Fear and Loathing in Teletubbyland
by Amanda Chesworth
Jerry Falwell, in a continuing effort to define family values, has declared the TV show
"Teletubbies" a threat to our children. His concern stems from Tinky Winky, one
of the Teletubby characters. Tinky Winky's male voice and red purse and the triangle
protruding from his head have convinced Falwell that the creators of the show, aimed at
toddlers, are intentionally promoting homosexuality. With the occasional tutu being worn
by cast members, the creators have also been accused of confusing gender identity.
Surprise - people have responded with laughter and ridicule. Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" refers to
Falwell as "America's favorite jackass." An ABC
news poll reports 83% of the 7,800 respondents have declared Falwell crazy. But we may
find comfort in knowing that, as Jerry Falwell and the toddlers mature, the line between
fantasy and reality will become clearer.
Speak of the Devil
by Norm Allen
In an attempt to satisfy liberal Catholics who have become embarrassed by the practice,
the Vatican has advised exorcists to be careful to distinguish between real demonic
possessions and cases where victims are suffering from mental or psychological problems.
Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estétez, head of the Vatican congregation responsible for
religious rites, says there are various criteria for determining legitimate demonic
possessions. They include "a vehement aversion to God, the Blessed Virgin, the
saints, the cross, and sacred images."
But, according to Michael Cuneo, a Fordham University sociologist who is writing a book
on exorcism in American culture, most Catholic bishops in the U.S. consider exorcism
"to be antiquated, to be an embarrassment, to be a survival of medieval
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