Media Watch

N.J. Transit Agency Turns Catholics Away

THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE, April 19 — Officials at New Jersey Transit denied a Catholic group the right to sing at a celebration of a new light rail system April 15 while allowing a gospel group the right to perform, said the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in a statement.

Up until the day before the event, a Catholic group was told that it could participate in the celebration, the League reported. But then the head of the group, Father Kevin Ashe, was told on April 14 that his group sould not sing at the event because of concerns over separation of church and state.

The League noted that the Monumental Baptist Church of Jersey City was still permitted to sing. A Transit spokeswoman, Penny Bassett Hackett, said: “Gospel music is widely accepted as a mainstream category of music in the music industry and by the public.”

But Catholic League President William Donohue called the decision a “blantant” double standard.

“The reasoning advanced — that gospel singers are mainstream and therefore don't trigger church-state problems, but Catholic singers do — is so transparent as to be laughable. After all, what exactly is the source of gospel music if not the Gospel?” said Donohue.

He added, “Moreover, since when did singing songs — religious or secular — become anything other than a free speech issue? According to the perverse logic as entertained here, Catholic singers can't sing at state events but it would be perfectly legal for Marilyn Manson to belt out one of his satanic songs,” said Donohue.

Young Adults Take Their Cues From TV

THE WASHINGTON TIMES, April 17 — University of Michigan psychology professor L. Monique Ward was shocked after examining a recent two-year study on young adults’ attitudes about sex.

“I was surprised at how much 18- to 20-year-olds are still affected by media's messages about sex,” Ward told The Washington Times.

Ward's study, published last fall in The Journal of Sex Research, examined the sexual attitudes of 314 men and women in the 18-20 age category. She found that the more TV that viewers watched, the more believable the TV characters and their attitudes about sex became, the Times reported.

She said that those who watch a lot of TV agree with the stereotypical sexual roles often found on TV, namely that men are sexual predators and that women are objects to be ogled at by men.

In addition to TV, the Times noted that young adults are saturated with sex elsewhere. Cosmopolitan magazine targets young adults and focuses many articles on how to heighten sexual pleasure. T-shirts reading “Future Porn Star” are frequently worn by kids in high school, and some even as young as 8 years old.

Rick Schatz, president of the National Coalition for Protection of Children and Families, told the Times that this evidence points to a “porn culture.”

The messages, Schatz said, promote, “Sex with anyone, under any circumstance. Second, women have only one value, and that is to meet the sexual demands of men. Third, everyone is involved in it. Fourth, the only sex that is exciting is outside of marriage. We believe those are the fundamental lies of porn.”