A New Mexico newspaper defended its desecration of a Catholic icon and refused to apologize because they said the offensive image reflected diversity and captured the essence of summer.
The Santa Fe Reporter created an uproar with its “Summer Guide 2013.” The cover featured an artistic depiction of the Virgin of Guadalupe wearing a skimpy bikini and drinking a margarita. Over her shoulder is a bare-chested cowboy sporting a nipple ring and wearing a pink cowboy hat and kerchief.
Santa Fe Catholics said the weekly alternative newspaper has turned the religious icon into a party girl.
“If your intent was to in effect slap Catholics across the face, by putting forth this public depiction of Our Lady as a party girl, during the very week that we honor her as our patroness, then I can only say that from my perspective, you succeeded,” wrote Adam Le Ortega, the record of the Cathedral basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
“I must voice my outrage and disgust at the decision to depict Our Lady of Guadalupe in such a demeaning manner,” he wrote in a letter to the letter. “I am personally and professional insulted by the cover.”
But the Santa Fe Reporter defended the desecration and refused to apologize.
“The intent of our Summer Guide cover design was not to insult or denigrate any religion or ethnicity, but rather to incorporate an important part of Santa Fe’s culture into an image that also unites other diverse cultures that flourish in our city,” wrote editor Alexa Schirtzinger. “We never intended to offend anyone.”
How could the newspaper not think that putting a beloved Catholic icon into a skimpy bikini would not be offensive?
Schirtzinger instead hoped the desecrated icon will “foster an honest discussion about different interpretations of culture and the imagery that accompanies it.”
“Ultimately, we hope this can contribute to greater mutual understanding and openness in our community,” she wrote.
If that’s the case, I wonder if the Santa Fe Reporter will feature a cover painting of the Prophet Mohammed in a thong?