Democrats under fire over fish parody
The state Democratic Party is catching heat for posting an item on its Web site that parodies the popular Christian fish symbol commonly...
Seattle Times Olympia bureau
OLYMPIA — The state Democratic Party is catching heat for posting an item on its Web site that parodies the popular Christian fish symbol commonly seen on the back of cars.
The item — a magnetic version of the fish, emblazoned with flames and the word "Hypocrite" alongside a cross — appeared last week on the Democrats' Web site. It was displayed along with other political-message magnets, bumper stickers and buttons that the party sells.
State Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt said he first found out about the hypocrite fish posting on Friday when someone from KIRO radio called to ask him to go on the air to give an explanation.
"The moment I became aware of it, I insisted it be taken down," Berendt said Tuesday. "I'm sorry if anyone was offended. It's embarrassing."
Berendt said the item had not been "properly vetted" and was on the Web site for less than 48 hours. He said the party didn't even have any of the magnets in stock.
"We didn't sell any of them, and we're not going to," he said.
State Rep. Doug Ericksen, R-Bellingham, put out a news release Tuesday criticizing the Democrats for posting what he described as an "anti-Christian" symbol.
"It's just amazing that they have people sitting in their office who think that way," Ericksen said. "You would never see anything on a Republican Web site demeaning Judaism or the Islamic faith."
The fish magnet is copyrighted by a Mount Vernon company called Reefer Magnets. The company mostly sells magnets with pro-marijuana messages such as "Hemp is Patriotic" and "Jesus is coming, roll another joint."
Berendt said he wasn't sure what the fish symbol is supposed to mean but said he thinks it is aimed at "people who claim to be pro-life but are for the death penalty."
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