By Stephen D. Foster Jr.
A Louisiana newspaper has printed a right-wing extremist group’s ad depicting a Catholic priest being murdered in 1920s Mexico and accusing President Obama of conspiring with Democrats to do the exact same thing to Catholics and Christians here in America.
The Daily Advertiser claims to have a strict policy about which ads it chooses to run, saying that false, overly offensive, and other inappropriate content is kept out of the paper. But apparently the ad pictured below is completely fine.
The ad features a photo of Father Francisco Vera standing in front of a firing squad, preparing to be killed for celebrating mass. Underneath the photo is a letter to Louisiana and America that states,
“AMERICA is under siege by the same evil (Democrats, President Obama, etc..) as history shows over and over…We must learn from it or we are doomed to repeat it. We must be triumphant over terror.”
The ad goes on to claim that we must stop Agenda 21, which right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society claim is a United Nations conspiracy to conquer America. The RNC even claims that Agenda 21 is “a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control,” that apparently requires the mass murder of Christians and Catholics.
In reality, Agenda 21 is a plan to end poverty, promote better health, protect the environment, control pollution, conserve resources, and uplift women and children in society by using technology, science and financial mechanisms to achieve a more fair, more peaceful, and better world. That doesn’t sound like a conspiracy to me. It sounds like the United Nations is simply proposing to make people’s lives better, and Republicans are whining about it.
This ad sounds suspiciously like a claim Rick Santorum made in February when he told a Texas crowd that President Obama would guillotine Christians if elected to a second term. Conservatives have been making this crazy claim for years now in an effort to paint President Obama as anti-American and anti-Christian even though Obama is neither. This newspaper ad is clearly an attempt to scare Americans into voting for Republicans this November and casts serious doubts upon the credibility of the Gannett owned paper.
For any newspaper to print such an ad is outrageous, and what’s worse is that The Daily Advertiser plans to run yet another ad from the right-wing group in tomorrow’s edition. Ads and claims like these create the hate and fear that conservatives have plagued American politics with for many years. And for some reason, people actually believe these claims even though they are complete fabrications. Republicans are using an innocent United Nations plan to claim that religious people will be slaughtered by the Democrats. Republicans have only tightened their ties to the Christian Right since President Obama rightly ordered insurance companies to cover contraception for the female employees of religious organizations, and for years, they have attempted to convince Americans that every policy Democrats fight for is anti-Christian. That includes every goal in Agenda 21. Apparently, it’s un-Christian to be responsible stewards of the environment, help people escape poverty, heal the sick, and respect women and children as valuable members of society. The problem of course, is that all of these things are actually Christian values. Among real Christians that is.
This ad shows how vicious the right-wing intends to become as Election Day approaches. Ads like this should never appear in a newspaper and The Daily Advertiser should be boycotted by level-headed citizens until it stops giving crazy right-wing extremists a platform from which to preach their hate and scare the American people.