The Unrepentant Cartoonist | Letters | Chicago Reader

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The Unrepentant Cartoonist

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To the editor:

When I drew the comic strip "Coming II" (April 5), I never imagined it might be held up by Joseph Morris to what he praises as the brilliance of Dostoyevsky and Doonesbury (Letters, April 12). I also never expected anyone to take up arms against the gross injustice of a "puerile" cartoon on behalf of a superwealthy religion whose doctrines may do some good in the world but also foster overpopulation, homophobia, the repercussions of employee celibacy, and a candy store of assorted intolerances.

My intent was to satirize the business of organized religion, using organized crime as a parallel. It was not my intent to stir "impulses of hate" but ones of criticism. Mr. Morris seems to take as much exception to my burlesque caricature of the Catholic Church as I take to being characterized as a sinner who will burn in hell for eternity. He embraces an attack against "Kumbaya," which seems to imply that the Girl Scouts who sing it at campfires are fair game but the Vatican must be unsullied and venerated. I disagree. As a matter of fact, I'd like to apologize to the Girl Scouts for maligning their musical tastes, as well as to the Mafia, whose stereotypes I drew on as a literary device.

As for Mr. Morris's parental admonishment to "clean out my crayon box with soap," I will happily use what's left of the bar when the Catholic Church has finished using it to clean its own gilded conscience.

Garret Gaston

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