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Tony Auth condemned as “blatantly anti-Catholic”

Tony Auth has come under fire for a recent cartoon depicting members of the U.S. Supreme Court wearing a Catholic bishop’s miter. The cartoon is on the topic of the high court’s recent ruling that upheld the ban on partial birth abortions. One such group is Fidelis, a Catholic-based advocacy organization as well as political columnists such as Robert Barnes at the Washington Post.

“The Philadelphia Inquirer has breached the line of reasonable editorial commentary. This cartoon is venomous, terribly misleading and, blatantly anti-Catholic. We call on the Inquirer to repudiate the cartoon’s anti-Catholic sentiment,” said Fidelis President Joseph Cella.

From The Bulletin, an independent paper in Philadelphia:

Auth’s message to the American public was clear – those five Catholic’s on the nation’s highest bench were in the Vatican’s back pocket. To make his point, Auth pandered to the ignorant and sought to ignite the flames of fear among those who truly believe that Catholics are out to rule Washington from Rome. Just like Imus, Auth had crossed the line.

If Auth had made such a comment about a rabbi or Tel Aviv, he would have been labeled anti-Semitic. If he had made a similar cartoon about Muslims, there would have been picketing in the streets. And if he dared to draw minority groups in such a light, heads would have rolled. But because Auth targeted Catholics, all was fine.

As a matter of fact, Chris Satullo, Editorial Page editor, opted to defend Auth’s cartoon.

“Tony Auth is a commentator for our paper and has the freedom to express his opinion,” Satullo said. The Inquirer editor explained, “The cartoon was not anti-Catholic, but was a commentary on the Supreme Court.” We’re not buying that bridge, Chris.

Hat tip to Tom Spurgeon for first talking about his story.

Community Comments

#1 Dave M.
May/2/2007
@ 7:52 am

Tony Auth condemned as â??blatantly anti-Catholicâ?

Ok. Speaking as one who was raised in the Catholic church, the problem with his being “blatantly anti-Catholic” is…?

But we all know this is just a ploy to distract everyone from reality and the point of his cartoon. This is a tactic that has been overplayed in recent years, where the ones who are most “outraged” by an opinion being presented pound their chest in righteous indignation and try to put themselves in the victim role. One curious thing they always somehow neglect to mention…anything that refutes the point the point of the cartoon.

An editorial cartoonist always can tell how on target their cartoon is by how loudly the target of the cartoons screams.

Sounds like Tony hit the bullseye with this one.

#2 Rick Stromoski
May/2/2007
@ 2:02 pm

The Catholic Church forfeited forever any right to be indignant about anything when the church knowingly for decades became a haven for pederasts,deliberately protecting a vast population of child abusers in their midsts.

#3 Greg S.
May/2/2007
@ 8:07 pm

So, let me get this straight.

A. The Catholic Church pointedly enters the political arena during recent elections, as they promise denial of communion for any and all Catholic politicians whose public policy decisions differ with whatever biblical positions happen to be making headlines (read: abortion). We can only assume that lock-step voters get the thinly-vieled message from Catholic HQ on whom they are supposed to vote for.

B. A recent Supreme Court decision pushes the nation’s abortion policy toward a position that the Catholics must certainly welcome… and recent appointments to the bench by a presumably Catholic-endorsed (and narrowly-elected) president probably had a lot to do with this.

C. Catholic advocates are OUTRAGED that a political cartoonist would DARE suggest that this is not mere coincidence?!?

Am I missing something here? This has nothing to do with “pederasts,” but everything to do with the Catholic Church’s delibarate decision to enter the political arena several years back. They’re going to have to grow MUCH thicker skins if they want to stick around…

#4 Rich
May/2/2007
@ 9:05 pm

I have no problem with the editorial cartoonists right to express his opinion, but I feel it does miss the mark. Even most abortion advocates question the medical validity or necessity of partial-birth abortion in the 3rd trimester. That there was anything in the news at all was mostly based on pro-abortionist’s fear that Row v. Wade will some day be overturned, so they wanted act like this might jeopardize it (which it in no way does).

That many on the court are Catholic is very likely irrelevant in this decission. All law is based on morality (a.k.a. ethics), so take your choice … pick a religion, a philosophy, a tree or spotted owl, emptiness, etc., there will always be folks that don’t like the decision. I would have been more impressed if the Tony could have come up with a real argument suggesting PBA is a good thing, instead he took the easy jab. Imagine the outrage if a cartoonist showed a fetus celebrating the decision … what outrage that would stir up in the media.

Obviously, there is obviously no shortage of pent up anti-catholic anger. (I’m not catholic but I have a friend who is ;) ) The editorial cartoonist is welcome to his opinion, and I think the catholics are entitled to their opinion of his opinion.

#5 Dave M.
May/3/2007
@ 8:09 am

Where did you learn civics, Rich? The Vatican? Bob Jones “university”?

“Morality” has nothing to do with law, as there is no one standard of what is considered “moral”.

The function of the Supreme Court is to determine if lower court rulings are constitutional or not. The constitution of the United States is law of the land, not the mythology (and hypocrisy) of religion. What these 5 Catholic justices did in this case was to put their religious dogma ahead of the constitution. Clearly a violation of their position as final arbiter, and violating the constitutional rights of women.

#6 Rick Stromoski
May/3/2007
@ 8:19 am

From what I understand PBA is extremely rare and the practice is a last ditch effort to save the life of a mother who is in severe breach.

#7 Dave M.
May/3/2007
@ 8:28 am

It should also be pointed out that there is no such thing as “partial birth abortion”. That’s just a right wing catch prase intended to influence simple minded people who are incapable of critical thinking. Which, of course, is known as their base.

#8 JeffM
May/3/2007
@ 9:12 am

HAH! Dave, you are a crack up! No such thing as a partial birth abortion? Where have you been living? Cartoon land?

Have you seen one? I have and it almost made me faint…and I was in the Army and have seen some pretty barbaric things, but PBA takes the cake.

It does nothing to safe a mothers life. The baby is practically delivered (except the head). If the mother isn’t out of danger by then, then a PBA is not going to safe her life.

I can’t believe there are people barbaric enough to support this kind of infanticide. The Nazis would be proud.

Also, your hatred and intolerance of the “religious right” is equal to KKK or some homophobe.

Also mister Constitution….where in that document does it give the right to women to kill their child? I bet you’re one of those Christianphobes who think the term “separation of church and State” is written in the 1st Amendment don’t you. News for ya bud…the phrase is found no where in any founding document.

The way I see it, critical thinking is non-existant on the left. Let me ask you this….why not let teachers teach creation science along side evolution? Want to see someone pop a gasket? Watch a leftist deal with that scenario. they foam at the mouth at the very idea of introducing another theory that may entice kids to “think critically” or question their beloved (and extrememly flawed) belief.

#9 Dave M.
May/3/2007
@ 9:27 am

Thank you for a perfect illustration of what I was saying about the right wing base, Jeff.

Oh, and you might want to actually read the constitution before saying what’s in it or not. In regard to separation of church and state, try the very first line of the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; “.

#10 JeffM
May/3/2007
@ 10:10 am

Nice try…..so what’s you point again?

and the lefties always use the 1st Amendment as a perfect example of religious intolerance….but for some reason, you all fail to comprehend that second part……”or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. What part of the sentence don’t you grasp or understand?

Tell me, without doing a search, where the term “separation of church and state” originated.

So, when some innocent school child is brough up on charges for praying on school property, or when the Ten Commandments are forced to be taken down from an ACLU witch-hunt, who is the intolerant one going to be Dave?

#11 Rick Stromoski
May/3/2007
@ 10:51 am

>>>.why not let teachers teach creation science along side evolution? Want to see someone pop a gasket? Watch a leftist deal with that scenario.

Because creationism isn’t science, it’s religion. It has no basis in fact. The ID crowd always revert to a “teach the controversy” argument which is the equivalent of teaching kids the stork brings babies in sex eduction class.

I sure would like to see even one instance where a child was”brought up on charges” for praying on school property.

Religion belongs in the churches where it can do the least harm.

#12 JeffM
May/3/2007
@ 11:08 am

Sorry Rick, you are absolutely WRONG. There is more and varifiable science behind creation than there is behind evolution “theory”. Since when did a “theory” become absolute science anyway? evolution is nothing more than the creation science for atheist. I mean, we exist, so we have to explain our origins somehow right?

But if people were exposed to the science of creation, they then could see “another viewpoint” and make their own decision in what to believe in. What is so wrong in that?

Funny how the left always rants about the right being so narrow minded and oppressive, yet their hypocrisy always surfaces and becomes glaringly apparent when faced with certain truths or challenges.

What is so dangerous about letting kids see another viewpoint? Who said anything about NOT teaching evolution. Just teach other viewpoints on the theory of creation. Talk about envoking crtical thinking. Let people make up their own mind.

Do I hear gaskets popping at the mere thought? GASP!

#13 Greg S.
May/3/2007
@ 11:12 am

Yep, evolution’s a “theory.”

Just like gravity.

#14 Alan Gardner
May/3/2007
@ 11:13 am

Gentlemen, please return the thread back to something related to cartooning.

Thanks,
Alan

#15 JeffM
May/3/2007
@ 11:18 am

Rick, your bigoted and hateful view of religion and those that believe in it are just as dangerous as your bretheren in the KKK.

By the way, atheist have cause more death, suffering and misery than the worst acts of all religions combined, world wars or other conflicts.

Do I need to remind you of the atrocities committed by atheist “eutopian” societies like the former Soviet Union, Cambodia, Vietnam, or North Korea? History has lost count on the number of people murdered by these atheist societies, but it’s been verified at least in the 20’s of millions if not more.

Live happily in your little worlds Dave and Rick.

#16 Rick Stromoski
May/3/2007
@ 1:19 pm

The argument that the murderous regimes of Stalin, Mao and pol pot were motivated by atheism is just erroneous. They didn’t murder in the name of atheism, they murdered in the name of their political dogmatism. Hitler was a christian yet his genocide wasn’t based on Christianity, it was his political dogmatism that motivated him.

All scientific hypothesis are labeled as “theories” because unlike religion, in Science there are no absolutes. The preponderance of the evidence shows that “theories” like gravity, the fact that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around and evolution are all true. Science never deals in absolutes since The scientific method is always open to being proven wrong about any given theory. Science is always in the process of correcting false assumptions and those corrections are always embraced since it brings one closer to the truth. Religion is different since everything in their holy books are the infallible word of a supernatural force and not open to interpretation or correction. Even when science proves that much of what religion belives is false, the religious deny it or adopt it with a rider that God created the science. Much like the Catholic Church has embraced evolution as a fact but with the caveat that God created the process.

Religion is predicated on keeping the faithful ignorant since knowledge is dangerous …precisely because it shows much of what it preaches as false. Faith is just a way for people to keep believeing in preposterous things when there’s absolutely no evidence for it.

#17 Lefitte
May/3/2007
@ 1:21 pm

That’s my favorite Rick S. comment ever. Kudos!

#18 American
May/3/2007
@ 1:23 pm

Religion is by definition wrong.

There are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews. They all believe something different to be the absolute truth.

There are dozens of different kinds of Christians who all think theirs is the way.

Heck, there are hundreds of ways to practice Catholicism.

Which one of the 3 billion religious believers has it right?

Either one lucky person out there has it all exactly right, or they’re all delusional.

Jeff provides us ample evidence for the latter.

#19 Alan Gardner
May/3/2007
@ 1:30 pm

All, I’m closing comments on this post. This is not a political or religious blog and I no longer have time to monitor threads that are getting off-topic.

Thanks,
Alan

#20 Books: The Art of Tony Auth: To Stir, Inform and Inflame The Daily Cartoonist
December/20/2012
@ 6:02 am

[…] Auth for years now, but his work never ran in the papers I subscribed to so aside from a few that make the news, I haven’t had the opportunity to explore his […]

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