The Power of the Pen

We at the Catholic League are grateful for all the clippings that our members send us. Many times members send articles or cartoons that unfairly portray Catholics. More often than not they request that we offer a response. We often do and appreciate being alerted to these instances as we cannot possibly monitor every newspaper or magazine. But there is something else that can be done as well: members can write directly to the offending source themselves, sending a copy to us (at the bottom of the letter all that’s needed is “cc: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights”).

Here’s an example of what can happen as a result. When the Chattanooga Times recently published a widely distributed cartoon showing Michael Jackson as a good candidate for the priesthood, one of our members, Margaret N. Agnew of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, wrote to the paper’s editor, Paul Neely; evidently a few other Catholics wrote in as well. Subsequently, Mr. Neely had the graciousness to say that he regretted publishing the cartoon.

It would be wrong to think that everyone in the media is either anti-Catholic or unreasonable. There are many like Mr. Neely who, though they themselves did not intend to hurt Catholics, sometimes unwittingly give circulation to unfair characterizations. But just as important, they have the authority to rectify past wrongs.

So let Margaret Agnew be an inspiration to everyone. The power of the pen is not to be underrated. And remember, the Catholic League needs more than your prayers and contributions, it needs your input as well.

Speaking of Pens…

From a letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, written by Rev. John Jay Hughes regarding Anna Quindlen column on Catholics for Free Choice:

“Quindlen calls for dialogue with those who, like her, reject Catholic teaching while still claiming the name. Is she equally keen for dialogue with Catholics o f racist and anti-Semitic views, who, to our shame still exist? Or is she happy to see such views rejected for what they are: un-Catholic because un-Christian?

From a letter to the Boston Herald, written by Daniel T. Flatley, President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Catholic League regarding column by Margery Eagan:

“Eagan is unconvincing when she asserts that it is not the message or the members of the church that she objects to, but the hierarchy. For centuries anti-Catholic bigots have reviled the pope while proclaiming their love for Catholics.”

From a letter to The Enterprise (Brockton, Mass.) by Catholic

League Operations Director C. Joseph Doyle regarding an editorial which remarked on the Catholic faith of a judicial nominee:

“Should the Governor’s Council succumb to homosexual power politics and reject Kirby because of his moral and religious beliefs about homosexuality, then it will be sending a signal that Catholics who uphold traditional values ‘need not apply’ for public employment in Massachusetts.”

From a letter to the New York Daily News by Catholic League president William A. Donohue objecting to a cartoon showing a Catholic priest responding to someone proclaiming “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”:

“Cartoons aren’t the same since Catholic-bashing became vogue. And by the way, there is nothing remarkable about Catholic priests – all of whom freely admit they are sinners – counseling against casting the first stone. To suggest otherwise is to proess a profound ignorance of Catholic teaching.”


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Written by Bill