Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Funday: Effing Freedom

It's Friday, and we're returning to our regular habit of focusing on lighter subjects, and those that may just make you laugh. That's important to us, especially because we fully expect next week to be filled with more of the superfluous political attack on Attorney General Eric Holder, and a pile of rulings from a Supreme Court that's only partially about justice.

So... how about those nuns in busses?

Right now, Catholic bishops and Catholic nuns in busses, are crossing the country - and each other - in the debate about the Affordable Care Act. Just the mental image of busses filled with bishops, following around busses filled with nuns, hollering at the nuns, gives us at least a little bit of a chuckle.

In case you missed it, the bishops are traveling around in busses, insisting that Americans - not just Catholic Americans, but all Americans - campaign AGAINST the Affordable Care Act. The bishops specifically despise the provisions that say all health insurance companies must offer the OPTION to cover birth control in all their policies. As we've discussed previously, the ACA's changes don't include mandatory birth control, nor do they mandate free birth control - both often fictions that right-wing propaganda outlets continue to screech, long after those fictions have been proven false.

To put it bluntly, the bishops want to have the government take away the responsibility and right that Americans now have for their own reproductive health care.

The fact is, no matter what the bishops want, 98% of American women - including Catholics - have used birth control at some time. The large dose of irony involved in the bishops' chief complaint - that their rights are being infringed because they're not being allowed to use the government to infringe upon the rights of others - is one that makes us chuckle deeply. It's almost as though we're watching busses filled with Don Quixotes heading for the proverbial windmills.

Meanwhile, the nuns are also criss-crossing the country, using secularly proven facts - not their bibles - to promote their viewpoints. The nuns are pointing out that the budget and policy plans pushed by Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and the rest of the Republican Party, will actually create MORE poor Americans, worse social conditions - and probably more unwanted children.

As we've heard from media colleagues in the upper midwest , one group is certainly receiving warmer welcomes in many towns, especially from women.

For the bishops, their bus trip likely didn't get any better with the latest ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Court ruled on Thursday against sanctioning two major television networks - Fox and ABC - regarding the FCC's ban on vulgar words and nudity. Multiple TV and radio hosts immediately joked that they could now begin saying any of the legendary "Seven Words You Can't Say" on air, made famous by comedian George Carlin.

In truth, the Court's ruling doesn't lift the current ban on indecency in broadcast media. It was clear, however, by reading the Justices' opinions, that the Court may be looking at reconsidering the original 1978 "Pacifica" ruling, due to the changes in cable and the internet since 1978.

All of this may result in some cursing and swearing by those same wrinkled old, bitter bishops, trapped on their busses, traveling across the country - slowly.

Sometimes, our job on Fridays is tough, looking at the world and trying to find something to laugh at.

Occasionally though, we look around, see some crazy old men screaming hypocrisy at clouds, and our job becomes incredibly easy.

Maybe today it was simply divine intervention.

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