Ohio paper censors FFRF ad criticizing Catholic Church

A full-page, prepaid ad by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which had been accepted more than a month before to run on Aug. 25, was summarily refused a few days before publication by the Daily Standard in Celina, Ohio.

FFRF was contacted Aug. 20 by Frank Snyder, publisher, and its payment was refunded.

The ad had been suggested and underwritten by a generous Celina FFRF member. The donor noted that the newspaper had accepted and published a full-page ad by a religiously motivated, anti-abortion group on June 6. The ad encouraged Ohio Senate President Pro-Tempore Keith Faber, from Celina, to pass a fetal “personhood” bill.

The signature ad, “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church,” has run in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, generating a lot of dialogue on Catholic bishops’ interference with contraceptive coverage for U.S. women.

The ad, an open letter to “liberal” and “nominal” Catholics, asks:

“Do you choose women and their rights, or bishops and their wrongs? In light of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ war against women’s right to contraception . . . Why are you aiding and abetting a church that has repeatedly engaged in a crusade to ban contraception, abortion and sterilization, to deny the right of all women everywhere, Catholic or not, to decide whether and when to become mothers?”

FFRF receives “a disproportionate number of state-church complaints from Ohio residents unhappy with religion in Ohio government,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “It’s hard to educate or make headway with such obvious and blatant favoritism and censorship. What happened to the vaunted marketplace of ideas?”

The generous donor is on the lookout for a billboard or other venue for an ad promoting FFRF.

Freedom From Religion Foundation