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Louisiana candidate decries anti-Catholic political ads August 22, 2007

In Louisiana, a Catholic gubernatorial candidate has protested opponents' campaign ads that depict him as intolerant of Protestants.

Bobby Jindal, a Republican candidate, cited a television ad run by Democratic Party leaders in some heavily Protestant areas. The ad charges that Jindal thinks of Protestants as "scandalous, depraved, selfish, and heretical."

The ad is based on an article by Jindal that appeared in a Catholic magazine, the New Oxford Review, in 1996. In that article Jindal argued that there is "no justification in the Bible or the early Church" for the establishment of new Christian denominations outside the Catholic Church. While he praised the vigor and sincerity of many Protestant groups, he wrote that the divisions among Christians are "scandalous."

William Donohue, the head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, denounced the Democratic Party ads as a "scurrilous smear" that appealed to anti-Catholic prejudices. Democratic leaders have insisted in reply that the ads are accurate.

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