The Irish Bishops Conference believes certain passages in the New Testament — specifically, portions of St. Paul's letters to the Corinthians — should be banned from the Catholic liturgy because they might "give contemporary society an undesirable impression concerning women."

In the Epistles, Paul talks about marriage and male-female relations in a way that some feminists have interpreted as advocating domestic violence. 

John Waters of the Irish Times complains that the bishops accepted "the propaganda of those representing one side of an argument and proposed editing Scripture to fall in with this analysis." The notion that there are "rampaging males spouting Corinthians" while whomping on their wives is sheer lunacy, he writes. 

Reeling in the Rainbows 

City officials in Traverse City, Mich., last week backpedaled furiously from a plan to put rainbow bumper stickers on police cars and other city vehicles after gay rights groups latched onto the emblems as support for their cause. 

The sticker featured a rainbow background overlaid with human figures resembling interlocking puzzle pieces and the words, "We Are Traverse City." City officials said they spent $1,800 on 10,000 of them in an effort to celebrate diversity and show their support for unity. But the sticker and its implied support for gay rights didn't sit well with some locals. 

Godless Burials in Washington 

Military honor guards at the Tahoma National Cemetery near Kent, Wash., are being asked to avoid religious references during committal ceremonies or be barred from the grounds, reports the Associated Press. 

Cemetery director Mary Ann Fisher said honor guards should present a simple ceremony and only provide a chaplain if one is requested. Veterans complained that the new programs will be cold and impersonal, but other posts have already changed their policies. An American Legion honor guard based in Bellevue recently removed all references to God and instead stresses only military service during its ceremonies. 

Winds of Change in Germany 

The German army, which began admitting women to its front-line fighting forces last week, is passing some unusual edicts and contemplating still more to cope with the brave new world confronting it. 

Some field commanders, reports The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh, are being asked to refrain from using obscenities and breaking wind in front of the female soldiers, as well as to mind their hygiene in the field. The Army's central command also is grappling with whether to issue olive-green bras, in order to make uniforms consistent throughout, and whether to segregate portable toilets. Apparently, several new recruits have complained about their colleagues' aim. 

Commandments Must Come Down 

County officials in Kentucky could face jail time or fines if they don't remove the Ten Commandments from their courthouse walls, reports the Associated Press. The officials are arguing a motion filed by the ACLU that they be held in contempt for hanging the documents despite a judge's order. 

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman ruled in May that displays in McCreary and Pulaski counties and in the Harlan County schools had the "overwhelming effect of endorsing religion." She ordered them removed and forbade any similar displays. 

The displays were removed, but officials in McCreary and Pulaski put up new ones in October. Their attorneys argue that the religious document is next to other historical documents and the overall display is not a religious one. 

Frankly My Dear ... 

Former Atlanta Mayor and diplomat Andrew Young is calling for a rational debate on the issue of the Confederate flag in Georgia, saying he doesn't want the rancor to tear the state apart or distract the state legislature from other priorities like education standards and electoral reforms. 

Speaking at a church last Sunday, according to the Atlanta Constitution, Young urged both sides in the debate to seek common ground and said it is not an issue worth becoming emotional over. 

"Any racial reconciliation we've had in this country has come not out of confrontation but out of a spirit of reconciliation," he said. "If we continue to practice an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we'll eventually end up with a land of people who are blind and toothless." 

As for himself, Young said he couldn't care less whether the flag stays or goes. "I don't give a damn," he said after the speech. 

 

Mail From the Central Servers 

Steve C. in Forney, Texas, is reading our mind and writes: 

Larry P. argues that "while conservatives exploit rare and unusual events in an attempt to hang the PC Albatross around liberals' necks, political correctness is clearly blind to, and shared by, all ideologies and political parties." 

If these events, are so "rare & unusual," sir, then pray tell why there seems to be so many of them? 

Jeff Z. writes: 

PC is NOT "an overarching attempt to appease or not to offend." It is a biased and willful means of forcing one's viewpoint down another's throat. 

David C. complains: 

The only thing worse than the PC fear-to-offend is the trampling of historic reality along the way. 

Paul J. writes: 

As a 20+ year veteran of our military (still serving in the Active Reserves) I am constantly taken aback over how we "redefine" appropriate "speak" to accommodate everyone these days. 

... what used to be referred to as a rifleman is now just a soldier. And a soldier does not use marksMANship techniques, they are now the basics of good shooting. 

... there is the former foxHOLE also known as a FIGHTING POSITION. Now they are referred to as a defensive station. 

I do hope the new millennium and new administration knows which end of the tube the round comes out of. And that it allows the military to be what it was and should be ... the defender of this great nation, not it's sounding board for politically correct thinkspeak.