It's predictable. Around Christmas and Easter some national newspapers and magazines roll out stories refuting the basic tenets of the Christian faith. Others file lawsuits trying to censor long held religious traditions. Here's a rundown of this week's attacks on the faithful:
The most high-profile story comes from the University of Virginia's student newspaper. Cloaked in "freedom of the press", the Cavalier Daily published cartoons that have outraged Christian students.
One features a shirtless God in bed with Mary -- smoking a cigarette and uttering a profanity. The other has Jesus nailed to a cross doing stand-up comedy.
Aside from insulting Christians, the cartoons are insulting to comedians. The punch lines weren't even funny.
One student told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he was offended -- suggesting the cartoons represent a double standard. It's okay to mock Christians, but other faiths are off limits.
The Catholic League also got into the mix. President Bill Donohue said in a statement on his website: The hate-mongers typically come out of the woods in the days leading up to Holy Week. Easter can't come and go without someone taking aim at Christianity. This has been a relatively tame Lent thus far. Until, that is, The Cavalier Daily decided to once again dip into the well of bigotry."
"Even more telling of the attitude of those at the University of Virginia's paper is the hypocrisy at play. Today's issue also shows a cartoon that acknowledges that any and all depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammed are banned. Last year, the paper's editorial board forced a cartoonist to resign after the campus chapter of the NAACP objected to a cartoon mocking Ethiopians. And in 2005, the paper was quick to apologize to homosexuals for remarking that the crane is the 'gayest-looking of all birds.'
"It's clear that there's a double-standard at play in the offices of The Cavalier Daily. Tell the paper's editor to afford Christians the same consideration shown to blacks, Muslims and homosexuals."
From the Big Apple -- an apartment co-op is suing a couple because they (brace yourself) decorated the front door of their apartment for Easter. And it's not the first time, they've been warned. According to the lawsuit, the couple put a wreath on their door during the "Winter Holiday." Uh --- we call that Christmas down where I'm from.
And then there's the BBC --- disputing the way Christ was crucified. You can read the story here.
And The New York Times has a piece out suggesting Christians misunderstood the resurrection. Click here for that story.
The cartoon strip, Dilbert, is getting involved in the annual tradition. The strip features a new office worker called, Jesus. The creator told Editor and Publisher he didn't realize the strip would run during the Easter season. The controversy has generated lots of email. Cartoonist Scott Adams responded to one writer who wanted to know why he didn't make fun of Mohammed. Great question. Adams told E&P the answer was obvious. He preferred life over death. Hmm. Quite a damning statement. You can read the full story here.
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