A Wisconsin anti-religion group is complaining about the governor's decision to fly flags at half-mast at state buildings in honor of the pope, calling it an illegal endorsement of Roman Catholicism, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (search), says the move "appears like an endorsement of Roman Catholicism over other religious viewpoints."

Oh, and they're also complaining in France.

Seeing Red

The Associated Press tells us that more and more parents are pressuring teachers not to use red ink when correcting their kids' papers because it might make the little ones feel bad.

Parents complain that red has become so associated with "negativity" that it stresses out the students, so teachers are turning to turquoise blue, hot pink, lime green and other more "pleasant-feeling tones."

Flying Fears

The Washington Post says some passengers on a United Airlines flight to L.A. were irked that a flight attendant uttered the words "God Bless You" over the aircraft public address system.

Passenger Ken Bicknell says he was taken aback when the attendant thanked him and the others for flying United and then concluded the statement with "God bless you all."

"I just wondered if it was appropriate," said Bicknell, a San Francisco-based government consultant. "You're a captive audience and you have to listen to what the flight attendant tells you."

The paper found one Michael Tomaro, a Milwaukee-based psychologist who specializes in fearful flying, to say that such comments could "trigger latent fears in passengers who aren't terribly comfortable aboard an airliner."

Riling the Restless

The governor of Colorado is in trouble for using the phrase "the natives are getting restless" during a conference on tribal gambling, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

Gov. Bill Owens uttered the phrase at the Western Governors' Association Summit after a participant's microphone wouldn't work and he urged it be fixed quickly.

His spokesman called it an inadvertent comment that the governor regrets, and offered an apology.

No Christ in Christmas

A man who volunteered and worked part time on programs that help juvenile delinquents was fired for sending out an e-mail on his government account that mentioned Jesus Christ, reports the Naples Daily News.

David Correa is out as program coordinator of the Collier County Neighborhood Accountability Board after he sent out a Christmas greeting in December saying, "remember to keep Christ in Christmas."

The group e-mail went out to members of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in southwest Florida, people he worked with at the agency and friends, he said.

Accurate But Offensive

The ombudsman at the Minneapolis Star Tribune says the paper should not have used the term "rampage" in a headline about the school shooting in Red Lake, Minn., because it is demeaning to and fuels stereotypes about American Indians.

"While the technical definition of 'rampage' would accurately describe a shooting that leaves 10 dead, it was a poorly chosen word to describe a catastrophe on an Indian reservation," writes Kate Parry. "Portrayals of 'rampaging Indians' fed hateful stereotypes in books and movies for many years. Yet I've seen the word used in many media around the country to describe the Red Lake shooting."

Parry says someone should have stopped the headline before it saw print.

And Hank Aaron?

The San Jose Mercury News says recent allegations about steroid abuse, adultery and tax evasion against baseball player Barry Bonds (search) are ultimately racist in origin.

Race-baiters say the fact that Bonds was closing in on Babe Ruth's home run record was just too threatening for the white establishment to take so it is now grinding him down.

"If you have a black man who's conscious and independent and on the verge of breaking Babe Ruth's record ... that's frightening," Leonard Moore, a Louisiana State University professor, told the paper. "If you speak out, if you don't play to what white America wants, there will be persecution, scrutiny and unfair reporting."

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.

Mailbag:

Ken S. writes:

I don't see the decision of Carol Murray to avoid the film "Volcanoes" as an example of "politically correct nuttiness." It seems to me that she is doing her job in a responsible fashion. It's simply a marketing decision. If her target audience is a bunch of ignorant yahoos, that's who she has to appeal to in order to maintain a viable film program. It's just a sad fact

Kristen S. in Alaska writes:

Sounds instead to me as if IMAX theaters are shying away from the movie because of feedback from potential viewers, not because they're typing to be politically correct. If they don't run a movie because they fear it won't do well, that's just good business sense. Those would-be non-viewers are voicing honest opinions (which are the opposite of politically correct, by the way) … in a sense, voting with their wallets. Nothing wrong with that. Ease up, Tongue Tied.

Casey L. writes:

I look forward every week to reading your column, however, I must take exception to your piece about the IMAX theatres refusing to air a movie protraying evolution as fact. As much as the scientific powers-that-be of our day love to tell us that evolution actually occurred, there is no concrete scientific proof. The various debates surrounding the creation of the universe and the origin of life on earth leave us in the end with nothing but theories.

I feel that presenting evolution as a fact is no more apporpriate than if the movie said matter-of-factly that the universe came from divine creation. Any movie that presents the origins of life should prevent BOTH views as theory.

Jim M. in Virginia writes:

The piece about the Imax theaters in the South not showing any films with any mention of evolution gets right to the heart of the matter.

These people are ignorant, they know it, and they want to stay that way. There is no use arguing with them, they know what they believe. This is basically true of religious fanatics the world over; they are right and everyone else is wrong. They want fairy tales and miracles; they don't want the truth.

Mary D. writes:

I assume that the group of female students at the U. of New Hampshire who attended the Patriarchy Slam call themselves "womyn." If I assumed anything else, it would be that you need to go back to school for some remedial spelling classes, and I think you are smarter than that.

Andrew G. writes:

African Americans may get February as their month, but Caucasions get the next eleven months for their history commemorative.

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