Today, the first day of April, fourteen were killed and hundreds injured in riots over a controversial Snoopy cartoon published yesterday in several U.S. newspapers. The cartoon, which Off on a Tangent has chosen not to print, depicted the cartoon dog engaged in a sex act with Lucy.
Following publication of the cartoon in the New York Times and other major newspapers, angry American citizens—including many followers of radical Christian televangelists—took to the streets, beating atheists and moderates who had turned out in support of free speech.
“This is a sad day,” said Jerry Falwell, a prominent Christian leader. “It is a truly sad day when newspapers see fit to publish such vile filth, and claim protection of ‘free press’ and ‘free speech.’ Followers of Jesus must stand up for what is right, and bring a righteous vengeance upon those who draw and publish this blasphemy.”