We have been talking a lot lately about how some members of the media are criticizing and even mocking Sarah Palin's faith in an effort to almost disqualify her from national office. It is unfortunate how attacks and downright ignorance of this nature passes as journalism in one of this country's major newspapers.
The Washington Post printed this cartoon which would be offensive to most Christians, especially Pentecostals. It pokes fun at the belief of "speaking in tongues". Look at it here.
The Assemblies of God is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the country and includes some two million members. Here is the group's statement of beliefs.
Sarah Palin attended Assembly of God Churches much of her life. We showed Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent for The General Council of the Assemblies of God the cartoon and he told CBN News the following:
"The cartoon is despicable. Millions of Christians today follow the example of first century Christians who prayed in other tongues. The Washington Post would not think of printing a cartoon that mocked members of the Muslim or Jewish faiths. It should be ashamed. Furthermore, Sarah Palin has to my knowledge never said she prays in other tongues. Since God is multi-lingual, I'm sure He doesn't have problems understanding any prayers - whether they are articulated in a known or unknown language. He looks for prayers that come from the heart."
The Washington Post did receive complaints about it. Read below from their ombudsman Deborah Howell:
Speaking of overdoing it, a political cartoon by Pat Oliphant that appeared on washingtonpost.com Wednesday prompted complaints from about 350 readers who said he lampooned their faith. The cartoon showed Palin speaking in tongues, an aspect of worship in some Pentecostal churches, and then God telling St. Peter that he didn't understand what she was saying -- "All I can hear is some dam' right-wing politician spouting gibberish."
Readers were right to complain; I will deal with political cartooning in another column. Political cartoons and comics aren't selected at washingtonpost.com the way they are for The Post in print; they are automatically posted.
Oliphant's Universal Press Syndicate advertises him this way: "No one is safe from the acid brush of Pat Oliphant.. a master of what he calls 'confrontational art' . . . [who] spares neither the liberal nor conservative, sinner nor saint."
I must say that when it comes to making fun of Christians it's open season. It has been that way for a long time. Why are people allowed to get away with making fun of the Christian faith? Here's a novel idea: how about all faiths become off limits for insensitive humor? Like that will ever happen. Cartoons like this get conservative Christians riled up even more for Sarah Palin.