California media group blasted over ‘blasphemous’ cartoon
TBC Media, publishers of the The California, has been described as ‘an atheist enterprise’ by a reader who expressed his fury over a ‘deplorable’ Last Supper cartoon.
But Jack Balfanz ‘s letter, which said that TBC “has without a doubt totally embraced itself with the rest of the liberal scum media in this country”, got a brilliant response from the paper’s Robert Price – so brilliant that it’s worth republishing in full:
You don’t say why the cartoon was defamatory or blasphemous, even after I specifically asked you, Jack, to explain.
It’s got to be more than the mere fact the artist, Bob Englehart, formerly of the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, had the audacity to depict Christ in a cartoon. That would put you in the company of Islamic extremists who take an exceptionally dim view of cartoon Muhammads. No, that can’t be it.
Is it the depiction of the smirky character at the end of the table with the “Evangelicals” T-shirt and “Make America Great Again” ball cap? Ah, getting warm.
I’m guessing you’re offended by the artist’s apparent suggestion that evangelicals could actually betray Christ – or, more to the point, his teachings and his example.
Well, if that was Englehart’s intention, he’s not alone.
More than a few evangelical leaders today are bothered by their flocks’ support for a president who, among other concerns, pays off porn stars and can’t keep his story about it straight.
White evangelicals in particular, 80 percent of whom voted for Trump in 2016, “continue to squander their moral authority in an attempt to sanitize the president,” said The Rev. A.R. Bernard, pastor of a 40,000-member evangelical church in Brooklyn.
Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, a practicing Christian who was No. 9 on Time magazine’s 2005 list of “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals In America,” surely agrees.
“Trump evangelicals have scaled the heights of hypocrisy to the summit,” he wrote in a March 12 column. “Family-values conservatives who dismiss credible accusations of sexual abuse and wink at hush money for a porn star have ceased to represent family values in any meaningful sense. They have made a national joke of moral standards that were once, presumably, deeply held. At least when a Democrat violated them.”
You don’t agree, Jack? That’s your right. (Even though I’m still not sure exactly why.) But Englehart certainly has the right to take a side in this ongoing debate, too – in his chosen medium, the editorial cartoon.
I’ll add this: This is one political cartoonist’s opinion. We publish a wide array of opinions delivered in different formats daily. Surely you grasp that they don’t all represent the editorial opinions of TBC Media. They can’t.
As for your confirmed suspicions about our newsroom’s godlessness: My late U.S. Navy chaplain father would be distressed to know I have devoted so much of my professional life to an atheistic enterprise.
And the atheists among our readership will be frustrated to learn, after all these years, that we’ve been kindred souls this whole time – and yet still insist on covering religious observances like Easter, Lent and, just this past Thursday, the National Day of Prayer.
We cover them with such regularity that our devout readers have come to expect it and they chastise us if we overlook something.
I guess the jig is up now that you’ve exposed us as a bunch of heathens, Jack.