickel of the Oregonian are singing the ACLU song about freedom of speech. But this is not a free speech matter: no newspaper is obliged to run any ad by any group, which is precisely why Nazi ads and KKK ads would never see the light of day. Indeed, placing anti-abortion ads isn’t easy these days.
Moyer said he would consider an article criticizing his decision to run the ads. We took him up on it but we haven’t heard back whether he’s going to run Bob Lockwood’s submission. As for Mr. Stickel, William Donohue wrote him the following letter. He hasn’t heard back either, and doesn’t expect he will. Here’s what he said: