Sunday, March 1, 2009

Baylor Lariat 2-27 editorial not an isolated incident

I and several of my Baylor Catholic colleagues received a note this morning from one of our fellow Baylor professors:
Dear Catholic Colleagues,

The Lariat editorial and cartoon on indulgences is the third in a series of Lariat of jabs at Catholics in recent years.... [You can find them here]

The first (March 31, 2006) was a large color front-page photo of a Baylor alum in nun costume. The portrayal—at a Baylor-sponsored event—showed the nun as very pregnant with an elephant nose.

The second (February 1, 2008) was an insulting cartoon depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

And now we have the editorial and cartoon mocking Benedict XVI on February 27.

Any one of these in isolation might not be such a big deal. But the pattern is disturbing and damaging. These portrayals are disrespectful to our Catholic students and diminish the stature of Baylor University.

I pick up the Lariat fairly regularly. I doubt that any religious or ethnic group has been the target of more Lariat insults than Catholics. Surely we are close to the top in this regard.

I hope there will be individual responses in the days ahead. Possibly we should have some collaborative initiative to help create a more positive environment for the Catholic members of the Baylor family.

All three of these Lariat pieces are in an adobe file here.

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