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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our Crybaby Culture

by Mark P. Shea

Every couple of days it seems somebody falls apart due to "insensitivity." The problem has been buzzing around in our headlines for years. We all remember back in January 1999 when a group of Professionally Aggrieved Grievance Professionals came unglued after David Howard, a white aide to Anthony Williams, the black mayor of Washington, D.C., used the word "niggardly" in reference to a budget. It mattered not one iota that the word has absolutely no etymological relationship with "nigger." (It's of Scandinavian origin and means "miserly" or "stingy.") Letters were written; protests were mounted. Howard himself bowed and scraped in abject remorse like a Stalinist show-trial witness confessing to crimes against the regime. Ten days later, Howard was sacked in a rite of sacrificial appeasement to outraged sensitivity gods. Only his own membership in an Approved Victim Group saved him: It turned out that, as a homosexual, Howard was himself backed up by an entire community of Professionally Aggrieved Grievance Professionals with their own deeply rooted sensitivities that likewise demanded appeasement. The mayor therefore offered Howard a chance to return to his position. Howard refused but accepted another position with the mayor instead.

Such tales are not isolated in our culture. One can go on and on, if for no other reason than the sheer amusement of the thing. A couple of years ago, for instance, Southwest Airlines was hit with a lawsuit for racial harassment. Their crime? They do not assign seats. You simply pick a seat, and the plane takes off. So, in the final prep for take-off, one of the flight attendants came on the intercom and said, "Eenie meenie minie mo, pick a seat, we gotta go." Two African-American passengers naturally could not endure this horrific assault on their exquisite sensitivities. Lawsuit city.

Speaking of cities, Los Angeles issued a request to all manufacturers of computers to cease referring to "master" and "slave" units on their equipment after a hurt soul filed a complaint. Numerous computer manufacturers slavishly complied...  Read the whole article.


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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.