The University of Oregon was home this spring to a vicious attack on Jesus. Almost as obscene as the cartoon was the incredibly weak response by the university’s president, Dave Frohnmayer.
The March edition of the Insurgent, a University of Oregon student newspaper, contained a large graphic cartoon depicting a naked Jesus on the Cross with an erection; there was also a graphic titled “Resurrection,” which showed a naked Jesus kissing another naked man, both sporting erections.
The pictures were only one small part of the March edition. Indeed, the entire issue was replete with the most egregious examples of hate speech targeted at Christians. For example, there were several cartoons of Jesus—including Jesus crucified—that were so gratuitously offensive that only the most depraved would defend them. That all of this occurred during Lent, at a state institution, is all the more disturbing.
This explosion of hate speech was a response to a decision reached by one of the Insurgent’s rivals, the Commentator, to publish the 12 Danish cartoons that recently so inflamed the Muslim world. An Insurgent editorial said that because the Commentator published depictions of Muhammad so as to “provoke dialogue,” they had a right to trash Christians as a way of provoking dialogue.
It was due to the tepid response of president Dave Frohnmayer that Bill Donohue decided to write a letter to every member of the Oregon legislature, the governor, the state’s three Catholic bishops, the president of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the chancellor of the Oregon University System (click here).
Bishop John Vlazny wrote a strong letter of protest to Frohnmayer, and State Senator Doug Whitsett said he will introduce legislation “that will allow university presidents to prevent such heinous student publications and to hold perpetrators and supporters of such hateful acts accountable for their actions on state university campuses.”
Students of Faith, a group formed in response to this assault, filed a grievance, but was turned down. Indeed, the student body that fielded the grievance said “there are no grounds for demanding an apology from the Student Insurgent.”
Contact the president at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to him at the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403. See page 4 for more information.