The most widely syndicated political cartoonist in the world took aim at GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin recently, not for her politics, but for her faith.
Cartoonist Pat Oliphant mocked Palin by depicting her speaking “in tongues,” a believed spiritual prayer language sometimes practiced by members of Pentecostal congregations, such as Palin’s former Assemblies of God church.
In the cartoon, published on WashingtonPost.com and viewable here, also depicts God responding to Palin’s prayer language by saying, “All I can hear is some dam’ right wing politician spouting gibberish.”
“The cartoon is despicable,” said Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent for The General Council of the Assemblies of God to CBN News. “Millions of Christians today follow the example of first century Christians who prayed in other tongues. The Washington Post would not think of printing a cartoon that mocked members of the Muslim or Jewish faiths. It should be ashamed.”
“Furthermore,” said Wood, “Sarah Palin has to my knowledge never said she prays in other tongues.”
CBN also reported a response to the cartoon from Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell:
“A political cartoon by Pat Oliphant that appeared on washingtonpost.com Wednesday prompted complaints from about 350 readers who said he lampooned their faith.
“Readers were right to complain; I will deal with political cartooning in another column. Political cartoons and comics aren’t selected at washingtonpost.com the way they are for The Post in print; they are automatically posted,” wrote Howell.
Pat Oliphant is a Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist whose Universal Press Syndicate page cites The New York Times calling him “the most influential cartoonist now working.” A native of Australia, Oliphant moved to the U.S. in 1964. His cartoons appear in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and countless newspapers and magazines around the world.