A new prayer book issued by the Church of England has eliminated the fabled "Three Wise Men" because church officials aren't sure they were smart or even men, reports the Independent.

People are now supposed to use the gender-neutral term "magi" instead.

"The possibility that one or more of the magi were female cannot be excluded completely," said the committee that issued the new guidelines.

Malicious Jellybeans

Parents have sued a school district in suburban Dayton, Ohio, after a kindergarten teacher stopped their daughter from distributing to her classmates bags of jellybeans with a prayer attached, reports the Dayton Daily News.

Allen and Sheila Wuebben of Kettering say the school would not allow their daughter to hand out Easter treats to her classmates at Orchard Park Elementary School because of the attached religious message.

School Superintendent Robert Mengerink defended the decision, saying the kids are too impressionable.

"My concern is, can a kindergarten child discern the difference between a friend's opinion about religion and that it wasn't coming from the school or the teacher?" he said.

Harried Hares

New Zealand's advertising watchdog has determined that an ad featuring a group of dancing, chanting butchers praising red meat was "extremely derogatory and insulting to Hare Krishnas," reports the New Zealand Press Association.

"The Appeal Board was in no doubt that the intonation, rhythm, chanting and instrumentation of the butchers dancing down the street was evocative of the Hare Krishna movement," the Advertising Standards Complaint Board said in its ruling.

"Taking into account that Hare Krishnas had vegetarian dietary habits and considered the cow to be a sacred animal, the advertisement ... was extremely derogatory and insulting to Hare Krishnas," it added.

The ad was sponsored by the New Zealand Beef and Lamb Marketing Bureau.

Crossing the Constitution

Officials in Stanislaus County, Calif., removed a 40-year-old memorial from public property there because the monument included a cross and might infringe upon rules about church-state separation, reports the Modesto Bee.

Officials brought in a front-end loader to move the eight-foot cross from its perch at Frank Raines Regional Park to private property nearby. They moved it after being told its presence may be unconstitutional.

The cross is a memorial to David Minniear, who was lost at sea in 1961. Minniear was the son of Ore Minniear, who directed the county inmate work gangs that built the park.

As If Janet Weren't Enough

Native American groups are calling for a boycott of CBS after the rap group OutKast performed an "offensive and demeaning" song in garish Indian garb at the Grammys, reports the Native American Times.

CBS apologized for the performance by OutKast, in which young women dressed in green buckskin dresses danced around with a man wearing a war bonnet and another shirtless man in green buckskin leggings. In the background was a tipi with smoke billowing out of it.

Activists at the Native American Cultural Center in San Francisco called the show the "most disgusting set of racial stereotypes aimed at the American Indians that I have ever seen on TV."

Heteroflexible Language

The San Francisco Chronicle informs us that the term "homosexual" is not appropriate when referring to gay people anymore ("too pathological and clinical") and that a whole host of new words are popping up to describe Bay Area folks who don't fit into the whole "binary male-female system."

"Genderqueer" is someone who thinks there are more than two sexes and doesn't consider himself or herself male or female. Someone who is "pansexual" is attracted to people of multiple genders.

In the transgender (someone with a "gender identity different from the one assigned at birth") community, a "trannydyke" is a transgender person attracted to people "with a more feminine gender" and a "trannyfag" is someone attracted to people with "a more masculine gender."

A "boi" is usually a "biological female" with a boyish manner. She might feel like a boy with a "y," but since she doesn't have the "boy parts" then boi with an "i" is preferable.

And among people of color, the Chronicle says, the term "queer" sounds too white so they prefer the terms "same-gender-loving people" or "men who sleep with men."

The list goes on: "boydyke," "trannyboy, " "multigendered," "polygendered," "queerboi," "transboi," "transguy," "transman," "half-dyke," "bi-dyke," "stud," "stem," "trisexual," "omnisexual," and "multisexual."

Hours of fun!

For a daily dose of politically correct shenanigans, head over to the Tongue Tied Web site.

Mailbag:

Peter H. in Houston, Texas, writes:

Boy, did you cause me to spill my coffee when I read this quote from a hockey official: "Ted Baker, the OHL's director of hockey operations, said the league does not tolerate comments directed at players based on their origin, ethnicity or sexual orientation."

Sexual orientation?? What does that have to do with being a hockey player? As long as you are a great player on the ice, that's all that matters, right? Besides, who would know if you were gay or not? And whose business would it be, anyway?

Incidentally, I happen to be gay, and if what Mr. Baker is implying is true -- that there are gay hockey players out there - well, maybe I need to start attending a few of these games myself! Big guys on skates with big sticks...hmmm....!

Mike S. writes:

What the hell is wrong with you people? How can your network, on one hand, claim to be "fair and balanced", and then, on the other hand, post garbage like TongueTied on your network's website? FauxNews is lame. And you are certainly NOT a real news organization. More like a propaganda mouthpiece for the right-wing.

Your company makes me sick.

Doug P. writes:

Franceman is to Frenchman as Chinaman is to...

Englandman is to Englishman as Chinaman is to...

Hollandman is to Dutchman as Chinaman is to...

Have you figured it out? "Chinaman" actually is a nonsensical and historically derogative term. I have the utmost respect for admitted ignorance, but there's no need to report one person's ignorance to imply another's hypersensitivity. Just learn your lesson and move on.

Jeff A. in Dallas writes:

This might have been news to you guys, but I've heard the term "Euro" used to describe Germans, Brits, etc. for quite some time (several years). It is generally spoken as though it has a negative connotation, which I guess makes it a bit of a slur. Like the term "white trash" I've heard "Euro trash" used as well. 

I'm a white male, and I worked with a British man a few years ago. He and I jokingly referred to each other as the Yank and the Euro. It's more prevalent than you think.

Buddy B. writes:

I'm saddened that the Southern Poverty Law Center has chosen to take on causes that no one really cares about. At one time it was fighting real evil in our country, now it seems to be "fighting windmills." What does opposing the posting of the Ten Commandments have to do with justice for the poor?

Judy T. in Nashville writes:

Obviously you know nothing about the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center if you think they are "focusing" on diabetic prison inmates, Ten Commandments Toting Judges and writing movie reviews.

If you had lived in the City of Selma, Ala. in the 1960s and seen as many lynchings of innocent black people as I did, you wouldn't be so callous about a group dedicated to promoting tolerance. The KKK terrorized even us white people. Thank God the Center defeated that organization of  thugs and criminals in so many different forums, though obviously not in your ridiculous column.

Cassandra M. writes:

Why do you and your readers hate minorities so much? Fair and balance? I am an independent, and you cannot fool me. You are not fair nor balanced.

William W. in London writes:

All your heartfelt worries about the ever-growing tide of political correctness -- give me a break, you people. With all that is horrific, evil, tragic, and truly bad in the world, you guys with this column are just, well funny really.

You seem to spend all your time going on about how minorities are wrongfully complaining about discrimination and labeling. These complaints may well be unreasonable or blown up by the media into something they are not, however your complaints are surely even more petty and therefore worse. 

You guys should really be worrying about why your population is so obese, why your government is so unpopular abroad and why at the moment in time when your military power around the world is at a level never seen by any country, your international political influence is meanwhile evaporating?

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