Each morning I go through three newspapers: a local one, a state one, and a national one. This morning two articles made me nuts enough to choke on my morning coffee:
The first one was in today's Star-Ledger (our state newspaper). Right off the bat, it annoyed me with the headline,"A limited American visit for an older pope" (italics added by me). You can hear the undertone, "Here we go again, another John Paul II. A feeble old man who can't do much. He'll be dead soon, so no point is listening to what he has to say." I mean, the Dalai Lama is 72, but the press never prefaces their stories about him with comments about how he's not getting any younger! Soon we'll be getting the stories about how "Pope Benedict comes to visit a flock largely divided on issues such as abortion, birth control, homosexuality, the ordination of women, 'less filling' or 'tastes great', Ginger or Maryann, Darren 1 or Darren 2, Sean Connery or Roger Moore, etc." The bottom line is that Pope Benedict has shown himself not to be a traveller. So the very fact that he chooses to make a visit to the United States, when you can only count on one hand the other countries he has visited, says something about how he perceives a need for a visit.
The second article was an AP article that appeared in the Express-Times (our local newspaper). In the section called "Teen Scene", talking about how the ever-ambiguous "many people" feel that school nurses in middle schools should be able to dispense contraceptives (without parents' knowledge, of course). Unfortunately it's not posted on their website, so I can't give you the link so you can share my rage. When I was in 6th grade, our school nurse gave vision tests, scoliosis tests, and handled nosebleeds from schoolyard fights. My, how times have changed!