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From AJR,   December 1999  issue

Sacred Satire   


By Kent German
Kent German is a former editorial assistant at American Journalism Review.     

In its September/October issue, a small Texas magazine dubbed Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson "Loser of the Month." A small Texas Christian magazine, to be exact.

"We write about him a lot," says Ole Anthony, publisher or "high sheriff" of The Door. Robertson sees himself as "the Ayatollah of America," he adds.

Published by the Dallas-based Trinity Foundation, of which Anthony is also president, The Door calls itself "the world's pretty much only religious satire magazine."

Anthony insists that he and the magazine are "unabashedly Christian," adding that the jabs at religious leaders are all in good fun. "We hope to reveal the hypocrisy and self-pomposity in religious circles," he says.

The Door has a wide array of targets. Former football star and ordained minister Reggie White, Xena the Warrior Princess and Vice President Al Gore have all been raked over the coals. Many Christian bookstores stopped carrying the magazine when it crowned the MTV characters Beavis and Butt-Head "Theologians of the Decade" and named former Sen. Bob Dole the antichrist in 1996. In the November/December issue, The Door picks another antichrist, Star Wars character Jar-Jar Binks.

Started as a youth workers' newsletter in 1971 in El Cajon, California, The Door was acquired by Trinity, a nonprofit Christian organization, in 1995. The bimonthly has a circulation of 12,000 and carries no advertising, which, Anthony admits, might be hard to come by. "Certainly they'd have to agree with what we do," he says. "I'm not really sure who would do that."