Catholic League president Bill Donohue received a letter today from Patrick W. Hayes, Legal Director, City of Rockford, Illinois, saying that his office asked the owner of the Northern Illinois Women’s Center to remove the offensive poster of Jesus that we complained about yesterday. Donohue thanked Hayes for his intervention, but also took issue with him about some other matters. Below is an excerpt of his letter:
Your analogy between the poster in question and pictures of aborted children fails. The pictures are a representation of real life—they are not deliberately doctored. Nor are they a bigoted portrayal. Moreover, anti-war protesters regularly show pictures of combatants and innocents killed in war, yet no one seeks to compare them to hate speech. By contrast, depicting Jesus Christ telling Christians “F— You” is not only contrived, it is an in-your-face obscene provocation, coming dangerously close to “fighting words” (“fighting words” are not given free speech protection by the U.S. Supreme Court).
You are factually incorrect to say that American newspapers carried the inoffensive pictures of Muhammad: not only did none of the mainstream newspapers reprint them, not a single network or cable television station carried them. Indeed, a book about to be published by Yale University Press on the Danish cartoons is censoring a reprint of the cartoons in the same book! Therefore, there is something bizarre, if not insulting, about your parallel sympathies for Christians and Muslims in these two very different situations: none of the cartoons came even close to showing Muhammad telling Muslims “F— You.”
The fact is that the Northern Illinois Women’s Center is not just another abortion mill: it is owned by a man who intentionally seeks to slander, mock and denigrate Christians. That he has been doing so for years makes his bigotry and vile behavior all the more appalling.