About a week ago, The New York Times ran a blatantly anti-Catholic ad from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The ad urged readers to “consider quitting the Catholic Church,” featured a mocking cartoon and blamed the Church’s teaching on contraception for poverty, misery, unwanted pregnancy and even deaths.
Never mind for a minute all that the Church does to alleviate poverty and misery (the very motto of Catholic Charities USA is “Working to reduce poverty in America”), to help mothers cope with unexpected pregnancy and to foster a culture of life. Set aside, too, that the Church’s ban on contraception doesn’t force people to have sex. (If, in a given season of life, doing so will lead to poverty, misery, unwanted pregnancy and even death, then it makes sense to me to abstain.)
Let’s focus instead on the double standard that was revealed shortly after the NYT published the anti-Catholic ad.
Pamela Gellar of Stop Islamization of America drafted an anti-Islam ad that mimicked the ad from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The New York Times rejected it — and here’s why:
According to a Mar. 13 letter sent by the Times to the ad’s sponsor, anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller, the $39,000 anti-Islam ad was rejected because “the fallout from running this ad now could put U.S. troops and/or civilians in the [Afghan] region in danger.”
The Times’ letter included a commitment to “consider the ad … for publication in a few months,” and the claim that “we publish this type of advertising, even those we disagree with, because we believe in the First Amendment.”
As Breitbart’s Ezra Dulis points out, The Times wasn’t nearly so concerned that it might incite violence against U.S. troops when it published details of the WikiLeaks documents leaked by Bradley Manning in 2010. And, as a Breitbart commenter pointed out, U.S. troops are also stationed in predominantly Catholic nations. Why isn’t the NYT concerned about potential backlash in those places?
Geller and prominent Catholic leaders aren’t buying the NYT’s spin.
Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, accused the Times of having a double standard and told The Daily Caller that The Time’s was based on “either [anti-Catholic] bigotry or fear [of Islamic violence], and they’ve painted themselves into that corner.”
Donohue said the frequent claims of intellectual honesty by Times employees would compel them to address the double standard if they weren’t “shameless.” …
Geller scoffed at the Times’ conditional commitment. She told TheDC she believes the Times will never publish a criticism of Sharia, or Islamic law, because “when is it ever a good time to blaspheme under the Sharia?”
Nobody in this debate thinks the NYT should have to publish an anti-Islam ad. The paper has the right to reject any advertising it wants. They’re just saying uniform standards would be nice.