National Catholic Register


National Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news around the Nation.

BY John Lilly

July 23 - August 5, 2006 Issue | Posted 7/23/06 at 9:00 AM


Lt. Governor Affirms His Catholic Faith
, July 10 — Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, speaking to a conference of Catholic families July 9, affirmed his support of Catholic teachings, reported the Sun.

Steele, who hopes to capture the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, told participants of the 16th annual Catholic Family Expo that faith cannot be divorced from public service. He also urged families to be a sign of contradiction.

“You have to choose. … You have to make the choice, one or the other, to be relevant or be a sign of contradiction,” Steele said. “You can’t be a sign of contradiction and be ‘personally opposed, but ….”

During the 1980s, Steele spent three years in an Augustinian monastery. He publicly opposes both abortion and the death penalty.

Parent Kathy MacMillan said she was pleased that Steele “would come out and be true to his religious beliefs and understand that when you’re true to your religious beliefs, that enables you to be true to your political beliefs.”

Recently, Steele’s boss, Gov. Robert Ehrlich, fired a state official, also a Catholic, for expressing his belief in public that homosexuality is a sin.

Louisiana Embraces Contraception Program

TIMES-PICAYUNE, July 11 — Under a new program aimed to reduce unwanted pregnancies, Louisiana will make contraception and other family planning services available to 75,000 poor and moderate-income women, said the New Orleans daily.

The state has received approval from the federal government to make such services available to women who aren’t qualified for Medicaid benefits. Under the Family Planning Demonstration Waiver, women between the ages of 19-44 with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty line will be eligible for the services, which include birth control pills, contraceptives and in some cases tubal ligations. For every dollar the state pays, the federal government will match up to $9.

Health and Hospitals Secretary Fred Cerise said that the program will cost the state less money than paying the costs associated with unwanted pregnancies.

Companies May Not Bowdlerize Films, Court Rules

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, July 11 — The U.S. District Court in Colorado ruled July 6 that companies may not edit violence, sex or profanity from videos. The ruling said such companies violate U.S. copyright laws.

The ruling affects small businesses like the CleanFlicks video store in Orem, Utah, which distributes videos and DVDs edited by CleanFlicks, also based in Utah. The store and the distributor are separate entities.

The CleanFlicks editor was sued three years ago by, among others, the Directors Guild of America, which represents 16 filmmakers, including Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg. Ray Lines, chief executive officer of CleanFlicks, said it’s too early for a decision on whether to appeal.

Aaron Campbell, a customer in the CleanFlicks store in Orem, told the Tribune he was buying up videos, just in case the ruling ultimately stands. Otherwise, he said, he’d be watching fewer movies or buying selected ones and watch them over and over. “I love a good movie,” he said. “I only wish they would allow me to do what I wanted with a movie so I could enjoy it.”