Thursday, September 20, 2012

Look in your own mirror, Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman
Thomas Friedman published an essay in the New York Times yesterday entitled, "Look in your mirror." Friedman pointed out that although Muslims have been extremely offended by an online insult to their faith, many Muslims themselves denigrate other religions. Friedman went on to document  insults by Muslims against Christians, Shiites, Jews, and Sufis.

In its online edition, the  New York Times summarized  Friedman's article as follows: "If it is wrong to insult Islam, it should be wrong to insult any religion." 

I agree completely, but it ironic that Friedman would make this argument in the New York Times, which has denigrated the Catholic Church a lot recently--on its editorial page, in its op ed essays, and in an advertisement that it published a few months ago that was grossly insulting to Catholics.

Specifically, on March 9th, the Times published a full-page advertisement sponsored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation that contained an insulting cartoon about Catholics and urged Catholics to leave their Church. Then on  June 18th, Bill Keller, former executive editor of the New York Times, published an op ed essay that compared our Pope to a rottweiler.

The New York Times would never publish an advertisement that denigrates the Muslim faith and it would never publish an op ed essay that would urge Muslims to abandon their religion.  Can you imagine the New York Times  publishing an advertisement containing an insulting cartoon about the Muslim faith? Can you imagine Bill Keller writing an op ed essay that would compare a prominent Muslim cleric to a vicious attack dog?

No, the Times reserves its disdain for the Catholic religion and no other.  The New York Times and Bill Keller owe the Catholic Church an apology. I doubt we will get it. I am sorry Thomas Friedman did not acknowledge his own newspaper's shameful attitude toward Catholicism in his essay.


Freedom from Religion Foundation. (2012, March 9). It's Time to Consider Quitting the Catholic Church. New York Times, p. A10.

Friedman, Thomas L. (2012, September 18). Look in your mirror. New York Times.

Keller, B. (2012, June 18). The Rottweiler's Rottweiler. New York Times, p. A21.

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