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Friday, February 23, 2007

Ohio Gov. Strickland Gets Apology: Christian Cartoon Was 'Low Blow'

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A scurrilous editorial cartoon appeared recently in the religiously-oriented, pro-life publication Christian Citizen USA that ridiculed Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and his wife, Frances. Democrat Strickland is an ordained Methodist minister who is not aligned with the religious right. Now the publication's owner has publicly apologized for a "low blow" and is seeking forgiveness.

"The cartoon on our Commentary page was provocative. It was about our new governor Ted Strickland. Gov. Strickland and his wife have a history of not living together in the same location at the same time. Some of our readers thought the cartoon speculated on their personal lifestyle choices. Either way, we apologize for the cartoon. In hindsight it was a low blow and as Christians we did not do a good job of showing the same grace that God has faithfully showed us through our many mess-ups," Pendra Lee Snyder said about the incident.

"Our commentary page is set aside to express what we hope are opinions based on solid facts -- opinions that are helpful, not hurtful. The news pages are just that, news. We work to keep a distinction. And we certainly do not want to come across as throwing out what we might believe is smart commentary when in reality it is just smart aleck commentary."

She said Christ probably would not have put such a cartoon in print and closed by saying, "Please forgive us and please send your comments."

Other Ohioans on the right have raised similar smarmy questions about the governor's sexual orientation -- an issue that Republican Ken Blackwell's camp tried to flog without success in the final days of his tanked gubernatorial effort. Mrs. Snyder, at least, demonstrated she has class by confessing online for all the world to see that she had strayed from her Christian principles. She didn't hide or dissemble. Others who jumped on the Blackwell gay-bashing bandwagon have yet to do the same.

There is quite a bit of background about Mrs. Snyder's publication HERE , and it is an important voice and widely read by those active in the evangelical movement. She even had the courage and fundamental decency to print this letter from a critic:

"Dear Editor,
"The cartoon, about Governor Strickland, in the January (2007) edition of the Christian Citizen USA seems out of place in a Christian publication.
"I believe that Christians are to show love and Christ to the world. I do not feel that cartoon does either.
"I feel that Christians should not talk, in a negative way, about people, spread gossip and/or poke fun at others.
"I do not think Christ would have put that cartoon in the paper if he were the editor.
"I am ashamed of the newspaper having that cartoon in it and although I usually pass the paper out to co-workers and friends, this edition will go in my garbage.
"I did not vote for Strickland so my opinion is not because of favor for him. It just seems very unchristian like.
In Christ,
Bonnie Sylvia
West Portsmouth, OH"


  1. I do agree that, absent it affecting his job performance, Strickland's marital life should not have been part of the conversation. There are many reasons people should not have voted for Strickland that don't involve his personal life. Wouldn't have mattered anyways Blackwell had no chance in this election. Last year was an ugly cycle for Republicans all around and twice as much in Ohio with the problems with Taft and Noe.

  2. Excellent points! The Enquirer's "apology" was as hollow as Liz Carroll's "I didn't do it" speech before she was sentenced Thursday.

  3. Hi LargeBill --

    Right you are. That said, many D's and R's I know were really bugged about the attacks on Strickland, feeling they were very cheap.

  4. Did any of you see the cartoon? It does not mention Strickland by name, nor the state of Ohio. It does not come "out" and say that this unnamed Governor of the unnamed state is gay, either.
    It shows a guy, unpacking, saying "Honey, have you seen my socks?" The last panel shows a woman (presumably his wife) and a man (presumably his assistant) answering him.
    For anyone to jump to the conclusion that the guy is Strickland, and/or gay, they would have to have some pre-knowledge of Strickland's situation.
    Plus, what's wrong with being gay? I thought liberals were pro-gay?
    Plus, it's a FREAKING CARTOON !!! It's not footage from a documentary.
    Lighten up, you people, on both sides.