Healthcare mandate

Washington Post Catholics vs. trans rights story summons up whopping sense of, yep, Deja Vu

Washington Post Catholics vs. trans rights story summons up whopping sense of, yep, Deja Vu

One of the benefits of having been among the first wave of Monty Python fans when the BBC comedy first hit these shores is that some of their skits, such as the one about Déjà Vu, hang around in the dim recesses of one's memory.

Then, a modern-day news article pops up to bring this to the forefront.

My thanks, then to the Washington Post for reminding me of a funny bit of comedic brilliance. Sad to say, brilliance is not the word that comes to mind when reading their recent report on a group of Roman Catholic business owners suing to block an Obama administration rule it claims would force Catholic doctors and hospitals to perform "gender reassignment" surgery in contravention of church teachings.

From the article:

Gay and transgender rights groups said the health rule offers critical protections for transgender people because they often struggle to receive appropriate care from physicians and hospitals.
“What the rule says is if you provide a particular service to anybody, you can’t refuse to provide it to anyone,” said Sarah Warbelow, the legal director for the Human Rights Campaign. That means a transgender person who shows up at an emergency room with something as basic as a twisted ankle cannot be denied care, as sometimes happens, Warbelow said. That also means if a doctor provides breast reconstruction surgery or hormone therapy, those services cannot be denied to transgender patients seeking them for gender dysphoria, she said.

To its credit, the Post doesn't introduce the pro-directive side until the fifth paragraph, but the HRC attorney gets to share their viewpoint before the Catholic side gets its spokesman heard.

Couple that with a photo of trans-rights protestors leading the online version, and it's not difficult to imagine a soupçon of "Kellerism" (click here for more on this GetReligion term) had jumped on the Amtrak Acela express train from the Manhattan quarters of The New York Times to drop in on the Post's offices.

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Obamacare case: RNS reports both sides, though little on those in between

Obamacare case: RNS reports both sides, though little on those in between

Yaayyy! Someone remembered that there are two sides (at least) to a controversy!

And it's not Normal, Moderate Americans vs. Those Nuts on the Right!

The Religion News Service does the right thing in a newsfeature about "two 20-something Christians, both motivated by faith," who were found in counter-demonstrations outside the U.S. Supreme Court.

At issue is that long-smoldering battle over Obamacare: whether it can require religious groups to provide contraceptives that they believe will cause abortions and kill embryonic humans. The Little Sisters of the Poor, along with six other plaintiffs, have taken the feds to court over the matter. The Supreme Court is expected to rule by summer or earlier.

For such a story, many mainstream media would have tried a blend of what tmatt calls the Frame Game and the Two Armies approach. On the liberal side, they'd single out a young, stylish, articulate woman. Her conservative opposition would likely be a middle-aged, overweight male who used bad grammar.

Instead of such cheap devices, the RNS article chooses two young female college students -- both of them even named Katie -- each spelling out sincere beliefs. It shows respect for both, allowing us readers to make up our own minds.

Here is how we are introduced to Katie Stone and Katie Breslin:

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