The funny papers are not always funny. This is apparent from a horribly offensive anti-Catholic comic strip appearing in The Chicago Reader. In response, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) is launching, through its America Needs Fatima (ANF) network, a massive campaign of peaceful protest.
The Chicago Reader is an “alternative” weekly newspaper with a circulation of over 133,000, available at over 1200 locations in the Chicago area. Its content is written primarily by freelance writers that cover the local arts and theatre scene. Their website claims that the paper steers away from “commentary and opinion” pieces.
However, readers saw plenty of biased commentary on June 22, when Garret Gaston’s comic titled “La Petite Camera, Papal Makeover,” expressed radically anti-Catholic opinions. Among other things unprintable, it portrayed the Pope dispensing “red hot birth control pills,” saying, “we were just kidding about Original Sin” and suggesting immoral actions in the confessional, proposed a “new recipe for communion” using chocolate chips and showed a “buff” figure of Our Lord displayed in a suggestive way.
Before mobilizing ANF’s network of over 200,000 activists nationwide, American TFP President Raymond Drake sent a protest letter, asking The Chicago Reader for an unqualified apology and a written commitment that it will never again publish such blasphemies. “This blatant, filthy mockery of the Papacy and the Church is a grave insult to God and to all Catholics” wrote Mr. Drake. “Facing these blasphemies we have no other option than to stand up and defend the honor of God and our Catholic Faith.”
Since these requests were ignored, the TFP’s America Needs Fatima campaign will be sending protest packages to its friends and supporters across the country. They are urged to send a protest postcard to The Chicago Reader and circulate protest flyers to as many people as possible.
Putting things in perspective, C. Preston Noell, head of the TFP’s Chicago Bureau asks, “If this cartoon does not awaken our holy outrage, can we still consider ourselves Catholic?”
The TFP website is simultaneously coordinating a massive e-campaign. “I hope that we can motivate all our subscribers to participate by sending a protest email to The Chicago Reader, and forwarding the message to everyone they know,” said TFP Webmaster John Horvat. “These emails, together with the protest postcards, will send a big message to The Chicago Reader, that American Catholics have a voice, and will not tolerate this offense.”