New York, NY, March 1, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage at a shocking parody in the winter 2004 issue of Heeb Magazine that plays on the recent controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ." Among other destructive images, the magazine's "Crimes of Passion" photo display portrays Jesus as a sex object with his genitalia wrapped in a Jewish prayer shawl. The Virgin Mary is shown as a seductress with exposed breasts and body piercings.
"Heeb Magazine's irresponsible attempt at parody is deeply offensive and blasphemous to both Christians and Jews," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "There is a point when parody crosses the line into tastelessness. With this issue, Heeb not only crosses that boundary but engages in highly destructive anti-Christian themes that are both insensitive and ill-timed."
From the magazine's debut in January 2002, ADL has expressed misgivings about the magazine's attempts at irreverence, including the use of an ethnic slur as a name.
In a letter to Heeb Editor-in-Chief Joshua Neuman, the League said the winter 2004 issue confirms those earlier concerns. "For us, it is no more acceptable to be anti-Christian than it is to be anti-Jewish," Mr. Foxman said in the letter to Heeb. "Coming at a time when a major motion picture is threatening to turn back the clock on decades of positive interfaith relations, your magazine's irresponsible attempt at parody has done a great disservice to the Jewish community."