The Catholic League was recently contacted by students at the University of Virginia regarding two anti-Christian cartoons that appeared in The Cavalier Daily, the student newspaper on campus. The August 23rd edition showed a drawing of Jesus crucified on a mathematical graph with the inscription, “Christ on a Cartesian Coordinate Plane.” On August 24, the newspaper ran a cartoon of Mary and Joseph, with Mary holding baby Jesus. “Mary…I don’t mean to ruin this special moment,” Joseph says, “but how did you get that bumpy rash?” To which Mary says, “I swear, it was Immaculately Transmitted.”

We requested an apology, citing precedent: In November 2005, the newspaper apologized to homosexuals for publishing a cartoon that described a crane as the “gayest-looking of all birds.” Michael Slaven, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, replied to us over the weekend: “Under our newspaper’s policies, satire of religion, or any other belief or creed, is acceptable.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:

“When gays were offended at the University of Virginia for some throw-away line, The Cavalier Daily said it ‘regrets printing this comic and deeply apologizes to those who were offended.’ Yet when it comes to Christians, not even a shallow apology can be mustered. So it can be implied that the Mother of Jesus has a sexually transmitted disease—and that’s okay with the editors—but making flip comments about homosexuals is unacceptable.

“Nice to know that the newspaper actually has a policy that justifies anti-religious commentary (of Christians, of course), but deliberately fails to apply the same libertarian policy to gays. Par for the course: this is what passes for sensitivity these days on college campuses. And the new school year is just beginning.”

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