The Rockford Register Star reports that city officials in Oregon, Ill. changed the name of a statue scheduled to be put up outside the local judicial center because the title was deemed "too polytheistic."
Sculptor David Seagraves said his work, originally titled "Demeter Over Illinois," was intended as a monument to fertility and agriculture. Donated by a local artists group, it is due to be erected in front of the Ogle County Judicial Center this fall.
When it goes up, however, it will carry the title "Agriculture, Mother of Civilization" following complaints from some religious leaders in town.
The Rev. Kent Svendsen didn't want the statue to go up at all, but compromised on the name change. He said the Demeter name might have been misunderstood as an advocation of idol worship or polytheism.
Coca-Cola has been forced to yank an ad for its new Zero drink in Scotland following complaints that its use of the term "psychos" was insensitive to the mentally disturbed, reports the Scotsman.
The ad campaign for the new product said many things in life would be better without a downside — "blind dates without the psychos," for example.
Mental health campaigners, however, described the word as "extremely derogatory" and stigmatizing to people with disabilities.
"Psycho is a term we are trying to dissuade people from using," said Linda Dunion of the See Me campaign. "It is used to trivialize serious mental illness and as a shorthand for horrendous crime."
Suffer the Scouts
City officials in Philadelphia have told the local Boy Scout council to reject the national body's ban on gay scout leaders or move out of the city-owned building it has occupied since 1928, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Philadelphia Mayor John Street informed the Cradle of Liberty council, the third largest in the country with some 87,000 members, that its policy contradicts the city's non-discrimination ordinances. If the council refuses to change, he said, it must either move out or start paying fair-market-value rent.
Robert Bork Jr., a spokesman for the national scouting organization, says the group intends to fight the city's decision. He said the city of Philadelphia rents space to more than 75 community organizations, including 14 other youth organizations and several religious groups, and makes no effort to dictate those groups' policies.
A militant Islamic group in Indonesia has filed a formal complaint with police there, accusing the country's representative at the Miss Universe competition of acting indecently for parading around in public in a swimsuit, reports Reuters.
The Islamic Defenders Front accused Nadine Chandrawinata, who participated in last week's competition in Los Angeles, of insulting the dignity of Indonesian women everywhere. The group also filed a complaint against four people involved in organizing her participation in the event.
The offenses cited by the group carry potential sentences ranging from two to six years in jail.
Open and Honest Debate
A former Colorado governor is being pilloried for saying in a recent speech that some minorities tend to blame white racism for their troubles instead of openly and honestly confronting social and cultural issues that may be holding them back, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
In a speech to what was described by the paper as an audience including only a handful of people of color, former Gov. Richard Lamm told the Vail Symposium that Latinos remain an "underclass" in America because their culture is "not success-producing."
The comments were described as dangerous by Denver-area politicians, who said they only serve to fuel stereotypes and extremism instead of encouraging helpful dialogue.
"I couldn't believe that in this day and age that someone would be so open with a sense of bigotry and extremism," said Fidel "Butch" Montoya, a former city official and a leader of Confianza, a group of local Latino clergy.
The Never-Ending Flag Flap
A city councilman in Michigan's City of Flags, Davison, is urging local leaders to remove the state flag of Mississippi from a collection of 50 state flags flying in front of the municipal center because it incorporates the Confederate symbol in its top right corner, reports the Flint Journal.
City Councilman Kevin McKague introduced a motion asking that the flag be taken down, saying it represents racism and was "flown by traitors" during a war that killed many Americans. He wants it sent to the governor of Mississippi with a note saying that Davison refuses to fly his state's racist flag.
Other council members rejected the motion, saying that if the city removes one flag it will have to do the same with the flags of states that, for example, outlaw gay marriage or abortion.
For more politcally correct nuttiness, head over the Tongue Tied daily edition.
Kim J. writes:
The comment from the Kansas City Star about [a slogan being a racist phrase] is pretty funny considering one of the most popular songs on the radio right now is by a black artist, YungJoc, using that exact phrase to express his feeling towards his fellow race.
Was the member of the editorial board black? If [so, he or she... needs] to stop the stupidity of calling everything racist and calling attention to their own racism. Until black society stops the poor-us syndrome and the whites stop the poor-them attitude, racism will continue on and never get past this ridiculous outlook everyone has that everything is meant to offend some race.
Ken in Augusta writes:
Normally, I agree with you that the PC insanity has gone too far. Even in the Army. The people offended by "eenie meenie minie moe" and "picnic," the fear that any show of religion in public is evil, etc., have gotten out of hand. But when a church school voluntarily decides not to have a song that is believed to be in part a denunciation of all religions, creeds and faiths, I have to agree with them.
Much like in the army, we do not play songs about how all war is evil and soldiers are killers. We choose not to listen to or play something that is insulting to us. And isn't that what America is all about? The right to choose?
Tim in Louisiana writes:
Your report on the church in Southern England removing the song "Imagine" from their end-of-year program doesn't strike me as material for the PC Patrol. Religious groups are expected to make these kind of decisions regarding material fit for their organization. PC silliness occurs when government agencies make these distinctions and limit freedom of speech. Learn the difference!
Joseph D. writes:
It just goes to show that some things do repeat themselves with each generation. Thirty-four years ago, my eighth grade class at Holy Family School in Brooklyn, N.Y. picked John Lennon's "Imagine" as the theme song of our graduation, only to have it later shot down because of the same reason. We wound up instead going with Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence."
Steve F. writes:
With attacks being made daily on Christianity in the name of "tolerance" and "diversity", I see no problem with Christians then applying the PCer's own standards to them. Do they think it unfair to receive a dose of their own medicine?
Shawn C. in Michigan writes:
In regards to the councilman from Springfield, Ore., I can find nothing wrong, racist, or offensive about his email. He is doing exactly what our leaders ought to be doing if they only had the backbone to want to defend this country rather than hide behind political correctness. Illegal immigration is wrecking this country... are we all supposed to stand idly by just because the majority of illegal immigrants are Hispanic and therefore any effort to stop them must be racist?
The Springfield mayor said, "Lest a vital segment of our community was to question their place in Springfield." Is he daft? They are here illegally; of course they should question their place in the community!
Mayor Sid Leiken of Springfield, Ore. writes:
I rebuked city councilor Ralston, not for his personal views, but for using his position and city e-mail to make his statement. There is a state statute that clearly states the city of Springfield cannot enforce federal immigration policy. The statute is ORS 181.850.
Councilor Ralston can make any statement he wishes from a personal standpoint. My personal viewpoints are actually fairly close to his, but instead of "yelling fire in a crowded theater" I am working with our federal delegation to strengthen and enforce federal immigration policy.