Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Response to The Washington Post Comic

Here is a copy of the email I sent to The Washington Post last week, in response to the controversial comic ridiculing Sarah Palin for speaking in tongues. TRB


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in opposition to the flagrant disregard for a major religious segment of our nation exhibited in Mr. Pat Oliphant’s comic of September 9, 2008. Speaking in tongues is a common practice of Pentecostals as noted in a study by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life:

"Pentecostalism and related charismatic movements represent one of the fastest-growing segments of global Christianity. At least a quarter of the world’s 2 billion Christians are thought to be members of these lively, highly personal faiths, which emphasize such spiritually renewing “gifts of the Holy Spirit” as speaking in tongues, divine healing and prophesying. Even more than other Christians, pentecostals and other renewalists believe that God, acting through the Holy Spirit, continues to play a direct, active role in everyday life."
(http://pewforum. org/docs/ ?DocID=140)

The faith of Governor Sarah Palin and her religion (whether or not she speaks in tongues) should not be ridiculed in a respectable newspaper. Take issue with her politics, her policies, or her public life, but to berate her private religious practice is akin to mocking a Muslim’s prayer rug, a Jew’s tallit, or a Catholic’s rosary.

Personal attacks of this nature belie the professionalism of your publication. Though it will not undo the damage done by its publication, I would request a public apology for this offensive printing. In the future, kindly show the same tolerance and respect for Pentecostals that you do for other religious groups. If political correctness is your mantra let it be extended to include all religious faiths, including conservative Christians and tongue-talking Pentecostals.


Terry R Baughman

The Washington Post "form letter" response

Dear Reader,

Pat Oliphant is a syndicated editorial cartoonist carried on news sites across the country. It is the nature of an editorial cartoonist to be provocative and offer up unique -- and often controversial -- viewpoints on the issues of the day. I have always opted for the approach that we should not limit the cartoonist's freedom of speech. We prefer to present the cartoon and allow you, the reader, to make the choice on whether to read it or not, and to express your own freedom of speech if you're bothered or offended by it.

Jim Brady
Executive Editor,