Apparently, we’re not going to find out who paid for a Stearns County billboard that criticized Catholic Charities’ involvement in resettling programs, but it’s coming down anyway.
“We were made aware that it was factually wrong,” billboard company chief financial officer James Braith tells the St. Cloud Times. “That is the reason that we’re taking it down, not because we believe it to be offensive.”
“Catholic Charities Resettles Islamists: EVIL or INSANITY?” the billboard in Waite Park, Minn., said.
The local chapter of Catholic Charities doesn’t participate in resettlement programs, according to Beth Cummings, communications and public relations manager at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud.
“In this particular instance, we were made aware that it was factually wrong,” Braith said. “That is the reason that we’re taking it down, not because we believe it to be offensive.”
Technically, though, it’s not wrong. The billboard doesn’t say which Catholic Charities chapter supports resettlement.
Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Catholic Charities in Winona do assist with resettlement for refugees.
What’s the problem here?
Whoever bought the billboard — the company refuses to say — is taking his cue from right wing websites, such as Breitbart, which have complained that the resettlement program doesn’t track refugees, and is compensated for participating in the resettlement program.