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Fundies calling for action against Raleigh N&O for a comic strip

The McClatchy Company, publishers of the Raleigh News & Observer, ought to be inundated with contacts from Christian people expressing their displeasure at McGruder’s misuse of the Lord’s name in his comic strip, The Boondocks.

…Children (home schoolers and those in Christian schools) could be taught a lesson about respecting the Lord’s name by getting them to write letters of protest to the staff of the N&O;. Perhaps then the fire of righteous indignation would spread to other newspapers, even many other situations. And the name of our God would once again be hallowed throughout the land.”
Rev. Mark H. Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina

Can you believe this nonsense? The wingnuttery starts right up on Monday. This time it’s a Raleigh minister (and AgapePress columnist) and a local businessman worrying about a comic strip corrupting the thoughts of the young by “taking the Lord’s name in vain. The best part of this story is the response by the N&O; staffer, which was basically to tell the guy to get a life.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” It’s the third of God’s Ten Commandments and Bill Grantlin, a retired insurance salesman of Raleigh, North Carolina, takes it seriously. Grantlin already questioned the morality of the comic strip, The Boondocks. But he believed something ought to be done about it because it recently “crossed the line,” as he put it, by “using the Lord’s name in vain.”

The edition of The Boondocks that captured Grantlin’s attention made a spoof of Oprah Winfrey’s latest visit to Paris. Winfrey’s trip received national attention when she was denied entry to an upscale Paris store after hours. Poking fun of Winfrey and all of the hoopla over her not being able to get into the establishment, Aaron McGruder, the comic strip’s creator, drew a picture of Winfrey on a ticket that could be placed with store clerks that essentially says if you see this woman, “for Christ’s sake let her in.”


Boondocks. Click to enlarge.

For Grantlin, this was a final straw. Grantlin had once before contacted the Raleigh News & Observer about the content in The Boondocks, but this time he wanted some action to be taken. Grantlin said his call was not to convince the newspaper to cancel the comic strip, but simply to get it moved to a more appropriate section. “I wanted it moved to the editorial section — back where Doonesbury is — where an eight-year-old child is not going to read it,” he said.

Unfortunately, however, Grantlin got only resistance from the N&O; staff. “All the other newspapers do this,” a staff member told Grantlin. “Times are changing and we are becoming more liberal. [Come on, what newspaper staffer would say something like this, lololol. Grantlin’s has to be making this up…] The News & Observer has a daily circulation of 160,000 people and we received exactly seven other complaints. And you know what, not one of them was a child,” the staff person added. Grantlin said the remark about not receiving complaints from children was the most ridiculous statement he had ever heard.

According to Grantlin, the N&O; staff also told him he ought to find more productive ways to spend his time like doing volunteer work.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding