In a letter sent
Wednesday to state legislators, higher education officials and Catholic
leaders in Oregon, league president William Donohue describes the
cartoons as "flagrantly anti-Catholic" and one of "the most egregious
examples of hate speech targeted at Christians."
The cartoons —
one depicting Jesus on the cross with an erect penis and the other
depicting a sexually aroused Jesus and another man embraced in a
kiss—were printed in The Insurgent’s March issue, reported Oregon’s
A UO student
filed a grievance over the publication with the student body
government, which last week ruled in the newspaper's favor.
said they decided to publish the image after the international uproar
over cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, first published in a Danish
Jessica Brown said students were taking aim at the institutions of
Christianity, not its adherents, and that their critiques don't
constitute hate speech.
"Plus, I have to
say it is really fun to offend people," she wrote. "It is fun to break
the rules, and to do things that are just not done. At least it will
stimulate an emotion and create some argument."
spokeswoman Kiera McCaffrey said the organization is not calling for
censorship or other action, but wants legislators and others to know
"what's going on in a state university that receives public funding."
The Insurgent is
not a university publication or university supported, but it does
receive student incidental fees, $18,349 for this school year.
Donohue said he
wrote his letter to Oregon legislators after receiving a "tepid
response" from university president Dave Frohnmayer.
In a prepared
statement, Frohnmayer said the university does not own, control or
publish The Insurgent. He wrote that the “best response to offensive
speech often is more speech.”
Register-Guard reported that, in an earlier letter, Frohnmayer said
free speech "should be exercised with maturity and good judgment" and
that campus publications "should not focus on creating controversy for
Catholic League has joined in on a debate over anti-Christian cartoons
published in The Insurgent, student newspaper at the University of